Does it assure readers that the h/h end up together till death do them part, they’ll have lots of babies, and are never poor?
Or is it a promise that no matter what life throws at them, they will remain deeply in love with one another?
In my WWI series, many of my protagonists can’t “waltz off into the sunset” at the end of the book–one has to return to the Front, one is a POW, another is a spy, and still another nurses on the front lines. In my head, I see each book as an episode in a TV mini-series like Downton or Upstairs Downstairs, where everyone weaves in and out of the main narrative, and the storyline of each h/h continues after their book. But does this toy with the concept of the HEA? Does this move my series into HFN territory despite each couple being in love for good (and don’t worry, I’m not killing anyone off!)?
I’m definitely pondering this as I look at the ending of book 2 in All That We Had, We Gave, since there are legal impediments to the traditional HEA.
What do you think about the HEA? Some gripe that it limits the romance genre entirely–I disagree–but is the expectation of what it specifically entails limiting? Would you find an ending where the hero or heroine must leave their significant other at the close of the book emotionally satisfying?