The Great HEA Event with @katrinajax! #GreatHEAEvent

I’m so pleased to welcome Katrina Jackson to the event today! During this event, we’ve talked a lot about HEA, but Katrina has written an excellent post on the value of HFN, or “happy for now.” Some romance stories demand a HFN ending, and they are valid and satisfying. Read on!


I am notoriously skeptical about the believability of an HEA at the end of a book. I tend to imagine all endings as happy for now, so I want to talk about why I love happy for HFN endings. I’m a firm believer in the fact that people enter and exit your life when and where they should. The former is easy to accept, when you make a new friend or meet someone who seems like a promising person to date, for instance. The latter is harder. My grandfather died when I was twenty and I struggled for years to accept that someone who was my rock, the center of my world, and the foundation for my family was there one day and gone the next. In the months and years that followed so many things changed for me, including the people around me. My friendships changed, I dated differently or sometimes not at all, and without my anchor, I began to drift farther and farther away from home.

I was unmoored.

So many of my favorite romance novels begin right at this moment in a character’s life; when everything they thought they knew to be true is not and they have to reconsider the world anew. In Alyssa Cole’s A Princess in Theory, Naledi must consider a world where royalty is real, she’s one of them, and most importantly, she has family after growing up alone in foster care. In Rebekah Weatherspoon’s Harbor Brooklyn, Vaughn and Shaw try to mourn loved ones while also processing the deceased’s betrayals. These are extreme examples (in both ways) but each of these books ends, not with a promise that the future is guaranteed (because these are characters who understand that is impossible to predict) but with a desire to try. That, for me, is the crux of a HFN, a belief that for however long these characters have together (maybe it’s a lifetime, maybe it’s one fantastic year), they’ll be on the same team. They found each other when they needed one another and even when they part (which is inevitable) they will be better for their time together.

What I needed at twenty were tools to become a person who didn’t have her grandfather standing behind her, mumbling ornery jokes only she could hear. All those new people who entered my life helped me develop them in their own unique ways. Not all the people who I met then stuck around and some people who exited returned. I learned a lot about life as I grappled with the aftermath of death, and it taught me that nothing lasts forever, not even the things you hope will. So, here’s to more HFNs!

Back in the Day by Katrina Jackson


Helping pack up his childhood home was going much easier than Amir expected. The only sticking point is the record collection his father Alonzo refuses to put in storage. When Amir asked his father why he needs to keep all those records with him, Alonzo offers to tell him a story instead.

Monterey Pop Festival

In 1967, Alonzo was a baby music reporter at the Village Voice on his first big assignment. By his side is photographer Ada Carr who is all brown skin, big afro and sharp tongue. He should be worried about his story, but all he can think about is the way Ada looks dancing to the music in the dusk, the stage lights illuminating her form. He knows love when he sees, or better yet hears, it.

Over the course of two weekends, over forty years apart, Alonzo imparts a soundtrack of love and life to Amir that bridges the past and present and they both learn how to say goodbye.

Content Warnings:
Parental death
Recreational drug use

Buy it here!

Katrina Jackson is an historian by day and a writer by weekend. She writes racially diverse and queer erotica, erotic romance and historical fiction. She enjoys 70s disco and good wine. 

The Great HEA Event with @peyton_storm! @GreatHEAEvent

Promises kept are important to most of us, and they are definitely important to romance readers. Welcome, Peyton Storm, with a post on why it’s so important to keep that promise.


A Promise Kept

When I skim bookshelves or scroll through ebook lists, I’m in search of ROMANCE. What I’m looking for in said romance varies. There are times I want a fast paced contemporary. Other times, I may want a dark motorcycle club romance. No matter my reading mood at any given time, I’m confident that whether I smile, laugh, cry or curse through the pages, everything will come together before the last word on the last page. Romance is the only genre that makes such a promise to its readers and I take pride in that both as a reader and as an author.

I read romance as an escape from the day to day grind, the darkness of today’s world and the things that weigh on my shoulders and sometimes, I just want the butterflies. Romance touches on the deepest, most fragile and raw of human emotions and unlike real life, with that promised HEA/HFN, our hearts are safe. We spend page after page investing in a pairing as we live their ups and downs through their eyes, and when they finally come together, the payoff makes us anxious to do it all over again.

Hardpressed by Peyton Storm

He promised her tomorrow but stole away her yesterdays.

After the passing of his mother, then sixteen year old Greyson Ty Thomas, aka Tack, was forced to live with his uncle in Ocean Falls, a sleepy, coastal Texas town. While Uncle Jake worked long hours at the local chemical plant, Greyson spent his time training, with dreams of leaving it all behind once he was drafted into the National Football League. Until he met her.

Presley Rae Manning, the apple of her father’s eye, grew up without her mother. She’d walked out when Pres was a small child and never looked back. Eventually, the small home she shared with her father was filled with music, as she discovered her love of dance. The small town sweetheart was destined to shine. Until she met him.

Hardpressed is a scorching, fast paced, second chance romance that pushes the envelope, heightens the senses and redefines the meaning of family.

Buy it here!

Peyton resides in the state of Texas with her family and fur babies. When not writing, Peyton can be found obsessing over the NFL, MLB and reality TV.

The Great HEA Event with @_LaurelGreer! #GreatHEAEvent

It’s no secret Laurel Greer is one of my fave romance authors today. I love her voice and her flair for contemporary romance. I’m so pleased to welcome Laurel today!


The romance genre pivots on its HEAs, and those endings are a big part of why I love writing and reading in the genre. Psychological studies have found that storytelling and immersing ourselves in story help us to become more empathetic and connected, and in my view, loving other humans is one of the most universal experiences we share. As I was thinking about what to write for this, I realized I don’t picture my favourite characters living “happily ever after” in a literal sense. It’s not about a fairy-tale ending for me (though that can make for a good read). It’s about trusting that the characters will go forward together with a hopeful, loving worldview.

An HEA means that even though the characters I’ve grown to love and care about will encounter problems and difficulties after ‘the end’, they will flourish. They will take what they’ve learned about how to live fulfilling, honest lives, will work to support the people they love, and will accept/ask for support themselves. Not only is there an emotional rush in finishing a story where people have overcome their trials and found love and hope, well-crafted HEAs make it easier for me to believe love and hope can triumph for real people, too. I like living in a world where we believe in these possibilities. Getting to write stories that prove the power of human connection is truly the best.

The Holidare by Laurel Greer and Dee. J. Holmes

Pro-hockey star Noel Beckett is determined to avoid his family’s holiday chaos and anything remotely festive. Enter his sister’s roommate Gwen Darling, a curvy artist with a heart of gold who lives for the season. Wanting to sprinkle some glitter over Noel’s Grinchiness, she dares him to be her holiday plus-one.

Noel’s not one to back away from a dare, and he expects his grumpy ways to be validated. But Yule shenanigans and flirty Christmas games with Gwen break through the hot athlete’s commitment to all things Scroogy. Why does she feel like the dash of magic he’s been missing? Is this a Holidare they both can win?

Buy it here!

Raised in a small town on Vancouver Island, Laurel grew up skiing and boating by day and reading romances under the covers by flashlight at night. Ever committed to the proper placement of the Canadian “eh,” she loves to write books with snapping sexual tension and second chances. She lives outside Vancouver with her law-talking husband and two daughters, and fills her creative well by continuing to stay up way too late reading, chugging vats of tea, and falling down Pinterest rabbit holes.