This week I'm pulling a little you-tell-me.
What makes a romance?
For me (as a reader), there are two big things that a romance must have: love, and a HEA/HFN ending.
Love is the biggest part of a romance for yours truly. These characters don't just have to be attracted, they don't just have to like each other; they need to be in love. I want to see a textbook case of Consummate Love at the end of the story. We're talking selfless, nurturing, makes-you-grow-in-good-ways sort of love.
And (again, my opinion) it's not a romance if there isn't a happily-ever-after or happy-for-now ending. If the two romantic characters are not together at the end, no matter how much foreshadowing or set-up there is for the next book, to me that ain't a romance. It's something else with romantic tension.
What about you? What makes a book a romance? What do you want to see in "romance" books? Do you think a book can still be a romance even without the ending? What definition of love do you use? There's no right or wrong answer, because it's totally subjective. Leave a comment with your thoughts!