The end.

Two words that are so simple and yet filled with impact.

As an aspiring romance writer, I’ve been inundated with the firsts of my work in progress: the first line, first paragraph, first scene, first chapter, etc. I’ve written and edited and rewritten my first chapter so much that I’m actually sick of looking at it. I know the beginning is important, but when I finish reading a book, it isn’t the beginning that sticks with me, it’s the end.

The sigh.

The satisfaction of finishing a good story.

The wish that the story would go on, but the knowledge that any other ending would drag the story or taint it.

The feeling that some unknown dream had been fulfilled.

In romances, I expect that kind of feeling when I turn that last page. I rely on the (almost) guaranteed happily ever after. It is one of the many reasons that I love romance. But I recently had that feeling finishing a mystery. A mystery. 😮

The sigh.

The story was satisfying in a different way than the happily ever after, because it was the solving of the crime. It wasn’t a happily ever after. Especially not for the victim. But there was a good solution to a strong conflict.

How do you feel when you reach the end? | Romance Readers' Cafe'

The sigh is one of the reasons that I don’t like cliffhangers. They keep me from the satisfying end. It is also one of the reasons that I like series books if they are done right. I get the satisfying, ‘sigh’ ending, but I also get the added bonus of the story continuing.

The ‘firsts’ of a story need to reel me and the ‘lasts’ need to leave me with the sigh. That seems like a tall order, doesn’t it? I marvel at other authors who manage those stories so beautifully.

Now I’m turning the conversation over to you.

What books have you read recently that gave you “the sigh” when you turned that last page?

Loraine Nunley is an author and blogger who grew up near Detroit, Michigan and now lives just outside of Fort Worth, Texas. She is a member of ACFW and writes inspirational romance. In 2017, she was honored to be a finalist in the suspense category of the ACFW First Impressions contest.

Being a romantic at heart, Loraine often finds inspiration for her writing within her own marriage. She has been blessed to find her own real life romantic hero with her husband. Her writing career has included a self-help book about remarriage and a series of children’s books about military aircraft.

When not writing furiously and dreaming up stories, she can be found reading, adding books to her over flowing bookshelves, homeschooling her children, and enjoying time with her family.

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