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Guest blogger: Anne Gracie

24 May 2020


For some reason a lot of people don’t like epilogues in a romance novel. Me, I love ‘em. If I’ve loved the book, I want to spend just a little more time in that world with the characters. I love seeing the happy couple some time after the ‘I love you’ declaration. I want to be convinced that it will be happy ever after for them, that their love will last.

What kind of scene? I don’t mind if it’s a wedding, or a christening, the promise of a baby, or simply some scene where the hero and the hero are together, being happy in their new life.

In my new novel, Marry in Scarlet, I was in a bit of a dilemma when it came to writing the epilogue. I was feeling a little bit sad, as it was the last book in the series, and as well as showing the hero and heroine being happy together, I wanted to bring in a glimpse of the others in the series. A kind of farewell.

As well, throughout the series there had been a hidden romance going on, which was only revealed in any detail in this last book, so I wanted to share a snippet of that as well.

This series, like several of my others, as well as being about the growth of love between a man and a woman, is also about the creation of family out of relative strangers. It seems to be a theme of mine, possibly because as a child we moved so often that I learned to value the friends I managed to make and keep, and some of those friends I look on as family.

So, for all these reasons, I wrote an unconventional epilogue for Marry in Scarlet. There’s a ball, a speech by the heroine, and a glimpse of the others in the series. From reader reactions so far, most people like it, but a few have said they’d prefer to see just the hero and heroine together at the end.

Ah well, you can’t please everyone.

What about you? Do you like epilogues and if so, what kind do you like? And if you don’t like them, any thoughts about why not? I’ll give a copy of Marry in Scarlet to someone who leaves a comment. The giveaway closes on 7 June. [The giveaway is now closed. The winner was Sally F.]

You can find Anne here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub

Marry in Scarlet

A marriage born of passion and scandal turns into something more from the bestselling author of Marry in Secret.

When a duke denied …

The proud and arrogant Duke of Everingham is determined to secure a marriage of convenience with heiress Lady Georgiana Rutherford. He’s the biggest prize on the London marriage mart, pursued by young unmarried ladies and their match-making mamas, as well as married women with a wandering eye. He can have any woman he wants. Or so he thinks …

… Hunts an independent lady …

Lady Georgiana Rutherford—irreverent and unconventional—has no plans to marry. Having grown up poor, Lady George has no intention of giving up her fortune to become dependent on the dubious and unreliable goodwill of a man. Especially a man as insufferable as the Duke of Everingham, whose kisses stirs unwelcome and unsettling emotions …

… Sparks are sure to fly

The more she defies him, the more the duke wants her, until an argument at a ball spirals into a passionate embrace. Caught in a compromising position, the duke announces their betrothal. George is furious, and when gossip claims she deliberately entrapped the duke—when she was the one who was trapped—she marches down the aisle in a scarlet wedding dress. But the unlikely bride and groom may have found love in the most improbable of places—a marriage of convenience.

  1. Carolyn Holm permalink
    27 May 2020 3:45 am

    Anne I love an epilogue- it finalises the book by by showing the loose ends have not only been tied up neatly but have been fastened with a pretty bow and the promise of a long and happy future for the characters. It extends the pleasure of the experience from that book and gives me the satisfaction of closing the covers on a damned good story. Long live romance ❤️

    • AnneGracie permalink
      12 June 2020 11:05 am

      Thanks, Carolyn.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    26 May 2020 6:57 pm

    Yes to epilogues as long as they actually add something to the story; yours and Julia Quinn’s are often funny and are like extra icing on an already tasty cake. I’m also strongly in favour of the wider inclusion of people. . .a range of lively/quirky/interesting characters adds a lot of interest to the love story. A whole world is created, not just a couple.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      12 June 2020 11:06 am

      Thanks. Yes for this epilogue in the final book, I wanted to give a snapshot of some of the main characters in the series, not just the hero and heroine of this book. I do like the icing on the cake analogy.

  3. Sharon Seymour permalink
    25 May 2020 2:00 pm

    I love epilogues. I like to read more of what happens to the main characters – in fact, I would say that I’m disappointed if there isn’t an epilogue.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      26 May 2020 2:30 pm

      Sharon, there are a couple of times when I’ve been disappointed by the lack of an epilogue, but some stories have that perfect sense of closure and everything would up without an epilogue. But I don’t understand the rabid dislike of them that I’ve seen some people express.

  4. 25 May 2020 11:21 am

    I don’t mind epilogues! It gives me a chance to say goodbye to the story and characters and the sense of closure is appreciated.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      26 May 2020 2:28 pm

      Julie, yes, I think that for many it’s that extra little bit that rounds off the story — in other words, closure.

  5. Sally Fortney permalink
    25 May 2020 10:11 am

    I love epilogues. It’s great to show weddings, babies, and maybe the couple with other characters from earlier books. I also like afterwords that explain the real history or facts that inspired the book, if there was something like that.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      25 May 2020 10:17 am

      Thanks, Sally. I wrote an author letter after Marry In Secret, because there were several interesting stories in my research that I wanted to share. I don’t always do it though. But I usually include an epilogue.

  6. 24 May 2020 10:45 pm

    I’m with you, Anne, I love an epilogue that allows me to enjoy the story just a little longer.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      25 May 2020 8:30 am

      Thanks, Melinda, yes, like that little extra helping of pudding. LOL

  7. maria ferrer permalink
    24 May 2020 4:55 pm

    I do like epilogues also. They let me rest in peace knowing that everything is now smooth and ready for the next generation.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      24 May 2020 10:10 pm

      Thanks, Maria, yes, they often do give a hint about the next generation, don’t they?

  8. Janice Layton Dunlap permalink
    24 May 2020 4:46 pm

    I love epiloques, it is hard to leave people I have come to love and I need to know they are happy. I am supposed to get the book on Tuesday but would love to have one to give to my sister. I just loaned the Bride Series to her along with the C series by Edith Layton. With the library closed she was out of books. Jan

    • AnneGracie permalink
      24 May 2020 10:11 pm

      How nice to lend your sister your books, Janice. It’s very hard with the libraries shut, isn’t it? Thanks for joining us here.

  9. 24 May 2020 3:23 pm

    I am most reluctant to tell an author what they should and shouldn’t do with their creations.What the author chooses to do is individual and I think that is important to the books. I honestly don’t care either way about an epilogue but I do care that it is done well and in that I trust the author particularly where the characters have become a family throughout the series. Loved your post Annie.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      24 May 2020 10:13 pm

      Thanks, Amorina. Yes, we authors often have very firm ideas about our books, but I do like hearing what readers think. Thanks for joining in the conversation.

  10. Gabrielle Ledda permalink
    24 May 2020 3:12 pm

    To me it doesn’t matter – sometimes things are black and white and an epilogue covers the grey. It is all up to the writer to feel as if they have completed what they have wanted to get across.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      24 May 2020 10:14 pm

      That’s very true, Gabrielle, and in the case of Marry In Scarlet, there was so much I wanted to tie up. Thanks for joining us here at ARRA.

  11. Anne Sher permalink
    24 May 2020 2:36 pm

    I hate saying goodbye to the characters in a book and require an epilogue or a sequel to know that they are still living the highs and lows as they would in the real world and can continue their journey in my imagination.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      24 May 2020 10:15 pm

      Anne, I’m the same. The characters become very real to me and I do sometimes think of their ongoing journeys. But I’m a big rereader as well, and enjoy dipping back into a familiar, beloved world.

  12. 24 May 2020 11:44 am

    I love epilogues. They’re a great way to get a happily ever after for the future.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      24 May 2020 1:02 pm

      I agree, Suzi. I like to know the HEA is real and enduring.

      • Lee Ann Daugherty permalink
        24 May 2020 1:08 pm

        Yes to epilogues whether it’s to put a final punctuation mark on that particular book or to set up a new one…or both!

  13. Vicki Williams permalink
    24 May 2020 10:59 am

    Yes to epilogues. They don’t have to be long to be good. For example, Grace Burrowes tends to do her epilogue as the last paragraph of the book proper. Just a glimpse of the future. However I do like a longer epilogue of at least a couple of pages. Even 10 pages long if it is tying up lots of loose ends. A little bit of closure.

    Vicki L.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      24 May 2020 1:01 pm

      Vicki, yes, I agree closure is important. And I know a lot of people feel things are more realistic if some ends are left loose, but I prefer to tie things up as much as possible, so people are sure that everything’s all right. I don’t know how many books I’ve read where at the end the reader is left dangling and wondering, and I always go “Noooooo, you can’t do that to me.” But they have!

  14. 24 May 2020 10:49 am

    I do love an epilogue and agree with Malvina on what may be in then and I also like it when there is a hint of the next book in the series if it is not the last one and as for the epilogue in Marry in Scarlet I thought it was brilliant I loved it and the book and series so much 🙂

    Have Fun


    • AnneGracie permalink
      24 May 2020 12:58 pm

      Helen, thanks so much. My epilogue in Marry In Scarlet wasn’t the usual sort, and I’ve seen a few comments where people weren’t thrilled with it. But you can’t please everyone, and I’m so glad it pleased you.

  15. Malvina Y permalink
    24 May 2020 10:37 am

    I don’t mind an epilogue that brings in the whole series at the end of a series. Sort of gives me completion and closure. I do like things like a wedding or a baby in a epilogue, because in the romance when you get your HEA, you really do want to know it IS a HEA and not just a happy for ‘right now’ scenario. Thanks Anne.

    • AnneGracie permalink
      24 May 2020 12:57 pm

      Thanks, Malvina. Yes, I’m not fond of those ‘happy for now’ situations, especially where the couple has been in conflict for much of the book. I want to know all that is definitely behind them.

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