Life is definitely getting harder. The news is more terrible everyday: children are killing children, Mother Nature is angry and more and more people are suffering. Sometimes just getting through the day is difficult.

What helps? Respite. A break. Something better to aim for. And that’s what romance books give us. The victory over conflict, the answer to uncertainties, the happily ever after.

Maybe they don’t convey world-changing ideas or cure disease, but they give us hope. And, as Emily Dickinson said so poignantly:

““Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –”

And what are the stories romance writers write? Magical stories of good triumphing over evil, true love conquering all and yes — happily ever after.

In times like these, we need to believe there is hope, because without that, I think we might wither. So we read romance and hold those stories close to our hearts and then, stronger, we soldier on.

And that is why I have chosen romance as my genre. Whether as a reader or as a writer, it is wonderful to immerse myself in another time, another place, knowing in my heart, no matter the conflict or hardship, everything will come out all right.

I don’t believe life has ever been easy. Everyone has challenges and there are always obstacles to overcome. But, it seems to me, reality has become more violent. People are angrier and strike out more quickly. Too many are focusing on the negative.

Will reading a romance stop the bad? No, probably not. But it’s a different point of view. And believing in the happily ever after can get me by, even on those bad days.


Leslie Hachtel was born in Ohio, raised in New York and has been a gypsy most of her adult life. Her various jobs, including licensed veterinary technician, caterer, horseback riding instructor for the disabled and advertising media buyer have given her a wealth of experiences. However, it has been writing that has consistently been her passion. She sold an episode of a TV show, had a screenplay optioned and has so far produced ten novels, including seven historicals and three romantic suspense. Leslie lives in Cordova, Tennessee with a fabulously supportive engineer husband and her writing buddy, Jakita, a terrier. Her latest book is Bound to Morocco.