I shared in an earlier post about the rejections I've had on Becca and Lauren. One of the reasons was the unhappy endings. I have skewed all my books to be just slightly-more-than-half happy. One beta reader told me that reading too many unhappy endings in a row makes the book feel like a Perils of Pauline, which if you're not familiar with that term, refers to a damsel continuously in distress. So I also make sure that most of the story stems lead to a mix.
But in my books, there is only ONE (1) Fairy Tale Happy Ending. That's it. My books have 16, 12, and 11 endings respectively. I'm not egotistic enough to think that every reader is going to have a spiral bound notebook and track their choices to be a Completist. I'm toying with putting the existence of a single Fairy Tale Ending into my Author's Intro at the start of each book, because I want readers to know, after they've tried 3-4 endings, that it's out there. I'm not sure. Do you think romance-people need the promise? Or should I just let it be a pleasant surprise for those who stumble upon it?
Another issue is that some of my beta readers who scored the fairy tale early in their reading felt dissatisfaction with reading the other stories, because they'd already "won." Me? I'd keep reading to discover all the endings, which while they might not be as happy should at least be entertaining. Would you read on after finding a happy ending early?