Secondary characters in romantic fiction can absolutely make a book or series. Who can forget Jenks in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series? Or hasn’t followed the Wingmance: Number Twos Who Finish First, when a secondary character becomes almost as important as the lead?
What would a historical romance be without an interfering older lady, a la Pride and Prejudice’s Lady Catherine de Bourgh? Sometimes, the IOL gets to say things no-one else can get away with, but either the hero or heroine is thinking it (as in, “You’d better take that ____ to bed, and soon!”)
Sometimes, secondary character gets their own stories; for example, the children of Loretta Chase’s Dreadful DeLucey series wind up as the hero and heroine of Last Night’s Scandal. Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series resulted in First Drop of Crimson, Denise’s story, and Once Burned, Vlad’s. Joanna Bourne made Adrian the hero of The Black Hawk, while Her Best Worst Mistake, by Sarah Mayberry, is a spin-off from Hot Island Nights.
Who are your favorite secondary characters? Would you like to see them in a leading role, or are you okay with them playing second fiddle?