Aug 6 2014 7:03am

How Important is the Secondary Relationship?

As attention spans shorten, and more and more books get written and released, books themselves seem to be getting shorter, which means that what used to be standard in romance novels—specifically focus on a secondary relationship—has gone away. Or if there is mention of a secondary relationship, that relationship becomes primary in a subsequent book.

Do you miss secondary relationships in romance novels? Are there any particular ones in current romances that you've loved, and would miss if they were removed? 

How important is the secondary relationship?

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Lucy D
1. Lucy D
I love the secondary relationships. They add depth to the other characters. Having a cast of characters you enjoy truly adds to the story. I am currently reading a J.D. Robb story and although Eve and Roarke are the focus, we have great secondary relationships with Peabody and McNab, Dr. Mira and her husband, Charles and Louise, etc., and even the very important secondary relationship between Eve and Peabody.
Lucy D
2. Ey Wade
I love them, too. Especially if in some way they work to the good of the first. Moving it along, putting in a little comic relief.
Lucy D
3. scarlettleigh
Secondary relationship can make a mediocre book great, especially when you don't care for the hero or heroine.

Now I did like Blue and Dean in National Born Charmer, but it was April and Jack's relationship that really grabbed me. I think it is because I am such a big fan of re-united lovers.

In Selter Me by Catherine Mann there is a secondary relationship and for a while I thought it was going to be the one glich in the book, but Ms. Mann surprised me and I really liked how she handled it.
Carmen Pinzon
4. bungluna
Yes, secondary relationships can make or break a book for me. They are very important, especially when they allow the author to explore a relationship that wouldn't normaly be "star" material. For instance, they secondary place was the only one where you could get an older couple's relationship, (see SEP).
Laura Bracken
5. Night -owl
Oh, I love a good secondary relationship in a story! (Especially, if that couple gets their own book; makes for a great build up(like Zsadist &Bella in Rhage's &Mary's book). Lorelei James is really good with secondary relationships in her books(Wrangled&Tangled, comes to mind). Lisa Kleypas is brilliant too, for example, Again The Magic.
Jennifer Proffitt
6. JenniferProffitt
Sometimes I'll read a book for the secondary relationships. Also, I think they're important to have because it gives you something else to look forward to--though I usually prefer if the secondary relationship in one book then gets its own book! In general, though, I think it's important to have those secondary relationships and characters to know that the hero and heroine aren't living in a bubble. Lately, especially with New Adult, I feel that I'm only seeing the heroin and heroine and maybe a best friend to slap some sense into one or the other (sometimes both). So I'd say I miss great secondary characters not just relationships!
Lucy D
7. Torifl
I love a well developed seconday relationship. Sometimes, they can acually save the book. For example -SEP's The Great Escape .
8. allyson55
Secondary characters flesh out the story and add depth. They often add angst or comedic touches that keep the story bubbling along. Ilona Andrews does great secondary characters in the Kate Daniels Magic series as does Shelley Laurenston in the Pride books.
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