Wed
Nov 9 2016 9:20am

Is the Secondary Romance on the Way Out?

Our blogger posed this very question after re-reading an old favorite where a heroine was getting her HEA... but within the pages of another book. Larissa Ione has a fairly famous secondary couple who saw their HEA played out on the page over the course of several books. However, more and more, it seems, the secondary romance is only hinted at before it's explore in full in a subsequent book. 

As our blogger pointed out, in the early days, these secondary romances were often between characters deemed less “accessible” to the mainstream reader—the sexually liberated heroine, the older couple, etc. 

Have you been finding fewer “secondary romances” within your books? Why do you think that is? What was your favorite secondary romance? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

Hat tip to Willaful

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9 comments
Nightlight
1. Nightlight
I love a secondary romance. Sometimes, I tend to like them better than the main romance(These characters have the freedom to be more flawed than the main couple and are therefore more interesting (Derek from Dreaming of You comes to mind)). This can be a problem because then I just want to read about them(they steal the show).
I have to admit I prefer when the B couple get their own book. I remember when I read Again the Magic for the first time, I loved the secondary romance in that and I was shocked by the end of the book because their story had been wrapped up(I thought they would get their own book). I think I've been spoiled by book series' where I'm used to every character getting their own book(Wallflower series, Hataway series, BDB series etc.).
Kareni
2. Kareni
I like the development of the relationship of Peabody and McNab in J.D. Robb's ... in Death books.
Scarlettleigh
3. Scarlettleigh
Yes, I think they are! Susan Elizabeth Phillips always used to have secondary romances and in her last couple of romances (maybe 3) she hasn't had any. And I do miss them. Like Nightlight- sometimes I like the secondary more than the first --or at least as much as the first.
renzii
4. renzii
My favorite secondary romance will always be JR Ward's Blay and Qhuinn who finally got their long awaited HEA in her Black Dagger Brotherhood's Book 11! Her fans (like me) fell in love with them and begged and pleaded and hell, demanded they get their own book!
renzii
5. sweet_revenge_1984
I agree with Renzii, Blay and Qhuinn's secondary romance was a lot of fun to see play out, but I'll admit I'm not typically a fan if that couple don't get their own book in the end. If I'm rereading a favourite with a secondary romance (a lot SEP's books come to mind), I tend to skip the scenes without the hero and heroine. I think the secondary romance is just distracting in a standalone.
renzii
6. Georgetta Merrill
I love secondary romances depending on two things.#1 If the secondary characters are in a series-they show up in each book. #2 If the book is stand alone-make sure their story is wrapped up at the end.Not so much a fan of waiting for a year(maybe more) for a book for the secondary romance to play out.
Brianna
7. carmenlire
I really like the secondary romance, both when they wrap up in one book and when they eventually get their own. Again the Magic is wonderful, and I was fully invested in both of the romance plots! I think it fit the story to have both sisters/friends find love in the same time frame.

But on the other hand, I LIVED for Blay and Qhuinn mentions before Lover At Last. When I finally heard they were getting their own book I think I actually squealed with delight (I think half the reason I was so invested in keeping up with the BDB was just so I could know about Qhuay!). But then, there have been some that were so dull and didn't fit with the plot that it was annoying. I think it also depends on the author--if they are good at world building, like Kleypas, Ward, and Roberts (thinking of The Villa by Nora Roberts and the mother and daughter getting a romantic plot).
renzii
8. lizzie18
I like a secondary romance in a book as long as it doesn't detract from the main story, but rather complements/enhances it (Peabody and McNab are a great example!)

If we're talking about a series, then I usually don't like them to get their own story at, say, book 12. Reading such a book feels like starting a story in the middle since so much has already been covered in previous books. I look forward to opening a new book and discovering the new romance or adventure. A story about secondary characters lacks that 'freshness' for me.
Scarlettleigh
9. Scarlettleigh
Susan Elizabeth Phillips always had a secondary romance -- and she really has some hilarious scenarios. However with her last couple of books, there hasn't been a secondary couple and I missed that.

One of my favorite secondary romance was April's story (the hero's mother) in Natural Born Charmer.
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