Please welcome Cara Bristol back to the blog. Today Cara is here to talk about the role of friends in romance novels. Please make Cara feel welcome by joining the conversation and sharing your thoughts, feelings and opinions.
Romantic fiction focuses on developing the love relationship between the hero and heroine. But often secondary characters contribute to the plot or have their own subplots. These can be parents, siblings, co-workers, adversaries or friends. I particularly enjoy the friendships, the camaraderie of girlfriends or two buddies.
In real life, our friendships reveal more about us than do our family members. We’re born into or inherit family. We choose our friends based on characteristics that are either similar to us or while dissimilar, complement our lack. Friends fill the gaps in our need for connectedness. While our spouse or partner may be our “significant other,” no single person can be everything and anything that we require.
Friends are those people who support us through thick and thin – yet who aren’t afraid to tell us the truth or to do what they think is right for us.
Although not all my books feature friends as secondary characters, half of them do. In False Pretenses, the second Rod and Cane Society novel, Emma Dupree engages in girl talk with her friend Melania Traynor. They talk fashion and about Emma’s dishy new boyfriend. The problem? Melania and her husband Jared belong to the Rod and Cane Society, a secret organization of men who spank their wives. Emma is secretly working undercover to write a story exposing the Rod and Cane as a kinky group of pervs. She’d hadn’t planned on becoming friends with Melania when she started the story, and now it gives her great pangs to think of betraying her friend.
In the third Rod and Cane story I’m writing, Liz Davenport, a spanked wife, plays matchmaker and sets up a blind date for a friend. In doing so, she picks a man she thinks the heroine needs – not one the heroine would have chosen for herself. And when the heroine confronts her, she stands her ground.
Finally, in A Scent of Longing, Lily has been turned into a vampire against her will. Her best friend Roxie is the only person with whom Lily feels comfortable to share her horrible secret. And it’s Roxie, who fears Lily is becoming reclusive and sets her up on a date through Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand service. And at the end, when Lily fears all is lost, Roxie rallies to help her through it.
What do you think about the role of friends in romantic fiction? What friendships have you enjoyed reading about?
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