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Monday, October 20, 2008:
Secondary characters: "Wait a minute, it's my turn!"
The other night as we were driving home from the booksigning, Shannon, Michelle and I were talking about popular characters that either didn't get their own story, or were short-changed in the one they actually did get. Inevitably, the gorgeous and delectable Nicholas DuVille from Judith McNaught's "Whitney, My Love" and "Until You" was mentioned.

"Miracles" by Judith McNaught

Nicky was truly the perfect role model for a hero - sexy, wicked, good-looking, and completely jaded. When we first meet him, he's got his lustful sights set on the Incomparable Whitney Stone, and though she might have been a little tempted (because really, who wouldn't?), it's actually Clayton that ends up winning her heart. Eventually Nicky and Whitney become good friends, and Whitney hopes one day he finds a love of his own. It's painfully obvious he's cynical about any type of emotional involvement, and does not believe in love at all. But aren't those the best kind of heroes? The ones that fight their fall every step of the way?

Well, as we all know, poor Nicky was royally screwed in the story department. Instead of getting the expected full-length book, we get something almost worse than no story at all: a novella! Now for those of us who fell completely for Nicky and wanted him to find love, this was just plain cruel. As Shannon pointed out, there's not even a hot 'n dirty love scene to take away some of the pain. That just hurt. As much as I love Ms. McNaught, this time I was disappointed in her choice to short-change one of her most memorable and beloved characters. Nicky totally deserved a complete book, and the readers deserved to see the luscious Nicky in action, in love and in between the sheets.


Here we first meet Barber...

Anyone who knows me knows that Lori Foster's books are an auto-buy for me. Even though I'm not a huge fan of the SBC or UFC or whatever it's called, I do love her heroes and I'll read whatever she writes. One secondary character that totally blipped on my hottie radar was musician Barber Whatever-the-heck-his-last-name-is. I love musicians, especially sexy and charismatic charmers like Barber, and don't think we see them enough in romance novels. I was really hoping, considering how well he fit in with the other characters and how I zeroed in on him whenever he showed up that he would get his own HEA.


...and here he gets his own HEA. But why not his own book???

Well, Lori doesn't disappoint me there, because he does. In "Hard To Handle", Barber meets a woman who gets him all hot 'n bothered, and bing, bam, boom with a little hubba-hubba thrown in, Barber's in lurve. No conflict, no backstory, nothing. I really wanted to find out more about Barber, as well as the woman who ends up winning his heart in record time. True he wasn't a fighter, but that didn't mean he shouldn't at least gotten his own novella if not a complete book. That I coulda lived with, as long as all the focus was on him. He deserved it. Lori obviously felt otherwise.

Now I know an author cannot write a story about every character that comes along. If he/she did, then they might not write the stories they have in their heart and mind to write. It's just not possible to expect that. But sometimes a character comes along that totally captures your attention right from the beginning, and it's only natural you want to learn more about them. And damn the author for making such an interesting character that you tend to gravitate towards them.
One case in point: Alison Kent wrote a Blaze - "Infatuation" (November 2006) - in which two of her secondary characters - Hector and Angie - were more interesting to me than the primary ones, and I just loved how she slowly brought these these prickly, defensive loners together. Maybe she didn't see fit to tell their story as more than secondary status, since it was clear they had a ways to go before making that leap, but I just was so fascinated by the progression of their relationship and how it wasn't all hearts and flowers and stars in their eyes. I don't think it was Alison's intention to take the attention away from the main characters, but in this instance, she did, and I didn't mind a bit.
Which secondary characters do you wish
had their own story?
Which character(s) were short-changed?
Any disappointments, or pleasant surprises?

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  1. If you like musicians, try Til The Stars Fell by Kathleen Gilles Seidel. She's not the most prolific author, but she's great.

  2. I, too, was disappointed with Nick's story. JM not only short-changed his story but the ending where he declared his love to Julianna was not even a real was so unsatisfying.

  3. You so called it with Barber. That man just stole every scene he was in. He deserved more than that. He deserves ME! :)

    I want Julia Quinn to write a book about one of the horrid Smith-Smyth girls. We have to endure so many of their musicales in her books. I want to see behind the music. Oh, wait... did she already do this?

    I really want Elizabeth Hoyt to give O'Hare his own book, damn it. She swears he will get a HEA, but sadly no book of his own. :(

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