Sometimes it’s useful for the heroine to have a best friend if only for a purely practical reason i.e. she can voice her thoughts and feelings in dialogue which is infinitely preferable to a long narrative of thoughts and soul-searching.
Jess, my heroine in ‘His Leading Lady’ met up with an old school friend who became her confidante and Abbey in ‘Fragrance of Violets’ confided in her sister.
Thinking back to my early novels, my heroines in those didn’t have best friends. Maybe in those days I didn’t have my heroines doing as much soul-searching as I do now. Or maybe because I’ve realised dialogue works better than narrative.
What’s interesting is why the hero doesn’t usually need a best friend. Is that because men don’t talk to each other about their feelings?