Paula looks at the role of friends in romance novels.
All my heroines have had best
friends. Jess, 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. Anna in Dream of Paris had
her housemate, and Neve in Her Only
Option had a co-worker who was also her best friend. In Irish Inheritance, Jenna’s best friend
was Charley, and when Charley became the heroine in Irish Intrigue that friendship continued.
Unusually, for me anyway,
Lisa in Changing the Future had a
male confidant as well as a female friend. He was originally her boss, who
became a very supportive friend. No question of any romance between them, it
was a true platonic friendship, and I was especially thrilled by one reviewer
who wrote, ‘Ralph was one of the best
supporting characters that I have read in a very long time. He was very clearly
defined, very likable and sensible and stayed true within his characterization
throughout the book.’
It’s useful for the heroine
to have a friend for various reasons. From a purely practical angle, it means the
heroine can voice her thoughts and feelings in dialogue which is infinitely
preferable to long passages of thoughts and/or soul-searching. A best friend
can also help the heroine to make up her mind about something or someone,
provide a shoulder to cry on when things go wrong, give advice (which might not
necessarily be the best advice), or even (as happened in His Leading Lady) unwittingly give the heroine some misleading
heroes don’t usually have a very close friend. Is that because men don’t talk to each
other about their feelings? They talk work, cars, sport, and other leisure
pursuits, but none of them, at least in my stories, open up to another male person
like my heroines do with their female friends.
I’m curious to know if any of
your heroes have had male (or female!) friends in whom they confide.