Secondary characters serve a distinct purpose in novels—they show us facets of the hero or heroine’s character that would otherwise go unseen. I love reading about big families full of secondary characters that each have their own personality and a different relationship with the hero or heroine. We’ve all heard the find out what type of husband he’ll be by watching how he treats his mother advice, but I don’t think that’s a good way to judge a hero or heroine. I think you should judge them by the way they treat those they love—whether it’s the family they were born into or the family they make themselves. Below are just some of my favorite family-centered series. Share yours in the comments!
Historical: The Family From a Different Era.
The Hathaway Series
The Hathaway Series by Lisa Kleypas is a fantastic example of historical romance novels that use a heavy dose of family interactions to teach us about the main characters. The series follows orphans Amelia, Winnifred, Poppy, Leo, and Beatrix Hathaway as they find love in unconventional places. The cool thing about historical romances, especially the Hathaway Series, is the extra element that societal pressure adds to the family relationships.
The first book in the series, Mine Till Midnight, is about the oldest Hathaway sister, Amelia, and Cam Rohan, a man with a colorful backstory who works as the right-hand-man of the owner of a gambling house. Amelia’s family has just come into an unexpected inheritance and she’s struggling to steer her brother and sisters into their new lives. This story sets up the rest of the series beautifully, although the love between Cam and Amelia takes center stage.
Dysfunctional: The Family You Run From.
Playing for Keeps
The Bradford men from The Neighbor from Hell series by R.L. Mathewson are the best type of dysfunctional. They’re obnoxious, infamous, and their biggest arguments revolve around food. The Bradfords' particularly dysfunctional relationships make this series hilarious.
The first story in the Neighbor from Hell series is called Playing For Keeps. It’s an enemies-to-lovers romance about, you guessed it, neighbors. The main character Haley decides to stop letting her neighbor Jason get away with doing whatever the heck he wants and making all of their neighbors miserable in the process, but what follows is a bit different from the game plan she’d devised. Their story will make you snort with laughter and blush like a schoolgirl.
Non-Traditional: The Family You Make.
Kristen Ashley is the queen of nontraditional families, but I had to choose one series of hers for this list, and I chose the Rock Chick series. From Tex, the bearded dynamo that makes the best espresso around, to Stevie, the drag queen, Kristen Ashley writes about families that the hero and heroine make for themselves. They’re the best type of family—they don’t judge, they’re always supportive, and they let you borrow their shoes.
Rock Chick is the first book in Kristen Ashley’s series, and it starts off with a bang. Indy Savage has had a thing for family friend Lee Nightingale since they were kids, but he never saw her as anything except his little sister’s best friend. But when Indy gets into some trouble with a bag of missing diamonds, Private Investigator Lee steps in to help … and fireworks erupt. This story is action-packed and introduces a slew of secondary characters that you can’t help but fall in love with.
Exceptional: The Family You Want to Make.
Truth or Beard
Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series is one of the best examples of exceptional family dynamics. They’re the type of family that you want to not just read about, but join. The brothers give each other hell, but they’re also one another’s biggest support system. They’re hilarious and loving, and an absolute blast to read about.
This series kicks off with an enemies-to-lovers story starring Duane Winston and Jessica Jones, the girl who has had a crush on his twin brother Beau since they were kids … talk about a love triangle! Jessica and Duane can barely be in the same room without arguing, she has always gotten along with charming Beau so much better … until things click into place and she realizes that Duane is the one who lights her up. This story is funny, sweet, and steamy, and it introduces us to the other hilarious Winston brothers who continue the series.
About the author:
Heart of Glass, a new standalone from Nicole Jacquelyn, is available now. Nicole Jacquelyn is the author of the popular Aces series as well as the Fostering Love novels. She is also the mom of two little girls and one lazy Boxer pup. For more on Nicole and her books, visit her on Facebook.
Keep scrolling for more romance books!
Featured image via the Winston Brothers series.