Monday, April 27, 2015

HR 101: Side Characters in Historical Romance


Historical Romance 101
is a celebration of the genre that will be occurring throughout the month of April.  My blog along with On a Book Bender, Addicted to Romance, and Quinn's Book Nook will be writing on a variety of topics every Monday and Friday in April.  


I love it when authors provide a full cast of characters to back up the romance.  For me, a good side character is someone who makes an impact on the overall story without overpowering the main characters.  I especially enjoy it when side characters make appearances in various books by an author. 

How to Marry a Marquis (Agents of the Crown, #2)
Lady Danbury -- multiple books by Julia Quinn
The first person I thought of when I saw this topic.  She is the opinionated, cane-wielding aristocrat who always has something to say in a Julia Quinn book.  I especially enjoyed her appearances in How to Marry a Marquis and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton.
"The two of you together are a menace," Penelope remarked."My aim in life," Lady Danbury announced, "is to be a menace to as great a number of people as possible, so I shall take that as the highest of compliments, Mrs. Bridgerton.""Why is it," Penelope wondered, "that you only call me Mrs. Bridgerton when you are opining in a grand fashion?""Sounds better that way," Lady D said, punctuating her remark with a loud thump of her cane.  --It's in His Kiss
The Pretender (Liar's Club, #1)
Button -- Liars Club series by Celeste Bradley
A theater-obsessed valet who provides the men (and women) of the Liars Club with costumes for their various spy missions.  He is heavily involved in every love story in this series.

Morning Glory
Gladys Beasley -- Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
The librarian of the Whitney Library who sees potential in Will Parker and becomes his (and eventually Ellie's) greatest advocate as they maneuver their new marriage.

The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After
Violet Bridgerton -- Bridgerton Family series by Julia Quinn
The matriarch of the Bridgerton family who is obsessed with finding matches for her eight children.  Her own love story was cut tragically short, but she is a strong woman who raised some amazing kids.

Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5)
Marcus -- Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas
The Earl of Westcliff who plays the perfect, meddling brother in the romances of his sisters, Aline and Livia.  He eventually meets his match in Lillian Bowman in It Happened One Autumn.

Lord Perfect  (Carsington Brothers, #3)
Olivia and Peregrine -- Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase
Two precocious children who set out on a treasure hunt and force Olivia's mother and Peregrine's uncle to come after them.  Their own romance is told in Last Night's Scandal.

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3)
Penelope -- Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
The Duke of Leighton's betrothed who loses him to the scandalous Juliana Ralston.  I loved that she was treated with respect by the author and got her own happy ending in A Rogue By Any Other Name.

Forbidden (Medieval Series #2)
Erik -- Medieval trilogy by Elizabeth Lowell
Known as the Wolf, he is the heir to a Saxon lord who, after plenty of minor skirmishes and deceptions, becomes an ally of two Norman lords.  Readers sorta get to see his romance as a minor plot in a contemporary romantic suspense (Moving Target) involving reincarnation, but I always wanted to see him get it in the Medieval setting of the rest of the trilogy.

One Night for Love (Bedwyn Prequels, #1)
Gwen -- One Night For Love by Mary Balogh
The widowed sister of the hero who suffers from a limp after a carriage accident.  She acts as a constant companion throughout the Slightly and Simply series so I was happy to see her find love again in The Proposal.


  1. oh I just love your list that you have here!! I love Erik...he is such a great character in Forbidden. and Marcus does great and I love how protective he is. Lady Danbury is a great choice as well, I always liked her in many of Quinn's books. She is so amusing and I love her quirks.

  2. Lady Danbury seriously is the best. I want to be her when I grow up. I also love that Sarah MacLean gave Penelope her own HEA. :)

  3. Oh my gosh, that quote for Lady Danbury is freaking fantastic. She's just the best. And I completely forgot to include Violet Bridgerton!!!!

  4. I loved the indomitable Lady Danbury and Marcus Westcliff is my favourite hero in the Wallflowers series. I loved how Olivia dragged a reluctant Peregrine on her adventures and the letters she wrote with all the capital letters, under-linings etc. were so funny. I enjoyed their book too, especially Olivia's elderly chaperones Lady Cooper and Lady Withcote with their bawdy conversations. I loved Elizabeth Lowell's Medieval Trilogy and really wanted Erik to get his own book. I read somewhere that Elizabeth Lowell's publisher didn't want any more medievals and that's why she never wrote his story.I haven't read "Moving Target" but, as you say, Erik's story needed to be set in the Medieval setting. From memory, I think there was even a suggestion in "Enchanted" of who his heroine might have been.

    1. I was not very impressed with Moving Target and only skimmed to the parts that dealt with the past. I think Erik ended up with Serena...the lady who wove Ariane's magic dress. Thanks for commenting!


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