Let’s talk about anything bookish!
I recently binge read the Killer Instincts series by Elle Kennedy during the holidays and I realized one thing. If done right, secondary stories are actually not distracting at all!
Hold up, what?!
A little bit of background here. I absolutely LOATHE secondary stories especially if they are secondary romances when I am reading a romance title. One of my pet peeves is when the secondary characters’ romance overtakes the main romance! In fact, I have read a couple of books that turned into DNFs because of this.
One example is A Most Scandalous Proposal by Ashlyn Macnamara. When I read this, I believe this was her debut novel so this also means that I haven’t read her before. Three chapters in, I still didn’t get any romance or even a little bit of banter from the main characters. I felt that the story focused on the sister and her romance, which was very, very annoying and disappointing. I picked up the book BECAUSE I wanted to read about the romance between the main characters. Yeah, I was not a happy camper. I was totally confused as to where the story was headed that I just couldn’t continue reading any longer.
Another example is The Bride Says No by Cathy Maxwell. In this title, the secondary characters’ romance took over the romance that I decided to DNF it about a quarter through. The tone may have changed a few chapters later, but I was already done! The secondary characters didn’t need a dedicated chapter for them, right? Plus, the little sister, was super spoiled and annoying and so unlikeable, that I just had to DNF.
What about multiple POV characters?
Books with multiple POVs, like Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, is another story. It is understood that multiple POVs usually have multiple storylines, so you actually expect this.
Another good example for multiple POV characters is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Each character has their own backstory and their own romance and their own chapter, but it works. I think it is the genre, though.
I think romances should focus on the main couple. WHY? Because secondary characters, especially those that OVERTAKE the main characters’ romance is freaking annoying! I mean, if it is DONE RIGHT, I really don’t have any problems with it.
I know some authors, foreshadow and include future couples in a series in the current book, but I just can’t stand it when they overpower the main romance.
Do you think secondary stories affect your overall enjoyment or the book?