e’ve already talked about heroes, heroines, and villains I never want to see again in romance novels, and we’ve talked about tropes I never want to see again. But we’ve never talked about secondary characters I never want to see again, and I thought it was high time to rectify that. So, without further ado, here are the offenders…
(NOTE: This is not to say that I’ve never seen these characters written in an enjoyable way. Some authors can just do no wrong. And I reserve the right to change my mind at any time. This is just for funsies, after all.)
The virgin pimps
You know when the romance heroine is a virgin and all her friends are so obsessed with her virginity that all they can talk about is how to get her laid? Yeah, I HATE those friends.
The pushy parents
Most of us know what it's like to have a parent occasionally get a little too involved in your life even after you've reached adulthood. That's just normal parent/child stuff. BUT...if I read ONE MORE BOOK where the heroine feels that the only way to get her meddling parents to stop trying to fix her up with a man who can “take care of her” and “make her happy” (because they “just want what’s best” for her) is to get into a fake relationship, I might scream and throw a hissy fit. Now, if someone wants to point me toward a book where the heroine acts like a real grown up and tells her meddling parents to mind their own damn business, I’ll read the CRAP out of it.
The way-too-smart kids
I truly hate it when I come across a kid in a romance who, at 4, is capable of dispensing sage advice on love and life and get the hero/heroine to see the error of their ways. In the real world, most kids who are 4 can’t be left alone with paste because they’ll either eat it, or shove it up their nose. When my kid was 4 he told my mother-in-law she had a butt like a rhino. Long-story-short, kids shouldn’t exist in romance novels to offer advice and wisdom. It’s just not the average kid’s strong suit.
The number of heroines who find their husbands/boyfriends/fiance’s, who were awful/emotionally abusive to them, in bed with other men is absolutely staggering. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen in real life, but the sheer number of times it happens in romance novels seems highly improbable. And can’t we have more nice, normal gay exes?
All the women who exist in romance novels to a) be awful and make sure the heroine looks “so different” and so much better by comparison, and b) be jealous of the heroine and try to make her life as difficult as possible...well, those women can eff right off. How about we have more romances were women support and uplift each other? Huh? How about that?
Old people with gossip websites
This one has come up enough times that I’ve started making note of it. It happens primarily in small town romance. These old people are often over-sexed, super nosy, and keep current on social media trends so that they can spread gossip to the entire town efficiently. It was hilarious the first time I read it. The following ten—or twenty—times? Not so much. Also, I don't know about you but my parents can barely find the on/off switch on most of their electronics. Where are all these senior citizen tech wizards supposedly coming from anyway?
The boss who sexually harasses his employees
I know this is a character who pops up in real life and in books, but I’m so sick of him I could scream. Can’t we have more supportive, APPROPRIATE bosses in our romance novels? (We need more of them in real life, too, but that’s a problem for another day…)
What about y’all? Any hated secondary characters you’d like to add to the list? Let’s discuss!!