I am looking for a book to read. I’ve been a little bored with the romance
novel offerings and here’s why: Why doesn’t anybody ever have a friend?
None of the women ever have any friends! I mean, sometimes they have a
convenient “This is my friend, sometimes I see her in a park, a ballroom
(if historical), or in yoga class (if contemporary). We talk for five
minutes and then we don’t think about each other for weeks.”
In fact, the only romance novel I’ve ever read with a strong female
friendship right at the center is “Bet Me” by Jennifer Crusie. I’d love
to read more books about women who not only have moving relationships but
great friendships with other women. Can the bitchery help?
It’s a tricky balance, since the friendships that contain those friends known as Sequel Bait must be heroine-potential but not overshadowing the heroine herself. Yet the friends must also be strong characters that reveal more about the hero or heroine—surely heroes can have female friends, right? The first books that pop into my head are the Wallflower Quartet stories by Lisa Kleypas, which are centered on four women friends in London. There are some where the friends are in the background – The Devil in Winter only has a few scenes of the quartet being themselves, for example – but the characters as a group serving as the focus point of all four (or wait, aren’t there five now?) books seemed startling and new to me at the time of publication.
Another book with a very strong and I thought believable friendship – though not between a man and a woman – is in Julie James’ Something About You. l liked the heroine’s friends (of both genders!) as much as I liked the heroine herself.
What about you? What books do you adore that feature strong friendships among characters who aren’t the hero and heroine? Amanda specifically asked for friendships between women, but I’m also open to your suggestions for friendships that cross gender lines.