One recurring trope in romance fiction is the relative or friend who puts a spoke in the wheel of the budding relationship. Sometimes, the person means well and sometimes they’re just plain mean. I’ve been thinking about my own novels and shorter fiction, and each one has at least one representative of the class: Daniel in Candle’s Christmas Chair, Alex in Farewell to Kindness, the Duchess of Haverford in A Baron for Becky, and both Enid and Bosville in Gingerbread Bride (my novella in Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem).
So for this week’s work-in-progress Wednesday, give me a few lines showing your secondary characters interferring in the developing love of your protagonists. Here are my aunt and uncle from All that Glisters, being their less than charming selves. Thomas has brought a present for Rose, my heroine, but has assumed her guardians will not let her receive it unless he has gifts for them. (All that Glisters is set in Victorian Dunedin, New Zealand.)
“Turned up again, have you?” Aunt Agnes said without enthusiasm.
Thomas pulled out the first of the presents with which he had armed himself. “Happy Christmas, Aunt Agnes.”
“We do not celebrate Christmas in this house, young man.” Campbell had been sitting unnoticed on a chair facing away from the door. His glower followed his voice as he rose to glare at Thomas.
“Happy new year then, Uncle,” Thomas said, peaceably, handing the old man a package wrapped in brown paper and tied with string, and passing another to Aunt Agnes.
For a moment, the two hesitated, then curiosity and avarice overcame their distaste, and they both began to untie the string.