Couples in a Series

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa KleypasSeduce me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas

Some time ago I was looking to reread a scene from Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaways series, a scene involving the hero and heroine of the second book: Seduce me at Sunrise.

I read, and I read and I read, and I couldn’t find the scene.

Then I remembered the scene I was thinking of actually took place in the first book, Mine Till Midnight, a book they weren’t the leading couple in.

I do really enjoy series, as long as they don’t drag on with no end in sight. However, finding this scene in the “wrong” book got me thinking about featured couples in a series and how many relationships are established in earlier books. That’s fine as long as you read the books in order, but when some of the best scenes between a couple come in a book that isn’t their own… I don’t know. I feel bad that readers might be missing out!

Now, I hate it when it happens the other way. I hate when your hero and heroine have their happy ending, and then continue to turn up in later books ONLY so we can see how many babies they’re having and how happy they are. I don’t find those scenes necessary a lot of the time.

I don’t know how I feel when it’s the other way. Is it crucial for a hero and heroine’s storyline to work perfectly on its own, in one book, without readers needing background information? Is it 100% necessary for every relationship in a series to work as a standalone, in its own book?

 Crazy Sweet by Tara JanzenOn the Loose by Tara Janzen

Another example of this is romantic suspense author Tara Janzen – her series is so much fun. Book six in the series, Crazy Sweet features a very strong secondary storyline. It’s so strong it’s actually the best part of the book.

The thing here is that the secondary storyline features the characters that star in the next book, On the Loose. I actually don’t think it’s possible to read book seven without reading all the scenes with the couple that come in the book before.

 To the Brink by Cindy GerardUnder the Wire by Cindy GerardInto the Dark by Cindy Gerard

One of my favourite romantic suspense series is Cindy Gerard’s Bodyguards series. The third book, To the Brink also features a very strong secondary storyline, a storyline that sets up the story for the hero and heroine of the sixth and final book in the series. You shouldn’t read one book without reading the others first.

All three of these series are series I really love, and I highly recommend. I don’t know what my point is, other than that I was thinking I hope everybody reads series in order or they’ll miss out on some of the best parts!

Because so many of the books I read these days are review books, more often than not I’m not reading them in order.

It makes me wonder how much backstory and character development I’m missing out on.

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