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When you’re in the mood for a love story between friends, nothing hits better than the friends-to-lovers trope which is why I curated a list of the best friends-to-lovers romance books to snuggle up with this weekend.
From friends turned enemies turned lovers to unrequited love to random dares that expose unexpected feelings between friends, the friends-to-lovers trope is guaranteed to satisfy your hankering.
Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out why his closest friend ghosted him the summer before college. Now, four years later, Jamie is ready for that explanation when he learns they’ll be residing in the same city in preparation for their upcoming face-off in the national college hockey championship.
Ryan Wesley has always regretted the way he ended things with his best friend of six years. After taking a bet too far, he took the easy way out rather than deal with the repercussions of his drunken antics. Now four years later, Ryan is ready to apologize. Except the second he locks eyes with Jamie, all his feelings for his straight best friend come rushing back.
As one of the best MM friends-to-lovers sports romance books ever written, I recommend adding Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy’s stellar romance to your bookshelf. Him is a second chance hockey sports romance between two friends that will keep you up well past your bedtime and desperate for more.
After ten years of radio silence, a chance encounter at a cafe reunites childhood friends Macy Sorensen and Elliot Petropoulos, dredging up all the sordid memories from their past. Now practically strangers, the pair find themselves wading in stormy waters as they struggle to pinpoint where it all went wrong.
Beautifully crafted, vividly realistic, and heartbreakingly sweet, Love and Other Words is an unforgettable friends-to-lovers romance about forgiveness, friendship, and love. As one of the best slow-burn, second chance, friends-to-lovers romance books on the market, Christina Lauren’s standalone is guaranteed to capture your attention, especially if you enjoy stories that meander between the past and the present.
What can be worse than falling in love with a straight best friend who is entirely oblivious to said feelings and does not understand the concept of personal boundaries? Well, marrying said friend.
For three years, Tripp Mitchell has worked tirelessly to keep his feelings for his best friend and teammate Dex Mitchale locked firmly behind closed doors. Nothing could bring Tripp to risk their friendship on the off-chance Dex may want to be more than friends.
To say rolling up to a Vegas wedding chapel to tie the knot would be the last thing they would do would be the understatement of the century. So you can imagine their surprise when they realize their fake wedding led to a not-so-fake marriage and a PR clusterpuck.
Well, no one ever said fake marriage was easy.
Irresistibly sweet, intensely romantic, and insanely sexy, Irresponsible Puckboy is an unputdownable MM sports romance that will leave you swooning and desperate for more. As one of the best friends-to-lovers MM romances on the market, I recommend you drop everything and devote the rest of your day to this incredibly romantic must-read. Prepare to fall helplessly in love with Dex and Tripp.
The last thing bigshot tight-end Gray Grayson wants to do is cram his six foot six frame into his agent’s daughter’s bubblegum-pink Fiat 500, but he needs a set of wheels to get him to and from practice and she’s studying abroad. That’s exactly what he tells Ivy Mackenzie after she sends him a particularly cross text outlining the consequences if any shenanigans should take place in her cherished ride. In no time at all, the two become fast friends.
Everything changes the day Ivy returns home. All Gray wants is to be with Ivy, but Ivy lives by two rules: never sleep with friends and never, under any circumstance, fall into bed with one of her father’s clients.
On the hunt for the best friends-to-lovers romance books? The Friend Zone is hands down one of those gems. And if you love sports romances mixed with cute banter, Kristen Callihan’s romance will certainly be a touchdown in your book.
Knight Cole is the golden boy: charismatic, athletic, popular, wealthy, loved, attractive. At a young age, Knight took up the position of Luna Rexroth’s knight. They were a package deal. When it comes to Luna, Knight’s protective side always shined through the brightest. That is, until she decides to attend an out-of-state college.
Luna Rexroth is Knight’s opposite in almost every way: quiet, gentle, charitable, shy, passive, kind. When Luna was two-years-old, her mother left and took Luna’s voice with her. For her entire life, Knight acted as a shield between her and the rest of the world. Post-college Luna, however, no longer needs that protection.
Stunning, emotional, and heartbreaking, Broken Knight is an unputdownable must-read and happens to be one of the best friends-to-lovers romance books on the market. If you’re ready to hop onto this angsty rollercoaster, crack it open.
Re-enter the world of the Shadowhunters with childhood friends Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn. With demonic activity on the rise, Emma and Julian must figure out what’s behind the sacrificial killings, necromancy and highly active ley lines before it’s too late. However, Emma and Julian have one big problem. As parabatai, they share a special bond, but parabatai are forbidden from falling in love…
Exciting, action-packed, and adventurous, Lady Midnight is an unforgettable friends-to-lovers fantasy romance filled with forbidden love, an intricate magic system, and well-developed characters.
When Alyssa Marie Walters lent a hand to the broken boy shrouded in darkness, she never imagined he would become her everything. And neither did Logan Francis Silverstone. But when life deals him another curveball, he makes a split decision that sends him spiraling into his addiction and pushes him farther from the one girl who quiets his demons.
Beautiful, heartbreaking, and raw, The Fire Between High & Lo is an emotionally evocative contemporary romance about family, hope, healing, and the power of unconditional love. Prepare to be moved to tears by Cherry’s breathtaking prose and hauntingly complex characters.
It all started with a dare. And ended with a kiss.
From the moment Keene Waters and Aspen Kohl toddled their way into the world, the two have been inseparable. Nothing could weaken their bond or force them apart. Not college. Not baseball. And definitely not a dare that led to one of the hottest kisses of their lives. A kiss that would change everything.
Sexy, sweet, and spicy, Don’t You Dare is an unputdownable friends-to-lovers MM romance that will hook you from the first dare. And if you’ve been looking for a bi-awakening MM sports romance between childhood friends, you need to add this to your bookshelf right now because it is the perfect book for you.
Poppy and Alex could not be more different: Poppy is a spontaneous blogger with wanderlust, and Alex is a reserved homebody with a reading addiction. When they cross paths their freshman year of college, the two head off in separate directions with no plans of ever meeting again. But fate had other plans.
Over the next decade, Alex and Poppy make their friendship work despite the distance and always, without fail, plan a weeklong summer vacation. Everything was perfect until their last trip… Two years ago.
Witty, steamy, and emotional, People We Meet on Vacation is a laugh-out-loud friends-to-lovers rom-com that will have fans swooning. For maximum enjoyment, reserve this banter-filled romance for your next vacation. It is the perfect beach read.
The story takes place in a small Southern town and starts with Alix French, an 8 year-old girl from a respected family, trying to help Nick Anderson, the 10 year-old son of an abusive drunk, by treating the wounds on his back. That one act would change the course of their lives forever. When tragedy struck, their bond was put to the test and it did not weather the storm.
Fifteen years later and Alix is finally getting her life back on track as she finalizes her divorce. What she did not foresee was Nick.
When he returns to town, Alix’s plans to pretend he doesn’t exist are quickly shattered when she learns of his own plans. And those plans don’t involve letting her slip through his fingers a second time.
Sweet, heartbreaking, and angsty, The Sweet Gum Tree is a beautiful friends-to-lovers romance that will take you on a journey filled with ups and downs. And if you love slow-burn second chance romance books that will leave you at a loss for words, Katherine Allred’s captivating book should definitely be added to your bookshelf.
For years, 16-year-old Oxnard Matheson has struggled with feelings of self-worth, loneliness, and abandonment after his deadbeat father left him and his mother behind without a backwards glance. It isn’t until the Bennett’s move into the house at the end of the lane that Ox and his mom finally feel a sense of family and belonging. Because the day that Ox happens upon the little blonde tornado known as Joe Bennett on the side of the road is the day that forever alters his future.
Sensual, emotional, and heartwarming, Wolfsong is a beautiful MM werewolf romance that will blow you away. Prepare to smile, cry, swoon, and laugh-out-loud while reading this stunning story of family, friendship, and unconditional love.
At 17-year-old, Brecks “B” Kennedy’s entire world tilted off its axis when she slammed into Jamie Shaw during her morning jog. Even though B saw him first, fate had other plans…plans that came in the form of her best friend Jenna.
Angsty, raw, and poignant, A Love Letter to Whiskey is an emotional rollercoaster filled with an array of ups and downs. As one of the best friends-to-lovers romance books on the market, I recommend adding it to your to-be-read pile.
When Hannah Wells finally finds someone who turns her on, she is eager to make a move. But there is one thing holding Hannah back: her lack of confidence in the sexual intimacy department. In her quest to break out of her comfort zone, Hannah agrees to tutor the arrogant captain of the hockey team. In exchange, Garrett agrees to help her overcome the dilemma. No one was supposed to catch feelings, but after an explosive night, Garrett is determined to convince Hannah that he’s the one for her.
For a sports-themed, enemies-to-friends-to-lovers romance that will keep you gripped from start to finish, The Deal is one of the best slow burn sports romance books for you. You’ll be hooked from the moment Hannah makes the deal with the college bad boy.
At twenty-two, Liam “Doc” Wilde was irrecoverably changed after being sent out to the front lines in Vietnam. Designated as a medic in spite of his laughable medical background, Liam quickly found a place amongst his brothers-in-arms.
And despite being forever altered by the ugliness of war, Liam would go back and do it all over again because it was there that he met his best friend and closest confidante, Major Marian, who single-handedly ensured Liam’s safe return home to his wife and three kids. And he became the one person he could trust when tragedy struck years later.
For his entire adult life, Weston “Major” Marian has only ever known life as a military man since joining the U.S. Army at seventeen, days after running away from home. When he first lays eyes on the new medic, he knows he’s in trouble because there’s nothing worse than falling for a straight guy who has a family waiting for him back home, especially when that family becomes his everything.
Emotional, raw, and heartwarming, Wilde Love is a breathtaking slow-burn MM military romance that will blow you away with its beautiful character progression and uplifting storyline. As one of the best MM friends-to-lovers romance books on the market, I recommend adding this to your bookshelf.
Jared Trent and Tatum Brandt were best friends until the day Jared became Tate’s worst tormentor.
On the eve of her departure to study abroad for a year, Tate attends a party only to find herself the target of a prank that leaves her feeling more relieved than ever to be heading off the next day. Fast forward a year later and Tate’s back, more confident than ever. With her newfound maturity and Jared’s decision to end his bullying ways, they are left to sort through their sordid past and address the bullying Tate went through.
For high school bully romance books where the main characters go from best friends to enemies to lovers, you should check out Penelope Douglas’s Bully. An added plus is the slow-burn romance. No insta love here.
Four years ago, Dylan and Jace were best friends. Then tragedy struck, pushing Dylan and her family to move away. By the time Dylan returns to her hometown, everything has changed which she realizes on the first day of school when Jace makes it known that she is persona non grata.
Confused by Jace’s intense hatred, Dylan tries giving him the benefit of the doubt. Once she realizes that Jace’s cruel new attitude is here to stay, Dylan finds her spine and gives it right back.
If you love the friends-to-enemies-to-lovers trope in bully romance books, I recommend adding Cruel Prince to your TBR list.
When struggling writer Emiline hears about the bestselling debut novel from unknown author J. Colby, she grudgingly starts reading it. The story follows two childhood best friends, Emerson and Jackson, who hope to leave their impoverished rural Ohio town behind and achieve greater things. A story that mimics Emiline’s own childhood to a tee which can only mean one thing. The brilliant novelist J. Colby is none other than her best friend and first love Jace who she has not spoken to in over a decade.
Eager to read one of the best second chance romance books, featuring a story within a story? If you are, check out Swear on this Life. Between angst-filled, slow burn romance and the swoon-worthy hero, you won’t be able to put this gem down!
College graduate Bree Prescott flees from her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio to the small lakeside town of Pelion, Maine for a fresh start. While there, she meets 23-year-old recluse Archer Hale who hasn’t spoken for sixteen years after undergoing a traumatic experience. Determined to befriend the enigmatic man, Bree sets out to help Archer rediscover his voice and shatter the walls he’s lived behind since he was 7-years-old.
Mia Sheridan weaves an unforgettable tale of friendship, forgiveness and love that will make you cry, laugh and swoon. Archer’s Voice is not a slow burn romance you want to miss, so make sure to add it to your TBR list.
After a fatal accident left Diana Casillas as the legal guardian of her two nephews, the 29-year-old is determined to give them a good life, though the transition has been anything but easy. While getting settled into her new home, she meets her smoking-hot neighbor Dallas Walker. The two get off on the wrong foot, but between neighborly events and baseball games, Diana and Dallas find themselves growing closer.
From the Queen of Slow Burn comes Wait for It, a steamy and captivating friends-to-lovers romance that ticks all the right boxes. As Diana is the cousin to soccer star Sal Casillas (from Kulti) and best friend to Van (from The Wall of Winnipeg and Me), Zapata fans will be happy to catch some moments with the beloved characters.
Greyson East had all of Eleanor’s firsts: her first kiss, first boyfriend, first love and first heartbreak. When Eleanor interviews for a nanny gig, she is shocked to find out that the dad is none other than Greyson East, except this man is no longer the boy she fondly remembers.
When dealt a bad hand in life, some boats sink and others float. In Greyson’s case, his boat lays in ruins in the deepest trench of the ocean. Cold and detached, Grey has shut everyone out and refuses to shed the armored skin he now gleans. When his high school flame reappears as the new nanny, he makes her promise to keep their past in the past, but the past rarely stays buried.
For a slow-burn, second-chance romance between high school sweethearts who were taken down separate paths only to meet up years later, read Eleanor & Grey. As one of the best friends-to-lovers romance books on the market, it’s a must-read.
Best friends Mercedes Lopez, Noah Andelin and Cora McKinney were inseparable growing up. But when Cora asked Mercedes if she was in love with Noah, she told Cora the biggest lie of her life. From that day on, Mercedes would be the best friend, the bridesmaid, the godmother and the glue that held Noah together when tragedy struck and his life came crashing down in a matter of minutes.
The Smallest Part is a friends-to-lovers romance centered around a single dad and his best friend. Amy Harmon brings us a poignant tale of friendship, heartache, loss, forgiveness and love in this beautiful, slow-burn single parent romance.
Radiance revolves around a human princess, Ildiko, and an alien prince, Brishen, who are to unite their kingdoms through marriage. The two races find each other physically repulsive, so you can say this was a match made in the fiery pits of Tartarus. While they may not find each other physically attractive, they share a kinship that goes beyond physical appearances.
Read Radiance if you love slow-burn, friends-to-lover fantasy romances between aliens and humans who bicker like an old married couple. Between their shaky union and the precarious political landscape amongst their kingdoms, Kai and Ildiko will have to forgo their honeymoon and do some damage control before the warring kingdoms rip them apart.
Star quarterback Colton Hall never expected to fall for his friend’s straight dad. But after a nasty injury leaves him bedridden, the future NFL draftee finds himself spending his days with his friend’s dad Nick Swanscott, who helps him through his recovery.
When Nick offers him an internship for the summer, Colton jumps at the chance, and amid the backdrop of Austin and the Texas Hill Country, the two fall into a whirlwind affair that can either end in heartbreak or love.
Stunning, sweet, and sexy, The Quarterback is a slow-burn, friends-to-lovers, bi-awakening MM sports romance that will warm your heart. If you have yet to read The Jock, I recommend reading Wes and Justin’s story first.
At twenty-six, Olivia is entirely unable to carry a conversation with the opposite sex without getting tongue-tied. Weighted down with anxiety and poor self-esteem, Liv is ready to admit defeat and call it quits on operation, ‘land-a-boyfriend.’ That is until a drunken request lands her a couple of lessons in seduction from best friend and resident womanizer Nate Sawyer.
Cute, witty, and realistic, Before Jamaica Laneis a captivating friends-to-lovers romance that will keep you entertained from beginning to end.
Torn Apart is the story of four people who are intertwined in an intricate web of attraction, lust and new sexual dynamics that leave them more confused than ever.
We have the dean’s gay gamer son Ashton, his beautiful best friend Mia who is secretly in love with said best friend, the young hockey coach Drew who left the NHL under mysterious circumstances and the arrogant hockey star Brayden. Once their lives become entangled, they will be forced down a path of self-discovery that will leave them vulnerable and uncertain of their unconventional relationship.
Read Torn Apart if you’re looking for a story that defies all expectations and refuses to be put in a box. K. Webster and Nikki Ash’s masterpiece will undoubtedly go down as one of the best contemporary reverse harem books ever written.
On the Fourth of July, Oliver Lynch went missing and for 22 years, his disappearance remained a mystery until the day he escaped. But after being brainwashed for over two decades, acclimating back into a past life that he no longer recognizes seems like an impossible task.
Sydney Neville, Oliver’s next-door neighbor and best friend from childhood, never gave up hope that he would return one day. But nothing could have prepared her for the moment she hears the news of his escape. Determined to help him find his footing in this unfamiliar world, Sydney becomes his closest confidante and the one person who he can fully trust.
Emotional, heart-touching, and hauntingly beautiful, Lotus is an unputdownable slow-burn romantic suspense that will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love. As one of the best dark friends-to-lovers romance books, you should definitely add this masterpiece to your bookshelf and if you have yet to read the precursor, Still Beating, I recommend it although it is not necessary to read that first.
Charlie never expected to return to the training camp she worked at as a teen, but after being fired and dumped, the camp might just be a welcome distraction to the utter fiasco her life has become. As fate would have it, the camp turns out to be the perfect distraction with the arrival of Reese Forster, the popular starting point for the Seattle Thunder.
Falling for the golden boy of the NBA was never part of the plans, but when an unforgettable encounter puts her on Reese’s radar, not even fate could stop what happens next.
For an unputdownable friends-to-lovers romance that will keep you up way past your bedtime, I recommend reading Teardrop Shot. If you’re into basketball, it is highly likely that you will fall in love with this funny sports romance.
Life swept childhood friends Colton Neely and Lilly Evans into two separate directions only to reunite them their senior year of high school. When Colton steps through the doors of her high school, Lilly befriends him once again in an effort to get to know the real Colton and help him navigate high school .
As their friendship slowly blossoms into love, Lilly finds herself falling deeper and deeper for the boy who captured her attention from the moment they met eight year prior. And though Colton is unable to put his own feelings into words, Lilly never questions his love.
Sweet, emotional, and heartwarming, Puddle Jumping is a captivating friends-to-lovers romance that tells a story of unconditional love, friendship, acceptance, and trust.
Budding soccer star Sal is thrilled when she hears about their new coach: Reiner Kulti. As her long-time childhood crush and idol, she can think of nothing better than being coached by the elusive soccer legend. That is until she meets him and realizes he’s a shadow of the passionate champion she admired growing up.
Kulti is another one of the best enemies-to-friends-to-lovers sports romance books out there. If you love incredibly slow-burn romances with an age gap, then I recommend cracking open Kulti. You’ll love it.
In a world of deadbeat parents and conditional love, young teens Eliza and Till find refuge in one another. And to escape their bleak realities, they turn a dilapidated apartment into their makeshift home. But when life tears them apart, the two go on to forge their own paths, separately. That is until fate brings them back together. Now Till needs Eliza more than ever because he’s about to endure the toughest battle of his life.
Heartbreaking, emotional and beautiful, Fighting Silence is an outstanding tale of two friends who fall in love and endure countless hardships along the way. By the end, Aly Martinez’s words will leave you wrecked and ruined. And I mean ruined. You won’t be able to think about this book without feeling weepy.
Misha Lare and Ryen Trevarrow have been pen-pals since fifth grade for a school project when their teachers paired them together, mistakenly assuming they were the same gender. They have kept in touch ever since and have gone on to become best friends despite never meeting in person. That all changes in high school when Misha suddenly goes radio silent.
Unbeknownst to Ryen, she met Misha a few weeks back at a fundraising scavenger hunt for his band. Completely different from the girl he knows from the letters, Misha is shocked and disgusted by this stranger.
When new boy Masen Laurent “Misha” shows up in one of Ryen’s classes and stands up for a boy who’s being bullied by one of Ryen’s friends, she’s intrigued. That is, until she finds herself at the receiving end of his anger and blatant disapproval. Confused as to why his opinions matter so much to her, she finds herself taking the bait and adding fuel to the fire.
If you’re in the mood for a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers bully romance book where the guy pretends to be someone else, you’ll love Punk 57.