When it comes to romance novels, there’s nothing quite as captivating as the friends-to-lovers trope. Watching two people who have known each other for years suddenly realize their feelings for each other can be an incredibly satisfying experience.
After all, what could be more romantic than falling in love with your best friend? In this article, we’ll be exploring the top 10 best friends to lovers books that you simply can’t put down. From BFFs to soulmates, these books will have you swooning, laughing, and crying your heart out.
Must-Read Best Friends to Lovers Novels That Will Steal Your Heart
1. “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne
“The Hating Game” is a classic enemies-to-lovers story, but with a twist. The two main characters, Lucy and Josh, work in the same office and have been engaged in a years-long battle of wits and snarky comments. But when they’re both up for the same promotion, the stakes get even higher. As they try to sabotage each other’s chances, they can’t deny the intense attraction they feel towards each other. This book is funny, sexy, and utterly addictive.
2. “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren
Olive and Ethan have always hated each other. So when they’re forced to spend their siblings’ honeymoon together, they’re both less than thrilled. But as they navigate the beautiful beaches of Maui and encounter one hilarious mishap after another, they start to see each other in a new light. “The Unhoneymooners” is a charming and witty book that will make you believe in the power of love and second chances.
3. “The Friend Zone” by Abby Jimenez
Kristen has always been fiercely independent and has never had time for a relationship. When she meets Josh, a charming and kindhearted guy, she’s drawn to him in a way she’s never experienced before. But there’s one problem: Josh wants children, and Kristen has a medical condition that makes it impossible for her to have them. “The Friend Zone” is a heartfelt and emotional book about love, friendship, and the choices we make.
4. “The Flatshare” by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy and Leon share an apartment but have never met. Leon works nights, and Tiffy works during the day, so they never cross paths. But as they start leaving each other notes and messages around the apartment, they begin to develop a close friendship. When they finally meet, they realize that there might be something more between them than just friendship. “The Flatshare” is a delightful and quirky book that will leave you with a smile on your face.
5. “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell
“Eleanor & Park” is a beautiful and heartbreaking book about first love. Eleanor and Park are two misfits who meet on the school bus and bond over their shared love of music and comics. As their relationship deepens, they must navigate the challenges of growing up in a difficult and sometimes cruel world. “Eleanor & Park” is a powerful and poignant book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.
6. “The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang
Stella is a successful econometrician who has never had a boyfriend. When she hires Michael, a charming and handsome escort, to teach her about sex and relationships, she finds herself falling for him. “The Kiss Quotient” is a steamy and romantic book that explores themes of love, intimacy, and neurodivergence.
7. “The Best Thing” by Mariana Zapata
Luna and Achilles have been best friends since childhood. But when Luna’s marriage falls apart, she turns to Achilles for comfort, and they begin to a journey of self-discovery and healing. “The Best Thing” is a slow-burn romance that will make you believe in the power of love and friendship.
8. “The Deal” by Elle Kennedy
“The Deal” is a steamy and addictive book that will keep you up all night. Hannah and Garrett are both college students who have nothing in common except for their mutual dislike of each other. But when Garrett needs a tutor to help him pass a class, Hannah reluctantly agrees to help him. As they spend more time together, they realize that they might have more in common than they thought.
9. “The Happy Ever After Playlist” by Abby Jimenez
Sloan is still grieving the loss of her fiancé when she finds a lost dog on the side of the road. She decides to take him in and tries to find his owner, but when she can’t, she decides to keep him. When the dog’s original owner, a famous musician named Jason, finally contacts her, they start talking and develop a close friendship. As their relationship deepens, they must overcome the challenges of fame and distance. “The Happy Ever After Playlist” is a heartwarming and romantic book that will make you believe in second chances.
10. “The Gravity of Us” by Brittainy C. Cherry
Graham and Lucy have been best friends since they were kids, but when Lucy moves away, they lose touch. Years later, they reconnect and realize that their feelings for each other have never gone away. “The Gravity of Us” is a beautifully written book that explores themes of love, loss, and forgiveness.
The “best friends to lovers” trope has been a staple in romance novels for years and for good reason. There’s something undeniably romantic about falling in love with your best friend, someone who knows you better than anyone else.
The 10 books we’ve explored in this article are some of the best examples of this trope, and they will have you laughing, crying, and swooning in equal measure. Whether you’re a die-hard romance fan or just looking for a good book to read, these books are sure to capture your heart and imagination.
Q: What does the “best friends to lovers” trope mean?
A: The “best friends to lovers” trope refers to the storyline where two people who have been friends for a long time realize they have romantic feelings for each other.
Q: What makes the “best friends to lovers” trope so popular in romance novels?
A: The “best friends to lovers” trope is popular in romance novels because it offers a unique and relatable storyline. It’s easy for readers to connect with the characters and the journey they go through to realize their feelings for each other.
Q: What are some common themes in “best friends to lovers” books?
A: Common themes in “best friends to lovers” books include the fear of ruining a friendship, the struggle to communicate feelings, and the fear of rejection.
Q: Are all “best friends to lovers” books considered romance novels?
A: While “best friends to lovers” books often fall under the romance genre, they can also be classified as young adult, women’s fiction, and even literary fiction.
Q: What are some examples of “best friends to lovers” books outside of the romance genre?
A: Examples of “best friends to lovers” books outside of the romance genre include “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell and “The Best Thing” by Mariana Zapata.
Q: What are some common character traits of protagonists in “best friends to lovers” books?
A: Protagonists in “best friends to lovers” books are often portrayed as loyal, caring, and understanding. They have a deep emotional connection with their best friend and are willing to take risks for their relationship.
Q: What are some common conflicts in “best friends to lovers” books?
A: Common conflicts in “best friends to lovers” books include misunderstandings, jealousy, and the fear of ruining a friendship.
Q: Can the “best friends to lovers” trope work in a same-sex romance?
A: Yes, the “best friends to lovers” trope can work in a same-sex romance. Examples of same-sex “best friends to lovers” books include “Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston and “Leah on the Offbeat” by Becky Albertalli.
Q: What is the difference between a slow-burn romance and an insta-love romance?
A: A slow-burn romance is a storyline where the romantic relationship develops gradually over time. An insta-love romance is a storyline where the characters fall in love quickly and without much development.
Q: What is a enemies-to-lovers romance?
A: An enemies-to-lovers romance is a storyline where two characters who initially dislike each other develop romantic feelings over time.
Q: Can a “best friends to lovers” book also be considered a slow-burn romance?
A: Yes, a “best friends to lovers” book can also be considered a slow-burn romance. In fact, many “best friends to lovers” books have a slow-burn element to them.
Q: Are there any “best friends to lovers” books that have been adapted into movies or TV shows?
A: Yes, there are several “best friends to lovers” books that have been adapted into movies or TV shows, including “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green and “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han.
Q: Are there any subgenres within the “best friends to lovers” trope?
A: Yes, some subgenres within the “best friends to lovers” trope include workplace romances, small-town romances, and sports romances.