After writing First Looks on Christina Lauren’s Dark Wild Night and Lauren Layne’s Blurred Lines, I began to notice a theme. Yes, I’m talking about the friends-to-lovers/roommates-to-lovers trope. And it is ubiquitous. I like to think that it is because we all want the “one” to be our best friend which can build the foundation for a long and fulfilling HEA. And how convenient if they are living in the same house? Hence I give you an opinionated opinion of some fabulous options by subgenre, listed alphabetically by author. A disclaimer…there are so many great ones. So if I missed yours, I’m sorry! But let me know in the comments section so I can add it to my never ending to-read list.
Dark Skye (Immortals after dark #14) by Kresley Cole
This fabulous installment features Thronos, Vrekener prince of Skye Hall, and Lanthe, a Sorceri. Of course Vrekeners and Sorceri are mortal enemies and when misunderstandings and perceived deception tear their friendship apart, 500 painful years pass before Thronos can claim his fated mate and it’s an adventure.
The Mane Attraction (Pride #3) by Shelly Laurenston
After witnessing a murder, Mitch, an undercover cop and were-lion must hide out from the mafia. Sissy Mae, his best friend and werewolf takes him back to her pack in Tennessee for protection. A fun romp that leads these two shape-shifters in love.
Heart Quest (Celta’s Heartmates #5) by Robin D. Owens
This friends to lovers features friends and neighbors, Trif Clover and Guardsman Ilex Winterberry. Trif cleverly designs a charm key that she uses on potential Heartmate’s doors in an effort to find her true love. The twist? Ilex already knows they are fated to be Heartmates. Another twist? He’s twice her age and foresees an early death.
Hearts of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
Oh, Lordy, was this an amazing book. It’s the 12th in the Psy-Changeling series and tells the story of Kaleb and Sahara. Sahara is the only friend Kaleb had growing up and she’s the only one that matters in his life. When Sahara is taken from him and tormented for years, Kaleb vows to return for her. However, once he does, she doesn’t remember him or their history.
New Adult and Contemporary
The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
Though this gem doesn’t pack a lot in the steam department, the friendship that builds as children between Alix French and Nick Anderson is squee worthy as Nick tries to win back Alix’s love after abandoning her as a teenager.
Creed by Kristen Ashley
Sylvie Bissenette fell in love with Tucker Creed when she was six and he was eleven and their love grew until she was 18 and they could legally *finally* be together. Only they never do end up together. Not for another 16 years when they are forced investigate why certain prostitutes under her boss’ protection are being targeted for assault in Denver.
The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan
Gray Grayson is a star football player on the verge of being signed to the NFL. Ivy Mackenzie is his agent’s daughter living in London. After striking up a friendship via text, she finally comes back to the States to live with her Dad until she moves back to England to take over her mother’s bakery. So Ivy and Gray hang out and become best friends while the tension and attraction between them builds.
Searching for Beautiful by Jennifer Probst
Genevieve (Gen) MacKenzie realizes she’s making the biggest mistake of her life by marrying her boss and fellow doctor, David. So she enlists her best friend Wolfe to hide her from the crazy that results from being a runaway bride and their true feelings for each other finally are revealed.
Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young
My favorite of the On Dublin Street Series, this one showcases Olivia and her best friend Nate Sawyer. They are perfect together. And when she needs a little sex ed., Nate is there for her. Naturally, Olivia falls in love and Nate needs to figure out what he really wants before he loses her.
Lord Carew’s Bride by Mary Balogh
A throw-back to 1995, this friends to lovers story also features the mistaken identity trope. Samantha Newman befriends the landscape designer of the reclusive Marquess of Carew. Little does she know that the landscape designer is actually the Marquess!
Last Night’s Scandal by Loretta Chase
Friends for years, Miss Olivia Wingate-Carsington and Peregrine Dalmay, Earl of Lisle become pen pals once Lisle leaves to study in Egypt. When he is forced to stay on the continent and tend to an ailing property in Scotland, Olivia ensnares him on an adventure to the Scottish castle, rumored to be riddled with ghosts and murderers. Olivis is fabulous and sassy to boot.
The Duchess Hunt by Jennifer Haymore
Sarah Osborne and Simon Hawkins, Duke of Trent, were friends as children which grew to so much more. Only Simon could never have Sarah, because she is the daughter of his gardener and he is the Duke. This one gave me goose bumps from the yearning, the chemistry, and the love.
Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James
The fourth installment of the Essex Sisters series, Pleasure for Pleasure features Josie and the Earl of Mayne, friend to Josie’s guardian and who, over the course of the books, becomes friends with the sisters. Mayne helps Josie become more attractive to men in hopes of securing a husband. He just realize that the husband would be him.
Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
Ever since the Hathaways rescued the Gypsy boy from near death, Kev Merripen and Winnifred Hathaway have been best friends. Fate finds Win ill as she is forced to leave London in order to recuperate. When she returns, Kev refuses to acknowledge the love between them.
Anne of Green Gables Series by L.M. Montgomery
What list of friends to lovers would not be complete with Anne and Gilbert? Though Gilbert always derives great pleasure in teasing Anne, we know in the end how perfect they are for one another. Sigh…
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton have been friends for years and Penelope has been in love with Colin for even longer. Penelope, now demonstrably on the shelf, is now blossoming. Meanwhile Colin, a bit more mature and back from his travels, is finally realizing just how amazing Penelope truly is. Add in some secrets to the mix and this one hands down, becomes my favorite Bridgerton story.
Roommates to Lovers
This one gets its own little section since it’s slightly different. The leads are not always friends when they become roommates though friendship and of course, love, always prevail in the end.
Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines
When Blaire Wynn’s mother passes, she is forced to move in with her father and his new wife. Only they are in Paris leaving the house occupied by her stepbrother, Rush Finlay. Who is gorgeous but an arrogant ass. Their coupling is a slow brew that explodes.
Because of Low by Abbi Glines
I know, I know. I just wrote about an Abbi Glines book. I just couldn’t not write about Because of Low. Because Marcus Hardy meets Willow (Low) when he moves into his new house. Problem, of course, is that Low has also “moved in” and shares a bedroom with his Marcus’s new roommate, Cage. It's a bit of a roommate love triangle.
Flat Out Love by Jessica Park
I’m not sure how else to describe this book other than pure genius. Julie Seagle needs a place to live when her campus housing falls through. So she moves into the home of her mother’s college friend’s house. Matt, the middle child, is a college student at MIT and Celeste, the youngest, carries around a life size cardboard cut out of their oldest son, Finn, who is traveling the world. When Julie and Finn start up an on-line friendship, Julie might finally be falling in love.
Play by Kylie Scott
Anne Rollins needs a roommate stat, and Mal Ericson, drummer for Stage Dive, needs to change his image stat. So Anne and Mal become a fake couple to show he is settling down, and Anne gets a roommate in the process. Their fake relationship goes swimmingly until it isn’t so fake anymore.
Jake Undone by Penelope Ward
Just before starting nursing school, Nina moves into an apartment shared by her brother’s best friend, his girlfriend, and Jake. Gorgeous badass Jake who keeps to himself and leaves every weekend. When Nina starts having problems with math, Jake, engineering and math genius, makes it his mission to make sure she passes with flying colors. Along the way, he also helps her with her claustrophobia while she helps him hope for love again.
So how'd I do? What are your favorites?
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Tanya is a fanatic of all things romance and teaches sociology part time. You can follow her on twitter @tamushamu.