Oct 26 2012 2:00pm

Trope of the Month: Friends to Lovers

Just One of the Guys by Kristan HigginsAcademically put, tropes are “common or overused theme[s] or device[s]," which makes them sound like cliches, which makes them seem like a bad thing. But they’re totally not! Romance novel fans all have their favorite—not to mention least favorite—tropes, from friends to lovers, chick in pants, secret baby, marriage of convenience, opposites attract, May-December, boss-assistant...the list goes on.

Each month, we’ll be picking a romance novel trope and ask you to offer recommendations falling under the trope rubric (again with the academic talk!).

You've known him or her forever—been to the movies, shared French fries, maybe engaged in innocent correspondence. And then, one day, you realize your friend is really kind of hot, and isn't that interesting? At some point, your friend thinks something similar, and then there's all sorts of very friendly action going on, resulting in the friends-to-lovers book.

Some of the books that come to mind for us are:

  • Kristan Higgins' Just One of the Guys
  • Connie Brockway's As You Desire
  • Miranda Kenneally's Catching Jordan
  • Lisa Kleypas's Seduce Me at Sunrise
  • Stephanie Perkins's Anna and the French Kiss
  • Sarah Mayberry's Anything for You
  • Shannon McKelden's The Kiss Test
  • Julia Quinn's When He Was Wicked
  • Diana Gabaldon's Outlander
  • Jennifer Crusie's Anyone But You
  • Kristin Cashore's Graceling

Do you like this trope? Which are your favorites? Share your recommendations in the comments!

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1. CarolAnn
I love this trope and my favourites are:

Lisa Kleypas - Again The Magic
Loretta Chase - Last Night's Scandal
Julia Quinn - Romancing Mr Bridgerton
Tessa Dare - Three Nights with a Scoundrel
2. Janga
Friends to lovers is one of my favorite tropes. I'll second most of the original list and CarolAnn's list.

Some writers are particularly fond of the trope. Many of Nora Roberts’s series have at least one friends-to-lovers story. Among my favorites are Tears of the Moon, Key of Knowledge, and Bed of Roses. Sarah Mayberry is another who uses the trope well and often. I’d definitely add Her Best Friend, Best Laid Plans, and Within Reach to the list. Among historical authors, Julia Quinn has employed the trope to wonderful effect in Romancing Mr. Bridgerton and Just Like Heaven.

Other favorites include Don’t Forget to Smile by Kathleen Gilles Seidel, A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith, Lord Carew’s Bride and A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh, Courting Miss Hattie by Pamela Morsi, England’s Perfect Hero by Suzanne Enoch, and Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare. The most recent addition to my list is The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James.
3. Lucy D.
I love the friends to lovers storyline. One of my favorites writters of this is Nora Roberts. Her Savor the Moment, from her Bride trilogy and more recent, The Last Boyfriend from her Inn Boonsboro trilogy are among my favorites.
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