[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to welcome author Charity Ferrell to the site today! She’s talking all things friends-to-lovers. Take it away, Charity!]
Happy Valentine’s Day!
It happens all the time.
Friends falling for their friends.
What’s more romantic than falling for your best friend?
Books, movies, and shows everywhere are wrapped around this trope.
There’s something about friends-to-lovers romances that gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling. Maybe it’s that strong buildup—a lingering look here, a slight touch of the hands there. The relationship builds, but the fear of stepping out of the friend zone inevitably causes it to stall and not move forward.
The biggest struggle?
Escaping the dreaded friend zone.
Fighting through the push and pull until everything finally aligns, the timing turns perfect, and that magical moment happens. We cheer after the angst ends and they finally share that overdue first kiss.
I love this trope because of the character’s history. The relationship starts with them knowing the other’s flaws, their quirks, and so many small details about the other like the movies they hate, their favorite breakfast, and whether they’re a morning or a night person. There’s no ride like the one watching (or reading) from the sidelines as their relationship blossoms from a strong friendship to a relationship.
That’s why I chose to explore this trope with my latest release, Just Friends. Rex and Carolina are two opposites who somehow find themselves in a friendship after Rex attempts to bribe Carolina into writing a paper in high school. Then as readers, we watch as it progresses into college and adult life. There’s angst and slow-burn love, and as the years pass, their love grows stronger. As with any friends-to-lovers romance, they’re worried turning it romantic will cause them to lose their best friend in the end.
Before Just Friends came alive, I fell in love with the trope while reading other books. Some of my friends-to-lovers recommendations are:
A Different Blue by Amy Harmon
Blue Echohawk doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn’t attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.
This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don’t know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can’t love you back might be impossible.
Truly Mine by Kennedy Fox
The night we met in the dimly lit bar, she looked like a brunette bombshell, and I wanted to learn her deepest secrets. With sun-kissed skin and soulful bedroom eyes, she was pure temptation, and I was mesmerized.
As one drink led to two, I craved more of her playful banter and taunting lips. Resisting her wasn’t an option, and we quickly became a desperate mess of tangled limbs and hot kisses. She tasted like the sweetest sin, but I was no saint.
Once we caught our breaths, and it became obvious that meeting her wasn’t a coincidence, everything changed. Now I must deny her at all costs.
Friends. It’s all we can ever be.
After years of lying to myself and keeping her at a distance, I want to pull her close. Sophie’s on my mind more than ever as my instincts to protect her take over. Regardless of my attempts to help, she pushes me away and makes it clear she doesn’t need me.
I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe, to show her I’m the good guy, but one night takes a tragic turn for the worse when her boyfriend and I start throwing punches.
And ends when I’m arrested for his murder.
The Play by Elle Kennedy
What I learned after last year’s distractions cost my hockey team our entire season? No more screwing up. No more screwing, period. As the new team captain, I need a new philosophy: hockey and school now, women later. Which means that I, Hunter Davenport, am officially going celibate…no matter how hard that makes things.
But there’s nothing in the rulebook that says I can’t be friends with a woman. And I won’t lie—my new classmate Demi Davis is one cool chick. Her smart mouth is hot as hell, and so is the rest of her, but the fact that she’s got a boyfriend eliminates the temptation to touch her.
Except three months into our friendship, Demi is single and looking for a rebound.
And she’s making a play for me.
Avoiding her is impossible. We’re paired up on a yearlong school project, but I’m confident I can resist her. We’d never work, anyway. Our backgrounds are too different, our goals aren’t aligned, and her parents hate my guts.
Hooking up is a very bad idea. Now I just have to convince my body—and my heart.
Lead Me Home by A.L. Jackson
Sexy. Fierce. Forbidden.
The only girl I’ve ever loved.
Gorgeous, bad-boy, tattooed bartender.
The only man to hold my heart.
Fourteen years ago, he allowed tragedy to rip us apart. Now, he’s back, trying to make a space for himself in my life.
A single brush of his hand, and I feel my walls crumbling. One kiss, and I’m losing all control.
The fire between us is only burning hotter.
I can feel our pasts running to catch up to us. Will it destroy or us, or will we find our second chance . . .
What are some of your favorite friends-to-lovers romances?
About the Author:
Charity Ferrell resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. She grew up riding her bicycle to her small town’s library and reading anything she could get her hands on. Angst is her happy place, and she loves writing about flawed people finding love. She loves the basics – books, shoes, and online shopping.
Just Friends by Charity Ferrell, out now!
Little did I know when Rex came to my locker attempting to bribe me, that he’d turn into my everything.
We’d become best friends. I’d steal his heart. He’d steal mine.
Nothing has changed in the years of our friendship.
Not our connection, not our feelings, or that we still hold each other’s hearts.
But his heart isn’t the only thing I’ve kept.
The secret I’m hiding could shatter the only man I’ve ever loved.
I’ve loved Carolina since the day she called my bluff.
Our friendship always came first.
She believed in me when no one else did.
I tucked away my feelings because I couldn’t survive a life without her.
We crossed the line once, and I swore it’d never happen again.
As time passes, the harder it becomes to live up to that promise.
Until finally, there’s no holding back.