best ofs: friends to lovers

I adore the ‘friends to lovers’ theme in m/m.


There is something so delicious about secret wankings yearnings over friends which really floats my boat.

These are three of my fave stories:

Out Of My Mind by M L Rhodes Most people know I’m such a squeey fangirl for this author and this was one of the first books I read by her. I think it was at some stage between reading it and Evangeline Anderson’s The Assignment that I realised I was a complete and utter sucker for the ‘friends to lovers’ theme. I mean, c’mon; two sexy, strong men admitting their feelings and lust for each other?? What could possibly be better than that! *g*

The One That Got Away by Rhianne Aile & Madeleine Urban Can anyone say steamy? Good God, this book is smoking hot. It is a tale of attraction and seduction between friends who suddenly find themselves in an intimate situation. For me, this has one of the best build ups of sexual tension which I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading in a story. Full of complete win.

Like Coffee and Doughnuts by Elle Parker Slightly less than a gazillion years ago I did a ‘tasting’ of this wonderful book here so I won’t go into too much detail now. I will say that, despite the number of times I’ve reread LC&D, I never fail to be engaged by the banter and dynamic between Dino and Seth. The dialogue is awesome. And OMG! there’s a sequel coming out in October. Woot!

What about you? Is the ‘friends to lovers’ theme one that you like? What are your faves?

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in best ofs, elle parker, M L Rhodes, m/m, themes, urban/aile. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to best ofs: friends to lovers

  1. Chris says:

    I LOVE this theme. Like Coffee and Doughnuts is a favorite of mine, too. So is The One That Got Away.

    Others I enjoy are Carbon and Ash by Chris Owen. A Helping Hand by Shayla Kersten. Snow Angel by Sharon Marie Bidwell. Faith and Fidelity by Tere Michaels.

  2. Nikyta says:

    I love friends to lovers.. Although, I haven't read that many of them… My fav's, though, are:

    Aidan and Ethan by Cameron Dane
    And Call Me in the Morning by Willa Okati
    As You Are by Ethan Day
    Gobsmacked by LB Gregg

    *sigh* As You Are is my all time fav. I just love Ethan Day's humor. 😀

  3. Val says:

    I haven't read those first two you mentioned (I need to get with the program!), but I loved Like Coffee and Doughnuts. That's great to have a release date (roughly) to look forward to for the sequel!

  4. Tam says:

    I'm not a massive fan but it's okay. I don't dislike it. I liked Str8te Boys by Evangeline Anderson.

    I think what works in the FtoL theme is you know they actually like each other so you avoid that insta-love thing. In some cases you have no clue if the guy even likes the same things you do, how he treats pets or his friends, if he even has a job or a work ethic and you are “in love”. With friends you already know they leave their dirty underwear on the floor and are allergic to cats so it's more of an “I love you anyway” situation which seems more realistic and therefore believable in a story.

    Addison Albright's little short Photoshoot is cute. Also Stephani Hecht's new one Lights and Sirens has maybe not best friends, but friends who know each other before they think about each other “that way” (although maybe it's a bit GFY as well). Chris Owen's 911 could sort of fit in this category although not long-term friends.

  5. What's not to like about this theme! I love it!
    The first two books are among my favorites too, the third I haven't read *adding it to my tbb as we speak*
    Chris mentioned A Helping Hand already, others on my list of favs are Ava March's Bound series, LB's Gobsmacked and Katherine Cross' Lover's Knots.

  6. Amora says:

    love-Love-LOVE it 🙂 One of my favorite themes for sure. Haven't read anything those yet, did manage to read The Assignment, good one :))

    Have a good day!

  7. KT Grant says:

    For the life of me I can't think of any friends to lovers romances! *pout*

    My validation word is mencest. Heh

  8. Juniper says:

    Love this theme, too – all the ones mentioned so far, especially The One That Got Away.

    Also just loved Giselle Ellis's Take My Picture. Wonder if she'll release anything else in the future?

  9. Friends and lovers – yes please..

    Especially when they cut to the chase and not have the big misunderstanding stopping us from getting to the good stuff..


  10. Emilie says:

    Josh Lanyon has a fair number of stories in which work colleagues/friends become lovers — Dangerous Ground is one of them.

    B.A. Tortuga's Roughstock: Blind Ride has friends becoming lovers.

    A lot of those cowboy/rodeo books in general have cowboys discovering their friends feel the
    same way about them.

    Jules Jones has a few where work colleagues/friends of one sort or another become lovers.

  11. Jenre says:

    Yep, I'm a sucker for this theme too – as long as it's done well. I don't really like it as a theme where there's a large age gap and one guy has known the other since they were late teen/young child. That squicks me out a little.

    I loved Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane. Like Tam, Str8te Boys is a fav, as well as The Assignment. Also love Like Coffee and Doughnuts.

    Of course now my mind has gone blank and I can't think of any more.

  12. Kris says:

    Chris: Me too. 🙂 You know – and don't kill me cos I know you love it and all – but I don't think I've read Carbon & Ash. I should do something about that.

    Nikyta: Cameron Dane has a few on this theme. Finding Home is one of my faves of hers. I've reread that one a number of times.

    I've not read much of Ethan Day's work. This looks great and who can resist this theme. Not me! 🙂

    Val: You should have seen me yesterday when I saw the sequel on the publishers website. I was bouncing up and down in my office chair. The boy kittens thought I was going mental. LOL.

  13. Chris says:

    Kris: You can anticipate reading it, then!

  14. Kris says:

    Tam: “… so it's more of an “I love you anyway” situation which seems more realistic and therefore believable in a story…”

    Exactly. I love you, Tam, you have such a gift for pinpointing why things work. 🙂

    The room mates scenario is a common one associated with this and it made me think of that fun story 'Go Fish' by H T Murray. That was great.

    Janna: I hope you enjoy Like Coffee and Doughnuts as much as I did.

    I don't normally read historicals, but I have to say the blurb to the Katherine Cross book looks absolutely terrific. I might have to step out of my comfort zone this one time. 😉

    Amora: I take it you like this theme then. 😉

  15. hdsmith says:

    Does the falling in love with your best friends little brother count? JL Langleys Tin Star comes to mind. I loved Lb Gregg's Gobsmacked.

    I just read Katie Allen's Private Dicks this weekend. It is a friends to lovers, laugh out loud, snort diet coke out your nose funny.

    I have not read Like Coffee and Doughnuts, I shall go investigate.

  16. Kris says:

    Katiebabs chook: “My validation word is mencest. Heh”

    I see my blogger veri has filth on its mind again. I don't know why its like this. *sigh*

    Juni: I really enjoyed Take My Picture too. I hope this author does produce more work because I think she has such a great voice.

    EH: “Especially when they cut to the chase and not have the big misunderstanding stopping us from getting to the good stuff.”

    Word. As Tam said, part of the appeal about this theme is that there are generally no surprises about the personalities and backgrounds of the characters.

  17. Chris says:

    Crap, how could I forget Private Dicks? I love that book.

  18. Kris says:

    Emilie: “A lot of those cowboy/rodeo books in general have cowboys discovering their friends feel the same way about them.”

    You're absolutely right. How weird that I've never noticed this before. God, I can be so oblivious sometimes.

    Jen: “I loved Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane.”

    I can't believe I forgot about this book! It is such a great read on this theme.

    Chris: Friggin' enabler.

    Heidi: Katie Allen's Private Dicks! Another one I'd forgotten… although I'm not sure how I could have since typing that looks so delightfully filthy. LOL.

    If you get LC&D, don't forget to tell me what you think of it. I'll be interested to know.

  19. Eyre says:

    I love friends to lovers. I enjoyed The One That Got Away, Aidan and Ethan, and A Helping Hand. Ava's Bound books are fabulous. I also loved Shawn Lane's The Best Gift and its sequel Still the One.

  20. Kris says:

    Eyre: I don't think I've read the sequel to Shawn Lane's The Best Gift.

    Why do I sense a shopping spree in my future?? Maybe I'm becoming psychic.

  21. Chris says:

    Kris: When isn't there a shopping spree in your future? 😉

  22. Mariana says:

    My favorite theme of all… and yes to all the ones mentioned. Thankfully, so far I've read those, no more money coming out of my pocket from reading your blog 😉

  23. Kris says:

    Mariana: Well, damn. I don't think it's fair that I'm the one spending most of the $$ this time 'round.

  24. Kassa says:

    Those are great choices…. I can't think of any off the top of my head but good ones.

    Always a classic great theme.

    You need to do a best of summer reads category. What is the best to read during lazy summer days.

  25. Kris says:

    Kassa: Now why would I do that? It's not summer yet. 😛

  26. God I heart this theme. Never gets old, ever ever ever.

    I must read Like Coffee and doughnuts.

  27. Kris says:

    KC: “God I heart this theme. Never gets old, ever ever ever.”

    So very, very true, and, yes, you MUST read LC&D. It's tres good.

  28. Lily says:

    I enjoy the friends to lovers theme very much. Right know though I can't think of any that haven't already been mentioned. 🙂

  29. Kris says:

    Lily: Funny how we all love it, but are suffering from temporary memory loss. Maybe we've all caught something?? Maybe we should see if we've read the same book?

  30. I *heart* friends-to-lovers in m/f, which is what I read primarily (as you know). There's something about the whole dynamic. Usually the couple knows each other so well and then the romance part kicks in. It's just plain awesome. 😀

    veri word: zinki *snicker* That's just plain funny.

  31. Lily says:

    All right, Kris. Just cause I don't want you to think I'm lazy. 😀

    Here's a few of my favs…

    Snow Angel
    Faith & Fidelity
    Becoming Us
    The One That Got Away
    Keeping Promise Rock
    Rules Were Made to Be Broken

  32. Kris says:

    Bridget: “It's just plain awesome. :D”

    It sure is. 😀

    We must be both channelling our inner teenagers today cos I thought you very word was gigglesnort worthy too.

    Lily: Becoming Us! I was trying to remember that one yesterday. Thanks for being not lazy, Lily! 😛

  33. hdsmith says:

    So I really really should have gone to bed like an hour ago, but I just finished Like Coffee and Donuts.

    Fabulous. I laughed out loud several times and I want a Seth and Dino of my very own. The scene in the bar in the beginning where they meet Rick and then the line about being beaten up for not being Gay….loved loved loved it.

    Now I really do have to go to bed.

  34. Kris says:

    Heidi: LOL! Glad that you liked it, but no blaming me if you're completely knackered your tomorrow! 🙂

  35. orannia says:

    I love friends to lovers too… As for my favourites, I agree with Jen – Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane. Also (and yes, I'm such a fangirl) By Degrees by JB McDonald. *SIGH* I love those books!

  36. Kris says:

    Orannia: We will be unrepentant fangirls together. 🙂

  37. Chris says:

    Oh! Bad Boys, Bad Boys by Mia Watts.

  38. Kris says:

    D'oh! How are we forgetting all these great stories?! Thanks Chris. 🙂

  39. Chris says:

    Well, this one I remembered because I just started a contest for the sequel. 🙂

  40. Friends to lovers is one of my favorite themes too. I don't think I've read one of these in quite a while, I'll have to change that soon!



  41. JenB says:

    One of my very favorite themes, especially combined with GFY. 🙂

  42. Kris says:

    Chris: I think that's officially known as cheating.

    MsM: You definitely should! 🙂

    JenB: “One of my very favorite themes, especially combined with GFY. :)”

    Oh, hell yes. I think all three of the books in my post qualify for this combo. It's friggin' hot. I love it muchly.

  43. Kaetrin says:

    I like FtoL too whether it's m/m or m/f. I've read The One That Got Away – IIRC, that's the one where the guy is sick and his friend stays over to help, isn't it?
    I did find the set up and some of the things they did a bit strange in that I thought it wasn't something a previously totally straight guy would do for a friend but I went with it and, with my disbelief appropriately suspended, I enjoyed the story. (Apologies if I've got the wrong book.)

    Do I need to run and hide behind the couch? 😛

  44. Kaetrin says:

    okay, have just downloaded A Note in the Margin, Bad Boys Bad Boys and Out of My Mind and Like Coffee and Doughnuts.

    who said it was Kris spending all the $$.

    I shouldn't come here. I should know better… **grumble grumble**

  45. Kris says:

    Kaetrin: That's the right book. No need to hide. 🙂

    You mean you don't think a straight guy would sleep in a sick friend's bed to make sure the he was okay?? Say it ain't so. 😛

    “who said it was Kris spending all the $$.

    I shouldn't come here. I should know better… **grumble grumble**”

    Snap! I think exactly that sometimes too. LOL.

    Make sure you drop back and tell me/us what you thought of those books, especially A Note In The Margin and Like Coffee and Doughnuts.

  46. orannia says:

    We will be unrepentant fangirls together. 🙂

    *nods* Definitely! More power to us 🙂

  47. Tracy says:

    Maybe I should have read this post first before making my comment on the one above it! lol As I said, I love the friends to lovers trope. I'll have to read The One That Got Away – the only one of your favs I haven't delved into. 🙂

  48. Kris says:

    Orannia: *g*

    Tracy: *whispers* I'm not sure you should say 'delved into' within the context of m/m. It sounds kinda… *waggles eyebrows*

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