Looking for the best friends to lovers books to read? This book list gives you my favorites in this popular romance book trope where friends finally cross the line and become more.
If you love the angst, the tension, and the heart-swooning moments of friends to lovers books too then I’ve got the best friends to lovers books waiting for you below.
Be sure to also check out my lists of best enemies to lovers books and second chance romance books to give you all the feels.
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The Best Friends to Lovers Books
People We Meet on Vacation
by Emily Henry
The best friends to lovers book that tugs on all the heartstrings!
I can’t describe how much I love Poppy and Alex. This was my first Emily Henry book and it made me a fan for life it’s that good.
Poppy and Alex, despite being complete opposites, become the best of friends in college. Though they live in different cities, they have gotten together every summer for the last ten years for a summer vacation until two years ago when the trips stopped.
This book made me legit ball my eyes out. I kept wanting to read faster to get to that fateful summer to understand how these two friends could drift apart and yet I also wanted to slow down so this book would never end.
Henry does no wrong with this amazing friends to lovers book that should absolutely make your TBR list.
Next to You
by Hannah Bonam-Young
Bonam-Young delivers the sweetest most swoon-worthing friends to lovers romance book with the best book boyfriend!
Matt is a mechanic who’s in the same friend group as Lane, a freelancer by virtue of Matt’s coworker and Lane’s best friend.
One New Year’s Eve the two share a kiss but for the year since that fateful night have stayed only friends. Yet that doesn’t mean that Lane hasn’t lusted for Matt from afar or that Matt hasn’t developed his own feelings.
When Lane ups and buys a bus that she plans to convert into a home, Matt volunteers his skills to help in the project forcing them closer together to the point their feelings can no longer be ignored.
The writing, the characters, the emotional arc, the spiciness and the beauty of the words shared is just amazing making this one of the best friends to lovers books I’ve ever read and one of my all-time favorite romances.
I adored the trajectory of their relationship with Matt’s unending patience, making him truly one of the best book boyfriends ever! Check out my review of Next to You.
Hook, Line and Sinker
by Tessa Bailey
Bailey delights with this must-read friends to lovers book with a vulnerable hero.
You can’t help but already start to fall for Fox and Hannah in It Happened One Summer, but this is their story which can easily be read as a standalone.
After these two meet in Westport that fateful summer, Hannah returns to Los Angeles but starts texting back and forth with Fox which kicks off a really sweet friendship. When Hannah suggests Westport as the perfect location for the new movie her producer/boss is filming, she finds herself back in town and sleeping in Fox’s guest bedroom.
There is honestly so much to love about this book. Great writing, fantastic character development, and an emotional storyline that tugs on your heartstrings.
Bailey lets these two characters be real, honest and vulnerable but without unnecessary heartache because that’s not what was building between these two.
These were two adults with real feelings that trusted each other enough to bare themselves, their insecurities and give the other person the opportunity to see the true them for better or worse and I was ALL for it.
This is definitely one of the best friends to lovers books that I highly recommend. Check out my review of Hook, Line and Sinker.
Like Lovers Do
by Tracey Livesay
This is a wonderful friends to lovers book where neighbors finally become more.
Nic’s new medical fellowship is in jeopardy after disciplining a donor’s son and Ben’s happy to ask his well-respected family to intervene on her behalf. Hating to depend on her neighbor and friend, Nic offers to pose as his girlfriend on a weekend getaway to ward off his ex.
I love how agreeing to a fake relationship can finally move friends to lovers!
You instantly see how comfortable these two are as neighbors at the start of this story, and how they’d do anything for each other. It just took a weekend away to finally open their eyes and see that they just might want more.
Such a well-written, diverse novel that I highly recommend in this trope! Check out my review of Like Lovers Do.
The Change Up
by Meghan Quinn
This is one of the best friends to lovers romance where childhood friends finally cross over that line- even when one becomes a professional baseball player.
Maddox may be known as the bad boy of baseball, but he’s a complete softie when it comes to his childhood best friend, Kinsey. He’d do anything for her, even have her move into his one-bedroom apartment when she needs a place to stay.
Oh, how the sparks fly between these two once they are sharing close quarters. Despite being complete opposites, Maddox and Kinsey have great chemistry and I loved how they both struggled with knowing whether or not the other person was also falling as hard as they were.
Quinn’s baseball romances are just the best and this one totally hit the spot for the friends to lovers trope. Check out my review of The Change Up.
Marriage on Madison Avenue
by Lauren Layne
If you also like fake relationship stories, you’ll want to pick up this friends to lovers book based on a fake engagement between two best friends.
Audrey is still recovering from the devastation of realizing her boyfriend was a married man with a woman on the side. She’s sworn off believing any happily ever after is for her but then she discovers in the gossip rags that she’s supposedly recently engaged– to her best friend since childhood!
I loved how Audrey decides to go along with engagement rouse with Clarke when this isn’t even their first fake engagement! These two were thick as thieves and had the greatest ease with each other which made their growing affection feel all the more real.
This was a sweet and funny romance that any friends to lovers reader will enjoy. Check out my review of Marriage on Madison Avenue.
by Amy Daws
My heart outright swooned when I read this friends to lovers book. I wanted them to get together so badly!
After playing a wacky game of Never Have I Ever with her closest friends, Freya confesses that she’s yet to pop her cherry. And as the amazing best friend that he is, Mac steps up to say that he’ll gladly show her the ways of the bedroom.
This book has it all. You get the hot, sweet footballer who sees through the body-shaming ways of his bestie, and the hilarious yet clueless seamstress whose character just let Daws’ humor shine.
I laughed so hard while reading this book but also had my heartstrings pulled in the best of ways. A must read, friends to lovers book for sure. Check out my review of Blindsided.
by Sawyer Bennett
If you’re more in the mood for a really HOT, friends to lovers book, you have to read this one.
Avril, Dane and Andrew have been the best of friends since college and now work together at the same company. When Avril’s relationship implodes, she’s ready to try something new, and that something is the Wicked Horse club. When she asks her two friends to join her, it changes everything.
Not only was this book incredibly HOT, but it had such a great storyline exploring how taking things to the bedroom may or may not change a friendship.
This is one of my all-time favorite romance books and I can’t recommend it enough.
by Sarina Bowen
This is a friends to lovers romance book mixed with a bit of suspense as well as a fake relationship making it a fantastic read!
Alex is in need of a bodyguard because she’s pregnant with an abusing ex’s baby and about to launch a new project that is catching the attention of some not-so-nice people. She just didn’t expect her new bodyguard to be Eric, star NHL hockey player and her one-time childhood friend.
Both main characters are what make this friends to lovers book such a great read. Alex is such a strong heroine while Eric is a caring friend who’s not ashamed to work their fake relationship to his favor.
This book has so much going for it. You won’t be disappointed. Check out my review of Moonlighter.
Truth or Beard
by Penny Reid
This book has the best opening sequence to kick off its frenemies to lovers story.
When Jessica returns to Green Valley after college, she’s still harboring an infatuation for charmer Beau Winston. Only it’s his twin Duane, her childhood adversary, who’s set out to woo her just as she’s planning to travel the world.
Not enough men set out to woo their women these days but oh boy does Duane set his plan in motion. I love how his affection takes Jessica completely by surprise making this one of the best frenemies, friends to lovers books worth reading!
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
by Christina Lauren
You know you have a true friend when they love you despite your quirks. Josh and Hazel may be opposites in this friends to lovers book, but they are a perfect fit.
Hazel and Josh first met in college but after a series of unfortunate (and embarrassing) incidents nothing more came of their friendship until years later when they reconnect. Now they’re hanging out, setting each other up on double dates so they’re dating yet not dating, right?!
This book was more sweet than steamy romance but just as good. How they manage to go on these dates together with other people is darn right hilarious. Check it out!
Before Jamaica Lane
by Samantha Young
Can I just say that I LOVE friends to lovers stories where the friends think they can add in a bit of tutoring on the art of attraction without their relationship changing -hahahaha, like that ever works!
This is the classic case of the insecure girl lacking the confidence to go after the boy she wants asking her commitment-phobe friend to give her some pointers in flirting and perhaps a bit more.
Before Jamaica Lane is one of my all-time favorite books and one of the best friends to lovers books because it is just so well written. It has the perfect blend of heat and angst as these two realize that they’re falling for each other.
This is definitely a book that should go on your TBR list if you like relationship coach books!
by Emma Chase
There’s nothing like a friends to lovers story that builds off of animosity in the courtroom!
Kennedy and Brent were childhood friends until he humiliated her in high school to join the cool crowd. But now they are back in each other’s lives, facing each other in the courtroom, and Kennedy is ready to give as good as she once got.
Sparks fly in this friends to lovers book when Kennedy and Brent go at each other in court. Chase is such a talented writer and gives us two great characters with intriguing backstories.
It’s something special when two soulmates finally fall in love! Definitely check it out.
Some Sort of Crazy
by Melanie Harlow
This is a fun book where attraction and love arise (and surprise you!) after reconnecting with a friend.
Natalie had the perfect life going for her so what does a psychic know about a stranger coming to upend her life? And yet maybe the psychic was onto something when Miles, her friend since high school, returns to town for the summer.
I love friends to lovers books where the attraction between characters really surprises both AND when they least expect it. Miles may not have seemed like Natalie’s dream guy but their connection was undeniable. A fun, great read.
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As Good as New
by Jennifer Dawson
I admit this book has a bit of a second chance romance feel to it, but it’s such a great friends to lovers book that starts with a bit of tension making it sizzle!
Penelope may have fallen for her best friend’s brother Evan as a teen but she lost him to grief and football when he lost his father. With Evan’s NFL tanked by an injury, no one can kick him out of his darkness until Penelope shows up with some tough love.
I love how time and circumstances don’t dull the attraction between Penelope and Evan in this fantastic friends to lovers book. It’s one of my favorites from Dawson.
Friends Without Benefits
by Penny Reid
A friends to lovers book featuring a sarcastic doctor and a swoony comedian? Yes please!
Penny Reid delivers in every book in the Knitting in the City series and this one is no exception.
Elizabeth is set on a benefits without friendship hook up with a colleague until her former nemesis, high school friend, Nico Manganiello arrives back in town.
I loved the history between Elizabeth and Nico that you slowly uncover and how it impacts their pseudo-friendship when he shows up at their high school reunion years later.
The characters and the story make this such a worthwhile friends to lovers book worth reading.
by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Oh, this book! It’s an MM, friends to lovers book that is simply one of the best of the best. I can’t recommend Bowen and Kennedy’s book enough.
This MM romance is so popular because it is incredibly well written, has amazing characters and has such a fantastic story.
Jamie and Ryan became friends at hockey camp but then Ryan ghosted Jamie after the night they took things further than just friends. Four years later they return to the same camp as coaches, and that’s when things start to heat up!
I absolutely loved this story about friendship and discovery. It is definitely a friends to lovers story in gay romance not to be missed.
by Maya Banks
This is quite the hot, friends to lovers book. If you like stories that explore fantasies, this is the book for you.
One night, Zoe and Chase share their darkest fantasies with one another and decide to fulfill each and every one of them. Those fantasies just happen to include their two roommates and friends, Brody and Tate.
Oh lordy, does Maya Banks know how to write some hot and heavy scenes! What started out as close friendships between roommates, soon turns to quite the relationship between Zoe and her firefighters. I loved it!
A Crack in Everything
by L.H. Cosway
If you’re more in the mood for a friends to lovers book with all the feels, this is your pick.
Evelyn and Dylan were classmates and neighbors living in Dublin until the year they became friends and more.
This book gave my heart all the squeezes as Evelyn and Dylan grew closer only to suffer heartbreak. Fair warning, this is the first book in this friends to lovers duet so be prepared to read book two after!
Accidentally on Purpose
by Jill Shalvis
Nothing beats an antagonistic, friends to lovers story and Shalvis nails it with Accidentally on Purpose.
Archer and Elle want each other but with their connected past, neither has acted on it despite their intense chemistry.
I loved these strong, intense characters who both put up such a front to hide their feelings when they just had to give in. When they finally let their walls crumble, it is oh-so-sweet. A perfect, friends to lovers romance.
A Thousand Boy Kisses
by Tillie Cole
One of the best friends to lovers books that will have you bawling your eyes out.
This friends to lovers book is so popular on #Booktok for good reason, but only read it if you’re ready for a good cry!
Rune and Poppy become the best of friends when his family moves from Norway to Georgia when they are just five years old. Next door neighbors these two become thick as thieves and finally become more.
But then the unspeakable happens and Rune has to move back to Norway, leaving Poppy and both of them heartbroken.
This is one of those young adult romances that rips your heart out. The love and passion these two share for each other at such a young age can only be explained as soulmates.
Check it out as you won’t regret it.
by Kristen Callihan
This friends to lovers book is a must for rock star fans!
I love friends to lovers romance books because the history between characters often leads to some intense chemistry.
Ryland and Brenna have known each other for years as Rye is the bassist for the biggest rock band in the world and Brenna is his publicist and the cousin of his bandmate.
The two are more like friends who antagonize each other on a daily basis which definitely made their moments as things become extremely HOT.
When Rye overhears Brenna’s secret confession he makes her an offer that’s hard to ignore – him.
Callihan’s writing is just superb in this friends to lovers book where she can have me melting one moment and crying the next. I just loved these two characters and this amazing rock star romance!
by Brighton Walsh
Holy hotness! Who knew that Beck was a grade A, hot dirty talker under all that grumpiness in this friends to lover book??!!
This was a quick read that I flew through in a day because Beck and Everly just clicked.
They have been friends for two years- her the sunshine to his grumpiness– but a major catastrophe forces them to finally cross the line.
Low on drama, high on steaminess – it’s a great friends to lovers romance that I highly recommend.
by Grace Draven
A beautiful, fantasy friends to lovers book where only the inside of a person matters.
Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, and Ildiko is the niece to the Gauri king, enter an arranged marriage to secure a political alliance between kingdoms.
Both Brishen and Ildiko see the other just as ugly in appearance as they expected on their wedding day and yet through a new-found friendship, they come to find each other more beautiful than either could imagine in this amazing love story.
While this fantasy romance does give us some suspense and danger with attempts on their lives to ruin the alliance their marriage created, this story really is more about these two becoming friends and then becoming lovers. It’s slow burn at its finest.
Check out my review of Radiance to see if this is a friends to lovers book for you!
by Neve Wilder
A hot MM romance that brings two roommates and friends together in unexpected ways!
Jesse is tired of being friend-zoned so he’s ready to take on senior year with a bang – or at least a lot of hookups. But when his straight, football-playing roommate, Sam, asks him for a favor to film some adult videos, he’s in and can’t help catching feelings.
I loved the take on this MM romance– a look into voyeurism and exhibitionism, and how it brought Jesse and Sam together. It was a sweet love story with great writing and even a bit steamy too.
This is one of the best friends to lovers books as is Wilder’s entire Extracurricular Activities series.
A Very Friendly Valentine’s Day
by Kayley Loring
A friends to lovers book where best friends are forced to face their feelings while on a train.
This is such a fun friends to lovers book that you can read any day, but especially on Valentine’s Day.
Birdie and Eddie have been best friends since college. He’s now an actor on a hit TV show and she’s an archivist with a thing for Sherlock Holmes.
They are complete opposites but one night has them looking at the other in a whole new light which makes things interesting when they have to travel across country together in the same train suite to get to New York for Valentine’s Day.
Forced proximity has a great way of helping friends take that final step toward being lovers and a VERY small train cabin is just the ticket for these two. I loved it!
Make Me Yours
by Melanie Harlow
Can the single dad and neighbor finally fall for the girl next door in this friends to lovers book?
Cheyenne has been in love with her brother’s best friend for years but he was always the man she couldn’t have. All it took was one accidental text to let her crush out of the bag.
Now she’s finally with the man of her dreams but is he willing to put his heart on the line again, for her?
I loved Cheyenne and Cole’s love story. The build up to their relationship was filled with such tension and that text message – OMG!
If you have a soft spot for really great single dads and like watching two friends FINALLY get it on, then this is the Harlow book for you.
Check out my review of Make Me Yours.
That Swoony Feeling
by Meghan Quinn
This is the perfect friends to lovers book where the hopeless romantic finally falls for the girl right in front of him.
Brig Knightly is painfully single while the rest of his brothers have already paired off into coupledom bliss. He’s tried to find the one but believes he’s plagued by a wretched curse.
Luckily the town has started a new pen pal program and he’s hit it off with his mysterious writer. The only problem – he’s been hanging out with Ruth Barber, his new work neighbor, and he’s getting that swoony feeling for both women.
If there is ever a romance hero to fall for it is Brig. I seriously fell hard for this hopeless romantic and I absolutely loved Ruth who was the perfect match for him especially when she broke out the sass.
If you love friends to lovers books wrapped up in a great small town romance, this is the pick for you.
Check out my review of That Swoony Feeling.
The Friend Zone
by Kristen Callahan
This is one of the best friends to lovers romance books with a hot football player to fall for!
It’s really hard not to fall for Gray who is not only a star tight-end football player but someone who is so incredibly funny.
He doesn’t make friends with women and yet when he starts texting Ivy, his agent’s daughter, she soon becomes the best texting buddy he could ask for. And when they finally meet in person, it’s up to Gray to convince Ivy to take things to the next level.
You should pick this friends to lovers book just to see how Gray goes about trying to win his best friend’s heart. It’s super swoon-worthy and Ivy really didn’t stand a chance.
This is definitely one of my favorite Callihan books but her Game On series is fabulous with even more friends to lovers books!
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
by Julia Quinn
A friends to lovers book with an unrequited love story that finally takes a turn!
If you haven’t yet read the Bridgerton series then now is the perfect time. You’ll seriously love every book but you can absolutely dive right into this friends to lovers story about Colin Bridgerton and Penelope.
Penelope has always secretly loved Colin, her best friend’s brother, but he never seemed to catch similar feelings and has kept her in the friend zone. But things finally take a turn once he returns from his travels abroad but secrets Penelope is hiding could ultimately derail their romance.
This historical romance is a must-read, especially before catching the book come to life in season three of Bridgerton the TV series!
Isn’t It Bromantic
by Lyssa Kay Adams
Watch two friends fall in love when they are already husband and wife!
This is a sweet, friends to lovers book disguised as a marriage of convenience story.
Elena Konnikova escaped danger of living in her homeland by marrying her childhood friend, Vladimir, and moving to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player.
Vlad, however is not satisfied with a marriage of convenience and wants to learn how to make his wife love him. That’s where his buddies in the Bromance Book Club come in to help his quest.
Vlad’s sensitive heart was very endearing in this story. I loved the whole bromance angle between the male characters and finally seeing these two admit their feelings for each other were more than mere friendship.
The Summer We Surrendered
by Victoria Denault
This was such a great friends to lovers book where two adults finally admit and commit to the love they found as teenagers.
Abbott and Declan were the best of friends in high school and then one late night at the beach a kiss changed everything. But then Abbott went away and became a star hockey player he learned quick that professional athletes don’t come out to their teammates.
When a trade brings Abbott back to his hometown where Declan is now out as a gay man, it’s up to Abbott to convince Declan that he has loved him all this time and is no longer afraid to show it.
This is not only a great friends to lovers story but it’s also a great grumpy sunshine romance as Declan is a man who has learned to guard his heart even if he is willing to ignore the snide remarks the small-town folk make about his choices.
The tension was definitely high between these two former friends and it was so fun just waiting for the moment when Declan finally cracked!
by T.L. Swan
Watch two people become friends while traveling in Europe and finally become more.
Swan’s Miles High Club series is FULL of studly billionaires but this is the one to read with a friends to lovers angle.
Christopher is the youngest brother and quite the playboy. He decides to up-end his life and travel the world incognito with only his backpack to support him.
But things start to change once he meets Hayden Whitmore, a farmer and the woman he shares a room within the hostel where they stay. Hayden keeps him strictly in the friend-zone during their group travels and yet neither can help but develop feelings for the another.
Feelings aren’t necessarily the problem as it’s figuring out if they can actually live a life together once Christopher’s identity is revealed.
I sure would do anything I could to keep my friend, lover and billionaire in my life 😊
Before and After You
by Hope Ellis
This is your pick if you love friends to lovers books where the girl falls for her best friend’s brother.
Leigh D’Alessandro fought to escape her dysfunctional family and now she’s fighting to keep the community hospital she works for afloat. What she’s tired of fighting is her attraction to her best friend’s playboy brother with a notorious reputation.
Walker Leffersbee knows he has a reputation in his small town for being a ladies’ man. He’s also a confirmed bachelor so the last thing he plans on doing is giving in to his long-standing craving for his sister’s headstrong and hot-tempered best friend. Especially because she’s the only one who knows the secret that threatens to upend his life.
I love how Walker and Leigh have such great banter with each other which totally fuels their chemistry.
They may keep each other at arm’s length given he’s her best friend’s brother but the connection is undeniable.
The community center was also a great focus to this friends to lovers book but I never need an excuse to pick up an Ellis romance!
Something in the Air
by L.H. Cosway
A friends to lovers book where time finally helps bring two deserving people together!
Michaela is a 22-year-old personal assistant for the parkour runners in the reality show, Running on Air, who has been harboring a secret crush on James who happens to not only be 9 years older, but also her boss and also ENGAGED to someone else.
But this is not some conniving young woman who’s out to steal herself a man. She’s just this sweet girl who loves her friend and he just doesn’t know it.
This is not only a super sweet friends to lovers book, but Cosway uses her characters to bring to light a not uncommon relationship problem but one that’s not often talked about.
I highly recommend it. Check out my review of Something in the Air.
Frequently Asked Questions About Friends to Lovers Books:
What Are Friends to Lovers Books?
Friends to lovers books are exactly that – when two people who are just friends cross that line and become lovers. Even though the premise of friends to lovers books is pretty obvious, there can still be a lot of variety in this romance book trope.
For instance, the type of friendship can be varied.
You have friends to lovers books between childhood friends, high school friends, neighbors who are friends, work colleagues who are considered friends, and even friends of one’s siblings. Gah!
Who knew there were so many different friendship types? 😊
Why Do Readers Love Friends to Lovers Books?
Readers love friends to lovers books for many reasons. Some love to see the possibility of friends becoming more on the page because they want that in their own life.
Others love these books because of the angst and tension of the “will they or won’t they” finally make the move!
I myself am partial to friends to lovers romance books that are based on childhood friendships. The history between characters is strong so you usual find characters completely comfortable with one another and with whom they can share the most intimate details of their lives.
The best part is when one character has that moment where they see their friend in a completely different light, and are curious about taking their lifelong friendship in a new direction.
Then of course comes the understandable concern in all friends to lovers books whether it’s worth risking the friendship to try for something more.
Friends to lovers books can also include a slow burn love story where the love between friends grows slowly over time. I love that!
Many friends to lovers books can also fall into the category of second chance romances where friends may cross the line into lovers’ territory but then something happens that drives them apart until they reunite a certain time later.
What is your favorite friends to lovers book? Share in the comments below!
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