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18 TOP Best Friends to Lovers Romance Books

Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Louisa

Anyone you want to fall in love with, you want to be your best friend too, right? But what if your best friend was your friend before your lover? Would that be the ideal way to fall in love or would it just be awkward?

Best friends to lovers romance books follow a romance story we all want to happen in our lives, one way or another.

But with so much on the line, this kind of relationship can get rocky…which makes for a compelling read!

Have you ever fallen for your best friend? Have you considered your relationship with each other as more than just friends? Or perhaps you’re just curious.

Well, these enticing best friend to lovers romance books will be right up your alley.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through any of these links. 

What To Expect From Best Friend To Lovers Romance Books

Friends to lovers romance books allow readers to follow two friends as they take their relationship from friendship to something more.

You can expect the chemistry to be through the roof, and with so much at stake, plenty of angst as our protagonists navigate their way through new emotions and decide whether it’s worth it to take the plunge or hold back.

It’s common to see lots of humorous yet tender moments in these narratives as the protagonists often have a witty, friendly banter together.

These stories tend to be slow-burning and sweet, rather than packed with sizzling scenes – though sexual tension can come into play.

With the fear of ruining this lovely bond and themes of acceptance, defiance, and resilience, readers can delve into what it really means to risk it all when it comes to finding true love.

The Best Friend to Lovers Romance Books

Want to know what dating your best friend would be like? These best friend to lovers romance books will give you some ideas!

1. People We Meet on Vacation – Emily Henry

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read, and winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Romance in 2021, is this warm and fuzzy best friend contemporary romance novel is the perfect vacation read.

Poppy and Alex are childhood friends. They are two very different people; she’s wild and free; he’s more of a geek. 

Yet somehow, the two are best friends, ever since they shared a car home from college years ago. 

For most of the year they live in different cities, but every summer for more than a decade they have embarked on a week-long vacation together.

That was, until two years ago when an event happened and they haven’t spoken since.

Since then, everything was going wrong for Poppy, and she realized the last time she was truly happy was on that last trip.

She convinces Alex to go on one last vacation with her, but can she make it all right?

An incredible exploration into the true meaning of risking it all for love and discovering what true friendship can become.

2. Friends Without Benefits – Penny Reid

Friends Without Benefits is the second book in the Knitting in the City series by Penny Reid, though each book is written as a stand alone novel.

The series tells of the hilarious misadventures of seven friends to lovers trope in a Chicago knitting group.

The story follows Elizabeth Finney, a sarcastic woman who loves knitting, and no one unnerves her more than Nico Manganiello.

She’s just about to give up on a love story when she plans to find benefits without a friendship arrangement with her irritatingly charismatic and former nemesis, Nico Manganiello.

As time goes on, she finds herself struggling to keep the walls up around her heart and not fall victim to Nico’s charisma, charm, and ‘nice guy attitude’. But can she?

An unforgettable story guaranteed to tug on your heartstrings, making you laugh and cry along with the characters.

3. Friend Me – Michelle McCraw

Friend Me is a best friend romance novel that starts off slow and then becomes fiery and passionate.

This friends-to-lovers story is the second book of the Synergy series but can be read as a standalone novel.

When executive assistant Marlee is invited to her boss’s wedding, she must find a date in order to not look silly in front of her massive crush and his brainy and beautiful girlfriend.

To cheer her up, her best friend Tyler offers to be her plus-one to help sparks a bit of jealousy but instead, sparks fly away from the friend zone.

Then one magical kiss on the dance floor changed everything.

Marlee isn’t sure she’s ready to move their friendship up a notch, but she can’t deny her true feelings for him.

A heartfelt narrative filled with poignant moments capturing the fear of taking a relationship to the next level. This is an angsty romance book full of tender moments.

4. Reckless Memories Catherine Cowles

For a small town romance book about two estranged childhood friends coming together by a twist of fate, check out Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles.

Isabelle Kipton (Bell) grew up on Anchor Island and was very close to the Hardy family, even feeling more at home with them than with her own family.

When Ford Hardy was 18 he left the island for a better life in LA, leaving Bell behind when she needed him most.

Now, after hearing the news that The Catch and Bar Restaurant is in danger of closing, Ford returns home to help.

Unfortunately, his return brings back old feelings that have been repressed since their childhood days together.

Will they be able to work together to save The Catch and Bar? Or will those forgotten emotions keep them apart?

Get ready for an incredible story filled with poignant moments as these once friends find themselves crossing over into something more than just friendship.

Follow along as these two explore the fear of ruining this bond that once held so dear, and discover if love really does conquer all!

5. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating – Christina Lauren

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is a hilarious contemporary friend romance book full of relatable love tales.

Josh and Hazel are best friends, and no matter how many times they fall into bed together, they are definitely not dating.

Hazel is a quirky and energetic character, and most men can’t handle her no-filter approach to life.

Josh, on the other hand, has known Hazel since university, and his mellow personality proves compatible with her zany character.

After ten years of friendship, and after a cheating girlfriend left Josh confused, he found “going out: with Hazel was much easier.

Even though they end up on disastrous double dates together, it doesn’t mean they are dating…does it?

This is the perfect book to read after a break up as it restores your faith in love.

6. Like Lovers Do – Tracey Livesay

Like Lovers Do is a fast-paced, humorous romance book about two adult friends pretending to be in a fake relationship.

Successful Dr. Nicole Allen is an accomplished surgeon. She’s not had it easy, and worked hard to become the success she is today.

But when an intern messes up, her disciplining methods may have jeopardized a prestigious fellowship.

Benjamin Reed Van Mont comes from a successful business family, but he doesn’t want to be part of his family legacy and wants his own company instead.

He’s also best friends with workaholic doctor Nic.

When his ex-girlfriend starts orbiting in his life again, Nic offers to pretend to be his girlfriend in exchange for him helping her not lose her fellowship.

What could go wrong? It was only for a week…or is it?

This fake date turned relationship doctor romance novel will pull on the heartstrings.

7. Marriage on Madison Avenue – Lauren Layne

Marriage on Madison Avenue is a sweet best friends to lovers romance book that will have you reaching for the tissues.

Audrey is a social media influencer and has an amazing best friend called Clarke.

They have always had a platonic relationship ever since elementary school, but when they decide to pretend they’re engaged, Audrey sees her best friend differently.

This hilarious and fun best friend romance book is unlike any other romance book. This novel is part of the Central Park Pact series but can be read as a standalone novel.

8. The Change Up – Meghan Quinn

The Change Up is an emotional rollercoaster bad boy romance book that will have you hooked from start to finish.

Maddox and Kinsley are lifelong two friends who always have each other’s backs. They’ve been through the highs and lows together.

One day, Kinsley moves in with Maddox, and their relationship starts to move from childhood best friends to something more.

But Maddox has a reputation for being a bit of a bad boy, so when Kinsley and Maddox start seeing each other differently, can Maddox contain his inner demons?

Delightful and humorous moments between the protagonists as they find themselves surrounded by strong emotions they never expected to feel.

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9. Wicked Envy – Sawyer Bennett

Wicken Envy is a best friend romance book with tons of emotions and relatable characters.

Dane Hawthorne, Andrew Collings, and Avril Carrigan are all intelligent and devoted people, who each became billionaires through Dane’s company.

But when the three friends who all met in college embark on a no strings attached relationship, it can start to get complicated.

Can feelings be switched off? Can three people truly enter a no strings attached relationship? Or will jealousy get in the way?

This incredible billionaire romance novel will have you hooked!

10. Adore You – Nicole Falls

Want a romance book that will have you feeling all the feelings? Then pick up Adore You by Nicole Falls.

Devorah and Ellis are two friends who share chemistry, but Devorah is worried about what other people might think.

Mostly because Elis happens to be the playboy brother of her ex.

Elis adores Devorah, but agrees to keep their relationship a secret, but can a secret relationship really last?

This adorable best friend to lovers books tells a very relatable story about how love can be complicated and that sometimes you have to battle to save it.

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11. The Friendship Contract – Mia Heintzelman

The Friendship Contract is a heartwarming friends-to-lovers romance book full of humour and endearment.

Allegra Malone and Damon Dawson are best friends and partners at a law firm together, but Damon sees Allegra as more than a friend.

When she finds a ring at her boyfriend’s place, but that it wasn’t for her, it is Damon who volunteers to mop up the pieces of her broken heart.

After entering into a no strings attached relationship, they vouch that they shall not let their feelings get in the way of their relationship. But is it that simple?

This CEO romance novel is both passionate and comedic.

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12. Love and Other Words – Christina Lauren

Macy Sorensen is a hardworking paediatrics resident whose getting ready to marry a rich, older man.

Only when a chance encounter with her unrequited love from the past shows up, everything is about to change.

Elliot Petropoulos was a great friend and the first guy she ever loved.

When her mother passed away and she and her now single dad took weekend trips to San Francisco, she formed a bond with the geeky boy across the road.

He was there for her in a way no other friend could be. Only when he finally coaxed her into opening her heart, he broke it. 

This is one of my favorite friends to lovers books because it takes you on a ride of emotion.

Told in a mixture of past and present timelines, you follow along as two teenagers go from spending weekends devouring books and sharing their favorite words to battling the emotional connection. 

Now as adults, will Elliot and Macy be able to put what happened a decade ago behind them?

And what about Macy’s future husband? This is one second chance romance novel you won’t be able to put down.

13. Dear Emmie Blue – Lia Louis

Want to read a romantic comedy book about two friends who connected in the most unlikely way finally seeing they were made for each other? Then check out Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis.

Sixteen-year-old Emmie Blue had a secret she wanted to be free of. So she stood in the fields of her school and attached a note to a red balloon.

In vain, she included her name and email. Weeks later, Lucas Moreau discovered the balloon on a beach in France and the pair formed a friendship. 

Fourteen years later and Emmie is madly in love with Lucas.

So much so, that her whole world is focused on him – she no longer looks for her father or tries to mend the relationship she has with her mum, and she’s been laid off from work.

When Lucas finally tells Emmie he has a question to ask her, she’s ready to hear that her feelings are reciprocated…only, that’s not what he wanted to ask, was it?

This is one of the funniest and most heartwarming best friends to lovers books I’ve read this year. It has some sweet coming-of-age elements and an overall gripping storyline.

14. The Cheat Sheet – Sarah Adams

Follow the story of Bree Camden and Nathan, a hot quarterback who is also her best friend.

Unexpectedly, Bree’s feelings for him are revealed to the world and she is thrust into a fake relationship with Nathan in order to maintain their reputations up until after the Super Bowl.

As they spend more time together, will Bree be able to keep her feelings at bay or will Nathan finally fall for her too?

The romance and tension between these two draw readers in as they explore whether friendship really can turn into something more.

Prepare yourself for an entertaining read filled with hilarious moments, heart-stopping confessions, and enough angst to make you stay up all night reading!

15. Lease On Love – Falon Ballard

Another hilarious rom com about two friends who come together in an unlikely way is Lease on Love by Falon Ballard.

The story begins when Sadie accidentally mixed up a roommate-finding app with a dating app, she finds herself a new room at a steal of a price.

Jack has just hit rock bottom and is grieving the loss of someone important to him.

He’s not interested in seeing his friends, let alone meeting someone of the opposite sex.

But as Sadia and Jack move in together and the ties of sharing a space force them to come together, they form a friendship, which may become something more…

You won’t be able to look away as tension and romance builds between these polar opposites – will friendship prevail or is love what these two need?

16. Blurred Lines Lauren Layne

For some, they have known they were in love with their best friend for a young age, for others it’s not until you reach adulthood that you realize the right person is infront of you the whole time.

This is what I loved about Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne. Their friendship blossoms naturally into something more as they grow into adults, and it’s not about finally plucking the courage to tell your friend you love them.

Parker Blanton and Ben Olsen meet in their freshman year of college. They have an immediate and platonic friendship that lasts for six years.

Now, sharing a flat together in Portland, they settle into life as adults. 

When Parker gets dumped by her boyfriend, she starts thinking about a ‘no strings attached relationship.’

Ben is great at being her wingman and is well adverse to this casual dating scene. Only Park can’t get the hang of it until she tries it with him.

At first, it works well, but their friendship remains strong. When Parker’s ex comes knocking on the door and wants her back, Ben starts to feel possessive of Parker. 

Similarly, when Ben starts dating a girl from work, Parker finds herself jealous of this new woman in his life. 

For the first time, their friendship is close to breaking and the pair are faced with the undeniable truth that maybe this wasn’t friendship after all. 

Delightfully entertaining with hilarious moments, heart-stopping confessions, and enough angst to make you stay up all night reading!

17. The Friend Zone – Abby Jimenez

The Friend Zone is one of those romance novels that has you crying with laughter, or simply crying, as you are taken on a journey through love and loss.

Written by New York Times bestselling author, Abby Jimenez, this is one author you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

The story centers around Kristen Petersen who is a headstrong woman who will do anything for her friends. She’s also hiding the fact that she’s about to face a medical procedure that means it might be impossible for her to have children.

Kristen is planning her best friend’s wedding when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland.

He’s the kind of guy you only see in love stories; funny, steamy, charming, and takes her for all her quirks.

But Josh wants a big family someday and she knows that might not be a possibility for her.

She knows he is better off without her, but the more she spends time with him, the harder it is to let him go.

Get ready for a rollercoaster ride of emotions and relatable characters as two life-long friends explore the depths of their relationship in this best friends to lovers story.

18. The Agony Aunt Chronicles – Susan Murphy

The Agony Aunt Chronicles is an emotional story following aspiring journalist Ella Lawso, who has just lost he beloved Aunt Gina.

When she passed, Ella found herself packing up her aunt’s belongings, where she uncovers some of her Aunts secrets.

It turns out, Aunt Gina had been secretly moonlighting as an agony aunt for magazines and newspapers.

She uncovers a desperate letter from two star-crossed lovers that appeared to be unanswered.

Ella and her friend Jazz follow the trail to discover if the lovers ever sought the help of Doctor Love, in the hopes of elevating her journalism career.

What they found, was more than they bargained for. Especially when best friend Callum comes into the mix.

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best friends to lovers books

Final Word on Best Friend Romance Books

So there you have it, those are my best friend to lovers romance books!

Whether you’re looking for just something sweet and long-lasting, or a steamy friends with benefits story, you’ll find something for everyone on this list.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

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About Louisa Smith

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the Founder, Editor, and Head Honcho of Epic Book Society. She was born and raised in the United Kingdom and graduated from the University for the Creative Arts with a degree in Journalism. Louisa began her writing career at the age of 7 when her poetry was published in an anthology of poems to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. Upon graduating university, she spent several years working as a journalist writing about books before transitioning to become a Primary School Teacher. Louisa loves all genres of books, but her favorites are Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy, and Young Adult Fiction. Read more Louisa's story here.

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