Friends to Lovers

Childhood Friends/Nemesis to Lovers in Contemporary Romance

There is a real joy in finding romantic love with a friends. The friends to lovers there has a special sparkle when the couple has know each other for a long time particularly as childern.  The leads must see each other as more complex than they every have before and that makes for a great love story.

Here are some of my favorite Contemporary Romance Novels that do this theme of childhood friends to lovers right.

 All for You (Paris Nights Book 1) by Laura Florand

Some crushes aren’t meant to be.

When her older brother’s best friend left to join the Foreign Legion, eighteen-year-old Célie moved on to make a life for herself as a Paris chocolatier. Now, five years later, the last thing she needs is another man to mess up her happiness.

Let alone the same man.

But five years in the Foreign Legion is a long time for a man to grow up, and a long time to be away from the woman he loves.

Especially when he did it all for her.

Half strangers, more than friends, and maybe, if Joss Castel has his way, a second chance…

 Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley

Indy Savage, cop’s daughter, rock chick and used bookstore owner, has been in love with Lee Nightingale, once bad boy, now the man behind Nightingale Investigations, since she was five years old. No matter what ingenious schemes Indy used to capture his attention, Lee never showed an interest and Indy finally gave up. Now Indy’s employee, Rosie, has lost a bag of diamonds and bad guys are shooting at him. When Indy gets involved, Lee is forced to help. Complicting matters, Lee has decided he’s interested, Indy’s decided she’s not. But she can’t seem to keep Lee out of her life when she’s repeatedly stun gunned, kidnapped and there are car bombs exploding (not to mention she’s finding dead bodies).

Indy’s best bet is to solve the mystery of the diamonds before Lee. Lee’s challenge is to keep Indy alive and, at the same time, win back her heart.

 

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers Book 1) by Penny Reid

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why perpetually level-headed Jessica James has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks.
When Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

Three Little Words (Fool’s Gold Book 13) by Susan Mallery

Isabel Beebe thinks she’s cursed in the romance department. Her teenage crush, Ford Hendrix, ignored all her letters. Her husband left her for another…man. So Isabel has come home to dust off her passion for fashion and run the family bridal shop until her parents are ready to sell it. Then she’ll pursue her real dreams. At least, that’s the plan, until sexy, charming Ford returns and leaves her feeling fourteen all over again…..

Seeing Isabel all grown-up hits bodyguard trainer Ford like a sucker punch. Back when heartbreak made him join the military, her sweet letters kept him sane. Now he can’t take his eyes—or his lips—off her. The man who gave up on love has a reason to stay in Fool’s Gold forever—if three little words can convince Isabel to do the same.

 

 

 Seducing Cinderella (A Fighting for Love Novel Book 1) by Gina Maxwell

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care–Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds himself in the fight of his life…winning Lucie’s heart before she gives it to someone else

 To Do List (Bettencourt Brothers Book 1) by Lauren Dane

Belle Taylor’s life, the one she’s worked for meticulously since before she’d even graduated high school had turned out exactly as she’d hoped. And it exhausted her in ways she’d never even known to expect.

She needs to re-evaluate her future, find a way to do what she loved but still have the time and energy for things other than work. So she heads home for the holidays, where she can rest and get her head together.

Rafe Bettencourt was most assuredly not an item on Belle’s to-do list and yet, when her older brother’s best friend kissed her under the mistletoe, Belle finds herself with another set of goals to balance what she’d thought she wanted.

Rafe has loved Belle from afar for years and when he runs into her the night she comes back to Davis, he realizes he’s done waiting around and it was time to make a move. He’s got to help her see she can have a life that includes more than just her job and that she could do it with him at her side.

 

Want more great Friends to Lovers Romance? Check out my Showcase of this theme: Best Friends to Lovers in Romance Novels. 

 

Dirty Sexy Inked (Dirty Sexy, #2) by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde Review

3 Stars!

Are you reading to get INKED?

Breaking hearts is what wild and rebellious Mason Kincaid does best. Hit it and quit it is his motto, and with his bad boy reputation and tattoos, he doesn’t lack for female companionship. Until one hot night with the one woman he swore he’d never touch becomes an all consuming addiction he can’t kick. Katrina Sands has been his best friend for years, but now that he knows what she feels like, and tastes like, there is no going back to being just friends. Hot, dirty sex has never felt so good…or so right.

Review

This is a solid bad boy friends to lovers romance with a whole lot of hot and some angst on the side. The committing to her and taking a risk part is good.

Good but not amazing. A quick pleasurable read.

Nothing Special (Nothing Special, #1) by A.E. Via Review

   Nothing Special  by A.E. Via 3 Stars! 

Detective Cashel ‘Cash’ Godfrey is big, tattooed and angry so people typically keep their distance. He’s fresh out of the police academy, however, no one is looking to partner with the six foot four beast with a huge chip on his shoulder and an inability to trust. When Cash scans the orientation room he wasn’t expecting to find sexy hazel eyes locked onto him. Eyes of the handsome Detective Leonidis ‘Leo’ Day.

Leo is charming, witty, hilariously sarcastic and the only one that can make Cash smile. He’s proud, out and one bad-ass detective.

Together Cash and Leo become the most revered and successful narcotics detectives Atlanta’s ever seen. Able to communicate and understand each other, without even having to voice it, they quickly climb up the promotional ranks.

When Cash saves Leo’s life in a raid that turns deadly, Leo begins to see something in the big man that no one else does…something special. But Leo fears he’ll never break through the impenetrable wall that protects Cash’s heart.

Review

This book is a bit over the top like a slightly cheesy crime show. I could get behind that.

I was sailing along and then the plot pushed into more in the case of God’s backstory and how he dealt with it in the present.

Then, I could have used more discussion of the change in the relationship status and God’s sexuality. Anything on Day besides his lovely brother would have been nice.

I like the love between the heroes which kept me going.

And then….crazy erotica town instead of romance town and including complete about faces with two characters that were not redeemable so fast nor was this believable in the characters.

Then God’s family stuff has an easy resolution.

So, candy then too off character but fun and tender chemistry between the heroes.

A Crown of Bitter Orange (La Vie en Roses #3) by Laura Florand 5 Star Review!

Review:

A Crown of Bitter Orange (La Vie en Roses Book 3) - Laura Florand

Childhood friends.
Tristan Rosier might have asked Malorie Monsard to marry him when he was five years old, but things had only gone downhill from there. She’d spent the rest of their lives ignoring him, abandoning him, and destroying his perfumes. Now she was back, to wreak who knew what havoc on his life.

Lifelong enemies.
Tristan might choose to dismiss the generations-long enmity between their two families, but Malorie didn’t have that privilege. Like all the other privileges wealthy, gorgeous Tristan took for granted that she couldn’t. But if she was going to restore her family company to glory, she might just need his help.

Or the perfect match?
They’d known each other all their lives. Could these childhood friends and lifelong enemies ever uncross their stars and find happily ever after?

 

Review

One of my best moments of the year is when Laura Florand published a new book.

Her world building combine with wholly realized and oh so human romantic leads that fall in love before my eyes can not be beat.

She has a gift for setting and seeding details of history, fairy tale, place, and skill. Her books are feasts for the emotional as well as physical senses.

This romance is so good. Taking place in France within the perfume industry in a the long history between two families in the shadow of World War II, we get an opposites attract romance with fun twists and turns. Each detail revealed about the hero builds the heroines love even through they have known and cared for each other their whole lives. The heroine is reseen through her and the heroes eyes.

It doesn’t matter what the plot is of the book, though it is a good one with a nice pace of before, during and after that so many love stories lack, you just want to be with this couple in this place and with the cast of characters.

The marriage proposal scene is the best I have ever read. The best. The tenderness, the embodiment of who they each are and so so sexy. It is the best scene I have read in a long time. I reread it. Alot. I want to go and reread it now.

A great book that I will be reading from comfort and joy for a long time to come.

I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it

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Halt (Terran Times) by Viola Grace

Review:

Halt - Viola Grace

Tazzy is a peacekeeper for the Nyal Imperium. Her job consists of going where they tell her and keeping the peace. Stationed on a world as liaison between local government and the imperium, she is shocked to find herself caught between two men, one she has only just met and the other she had given up for dead.

Silver is shocked to see his ex-partner on the news vids, escorting a male Companion out of a dance club. If any man is going to be running their hands over that peacekeeper, it will be him. He sets things into motion that will put her in his path, but he has to beat his own brother to her and that is no mean feat.

 

RevIew

 

Annoyed.  Here is the thing. Viola Grace is a production based writer. She has a world. She writes into to it.  She produces her short stories at a rate for profit. Her inspiration comes from the book covera and other sources more than a carefully plotted plan for the series.

 

I like the world and I like her imagination. I also like these simple stories when my life is dense and complex. 

 

At the end of each book, she has a note. In this one, she makes clear she ran out of time. 

 

She short changed the book. I would rather her have been late. 

 

This was a great read until it just ended. Bleh. 

 

This really isn’t a love triangle. It is a sweet romance of reunited friends who have suffered. 

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The Leopard King (Ars Numina, #1) by Ann Aguirre Review

Review:

The Leopard King (Ars Numina) (Volume 1) - Ann Aguirre

Proud. Imperious. Impassioned.

Until three years ago, those words applied to Dominic Asher, the leader of Ash Valley. His family has ruled the feline branch of the Animari for hundreds of years, guiding the pride through perilous times. Unspeakable loss drove him into seclusion, a feral beast nobody can tame. Now he’s wrecked, a leopard king in exile, and he wants nothing more than to die.

Fierce. Loyal. Determined.

Fortunately for Dom, those words still apply to Pru Bristow, his dead mate’s best friend. She’s had her heart broken too, but she never quits. With the conclave approaching, alliances with the Pine Ridge pack and Burnt Amber clans on the verge of collapse, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to drag their leader back, before his second can start a war.

At best theirs seems like a desperate alliance, but when their mate bond turns hot and fierce, there’s no end to the questions and the doubts. Neither of them expects to fall in love. But sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking for until they find it.

 

Review

 

This is a great start to a new paranormal series. The action is pretty intense and I really liked the leads.

 

The heroine is everything I adore. She is fierce, flawed, and practical.

 

The hero is coming out of a very dark place but his love, respect, and like of the heroine endear him to me.

 

It is a sexy book with lots of action. Can’t wait to read more in the series.

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The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2) by Sarina Bowen 5 Star Review!

Review:

The Year We Hid Away - Sarina Bowen

Scarlet Crowley’s life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror.

It’s a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet’s fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID — with a newly minted name on it — she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she’s falling for.

Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.

The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won’t work anymore. And if they can’t learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they’ve struggled to keep.

Review

The magic of this romance is in the combustion of two people dealing with major life changing crisis and trying to keep it all together. And they fall in love at the worst time.

The building of the heroine’s character as the horrible question what if you parent did something unspeakable and you didn’t know about it. How do you handle that?

Our sexy ginger hero is working flat out to escape poverty and take care of his little sister.

There are so many great twists and turns in this love story. They are both full color and it is a great romance.

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The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years Book 1) by Sarina Bowen 5 Star Review!

Review:

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years) - Sarina Bowen

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.
Also, he’s taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.

 

 

Review

 

Sarina Bowen writes great characters, wonderful plots and achey romance.

New adult with real stakes instead of crazy sauces is well done here.

The hero and the heroine become friends first, fall in love, and then it takes a while before they are an item.

The hero isn’t perfect in terms of his own level of self reflection and heroine is dealing with the major life change of her injury.

It is a really wonderful romance in a awesome setting.

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