If You Like….

Among the wonderful “if you like” requests was one for novels featuring friends to lovers plots. As I started listing them, I realized that this category was much larger than I’d imagined– so I’ve broken it into two. This week, I’ll be listing historical romances featuring friends to lovers, and next week I’ll itemize my favorite contemporaries with that theme.

If you like historical-set novels featuring friends to lovers plots, you’ll probably like….

— Jane Austen’s Emma, the classic friends to lovers tale (hello, Mr. Knightley!);

— Georgette Heyer’s Sprig Muslin, one of my all time Heyer favorites (the group scene at the end is sheer comic genius);

— Joan Wolf’s The Pretenders, a Regency romance in which a pair of friends cook up a fake engagement for their mutual convenience and find themselves forced to go through with it;

— Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mister Bridgerton, in which it takes Colin Bridgerton rather a while to realize that Penelope Featherington is more than just a friend (see also, Julia Quinn’s Just Like Heaven);

— Jessica Benson’s The Accidental Duchess, in which our heroine winds up married to the wrong brother, and discovers that his feelings for her are more than friendship;

— and also in the Regency realm (since there are many, and listing them individually is taking up a lot of space), Loretta Chase’s Last Night’s Scandal, Mary Balogh’s Irresistible, Sarah MacLean’s A Rogue by Any Other Name, and my own Masque of the Black Tulip.

— Moving forward to the Victorians and Edwardians, the books that come to mind include Sherry Thomas’s Ravishing the Heiress, an arranged marriage that turns into a genuine friendship before maturing into a love match; Meredith Duran’s Wicked Becomes You; Laura Lee Guhrke’s Scandal of the Year; and Lisa Kleypas’s Seduce Me at Sunrise.

I have the niggling feeling that there are a bunch of medieval-set friends to lovers novels if I could only remember them….

Which historical friends to lovers stories would you recommend?


  1. Allison (Allure of Books) on September 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I also love The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn, which I think would qualify. Also maybe Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare and How to Seduce a Scoundrel by Vicky Dreiling.

  2. Leslie on September 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I just finished In the Thrill of the Night by Candice Hern. Late husband’s best friend realises he’s in love with his friend’s widow after he becomes betrothed to a young beauty. It’s fun and sexy, the first in a trilogy called The Merry Widows.
    Does The Grand Sophy come under this catagory? I really love that story, Sophy and Charles battling it out until the very end in quite an amusing way.
    Nora Roberts latest Boonsboro Inn trilogy has a friends to lovers trope in the first two books.
    My mother is a fan of NR, so she always passes the books on to me, I liked the setting, but the description of the inn renovation went on forever.

    • SusanN on September 17, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      I loved In the Thrill of the Night. It’s similar to When He was Wicked, my favorite of Quinn’s Bridgerton books.

    • SusanN on September 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      I loved In the Thrill of the Night. It was similar to When He was Wicked, my favorite book in Quinn’s Bridgerton series.

    • SusanN on September 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      I loved In the Thrill of the Night. It was similar to When He was Wicked, my favorite book in Quinn’s Bridgerton series.

      (Sorry if I doublepost–I’m having problems w/ the captcha code.)

    • Tessa on September 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Thank you for the suggestions! I went and got Wicked Becomes You yesterday and it was so good I read it in one night.

  3. AngelB on September 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Well, there is “The Masque of the Black Tulip”. 🙂

    I also like Agnes Grey, Anne Bronte.

  4. Gina on September 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I have to say, part of the reason I love this type of book was from your Garden Intrigue. The development of Emma’s and Augustus’ friendship as they wrote the play was something I cherished about that book.
    Anyway, I just wrote half of these down on my reading list. Yay new books!

  5. MelissaW on September 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Eloisa James’s new book THE UGLY DUCHESS takes the theme in a different direction.

    Stephanie Laurens’s fifth Cynster novel, A SECRET LOVE, takes two childhood best friends who don’t quite understand the tension that suddenly develops when they hit adolescence and gives them a beautiful love story as adults.

  6. jeffrey on September 19, 2012 at 8:26 am

    If only Sprig Muslin could be turned into a stage play because it contains some of the best and most outlandish situational encounters I have ever read. Everyone finally ends up with someone but the ‘getting there’ is nothing short of brilliant. One of Heyer’s very best.

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