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?