The best friends-to-lovers romance novels

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a complete bookworm and romance addict. I love to see the old tropes being written with a fresh feel, and I’m a true believer that romance is so hard to write because everyone knows the end, but it’s up to the writer to bring you on a worthy journey. After reading countless friends-to-lovers novels, I can say with certainty I have the list with the best books written by the contemporary romance rock stars. Let’s get to it!


I wrote...

Love Me, Maddie Mendoza

By Amy Oliveira,

Book cover of Love Me, Maddie Mendoza

What is my book about?

Maddie Mendoza and Zeek King are - against all odds- inseparable. While Zeek spent his childhood running around with a ball, Maddie was a fixed image on the porch, threatening to burst it.

Years later, little has changed. When Maddie needs a place to stay, Zeek doesn’t think twice before offering his own bed. Their legs are intertwined, after all, it only takes one night to blur the lines. And now, Zeek isn’t sure if he wants Maddie as a friend or he’s craving something more. Everyone says a man and a woman can’t be best friends without falling into bed. Maddie and Zeek aren’t here to prove them wrong.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Blindsided: A Best Friends to Lovers Standalone

Amy Oliveira Why did I love this book?

It was recently on the number one spot on Amazon, even two years after its original publication! And for a good reason. Amy Dawns gives us all the feels in this romance between a curvy, shy heroine and a sweet soccer player of a hero. Dawns plays with the lines between friendship and something more in a remarkable way. Their banter is hilarious, their chemistry is off the charts. The whole book is *chef’s kiss*.

By Amy Daws,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blindsided as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What happens when an almost thirty-year-old virgin agrees to let her Scottish footballer best friend give her some lessons in seduction? Lots of banter, awkwardness, jealousy, and heat. Midfielder Maclay “Mac” Logan is a loud-mouthed, tattooed ginger content with focusing on football. But when an adorable, freckled seamstress comes barreling into his life, he finds Netflix-And-Bickering with her to be his new favorite pastime. Freya Cook is used to being the invisible woman with a needle and thread, offering cheeky punchlines as she helps dress London’s finest. She’s plus-sized in body and spirit, and other than her friendship with Mac,…


Book cover of Hands Down

Amy Oliveira Why did I love this book?

I’d talk about Mariana Zapata for days without coming out for air. The queen of slow-burn will leave you squirming in your seat shouting “Just kiss already!” on the top of your lungs. It’s a sweet blooming romance between childhood friends who spent years apart. If you read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, you were probably waiting for Zack’s story. Bonus? Zack is the sweetest and the pure definition of a cinnamon roll hero.

By Mariana Zapata,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hands Down as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before he was “Big Texas,” he was “Zac the Snack Pack.”Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold. Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.


Book cover of Punk 57

Amy Oliveira Why did I love this book?

This is a pen pals turned to best friends turned to enemies turned to lovers story. And no one could write this mess better than Penelope Douglas. Punk 57 follows the friendship of two kids who only talk through letters until Misha transfers to Ryen’s school and discovers she’s nothing like in the letters. You can blame the hormones, but this book has the same amount of angst as it has of pure goodness.

By Penelope Douglas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Punk 57 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From New York Times Bestselling Author, Penelope Douglas, comes the latest standalone love-hate romance.

We were perfect together. Until we met." MishaI can’t help but smile at the lyrics in her letter. She misses me. In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed. It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing…


Book cover of My Best Friend's Ex

Amy Oliveira Why did I love this book?

Even though he’s her best friend’s ex, it totally makes the list because they were all childhood friends first. One of the most underrated books by Meghan Quinn, I can’t stop talking about Tucker and Emma. The reason this book is so good comes down to a simple recipe: fluffy, hilarious, and with a tortured hero who only wants to be loved. This book is a standalone but part of a wonderful series full of mouthwatering heroes.

By Meghan Quinn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Best Friend's Ex as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When I found an eviction notice taped on my apartment door, I had two options: find a comfortable cardboard box to call home, or move in with Tucker Jameson. Seeing that cardboard makes me feel itchy, I chose the latter. Which shouldn't be that big of a deal since Tucker is one of my good friends. And because he's still pining after his ex-girlfriend and I'm trying to finish my nursing degree, there is nothing to worry about in the romance department, making my last semester an easy one to conquer.Boy, was I wrong. Rules are set, dinners are made,…


Book cover of Wasted Words

Amy Oliveira Why did I love this book?

This one is a retelling of the ultimate friends-to-lovers novel: Emma by Jane Austen. It will give you a contemporary feel, but Staci Hart managed to keep Emma’s soul alive in this book. Cam is sure her six-foot-six football player of best friend will never go for a girl like her. And even when things between them change, she’s not ready to see how it will work. Honestly, you’ll want to shout at Cam many times, but her frustrating moments are written so beautifully that is worth the ride. And the book is set inside the coolest bar/book store you’ll ever imagine.

By Staci Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wasted Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between…


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Book cover of Liddy-Jean Marketing Queen and the Matchmaking Scheme

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