Did you know that May is Date Your Mate Month? Well, it is, so I figured we’d have a look at some friends to lovers books.
I have to say, it’s not a trope I seek out. I have nothing against it, and it’s not like I never read them, but I don’t set out to find friends to lovers books. It happens by mistake LOL
Shut Your Face, Anthony Pace! by Claire Davis and Al Stewart
Whenever I’m thinking about friends to lovers, I’m thinking about Charlie and Anthony. I love this story.
First love – coming of age – family – acceptance
When Charlie was eight years old, his mum bought him a microscope for his birthday. Since then, he’s known how he wants to spend his life. There have been trials, and challenges, but now – finally – the day is here for him to start college with his lifelong friend Anthony Pace.
Anthony is a red-haired force of nature. He writes poetry about their enemies and eagerly participates in all Charlie’s science experiments without understanding a word. Every morning, he waits at the end of their street so they can get the bus together.
But things are changing.
Families are important, and complex. Charlie’s mum hasn’t been well, and his relationship with Anthony begins to shine like a different star in the sky.
Can everything come together in this explosion of physics and chemicals that Charlie calls life? Will Anthony Pace ever share his poems with the world, and can the Chihuahua, Princess Arabella, ever learn to stop licking?
The One That Got Away by Rhianne Aile and Madeleine Urban
I just remembered this one! So many years since I read it and I haven’t spared it a thought in ages, but now I had an urge to reread it. I’m pretty sure it was among all the ebooks I lost way back when, though. I’ll have a look.
David is injured, and Trace takes care of him. It’s a GFY story, but I remembered liking it a lot.
When David Carmichael suffers a migraine and a broken shoulder, Trace Jackson, his best friend, simply moves in to take care of him. Their easy camaraderie is threatened when David discovers an undercurrent of heat and tension flowing between them. Despite knowing his best friend is straight, David is not-so-slowly falling in love. Trace has never desired another man. He’s a ladies’ man with quite the reputation, considered a top prize around town. But his close, treasured friendship with David is intensified by the emotion and arousal, and the lure of having David so close is irresistible. Soon Trace makes it clear to David that he wants to know if they can make it work between them. Because Trace is sure he won’t ever want anyone else—he already loves David.
Hot Head by Damon Suede
It’s been years since I read this. Best friends Griff and Dante are firefighters and when Dante gets into financial problems, he suggests Griff and him make some money on a gay porn site. Had this been now and not back in 2011 or 2012 or whenever I read it, I never would have picked it up. Pornstars and rentboys are something I avoid like the plague. The glorification of that kind of life turns my stomach, but to each their own and if you like firefighters getting it on, here’s a book for ya! 😉
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…
Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.
Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do… until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there—together. Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?
Dangerous Ground by Josh Lanyon
Best friends who work together. It’s Josh Lanyon, not my favourite Lanyon, but you know what you get.
Special Agents for the Department of Diplomatic Security, Taylor MacAllister and Will Brandt have been partners and best friends for three years, but everything changed the night Taylor admitted the truth about his feelings for Will. And when Taylor was shot a few hours later, Will felt his reluctance to get involved was vindicated. For Will, the team and the friendship have to come first–despite the fact that he hasn’t failed to notice just how…hot Taylor is.
Taylor has been in love with his partner and best friend since they were first partnered. There isn’t much he wouldn’t do for Will–but he doesn’t know how much longer they can stay teamed feeling the way he does. Still, he agreed to a camping trip in the High Sierras–despite the fact that he hates camping–because Will wanted a chance to save their partnership.
But the trip is a disaster from the first, and things rapidly go from bad to worse when they find a crashed plane and a couple of million dollars in stolen money. With a trio of murderous robbers trailing them, Will and Taylor are on dangerous ground, fighting for their partnership, their passion…and their lives.
Waiting for Clark by Annabeth Albert
Cosplay and best friends. This is cute!
When Bryce Weyland agrees to go to a comic convention dressed as a superhero, the last person he expects to see is his one-time best friend (and hopeless crush), Clark Kenmore. But Clark is impossible not to notice—he’s wearing spandex tights, a rainbow cape, and the same disarming smile that haunts Bryce’s dreams.
Five years ago, they shared an ill-advised kiss that torpedoed their friendship. But now Clark has returned to Portland, and he wants nothing more than to return to the easy friendship that defined their college years. But the glowering Bryce makes it clear Clark’s mission is going to require a super-human effort—and more than a little luck.
Take My Picture by Giselle Ellis
Ah, another old one. This is a case of not only one but two people completely blind to the relationship their having. There is a lot of frustration, but I liked it.
Aaron has no idea what he’s walking into when he shows up to pose for a famous—and famously bad-tempered—photographer. He certainly doesn’t expect to end up working as Jake’s assistant for five frustrating, thrilling, and crazy years instead of in front of the camera.
It all works until Jake realizes Aaron has become the focus of his life, a life that’s threatened when Aaron actually leaves him to start a relationship with someone else. Though it breaks his heart, Jake realizes he has to set his beloved muse free to have any chance of winning Aaron back.
Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell
This is a little darker than the rest. Zach was kidnapped, and it takes a lot of effort to build himself up again. It deals with PTSD and how to move on from major trauma.
For five years, Zach Tyler, son of one of the world’s richest software moguls, was held hostage, tortured, and abused. When he is rescued at last from the Venezuelan jungle, he is physically and psychologically shattered, but he slowly begins to rebuild the life he should have had before an innocent kiss sent him into hell. His childhood best friend David has lived those years with overwhelming guilt and grief. Every relationship David has tried has fallen apart because of his feelings for a boy he thought dead. When Zach is rescued, David is overjoyed–and then crushed when Zach shuts him out. Two years later, David returns home, and he and Zach must come to terms with the rift between them, what they feel for each other, and what their future could hold. But Zach has secrets, and one of them might well destroy their fragile love.
Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Kaje Harper
We need a little paranormal representation too. I’ve listed this before, but it’s well worth the read.
First I was a sorcerer. Then I was a hermit. For so long—for years that seemed to go on forever—I couldn’t bear to be touched. I put up not just walls but whole stone bunkers to keep everyone out, emotionally, and physically as well. I was protected from people, from ghosts, from specters real and imagined. Sure, I was alone. But I felt safe. Only, after a while, I wasn’t sure any longer whether a totally “safe” empty life was really worth living.
Then Tobin came along. Out of the blue, out of my past, with a summons from the king that he wouldn’t let me ignore. I tried to cling to my isolation, but he wouldn’t give up on me. Tobin never believed in walls.
Glitter by Ayla Starr
I reread this right before writing this post to see if I still thought it was as amazing as I did the first time I read it. It’s a Valentine’s letter, I’d forgotten that. I remembered it was a letter, but not for Valentine. Seriously, people, it’s a free 2.8k long story, and it leaves me blinking rapidly and with a lump in my throat. Read it.
I kept tripping over my feet, tripping over my words, and eventually gave up talking all together. You continued to smile anyway.
All Kinds of Tied Down by Mary Calmes
Reminds me a little of Dangerous Grounds, best friends working in law enforcement. It’s not my favourite Calmes story, but I’ve been meaning to read book 2 for quite some time now. We’ll see if I’ll get around to it LOL
Deputy US Marshal Miro Jones has a reputation for being calm and collected under fire. These traits serve him well with his hotshot partner, Ian Doyle, the kind of guy who can start a fight in an empty room. In the past three years of their life-and-death job, they’ve gone from strangers to professional coworkers to devoted teammates and best friends. Miro’s cultivated blind faith in the man who has his back… faith and something more.
As a marshal and a soldier, Ian’s expected to lead. But the power and control that brings Ian success and fulfillment in the field isn’t working anywhere else. Ian’s always resisted all kinds of tied down, but having no home—and no one to come home to—is slowly eating him up inside. Over time, Ian has grudgingly accepted that going anywhere without his partner simply doesn’t work. Now Miro just has to convince him that getting tangled up in heartstrings isn’t being tied down at all.
Between Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton
Again, a book I list way too often, but it’s one of my favourites.
Levi Binder is a Miami bartender who cares about only two things: sex and surfing. Ostracized by his Mormon family for his homosexuality, Levi is determined to live his life his own way, but everything changes when he meets massage therapist Jaime Marshall.
Jaime is used to being alone. Haunted by the horrors of his past, his only friend is his faithful dog, Dolly. He has no idea how to handle somebody as gorgeous and vibrant as Levi.
Complete opposites on the surface, Levi and Jaime both long for something that they can only find together. Through love and the therapeutic power of touch, they’ll find a way to heal each other, and they’ll learn to live as sinners in a family of saints.
Eleven stories, that should last you for some time, right? If not, let’s move on to the:
A year ago, Cole Hudson got out of an abusive relationship. Since then, he’s been hiding in the kitchen of his bakery, avoiding people best he can. He prefers it there, but his best friend Gavin has other ideas.
Gavin is set on finding him a boyfriend, but Cole doesn’t like hanging around bars, and it’s precisely what Gavin has in mind. As Cole’s self-proclaimed wingman, Gavin is on the hunt for a worthy partner, but it isn’t an easy find.
Cole doesn’t want to date; he only wants to spend time with Gavin. Gavin only wants Cole to be happy. How many men flocking around Cole will he have to chase away before the right one shows up?
Kace and Lukas have been best friends for over thirty years, but the last couple of years they haven’t talked much. Lukas’ girlfriend doesn’t like Kace, he doesn’t know why that is, but he’s dreading the wedding invitation or news about a baby on the way he suspects will reach him any day now.
One afternoon there’s a knock on Kace’s door. Lukas is standing outside, not to deliver a wedding invitation, but to ask if he could stay with Kace for a bit.
He is separating.
When Lukas kisses him, Kace doesn’t know what to do. He wants to kiss Lukas, but Lukas is straight, isn’t he? And even if he wasn’t, Kace doesn’t know if he can risk ruining their friendship. Lukas is the most important person in his life. He can’t lose him.
Nico Allegretti has been best friends with Matt Barnes since kindergarten. There is no one more important to Nico than Matt, and while he’s known for years Matt is the one for him, he’ll never tell him. He won’t risk ruining their friendship.
On his way to meet Matt at the restaurant, a case of mistaken identity ends with Nico in the trunk of a car. When he’s released, his kidnappers give him twenty-four hours to give them what they want. The problem is, Nico has no idea what that could be.
Not knowing what else to do, he turns to Matt, who is a cop. Together they go into hiding while looking for clues. Being kidnapped doesn’t change Nico’s resolve to not let Matt know how he feels, but hiding in a small cabin together makes it hard to ignore. Matt’s small touches and compliments must mean nothing. Had Matt felt the same, he’d let him know by now … right?