Monday, May 23, 2011

Wanted: Friends To Lovers Historical Romance

So while I was away on my vacay, Barbara sent me a message on Facebook.  She's got a hankering for the ol' Friends To Lovers trope, but she wants it in a historical romance.  She asked me for suggestions, and still suffering from Vacation Brain, the only two I could conjure up were Courting Miss Hattie by Pamela Morsi and Goddess Of The Hunt by Tessa Dare.

What I usually do is direct people to the Special Title Listings over at All About Romance, but in this case their Friendship List is a bit of a catch-all, and kind of slim compared to their other lists.  Don't get me wrong, it's a good starting point - but I'm thinking there just has to be more out there.  Which is where you, gentle Bat Cave readers, come in.  So.....

What we're looking for (because I lurve this theme too!) are historical romances (and only historical romances) that feature the friends to lovers theme.  That is when the hero and heroine start out as "just friends" and through the course of events, that friendship blossoms into true love (or twu wuv).  Fire away in the comments section!

26 comments:

Lynne Connolly said...

Blatant self promotion alert.
My "Alluring Secrets" features a heroine who has known the hero for years, as a friend of his sister. She wears glasses, too, and no, she doesn't take them off to be beautiful, she puts them on!

Katy C. said...

The only one I can think of off the top of my head is "The Perfect Lover" by Stephanie Laurens.

Katy C. said...

Oh, I lied, just thought of another one, "Romancing Mr. Bridgerton" by Julia Quinn I think qualifies as well. "When He Was Wicked" from the same series would as well.

Elyssa Papa said...

Tessa Dare's Three Nights with a Scoundrel features friends to lovers. I loved it.

ms bookjunkie said...

Loretta Chase's LAST NIGHT'S SCANDAL features childhood friends.

Blatant reader kissing butt alert. ;D

Lynne Connolly's ALLURING SECRETS is awesome. I should know, I keep rereading the trilogy…

Michelle Styles said...

Wendy --
I can bring you a copy of my latest To Marry a Matchmaker (out in July in the UK) for your friend if you like. Let me know. It is a friends to lovers set in Northumberland in 1848.
There is currently a goodreads giveaway for it.
The blurb reads:
Lady Henrietta Thorndike hides her lonely heart behind playing cupid - some might accuse her of interfering, but she prefers to think of it as improving other people's lives!
But Robert Montemorcy knows it has to stop - his ward has just fled from a compromising situation in London, and the last thing she needs is to be embroiled in Henri's compulsive matchmaking! He bets Henri that she won't be able to resist meddling...only to lose his own heart into the bargain!

lustyreader said...

while i dont usually love this trope i did like the discussion about it on dear author a few months back, the comments have some good recs: http://dearauthor.com/features/beyond-the-book/beyond-the-book-friends-to-lovers-trope-by-maggie-rowe/

my personal fave of this trope, if you havent already read it is Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale. plenty of laugh out loud (or snort out loud if youre me) scenes!

Gemma said...

I am sure I should be able to come up with more than this by my mind's gone blank.

Mary Balogh - A Certain Magic

lustyreader said...

oops, also should have mentioned One Week As Lovers by Victoria Dahl, my fave romance author!!! annnnd one more - Duke Mosted Wanted by Celeste Bradley

and i should have also linked to DA's tag for any books they marked as friends to lovers http://dearauthor.com/tag/friends-to-lovers/

ok done now ;)

Mrs. Hanson said...

Promise Me Tonight by Sara Lindsey

Elaine Golden said...

"Libertine's Kiss" by Judith James

Barbara said...

Hey Wendy! Thanks so much for posting about this. I'm jotting down all the names of the books everyone is listing.

I don't know what it is about the friends turned lovers theme, but I absolutely adore it!

One of my all time favs was Julia Quinn's "When He Was Wicked", oh and Lisa Kleypas' "Again the Magic" was another really good one.

Phyl said...

I loved Julie Klassen's The Apothecary's Daughter and it would fit this theme. However the romance thread is rather thin (it's more of a historical novel w/ romantic elements) and it's also an inspy, although, again, the inspy elements are barely there.

BevBB said...

Hmmm, I'm sure there's more from the longer shelf but the one that immediately popped into my head is a Regency Romance called Best Laid Schemes by Emma Jensen. Hero and heroine have known each other from childhood and he's on a "bride hunt" but it never even occurs to either of them to look in the other's direction. At least until circumstance conspire against them. Which is what makes it, also, one of the funniest short romances I've ever run across, with both physical and dialogue humor.

Mollie said...

Looking forward to these responses as it's one of my favorite tropes and I've been on a historical kick lately!

I second "Libertine's Kiss" by Judith James!

C2 said...

Would Julia Quinn's The Secret Diary of Miss Miranda Cheever qualify?

Tracy said...

I love the friends to lovers themes too but can't think of any in historical. There are a ton I'm sure but my pea brain isn't thinking of any at the moment. lol I'll have to see what I have on my shelves.

joykenn said...

OK, let's here it for one of the best historical romance novelists of all time, Georgette Heyer. Many of the troupes of the regency romance were invited by her. I love her novel, Cotillion. Plot summary: Kitty will inherit a fortune if she marries one of her cousins. Of course, she has picked the rakish one but to make him jealous and get to London she convinces another of her cousins to pretend to be engaged to her. In the best tradition she soon sees his true worth over the dashing but selfish rake.

joykenn said...

Yikes, I CAN spell. My fingers and brain didn't coordinate too well on that last post. That is "hear" instead of "here" and "tropes" instead of "troupes". Sigh.

FD said...

The Pretenders by Joan Wolf - actually she's written a couple with this theme, but that's the one that springs to mind. I love this one because because neither of them are in love with each other initially, not even secretly. It also hits the marriage of convenience trope out of the park too.
I like Sprig Muslin too, by Georgette Heyer. Ummmm. Will come back later with more suggestions.

Anonymous said...

One of my favourites! The ones I liked the most are already listed at AAR:

As You Desire - Connie Brockway
The Last Man in Town - Susan Kay Law
and of course,
Courting Miss Hattie - Pamela Morsi

It doesn't list these:

Runabout - Pamela Morsi (childhood friends)
Wild Oats - Pamela Morsi(adult friends)
Oh for goodness sake, *any* by Pamela Morsi, really! :D
Scandal - Caryolyn Jewel
Sweet Lullaby - Lorraine Heath
The Ladies' Man - Lorraine Heath
Simply Irresistible - Adele Ashworth
The Romantic (? the one with hero as a solicitor) - Madeline Hunter

There is Diana Brown's traditional Regency romance, Come Be My Love, but I'm not sure if I could describe them as *friends*. They grew up together and eh... I don't know. She nurses a serious case of unrequited love for him. Same for Elizabeth ???'s You Only Love Once.

Didn't Loretta Chase have it in a couple of her books? My brain did a runner so I can't remember the titles.

Maili

Anonymous said...

Here's one -- I can't say if it's good or not because I haven't read it, I just bought it (I'm like that): Enchanted, by Victoria Malvey. "Lord Crispin Merrick & Amelia Ralson were childhood playmates ..." Another one, "A Matter of Class" by Mary Balogh and I really liked it: friends for life and different social classes. Janet W

shauna said...

I just finished 10 minutes ago Julia Quinn's newest JUST LIKE HEAVEN and it fell into this theme, it was very cute and sweet and overall feel good. Also recommend Suzanne Enoch's England's Greatest Hero.. There are a bunch more of friends to lovers historicals that I have read recently but I'm drawing a blank... will have to peruse my book piles!

Anonymous said...

Janet W: http://indigomenace.blogspot.com/2011/05/guest-review-london-season-by-joan-wolf.html ... here's a terrif review of A Matter of Class from the Indigo Menace website -- she also reviewed A London Season, by Joan Wolf, another childhood friends --> lovers trope.

Wendy said...

Sooooo, late responding to comments here. Just wanted to thank everybody for the wonderful suggestions! Both Barbara and I appreciate them :)

*SuzyQ* said...

This is an older post.... so it maybe a little late to reply.... But two books that fit this genre well are Sarah MacLean's A Rogue By Any Other Name (Definitely ten out of ten stars and not published at the time this post was written) and Tempting Fate by Alissa Johnson (six and a half out of ten stars).