This week’s prompt at The Broke & the Bookish is dealer’s choice! Just a list of characters based on whatever I feel like basing it on.
I’m going with “childhood friends that grow up and fall in love.” (See what I did with those Taylor Swift lyrics? Huh? Say what you will, but the music video for that song is adorable.)
Even though I skate pretty close to the line a few times, I tried to stick with more of a “childhood friends” theme than a “second chance at love” thing – that could be a whole other list!
All the swoons, seriously. I get teary-eyed every single time I reread this book, which I have done a not quite sane number of times. As a kid, a girl with a heap of brothers ends up sort of accidentally adopting another, who doesn’t have an ideal home situation. She has been in love with him forever, but getting him to understand that is basically about as rewarding as beating your head against the wall…..OR IS IT?
Before and Ever Since by Sharla Lovelace Goodreads / Amazon
This one skates pretty close (and, okay – maybe a little over) the “second chance at love” line. But the majority of the relationship these two characters have when they’re younger is a close friendship, with a side order of a metric ton of wonderful tension (just try and find something hotter than secret nighttime rooftop meetings). When the dude shows back up a lot of years later, all the drama happens. Plus, there is an interesting dash of magical realism!
The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig Goodreads / Amazon
Spies! Of the historical lady-spy variety! This series is absolutely hilarious and I love it so. Basically all you need to know is that there is espionage, and there are childhood friends that don’t stay “just friends” for long.
Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips Goodreads / Amazon
This one is interesting in that the characters weren’t exactly friends as children. And by not exactly? I mean not at all. A now down-on-her-luck ex-mean girl comes back to town, and things don’t exactly go so well at first…
Slow Summer Kisses by Shannon Stacey Goodreads / Amazon
Shannon Stacey can rock the romance novella like no other. That is all you need to know!
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz Goodreads / Amazon / My Review
I always try to slide this in on all the lists, it’s so fabulous! This entire book is about the friendship between these two boys. Just try and come up with a case against them belonging together.
The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn Goodreads / Amazon
Oh man, this is the stuff dreams are made of! Dreams of adolescent girls, that is. A young girl lusting over the hot, older neighbor boy? A tale as old as time. The characters growing up a little and actually falling in love? Not quite so common… (Romancing Mister Bridgerton is also a great friends-to-lovers story by Julia Quinn!)
This trilogy, man. Jenny Han is the one person on this planet that actually makes me anticipate love triangles (versus just rolling my eyes and avoiding them). A girl grows up with two brothers, but which one is actually right for her? I would bet money that the majority of readers change their mind on that score, maybe more than once!
Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts Goodreads / Amazon
This quartet is absolutely one of my favorite things. I have comfort read them SO MANY TIMES YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE. This is the second of the four, and probably my favorite. Super hot people doing super hot things, while being close friends all the while. So sweet and swoonworthy. Also, my emotional investment in these folks causes me to get all weepy when they hit the obligatory conflict portion of the plot.
Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery Goodreads / Amazon
All the warm tingly feelings for this one, amirite? Anne and Gilbert are the classic friends-turned-lovers story. Doesn’t get any better!