May 8, 2013

Friends to Lovers

by Michelle Douglas

I’ve always loved a friends-to-lovers story. And I’ve loved them for a very long time. Oh my how I held my breath when Anne (of Green Gables) realised she’d fallen in love with Gilbert Blythe. When Harry Met Sally is one of my all-time favourite films ever. And some of my favourite authors have written friends-to-lovers stories too. Anyone for Jennifer Crusie’s Anyone But You or The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James? And if you haven’t read Sarah Mayberry’s Her Best Friend, do yourself a favour and go get a copy NOW!

So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that my May release -- First Comes Baby… -- is a friend-to-lovers story. When Ben agrees to be Meg’s sperm donor he doesn’t think anything will change (I have to say I’m rather partial to a clueless hero too), but as soon as she’s pregnant he starts to see her in a different light. A very different light. And being the focus of Ben’s undivided attention is suddenly making Meg’s pulse-rate quicken in the most disconcerting way. Cue a comfortable relationship suddenly turned on its head and being tested to its limits. The thing is, though, it’s not just a comfortable relationship. It’s the most important relationship of their lives. To lose that friendship would mean losing a part of themselves.

I’ve been lucky with the title on this one. It reverberates on more than one level. Until Meg is pregnant, Meg and Ben’s relationship is stable. Once there’s a baby on the way, though, everything changes. And at the heart of the story is the idea of “first.” Till now, Meg has always put Ben first—his needs, his desires and his well-being. Now with a baby on the way, she has to put the baby’s needs first. He, of course, finds that unbelievably confronting. While she is torn.

And that, my friends, is why I love this theme so much. There is so much at stake. Lovers can come and go, but your best friend can anchor your whole world. To mess with that friendship could mean destroying and losing one of the most important relationships you will ever have.

So, do you like a friends-to-lovers story? Does this theme call to you? Or is there a different kind of story that speaks to you more?


  1. Friends to lovers is my favorite theme. I have already read Sarah and Jennifer's books. Really looking forward to your book

  2. Hi Michelle, I love the sound of this book and can't wait to haul it off my tbr pile and read it. I confess, the friends to lovers theme isn't usually at the top of my 'must read' list but maybe that's because I haven't read many. The ones I have read have been a real treat so maybe I need to look out for them more.

  3. We could be kindred spirits, Tammy!

    I love Sarah and Jennifer's books (and not just the ones with the friends to lovers theme). But the two I mentioned are a couple of my favourites. Hope you enjoy First Comes Baby... :-)

  4. Annie, I discovered that writing a friends to lovers book can be a bit tricky. I had to work really hard at making Meg and Ben not seem too brotherly/sisterly, but also having that spark present. And because this pair have known each other so long and are so honest with each other that presented a whole new set of problems -- for them and me. :-)

    Oh, and when you're ready, I can lend you a whole host of friends to lovers stories. ;-)

  5. Hi Michelle,
    I love friends to lovers stories because there's so much depth to them. I never thought about how challenging they would be to write!

    Looking forward to First Comes Baby...

    Cath xo

  6. Cath, there's just something about a shared history, isn't there? Before I started wring First Comes Baby... I hadn't considered the challenges of the theme. Afterwards, my editor told me she thought they were one of the hardest kinds of books to write. Glad she told me after and not before! ;-) That said, I did find writing this book incredibly rewarding.

  7. I haven't read many friends to lovers books but two that stick out are definitely our lovely Jenny Crusie's Anyone But You and Karina Bliss's funny and poignant Here Comes the Groom. I can't wait to get stuck into yours! (And, dare I confess I've never read any of Sarah Mayberry's books? I'm putting her on my tbr pile as of now!)

  8. I *love* a friends to lovers story and I have First Comes Baby on my TBR pile, so I'm getting restless to start it.

    I've noted down a couple of the titles mentioned in the post and comments - thanks for the tips!

    Another Jenny Crusie FtL is Crazy For You. I sigh happily just thinking about it. :)

  9. Oh, Louisa, do treat yourself and read a Sarah Mayberry. Any Sarah Mayberry. Believe me, you'll be hooked. :-)

    And thank you! I haven't read that Karina Bliss. Am jotting down the title and am off to investigate.

  10. Yay, Rach, another lover of the theme! I have Crazy For You on my Book Depository wish list. Happy sigh at the prospect of some future reading joy.

    Oh, and any time you want to dip your writing fingers in the FtL waters I'll be happy to brainstorm, day or night! ;-)

  11. Oh, I LOVE a friends to lovers story two. There can be some much room for things to go wrong.

    I remember in my own F to L story, it was the fact that the rest of our group of friends had so much to lose if our relationship didn't work out that caused some conflict. If we'd split up would that be the end of our 'group' as people took sides? Can't wait to read 'First Comes Baby'!

  12. Oh, Barb, you had your own friends to lovers romance!!! That is seriously cool...but, yes, definitely a recipe for disaster if things do go pear-shaped. So pleased yours worked out well. :-) Will also keep fingers crossed that First Comes Baby... lives up to expectations. ;-)

  13. Put me firmly down in the pro friends to lovers camp, Michelle! Love that trope! Babay Comes First sounds right up my alley!

    Have written several F2L - my pirate book was my most recent on shelf - and have just finshed writing another!
    Jenny Crusie?? Did anyone mention Jenny Crusie?? (pants pathetically)
    And Louisa! You haven't read a Sarah Mayberry? Good God woman - you must. Although, on second thoughts, she's so good it makes you want to hang up our keyboard forever :-/

  14. Ooh, am going to keep an eye out for your F2L books, Amy! They sound like just the thing. :-) Sounds as if we have lots of votes for this particular theme. Happy sighs.

    Oh, yes, I think Jennie Crusie makes all our heart flutter, doesn't she?

  15. When Harry Met Sally is one of my all time favourite movies, Michelle. I also love Sarah Maryberry's books - Her Best Friend is great!

    First Comes Baby sounds fabulous!! And that cover is the best!

  16. Michelle, your book sounds like a MUST GET! I love friends-to-lovers stories - the stakes are so high because once that line is crossed there's no "uncrossing" and going back to the way things were.

    I'm another Sarah Mayberry fan!

  17. Snap on two fronts, Jenn! When Harry Met Sally AND Sarah Mayberry. :-)

    Oh, and that cover -- I just love it. I keep getting it out to look at. ;-)

  18. Sharon, that's exactly it! There's no going back, and that is so risky. You gotta love all the internal conflict that causes.

    And another vote for Sarah Mayberry! :-)

  19. Hi Michelle ~ Friends to lovers is a great theme. I'm waiting for your book to hit the
    Walmart shelves. I'll be reading it as soon as I get it. Loved the Sunday Smooch!

  20. Glad you enjoyed the smooch, Kaelee. And I hope you enjoy my particular take on the friends to lovers theme! :-)