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Top 5 Wednesday: Friends-to-Lovers

Top 5 Wednesday

This blogging prompt is hosted by the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group

Today’s T5W prompt is Friends-to-Lovers

In the past, we’ve talked about books that had the enemies-to-lovers trope, but I don’t think we’ve spotlighted the friends-to-lovers trope in books before! Here are my top five books that have a friends-to-lovers trope!

1. Swan Lake (Swan Series, #1) by LB Alexander

Swan Lake

Erotic Romance

Content Warning: Mental health struggles, medication, BDSM, mature content. 18+

Despite this being the only one on my list that isn’t a fantasy, it absolutely deserves its #1 spot. A phenomenal novel, perfect for those who want some spicy romance with a sprinkle of ballet (dance knowledge not required). Now, perhaps not a total friends-to-lovers scenario, as it’s more coworkers-to-lovers, but I think it still counts! They still get to know each other and enjoy the company before moving into something more.

If you’re looking for a better version of 50 Shades of Grey–one that actually accurately represents a HEALTHY BDSM dynamic– this is your series. Not for the faint of heart, as it is graphic, but well worth the read for everyone else 😉

See my 5-Star glowing review here!

Thief in the Castle

2.Thief in the Castle (Stars and Bones, #1) by Beatrice B Morgan

YA Dark Fantasy

Content Warning: Intense implied sex, intense violence, moderate language, mild alcohol use, and child slavery. 17+

I loved this book simply because of its characters. A thief traps herself into making a contract with the king she attempted to steal from, and ends up getting in a bit over her head. The thief, her guard, the prince, a magician, and some servants–they are what make this novel. It does have a bit of a slow-moving plot, but the romance (I won’t tell you WHO the friends-to-lovers will be) adds a bit of spice and the interactions among the characters in general keep readers turning those pages.

Be prepared to jump into the next book in the series when you finish, though. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

See my 4.5-star review here!

Bloody Spade

3. Bloody Spade (The Cardplay Duology, #1) by Brittany M Willows

LGBT+ YA Urban Fantasy

I actually just finished reading this book a couple weeks ago, as it was one of my assignments to judge for WriteHive’s Indie Ink Awards (can’t say which one, you nosy peeps). If you’re looking for something with a totally unique magic system, this is it. I’ve read a TON of fantasy novels, and I’ve never seen anything like it. I will admit that it takes some getting used to, and the author doles out information very begrudgingly, but once you get into the story, it’s all worth it. Very cool.

AND this romance has an asexual element to it, so BONUS POINTS for LGBT+ representation 😀

See my 4-star review here!


4. The Night & Its Moon (TNAIM, #1) by Piper CJ

LGBT+ (Bi) Fantasy

Content Warning: mental health struggles, religious trauma, graphic sexual content, sexual assault, graphic violence, adult language. 18+

The epitome of BookTok-made-me-buy-it!

Okay, so this one I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post or not. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding it regarding the author’s behavior toward reviewers. However, the author has since posted multiple apologies to her social media that (to me) sound sincere, so I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to first-time author anxiety, and hope that she has learned from all of this.

Regarding the story itself, I did enjoy it. It was a bit slow-paced and there can be a lot of info-dumping, but I liked the characters and the world enough to keep going. It simply felt like an epic fantasy, which it is! The LGBT+ representation is a bonus, of course, and the writing itself is not as bad as some reviewers claim, especially for a debut author. What’s your take on all the hub-bub surrounding this series and its author?

Last Moon Witch

5. The Last Moon Witch (Ruined World, #1) by Feyra Silverlock

LGBT+ Fantasy Fiction

Content Warning: references to an off-screen rape, body horror, magical/cosmic horror, suicidal ideation, graphic violence

Perfect for YA readers ready for something quick and easy, and who don’t want to get too attached to a character. The friends that become lovers are LGBT+ :D, but you will be waiting for most of the book for their romance to officially bloom. Another plus to this novel is its interweaving of several different cultures and their spiritual practices into the plot. Great to get younger readers a taste of what’s out there in this giant world, and perhaps will spark some interest in finding out more!

See my 3-star review here!

Which books would be on your top 5 for the Friends-to-Lovers trope?


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