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Christie Ridgway | From Friends To Lovers


I’ve been hearing a lot from readers about the secondary story in my latest contemporary romance, CRUSH ON YOU. Gil Marino and Clare Knowles are best friends and have been so since childhood. Unlikely friends, on the face of it, as he was the school jock and she was the geeky girl who was treasurer of the Science Fiction Society. But he attended every one of her birthday parties, starting when the invitations came with Barbie on front through her Sweet Sixteen when he was the shy girl’s support and escort. When she gets engaged and asks him to be the "Man of Honor," what’s a buddy to do?

Except Gil doesn’t feel like her buddy anymore. Some time in the last year his feelings for his BFF have changed--and he doesn’t know what to do about them.

A friends-to-lovers romantic theme is one of my very favorites (and is the subject of two fun movies, "Made of Honor" and "Some Kind of Wonderful"). It’s delicious to watch the couple struggle with emotions that appear to come out of the blue. For his part, Gil can pinpoint the exact time when Everything Changed (on a road trip, three nights they spent spooned on a friend’s couch) but while Clare senses things are different between her and Gil, she attributes it to her new status as an engaged woman.

Beyond the struggle to acknowledge new feelings, I think a friends-to-lovers story is wonderful because the characters know each other so well. The happy ever after feels solid because they already understand each other’s foibles and strengths. Gil knows Clare is nervous in big groups, so is ready to stand by her side at a party. Clare is aware Gil is not so good with details, so she’s the one who makes sure his small business complies with recent regulations. They’re already partners in friendship...partners for life is not a big stretch.

My favorite scene between Clare and Gil is when they make love for the first time. The heady pleasure of becoming close in this new way is made even more special because they know each other so well physically too--from freckles to knee scars. When Gil discovers that his best friend loves him back, he wants to leave that exact message on the answering machines of everyone in their small town: Clare loves me. Ah, Gil. Clearly I fell a little in love with him too.

Do you like the friends-to-lovers theme as much as I do? Were you ever in a friends-to-lovers relationship yourself? (I was "friends" with my now-husband for a year before we looked at each other romantically.) Comment for a chance to win a $25 e-gift card from amazon.com which I hope you’ll use to purchase CRUSH ON YOU in order to read Clare and Gil’s story!




81 comments posted.

Re: Christie Ridgway | From Friends To Lovers

I love stories like this! I've known a few friends that eventually became lovers, and married. Such a great storyline...especially when it actually happens!
(JoAnn White 9:29am July 6, 2010)

It sounds good, but I have had very good men friends and knew that we would NEVER make it as lovers! That's why we were such good friends. No mess no guess!
(Karin Tillotson 9:31am July 6, 2010)

It all depends on how the material is handled. I agree that the fact that they know each other so well bodes well for their future but unless there has always been some undercurrent or something has drastically changed in the best friends lives it can come off as contrived. Since I usually like humor in my romance reading, the more unusual the course of true love the better.
(Anna Budziak 10:21am July 6, 2010)

This sounds like a sweet story. It's nice when friends go beyond friendship and find true love.
(Cathie Veres 10:34am July 6, 2010)

I've always told my Daughters you might love someone but you better like them before you marry. My husband & I are still friends after 45 years.
(Pat Wilson 10:57am July 6, 2010)

I love the friends-to-lovers theme in books and movies, but I haven't seen it in my real life yet.
(Cheryl Castings 11:42am July 6, 2010)

Though I've never been in a friends to lovers relationship, they are great to read. It's fun to read along and see how the hero and heroine deal with the makings of a new relationship.
(Leni Kaye 12:09pm July 6, 2010)

I think that a friends-to-lovers change can be messy...which is why Gil was reluctant to share his feelings. What if he ruined their very good friendship? Thanks for commenting, all!
(Christie Ridgway 12:37pm July 6, 2010)

My Husband and I were friends first. We went our separate ways, then got back together through a mutual friend almost 10 years later. During those 10 years, another mutual friend was always asking me if I ever saw him, which I didn't. It was like he fell off the face of the Earth, and it always bothered me. I always wondered where he was, and if he was doing ok. He always wondered the same thing, and when we got back together, we started back at friends, but got married within a matter of months. We've been married for 27 years now.
(Peggy Roberson 12:46pm July 6, 2010)

I do like the friends to lovers angle but I also love the love at first sight angle as well...
(Dawn Saenz 12:53pm July 6, 2010)

I have already bought and read
Crush on You! LOVED IT!!!! I
cannot wait to check out the
rest of the books in the
I absolutely love the friends
to lovers storyline in books.
Claire and Gil's was a great addition to Crush On You.
Sometimes I have a hard time
getting into the secondary
character's storyline's, but
this was not the case with Gil
and Claire.
My other favorite premise is
the 2nd chance at love stories!
(Erin Thompson 1:04pm July 6, 2010)

Oh I love the sound of your book!!!It is wonderful when friends for many years finally find that spark between them... Really enjoy friends to Lovers books!!! :)
(Colleen Conklin 2:11pm July 6, 2010)

I like reading about friends to lover relationships but I have never been in one.
(Cheryl Lynne 2:13pm July 6, 2010)

I love the idea of friends to lover romance even though never happened to me doesn't mean it can't happen. Agatha Townsend
(Agatha Townsend 2:20pm July 6, 2010)

Although I like reading about friends-to-lovers in books, I don't apply that in life. In my twenties, I decided to stay friends with my best guy friend even though I had been crushing on him for years because I didn't want to lose his friendship. On the other hand, my cousin decided to go ahead and date her best guy friend when they were in college. They were in bliss for a few months and then when they broke up, they never spoke to each other again. I think that I value the good friendship that I have more than a possible relationship (a bird in the hand and all that). Of course, we are older now so maybe any relationship may actually have a chance; hard to say.
(S Tieh 2:43pm July 6, 2010)

I do like friends to lovers stories. As you said, they already know each other so well. It sounds like I will enjoy Clare and Gil's story.

My husband and I were casual friends for a year in high school and wrote each other a couple of times a year for 7 years after that. We weren't close friends who knew everything about each other, just friends. When we saw each other briefly after 7 years, he came half way around the world 4 months later to propose. A shock, yes, but not an upsetting one. I think knowing someone outside a romantic relationship builds a firmer foundation for that relationship. I think it is true that you should like someone as well as love them.
(Patricia Barraclough 3:18pm July 6, 2010)

I love friends-to-lovers
stories, both real and
fictional. I think that they
make the sweetest stories and
the best, most stable
relationships. I've never been
in such a relationship, but I
would love for this to be the
case with whomever I end up
married to one day.
(Jacqueline Cook 3:22pm July 6, 2010)

Ooh! i just love friends to lovers stories. My hubby and I started out as friends but it all changed when he first kissed me. While we are still friends we also have the chemistry of lovers to add to it. A great combination for a great marriage.
(Cherie Japp 3:50pm July 6, 2010)

Congrats on the new release Christie. I do enjoy friends to lovers stories, but I don't personally know anyone who went through the same thing.
(Jane Cheung 3:59pm July 6, 2010)

I enjoy stories where the characters grow instead of staying flat. The sense of aliveness keeps me turning the page to see what's happening in the future. I do love when there's a future in the works.
(Alyson Widen 4:00pm July 6, 2010)

Yes, I love friends to lovers stories. Since they have a really good basis for a relationship, I enjoy seeing the feelings go from good buddy to love interest.
(Barbara Elness 4:32pm July 6, 2010)

Friends to lovers is beautiful. In real life & in stories. It's like watching a flower bloom.
(Mary Preston 5:44pm July 6, 2010)

I really enjoy friends to lovers stories. My husband and I of 36 years were friends for the first 10 months of our relationship, or so we thought. Everyone else but us realized we were in love long before we did. LOL! I am really looking forward to reading your book, Crush on You, Christie.
(Cathy Phillips 5:45pm July 6, 2010)

Friends to Lovers are great stories but I have never known any in trie life the few times I have seen it the friendship was never the same and the lover part did not last eather.
(Vickie Hightower 5:48pm July 6, 2010)

They say relationships that start out as friends,may work out better in the long run.
(Deb Pelletier 6:08pm July 6, 2010)

Erin: If you like 2nd chance at love stories, the 3rd book in the trilogy (title TBD) is about that.

In a way, though, I wonder if most love relationships don't have a "friends" aspect to them. A romantic life companion implies that there is that sense of just enjoying each other beyond heart-to-heart (or other interesting parts).
(Christie Ridgway 7:20pm July 6, 2010)

Yes I love the friends to lovers thing. The man I married started out just as a friend!
(Gail Hurt 7:51pm July 6, 2010)

I like the friends to lovers theme. I have the book but wouldnt mind winning the gift certificate. LOL. Christie's books are awesome.
(Pat Lieberman 8:38pm July 6, 2010)

I do love the friends to lovers theme for all of the reasons you list, in fact. No, I never experienced it myself.
(G. Bisbjerg 8:59pm July 6, 2010)

I love a friends to lovers story. It never happened to me but when I read about it I get a warm happy feeling. 'Crush on You' will be a great summer read.
(Rosemary Krejsa 9:13pm July 6, 2010)

I love friends to lovers stories! My husband and I met through match.com and we emailed and talked on the telephone for a very long time before we met. So yes it was a friendly relationship until we met. I always have said he came over for the first date and never left, now 12 1/2 years later we are still happily married!
(Brenda Rupp 10:37pm July 6, 2010)

For me too, friends to lovers stories are a big attraction. I have not been in such a situation myself, but I know someone who was. She first got to know her future husband while she had a crush on someone else. He was best friends with her crush's younger brother. All three of the younger group became very good friends before my friend and her husband "took" to each other.
(Sigrun Schulz 11:13pm July 6, 2010)

Yes, I do enjoy the friends-to-lovers theme in books. I feel that knowing each other well before marriage improves the chances of marriages lasting and the happily-ever sounds more probable in a book.
(Gladys Paradowski 11:34pm July 6, 2010)

Sounds delicious and lots of fun.
(Patricia Mellert 11:49pm July 6, 2010)

i haven't read a friends-to-lovers theme in forever! i didn't realize how much i miss it until reading this post. thank you! now i'm off to look for books...
(Michelle Santiago 12:39pm July 7, 2010)

I love when a friendship grows to love and when their is that background and history between characters. Your books are upbeat.
(Darci Paice 1:14am July 7, 2010)

This sounds like a great book! I love friend-to-lovers stories :)
(Raelena Pavey 1:38am July 7, 2010)

My relationship started with a friendship. I remember that we werw playing a game of darts twice a week and that we were having more fun every week that went by. Still, it took us over a year to finally kiss for the first time. That was in 2000 and we are still together. Married for five years. So, yeah, i like friend-to-lovers stories very much!
(Annemiek de Vries 2:38am July 7, 2010)

I love all the movies whit best friends finding love there great.I see you have one of my faves up there in picture some kind of wonderful good movie.I think that is the name of the movie.and I like it in books two.all most happen to me but he went in to the army and came out a diffrent person so sad.
(Stacey Smith 2:45am July 7, 2010)

I met my husband at work. And
even though people tried to
fix us up we were just
friends. We grew up in the
same area. Knew a lot of the
same people. We were
comfortable with each other.
After two years of being
friends we decided to get
married and just celebrated
our 17th wedding anniversary.
I love to read your books and
will enjoy this book
(Martha Staes 5:13am July 7, 2010)

I have no personal experience of friends to lovers, but I enjoy reading about it.
(Jung Ja Ahn 5:45am July 7, 2010)

It can be special to fall in love with someone you've known for a long time and can be "real" with. But, it can also be tragic if it doesn't last and you end up losing the friendship you've had for years.
(Megan G. Rey 7:25am July 7, 2010)

I think statistically friends-to-lovers relationships are supposed to be "better" as far as being lasting and "more successful" according to research. My husband and I started dating from the get-go, though!
(Carmen S. 8:11am July 7, 2010)

Sounds like a great book, can't wait to read it!
(Linda Dowdy 9:15am July 7, 2010)

This book sounds great and I will definitely be purchasing - hopefully with the gift card!!
(Edwina Cowgill 9:23am July 7, 2010)

I love the friends to lovers theme because I think that when bad things happen,they always do, that because you have a history of being friends that you are prepared to stand by each other - it gives your relationship added depth. That's not to say that lovers can't become friends afterwards though...lol...this series looks great and definitely like something I'll be adding to my purchase list
(Maria Durst 9:31am July 7, 2010)

I enjoy friends to lovers themes. Its so satisfying when both characters begin the realization of being lovers.
(Armenia Fox 10:15am July 7, 2010)

I was at school with my husband, he was 2 years older and seemed to go out with my friends before he got aroud to me! We have been happily married for 27 years so far and going strong.
(Barbara Hanson 10:27am July 7, 2010)

I have guys that are friends but never a friend to lover. I met my husband my senior year of college and never looked at anybody else.

I do like the friends to lovers theme. I don't know of any friends to lovers couples. Your book sounds fantastic! I'd love to read it!
(Laurie Gommermann 10:47am July 7, 2010)

These are my kind of stories. I would love to read Crush on You.
(Felecia Digsby 11:25am July 7, 2010)

This sounds like such a great story. I love when friends become more.
(Stacey Brucale 11:57am July 7, 2010)

I can totally relate to the friends to lovers
concept. Keep up the great books!
(Lisa Abraham 12:46pm July 7, 2010)

i want to read this right away!
(Debbi Shaw 1:30pm July 7, 2010)

I love the friends to lovers theme.. Its the best way to things to progress in a relationship.
(Sue Nodes 2:31pm July 7, 2010)

Much better chance for the relationship to survive than the instant lover thing.
(Karen Gervasi 2:35pm July 7, 2010)

I enjoy the friends to lovers theme because you know the person pretty well and you know that you have things in common with your lover if you have been friends with them before you went to the next stage of the relationship.
(Amanda Gardner 2:42pm July 7, 2010)

I think that it is so romantic when best friends find another aspect to their friendship and opens new avenues for them to explore.
(Joanne Reynolds 2:44pm July 7, 2010)

Absolutely, friends to lovers is a great way to go. You get to know the person first!
(Jessica Badeaux 3:12pm July 7, 2010)

I like friends to lovers, but in real life I also like lovers to friends transitions...
(Shannon Scott 5:05pm July 7, 2010)

Sounds like fun!
(Marjorie Carmony 5:08pm July 7, 2010)

friends to lovers is a wonderful story line. No personal experience other than dh and I are friends even after 40 years LOL
(Barbs Ferris 5:53pm July 7, 2010)

My husband and I were also "friends to lovers"...we started dating when I finally realized I needed to stop dating jerks and pay attention to the "nice guy"!
(Alyssa Caralla 7:38pm July 7, 2010)

yes I really like the ideal.This book sounds really good can't wait to read it!
(Latisha Depoortere 8:56pm July 7, 2010)

This is one of the best ideas because you have a basis for a great love to develop from, as opposed to meeting someone and falling in love on the spot when they know nothing about each other.
(Pam Howell 9:12pm July 7, 2010)

I have a friend who met this guy. They were best friends and then became husband and wife. They are so cute together. Now they worry about me because I'm still single. They want me to have what they have in a relationship.
(Kai Wong 10:03pm July 7, 2010)

Love the idea that you could marry your best guy friend. Looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the chance to win a copy
(Teresa Ward 10:45pm July 7, 2010)

Thanks for reminding me of Some kind of Wonderful I love that movie.
(Catherine Myers 10:46pm July 7, 2010)

I think friends who realize they like each other romantically can be interesting.
(Rachael Haas 10:59pm July 7, 2010)

I believe a life mate needs to be your best
friend as well as your lover. I've always
envied those that have the best of both
(Sue Ahn 11:11pm July 7, 2010)

This sounds like a really good
book, I can't wait to read it!
(Pamela Alder 10:52am July 8, 2010)

I like the friends to lovers idea. Trthfully, your lover really needs to be a friend also or it just won't last.
(Deborah Lary 10:54am July 8, 2010)

You're book sounds cute :)
(Terri Quick 12:09pm July 8, 2010)

i like the sound of the book
(Debbi Shaw 1:38pm July 8, 2010)

Hello Christie, Please enter me in your fantastic contest and please let me know when I am a winner too! God bless you with success always, Cecilia
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 1:44pm July 8, 2010)

I have a lot of your books and enjoy reading them also looking forward to this one, Agatha Townsend
(Agatha Townsend 2:47pm July 8, 2010)

Never had a situation like that for myself. Would love to read the book though.
(Darla Ray 5:14pm July 8, 2010)

I love the friends-to-lovers theme!
(Joelle Beebe 6:19pm July 8, 2010)

I love friends to lovers and
can't imagine a relationship
would work without it.
(Lisa Richards 9:07pm July 8, 2010)

I love stories like this one. This way the couple get to really know each other well. Another HEA..
(Brenda Hill 9:10pm July 8, 2010)

Great theme, the friends to lovers thing. Doesn't always work tho, because the physical spark might be absent.
(Christine Schultz 10:47pm July 8, 2010)

I think friends to lovers is
my favorite theme of all time.
The characters see each other
in a new light and they have
to figure out how to balance
the friendship they have
together and the new feelings
their experiencing. They
already trust each other completely, so that's not an
issue. They just have to be
willing to sacrifice what they
had for what they want. It's
sweet. It reminds me of the
movie "Just friends" with Amy
Smart & Ryan Reynolds. I'm
actually reading Isabel
Sharpe's "Surprise Me..."
which is a friends to lover
theme. So far sooooo Good. :D
(J c 10:48am July 9, 2010)

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