YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy Addicts Presents



May the Best Friend Win

Fantasy books with the friends-to-lovers trope. 


When it comes to falling in love, I am no expert. I have had my share of horrific boyfriends and terrible first dates. One thing I do know, though, is in the end, my best friend won my heart.  It was just like in the movies. I was sitting in math class my first week of college, talking to a new friend I had made. Out of nowhere, I hear the jingling of chains (the type men wear attached to their wallets) and I look up, and there he was, like the main character of a novel or movie. He's wearing a long, black denim coat with an all-black ensemble underneath. A Code Geass messenger bag is slung over one shoulder and black earphones are tucked perfectly into his ears. My new friend's gaze follows mine and I tell her to "shh" when she speaks words that do not register in my mind. All I can think is: who is this boy? 

As the professor calls roll, I intently listen for his name (she wanted us to all say "here" like we are in kindergarten). Finally, she gets to him. "Matthew," she calls, and my heart skips a beat as he answers. I tell my friend that I am going to get to know him by hook or by crook.  

The next week, I got to class early, he was sitting in a seat by the door. Except for us, there was no one in the classroom. The lights weren't even on yet. I sauntered over to him and asked if I could sit in the chair next to him and to my shock, he moved his messenger back and said I could. At this point, I noticed that was wearing an Evanescence t-shirt. For those of you who are new here, Evanescence is my favorite gothic rock band! We got to talking about our favorite songs and our hobbies. We had so much in common. I was working on my first novel, he was working on Star Wars fan-fiction. During class, we would sneak our stories back and forth to each other. We were quite inseparable. 

Then the fated day came. Math class was over. We were both still a little socially awkward and never exchanged numbers. So I hadn't seen him again and I didn't know his last name to look him up on social media.

Then something crazy happened. Two years later, I saw him in the hallway in college. Without thinking, I ran up to him and he caught me in the fiercest hug I could have ever imagined. Things picked up right where they left off and this time we did actually exchange numbers. We spent all of our spare time together in between classes and whenever we were done at the same time, we'd walk to Port Authority together. Me to get on my train and Matt to get on his bus back to New Jersey.


Before long, I was seeing an entirely different world. One filled with laughter, fun, and child-like behavior. Long talks over coffee in the park. Competitive play with board games. Museum visits and goofy signing in the streets to our favorite songs. We were like two chocolate chips that merge together when you're freshly baking cookies. Before long, I started questioning the relationship I was currently in. I started to see how much I was missing out on when my then-boyfriend refused to go out. When he'd ditch me to hang out with his boys. 


I didn't know when it happened, but I found myself finding the courage to see outside of the box. Then the news hit me like a car runs into a pole at 80mph. Matt points out that this type of relationship I am in is not normal, that something is very off. A psychology professor at my college confirms this when I volunteer to be his guinea pig for an inkblot test during a demonstration. He asked to see me after class, so I went.  It turned out that I was being emotionally and mentally abused. He helped me see my way out of the situation. Matthew went from being a friend to my best friend who shared in my pain, anger, and angst. He was there every step of the way, all the while feelings for me were festering beneath the surface. They might have stayed there, too, if I hadn't read The Choice by Nicholas Sparks. It opened my eyes to my situation and in the end, I chose my best friend, Matthew. 

Now, it's been eleven years since we first met in college. It's been eight years since we told each other we were in love. It's been six years since we got engaged. It will be four years that we'll be married. 

Matthew isn't just my best friend. He's my cover designer. He's my writing partner. He's my travel partner. My cooking partner. My competitive nemesis. The player 1 to my player 2. He's the reason I love the best-friends-to-lovers trope. So, without further ado, here are my favorite friends-to-lovers fantasy novels + friends-to-lovers novels that I have written. 

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