Want More Colin & Penelope Vibes? Add These Friends-to-Lovers Books to Your TBR


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Fan-favorite Bridgerton broke records with its season 3 premiere, debuting at #1 on the Netflix Global Top 10 TV Shows chart for the week of May 13-19 with an astounding 45.1 million views. But the season’s numbers don’t come as a surprise, as it promised to continue the story of Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton). Penelope and Colin have a long history of friendship. But when season 2 ended with Colin saying he would never court Penelope and Colin’s sister, Eloise (Claudia Jessie), renouncing Penelope’s friendship, Penelope’s hopes that Colin shared her romantic feelings were crushed. But feelings can change, and they certainly do in season 3, which shows Penelope and Colin finally go from friends to lovers.

But those four episodes went by quickly, leaving fans desperate for more (don’t worry, part two of Bridgerton’s third season drops so soon!). Thankfully, Penelope and Colin’s romance is far from the only friends-to-lovers relationship. These 12 books are perfect for those who want more of the Penelope and Colin dynamic, from the classic trope to the love coaching to the steam.

Swati Hedge
Match Me If You Can

Jia Deshpande spends her days writing relationship articles for Mimosa, Mumbai’s top women’s magazine. But Jia doesn’t believe in the true love she writes about; instead, she dreams of going public with her anonymous blog and starting her own practical matchmaking business. Jaiman Patil, the childhood friend who has always had a crush on Jia, is desperate to prove to his absent father that he can run a successful pub. When Jia’s attempts at office matchmaking go haywire and Jaiman’s culinary school rival opens a spot next door, the two will need to reevaluate their friendship and their feelings on romantic love. Fans of Bridgerton will love this classic friends-to-lovers romance filled with lavish homes and society parties.

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Christina Lauren
The True Love Experiment

Felicity “Fizzy” Chen has an incredible career as a beloved romance novelist. But when she realizes she’s never actually been in love, she gets hit with a horrible case of writer’s block. Connor Prince loves his work as a documentary filmmaker, but when he’s tasked with creating a reality TV show, he is out of his element. A chance run-in lands Fizzy as Connor’s romantic lead, promising to show the queen of romance herself falling head-over-heels. But it turns out that Fizzy and Connor’s happily ever after might lie just behind the camera. If you liked that Colin loved Penelope for exactly who she was, then you’ll love Fizzy and Connor’s relationship.

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Sarah Adams
Practice Makes Perfect

Annie Walker wants nothing more than to find her perfect match. But being known as the quiet good girl in her small town doesn’t make it easy. All she needs is someone to help her be flirtatious and fun, and she knows the perfect man for the job: Will Griffin. The tattooed bodyguard is temporarily back in town to provide security for popstar Amelia Rose as excitement builds for her upcoming marriage to Noah Walker, Annie’s brother. And although he has no interest in getting attached to anyone in town, he can’t stop himself from saying yes to helping Annie. As the two embark on steamy practice dates and strictly educational tutoring lessons, the lines of friendship blur. If you enjoyed how Colin helped Penelope find a suitor, you’ll enjoy how Will coaches Annie.

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Katie Cotugno
Top Ten

Introverted Gabby Hart would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Hockey star Ryan McCullough frequently gets any girl he wants. But despite their differences, Gabby and Ryan are the best of friends. On the night of their high school graduation, in their signature tradition, they make a top 10 list of the best moments of their friendship. And as they reminisce, they find that their relationship might be more than they thought it was. If you liked the dynamic of friendless Penelope and player Colin, you’ll like Gabby and Ryan’s dynamic.

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Betty Corrello
Summertime Punchline

When Del loses her job, boyfriend, and apartment in the span of a few hours, she has no choice but to return to the Jersey Shore hometown she swore off when she was 18. Del plans to stay with her grandmother, avoid her deadbeat dad, hang out with her best friend, and never run into her high school crush, Eddie. But Eddie’s bar is the only place in town where Del can practice the routine she needs to perfect for the upcoming huge comedy festival she finally landed a spot at. As Del spends more time with Eddie, she learns that he’s nothing like the boy she left behind. If you liked how Penelope and Colin always found each other, you’ll love how Del and Eddie go from running into each other to seeking each other out.

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Tessa Bailey
Fix Her Up

Georgie Castle’s family runs the best renovation business in town, but Georgie is a clown, literally. She loves planning birthday parties and making people laugh, but she wishes everyone would stop laughing at her. Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie, but he’s been flipping houses ever since an injury ended his career. When Georgie, his best friend’s little sister, proposes they pretend to date to shock her family and land him a new job, Travis agrees, thinking there isn’t any harm. But soon enough, there’s nothing fake about how much Travis wants Georgie. If you liked how Colin developed feelings for Penelope, you’ll like how Travis falls for Georgie.

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Emily Henry
Funny Story

When her fiancé Peter breaks up with her for his childhood best friend Petra, Daphne cannot wait to move out of Peter’s small Michigan town. But her dream job as a children’s librarian comes with commitments, and until she can leave, she needs a place to stay. Which is how she ends up roommates with Petra’s ex, Miles. Scruffy and chaotic Miles is the complete opposite of practical and buttoned-up Daphne, and the two avoid each other until one night of drowning their sorrows ends in a friendship and a fake dating plan. But there’s no way Daphne will fall in love with her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex, right? If you like how Colin urges Penelope out of her shell, you’ll like how Miles helps Daphne make new friends.

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Elle Kennedy
The Summer Girl

Back in Avalon Bay because her grandmother is selling the family boardwalk hotel, Cassie Soul is ready for a summer fling. And the town’s lovable player, Tate Bartlett, is the perfect candidate. But when Tate meets Cassie, he knows she’s not the kind of girl you play games with. Unable to risk breaking her heart, he reluctantly puts her in the friend zone, only to realize that his attraction is impossible to ignore. As Cassie and Tate’s friendship deepens, they’ll have to decide if they can survive something more. If you swooned over how Colin couldn’t stop thinking about Penelope, you’ll swoon over Tate, too.

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Carley Fortune
This Summer Will Be Different

When Lucy’s best friend, Bridget, suddenly flees Toronto a week before her wedding, Lucy drops everything to follow her to Prince Edward Island. But while on the island, she’ll need to not only help Bridget but also stay out of Bridget’s brother’s bed. Because Bridget doesn’t know that Lucy and Felix hooked up the first time Lucy came to PEI and have walked the line between friends and friends with benefits ever since. If you liked that Penelope’s relationship with Eloise complicated her relationship with Colin, you’ll like the dynamic between Lucy, Felix, and Bridget.

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Sara Desai
The Dating Plan

Daisy Patel is a successful software engineer who wishes her family wouldn’t keep pushing her toward marriage. Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with an inheritance contingent on being married. Naturally, they decide to fake an engagement. But Daisy is Liam’s best friend’s younger sister, and he broke her teenage heart nine years ago. Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam start to fall for each other over a series of fake dates. But will they be able to put their past behind them? If you wondered how Penelope would get past what Colin had said about her, you’ll wonder how Daisy will get over how Liam broke her heart.

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Sarah Dessen
The Rest of the Story

When Emma Saylor can no longer stay with a friend during her father’s honeymoon, she ends up on the lake with her mother’s family. Emma quickly learns that there are two sides to the lake: Her mother grew up in the working-class North Lake, while her father spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more she feels like she is also divided. But then Emma meets Roo, a boy who knows about her mother’s history. A whole new world has opened up for Emma, but summer can’t last forever. Who will she be when it’s time to go home? If you liked how Penelope struggled to fit into society, you’ll like Emma’s challenges.

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Helen Hoang
The Kiss Quotient

Stella Lane has a lucrative job building algorithms that predict customer purchases. But her long hours and Asperger’s have resulted in way less experience in the dating department than the average 30-year-old. Believing professional help is the answer to her problem, she hires an escort, Michael Phan. Unable to afford to turn down Stella’s offer, Michael agrees to help her with everything from foreplay to more-than-missionary. It doesn’t take long for Stella to crave Michael’s kisses—and everything else he offers. In fact, their partnership might just make complete and total sense. If you wish Penelope and Colin tried more than a kiss, then you won’t be able to get enough of Stella and Michael.

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