Thursday, December 29, 2011

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Friends-To-Lovers/Reunited Lovers In Science Fiction Romance

So I read SLIP POINT by Karalynn Lee because it has, you know, a space pirate heroine! You would think that nothing would distract me from all of the space pirate derring-do in this sci-fi romance novella, but by golly, something did.

Even as the heroine, Shay, was pushing ahead on her mission, I started noticing how strong the friends-to-lovers/reunited lovers theme is in this story. It’s mentioned in the blurb, so I knew to expect it, but one can never tell how prominent an element will be until finishing a story. In SLIP POINT, that aspect turns out to play a significant role.

Shay and Jayce are friends and then lovers before the start of the story. In fact, they meet as kids. I thought the friends-to-lovers and reunited lovers aspects of the story were executed well. They had good chemistry and it made me think I wouldn’t mind reading more SFR stories with that kind of angle. It's an effective shortcut to developing the romance, particularly when a story has an external plot or detailed worldbuilding in the mix.

Then I began thinking it’d be nice to compile a list of science fiction romances that already feature friends-to-lovers or reunited lovers. There are also stories that involve heroes and heroines who knew each other previous to the story’s beginning, but weren’t a couple or friends. That's a slightly different category, but I included a few titles for the fun of it.

Here are the science fiction romance friends-to-lovers/reunited lovers stories that I know about, along with a few helpful tags so you can prioritize according to taste:


METAL REIGN – Nathalie Gray (friends-to-lovers; space opera; "sweet" heat level)

SLIP POINT – Karalynn Lee (friends-to-lovers & reunited lovers; steamy space opera)

THE SPIRAL PATH – Lisa Paitz Spindler (reunited lovers; biracial romance; space opera)

IT HAD TO BE YUU – Ilene Kaye (friends-to-lovers; space opera; comedic SF)

UNACCEPTABLE RISK – Jeanette Grey (friends-to-lovers; cyberpunk; dystopian)

HEAT - Ellie Marvel (friends-to-lovers; erotic space opera; alien lover; hero goes into heat)

GABRIEL’S GHOST – Linnea Sinclair (H&H were "friendly" adversaries prior to story; space opera)

"Courting Trouble" (short from SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH anthology) - Linnea Sinclair (hero and heroine had previous relationship; space opera)

ALPHA – Catherine Asaro (hero and heroine were adversaries prior to beginning of story; near-future suspense; artificial intelligence; android lover)

ENEMY GAMES – Marcella Burnard (hero and heroine were adversaries prior to beginning of story; space opera; BEMs).

CYBOT AWAKENED – Melisse Aires (hero is heroine’s servant at start of story; erotic space opera; cyborg hero). Sadly, according to the author, this story isn’t currently available. I previously blogged about it here.).

JAQ’S HARP – Ella Drake (reunited lovers; biopunk; steamy futuristic fairytale)

Are there any other titles we should add to the above list?

What are your thoughts on the friends-to-lovers/reunited lovers type of romance? Would you like to read more? Have any thoughts about what makes for a successful romance of this kind?

Joyfully yours,