I love the idea of Galentine’s Day and celebrating our friendship with those we love and who love us. I have selected five series that I think balance the story between the friendship group between these women and the central love story for each woman. This is one of my favorite ways for an interconnected story to be written so please feel free to recommend me your favorites in the comments!
Reluctant Royals series by Alyssa Cole
At its core this series is about women who take control of their lives after facing and while facing set backs and challenges and doing that with some pretty incredible friends by their side. Naledi and Portia have been friends when we first meet them in A Princess in Theory, and where Ledi’s responsible (because she has to be), Portia is a bit of a mess. Their friendship is strong even as it’s tested and Nya is welcomed in once Ledi learns she has family with ease, despite some unpleasantness. Their friendship group is cemented in A Duke by Default. We’re also introduced to the incredible Likotsi and Reggie throughout this series and they make welcome additions to the friend group and have wonderful stories of their own. This group of friends shows you what ride or die means and reminds us that friendship is not meant to be toxic and that it’s okay if being a good friend takes work.
Chance of a Lifetime series by Kate Clayborn
You may already know that I adore this series, but for real, the friendships between Kit, Zoe, and Greer are top notch. I love these women and how they support one another through thick and thin. If you haven’t heard of this series, these three women won the lottery and won enough money to change their lives in a real way but not enough so that they’ll never have to work again. Kit buys a house because having roots and community is super important to her, Zoe quits her Big Law job because she finds it soul sucking and tries to make amends with the family of a case that’s stuck with her, and Greer is finishing her degree. These women are one another’s found family in the truest sense of the term and it’s beautiful to watch them support one another and love one another even when it’s hard for them to love themselves. I don’t really have a favorite in this series because each book is so different from the one before it. But regardless, I love this series and I hope you’ll give it a shot!
Playbook series by Alexa Martin
Arguably one of the best parts of this series is the way the sense of community centered around Brynn’s bar HERS builds through the course of the three books that are currently out. Intercepted begins with Marlee really needing a community after discovering her long time boyfriend cheating on her and moving out of their house. Fortunately for her, she finds HERS and Brynn welcomes her into the bar and slowly but surely the women begin to build more of a network with some of the WAGs that stood by Marlee. It’s beautiful and lovely the way the friendships develop over the course of the book and series and I just… I love it. A really great series, imo.
Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series by Jenny Holiday
What I love about this series is that each of these love stories is so unique and that the uniqueness is reflected in the wedding that’s happening in the next novel so that the characterization rings true throughout the series. I also love that the quartet of women (there’s a prequel you can read! and I would recommend reading!) have different dynamics between one another and that it’s okay that there are two mini best friendships within the group but that the four women still love and support one another unconditionally. I love that it shows that even when you love someone SO MUCH, being a bridesmaid can still stuck because people get a little neurotic even if they don’t mean to much of the time. Basically, I just think this series feels like real life and I love that so much.
The Ones Who Got Away series by Roni Loren
I mean, it might be cheating to point to my series review of this series, but in truth, I think I talked pretty extensively about how this group of women reconnecting and then supporting one another through the next three books is incredibly powerful. I think that going through something traumatic can bring people together, but can also be fragile and I liked the way we kind of see both sides of that. The foundation the friendships between these women was built on is strong, which you can tell when they reconnect at the beginning of The Ones Who Got Away, but they allowed that connection to break and now they’re working to rebuild it. I really think Roni Loren does a great job showing that and exploring the different relationships between the women on a one-on-one basis and together as a group. If you can handle the fact that grief and guilt go hand in hand in this series and there’s a lot of discussion of gun violence, I would certainly recommend the series. The fourth one is my easy favorite though. Kincaid is everything.
So that’s my list! What is your favorite series or even individual book that celebrates friendship between women/non-binary folx? Let me know! And also, happy Galentine’s Day!