Classic Romance Tropes: the older brother’s best friend

I was thoroughly enjoying procrastinating my work to read this blog post on Confessions of a Romance Reader when it nudged me into finally writing a post of my own that I’ve been putting off doing.

I’ve blogged about classic themes in romance before–the marriage of convenience, opposites attract, and enemies to lovers. But there are a few more themes I find myself turning to again and again in my own writing, and one is the older brother’s best friend and/or best friend’s little sister.

You know the stories. The plots have been written and rewritten… Younger sister has a lifelong crush on her older brother’s best friend but he sees her as a kid. Younger sister of the hero’s best friend is suddenly all grown up, but she’s off limits out of respect for his friend so he fights his own attraction. The conflict is inherent in the plot and makes the story even juicier.

I must like this trope a lot, because look how many of my stories employ a variation of it!


Bucked (Studs in Spurs series)- Sage grows up with a crush on the neighbor boy who ends up dating her older sister before leaving home. Years later when Mustang is home recuperating from a bull riding injury, that sister is married with a kid, but Sage is available.

Cole (Red, Hot & Blue series) – Cole’s best friend Bobby’s little sister Lizzie has grown up in the years he’s been away at college, and he definitely notices.

Cowboy Shuffle (Texas Two-Step series) – Shooter isn’t attracted to his best friend Wes’s sister Ellen, so why the hell is he having dreams about her? And taking off a day of work to tend to her sick horse?

Flanked (Studs in Spurs) – Silver is the sister of Garret’s good friend and travel buddy Aaron so theoretically, she should be off limits. Right? Too bad she doesn’t think so. And neither does certain parts of Garret’s body.

Two Times as Hot (Oklahoma Nights series) and Three Weeks with a Bull Rider (Oklahoma Nights)- Tara Jenkins has been in love with her brother Tuck’s older friend Logan forever, but he looks at her like she’s a child and now he’s interested in another woman–Tuck’s wife’s sister, Emma. Then there is Tuck’s bull rider friend Jace. He’s just an ass and an idiot in Tara’s opinion, but he’s also the only option she has when she needs a ride to the rodeo for the next three weeks. Will the close confines show a side of Jace she didn’t know existed?

Readers, what say you? Is this timeless trope a classic for a reason? Do you like it?

2 responses to “Classic Romance Tropes: the older brother’s best friend

  1. I like reading about sister liking older brother’s friend and etc. I had a crush on a few of my brother’s friends and always thought we’d get together but of course we didn’t..I did go out with my younger brother’s friend and it was fun but didn’t go anywhere but were just good friends.