Enemies-to-lovers is a trope that has definitely stood the test of time – and it’s everywhere at the moment! In YA books, fantasy reads, period dramas and holiday rom-coms, while the situations and settings vary wildly, the core ingredients – a slow-burn, budding romance between two people who initially seem like they will never work – remain at the heart of the story!
We’ve chosen five enemies-to-lovers books that we’d recommend…
The Spanish Love Deception (Elena Armas)
“Because it was all you were willing to give me. And I’d rather have you hating me than not have you at all.”
Catalina needs a date to her sister’s wedding in Spain. Everyone she knows – including her ex-boyfriend and his new fiancé will be there. Then Aaron Blackford, the 6’4″ pain-in-the-arse colleague with dreamy ocean-blue eyes, offers to step in, but she’s not tempted, not even for a second. But Catalina is desperate and as the wedding gets closer the more desirable an option Aaron Blackford becomes…
This is a fun, easy read. I loved getting to know the characters, and I can see why the book is so popular. It’s light-hearted and enjoyable, but does deal with a couple of heavier topics too, which are done well. One thing I really appreciated about the story was that generally the characters were honest with each other – so often romances are filled with miscommunications and misunderstandings and on the whole, The Spanish Love Deception avoided that!
The Love Hypothesis (Ali Hazelwood)
“You can fall in love: someone will catch you.”
When PhD student Olive wants to prove to her best friend she has moved on from a previous relationship, she kisses the first man she sees, Dr Adam Carlsen, known for being an unapproachable, antagonist professor.
For his own reasons, he agrees to help her and “fake-date”, but what happens when Olive realises her feelings for him are no longer fake…
Filled with tropes – age gap(ish!), student/teacher, slow-burn, fake dating, grumpy/sunshine (though I didn’t think Adam was that bad?!) – The Love Hypothesis is a book that is EVERYWHERE. I love the representation of women in STEM, and the academic setting for the book was great.
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
“Elizabeth had never been more at a loss to make her feelings appear what they were not. It was necessary to laugh, when she would rather have cried.”
Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood.
While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth.
An absolute classic, and one of my favourites, Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1813, and has since been adapted numerous times.
The Hating Game (Sally Thorne)
“The trick is to find the one person who can give it back as good as they can take it.”
Lucy Hutton and Josh Templeton hate each other. They work opposite each other and have become stuck in a never-ending game of one-upmanship, Lucy can’t let Josh beat her at anything – the Staring Game, the Mirror Game, the HR Game – and now there is a huge promotion at stake. But after an intense, earth-shattering kiss, Lucy begins to wonder if maybe she’s got Josh all wrong…
This was another book that seemed to be all over bookstagram – and there has recently been a film adaptation starring Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell – I’d love to hear thoughts from anyone who has watched it!
Red, White and Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston)
“You are”, he says, “the absolute worst idea I’ve ever had.”
What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?
Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the President of the United States is handsome, charismatic, genius – marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has an ongoing feud with Henry, the Prince of Wales. After an altercation between the pair, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.
Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instagrammable friendship grows deeper, and soon they find themselves in a secret romance. Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colours shine through?
I really enjoyed this book (although I would recommend reading this rather than listening to the audiobook as I REALLY struggled with the narrator!) At times it reads like YA fiction but I’d class it as New Adult fiction, and it’s really fun and entertaining!
What’s the best enemies-to-lovers book you’ve read? Let us know in the comments!