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Nothing is as satisfying as a slow-burn enemies to lovers romance. Between the fun banter and oftentimes hilarious interactions, there’s never a dull moment in a ‘hate at first sight’ romance. From morally questionable antiheroes to rivals in the office to foes on the ice rink, the enemies to lovers trope makes for an interesting storyline between two people who fall in love despite their initial hatred towards the other. If you’re interested in fantasy, this curated list features some of the best fantasy enemies to lovers romances to add to your TBR list. Read on for the best contemporary enemies to lovers romance books.
Jared Trent and Tatum Brandt were best friends until the day Jared became Tate’s worst tormentor.
On the eve of her departure to study abroad for a year, Tate attends a party only to find herself the target of a prank that leaves her feeling more relieved than ever to be heading off the next day. Fast forward a year later and Tate’s back, more confident than ever. With her newfound maturity and Jared’s decision to end his bullying ways, they are left to sort through their sordid past and address the bullying Tate went through.
For high school bully romance books where the main characters go from best friends to enemies to lovers, you should check out Penelope Douglas’s Bully. An added plus is the slow-burn romance. No insta love here.
When Hannah Wells finally finds someone who turns her on, she’s eager to make a move. But there’s one thing holding Hannah back: her lack of confidence in the sexual intimacy department. To push herself out of her comfort zone, she agrees to tutor the arrogant captain of the hockey team in an exchange for a fake date. No one was supposed to catch feelings, but after an explosive night, Garrett is dead set on convincing Hannah that he’s the one for her.
For a sports-themed enemies to lovers romance that will keep you gripped from start to finish, The Deal is one of the best enemies to lovers books for you. Your interest will be piqued as soon as Hannah makes the deal with the college bad boy.
According to the old adage, opposites attract… Unless you’re applying that belief to executive assistants Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman. From the moment they walk through those pristine office doors, the two nemeses go to war, slinging passive aggressive comments and scorned-filled glances at one another. And when the rivals learn of the upcoming promotion, their office becomes a warzone. But there’s a thin line between love and hate.
If you’re in the mood to read one of the best enemies to lovers books, this is it. The Hating Game is perfect for anyone who’s interested in an enemies to lovers office romance with loads of sexual tension.
Caroline Reynolds is done with her neighbor’s late-night sexcapades. Ever since moving into her beautiful new apartment, she has been subjected to a chorus of moans, spanks, bangs and a sprinkle of meows. Thanks to the thin walls, she hears everything.
One night, she reaches her boiling point. Clad in a pink babydoll nightie with a glare that could kill, Caroline stomps over to her neighbor’s door, ready for the confrontation that’s been brewing ever since that first wallbang. But the results of her midnight rendezvous are mixed.
For a laugh-out-loud enemies to lovers romance between two neighbors who can’t stand each other, I recommend checking out Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger.
Budding soccer star Sal is overjoyed when she hears about their new coach: Reiner Kulti. As her long-time childhood crush and idol, she can think of nothing better than being coached by the elusive soccer legend. That is, until she meets him and realizes he’s a shadow of the passionate champion she admired growing up.
Kulti is one of the best enemies to lovers books out there. If you love slow-burn, enemies to lovers romance books with an age gap, then it’s time to give Kulti a go. You’ll love it.
Vicious is one of the most ruthless fictional assholes out there. He has a heart of stone and basically treats everyone like dirt; a real winner over here. The person who is on the receiving end of his taunts and ridicule the most is Emilia LeBlanc, the daughter of the hired help living on the grounds of his father’s estate. He treats her like utter crap and eventually runs her out of town. Ten years pass and they meet again. Vicious wants her back and won’t stop until he wins her over.
For a bully love story where the hero has a huge chip on his shoulder and takes it out on the daughter of the hired help, take a peek at Vicious . . . there’s a thin line between love and hate.
Vanessa Mazur is a glorified mother to the famous football legend nicknamed The Wall of Winnipeg. What was supposed to be a temporary position turned into a two-year game of running around like a chicken with its head cut off for a man who never even had the time to acknowledge her birthday. Knowing it’s time she moves on, Van hands in her letter of resignation. Imagine her surprise when Aiden Graves shows up on her doorstep, asking that she come back.
As one of the best enemies to lovers romance books, The Wall of Winnipeg needs to be on your TBR bookshelf. Plus, if you love slow-burn romances, you’ll fall in love with this hidden gem. After all, Mariana Zapata puts the slow in slow-burn.
In the aftermath of her mother’s passing, nineteen-year-old Blaire Wynn moves in with her father and his new wife in their beach house along the East Coast. What Blaire never anticipated was Rush Finley, her twenty-four-year-old step-brother who has an uncanny talent at getting under her skin. With the house to themselves for the entire summer, there are so many things that can go wrong… or right.
Interested in a forbidden enemies to lovers romance between step siblings? Fallen Too Far features all of that plus a pantydropping rockstar that will take your breath away.
High school senior Greta Hansen has no idea what to expect from her new year long roommate, Elec O’Rourke, a stepbrother she’s never met until now. Broody and arrogant, Elec sends mixed signals from the moment he moves in to the moment he abruptly leaves. Fast forward seven years and they meet once again. This time, they’re not letting go…
If you enjoy bully romance books with a taboo premise (step-sibling romance), then you should take a look at Stepbrother Dearest.
Misha Lare and Ryen Trevarrow have been pen-pals since fifth grade for a school project when their teachers paired them together, mistakenly assuming they were the same gender. They have kept in touch ever since and have gone on to become best friends despite never meeting in person. That all changes in high school when Misha suddenly goes radio silent.
Unbeknownst to Ryen, she met Misha a few weeks back at a fundraising scavenger hunt for his band. Completely different from the girl he knows from the letters, Misha is shocked and disgusted by this stranger.
When new boy Masen Laurent “Misha” shows up in one of Ryen’s classes and stands up for a boy who’s being bullied by one of Ryen’s friends, she’s intrigued. That is, until she finds herself at the receiving end of his anger and blatant disapproval. Confused as to why his opinions matter so much to her, she finds herself taking the bait and adding fuel to the fire.
If you’re in the mood for a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers bully romance book where the guy pretends to be someone else, you’ll love Punk 57.
It’s Meg’s best friend’s wedding day to the town’s golden boy turned mayor Ted. Lucy has cold feet, so Meg gives her some honest advice which leads to one embarrassing wedding day. Lucy jets out of Wynette, Texas while Meg lands herself in a sticky situation. One where Ted pulls her over in a police car. Curious, aren’t you…
If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, this is the cure. The number of times I laughed should have been illegal (not). Susan Elizabeth Phillips sure knows how to write hysterical enemies to lovers romances.
When the free-spirited Sparrow finds herself walking down the aisle to Boston’s infamous Irish mob boss known as The Fixer, she refuses to shrink away from his icy stare or allow his ruthless reputation to send her running. Determined to fulfill his promise, Troy will do whatever it takes… even if that means clipping Sparrow’s wings.
For readers obsessed with the mob, Sparrow is the perfect enemies to lovers romance to satisfy all your dark and twisted underground needs.
Small town golden girl Sugar Beth Carey burned dozens of bridges growing up as the reigning Queen Bee of her high school. Since her regime of terror, life gave Sugar Beth a hard reality check, pushing her to return to the one place she will never be welcomed: Parrish. Teaming with bitter ex-best friends, broken-hearted boyfriends and a vengeful teacher-turned-author whose reputation was tarnished after Sugar Beth took a sledgehammer to his career, the residents of Parrish have not buried the hatchet.
And when Sugar Beth returns to town, broke and desperate, everybody wants their pound of flesh. After all, karma is a bitch.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips delivers a story of redemption, forgiveness and love in Ain’t She Sweet. Filled with witty banter and laugh-out-loud moments, Ain’t She Sweet is one of the best enemies to lovers books, perfect for anyone in the mood for a hilarious second chance romance.
Olivia and Caleb met in college…and the rest is history. That is, until things ended badly, pushing Olivia to run for the hills. Four years pass before Olivia suddenly runs into Caleb again. Expecting an awkward and chilly interaction, Olivia’s shocked when she realizes he has no idea who she is. Turns out, he’s suffering from a severe form of amnesia after a car accident.
With Caleb’s lack of memories, Olivia sees this as a prime time to turn back the clock and start over, maybe even fall back in love. The only problem with this plan is Caleb’s current girlfriend Leah who has no plans of letting him go. Olivia is walking on a tightrope and one misstep can destroy everything.
In the mood for a second chance romance with a twist that you’ll never see coming? If yes, you should think about reading The Opportunist. It will not disappoint.
When Amelia’s grandmother died, she left her beach house to Amelia and her childhood friend Justin. The catch is that Amelia and Justin have not spoken for years after having a falling out that left Justin with a broken heart.
After finding her fiance cheating on her, Amelia packs her bags and heads out with her grandmother’s beach house in mind. Expecting to have the beach house to herself, Amelia is shocked to find Justin, especially when she realizes he’s not alone.
If you’re looking for second chance romance books with an enemies to lovers trope that is equally funny as it is angsty, RoomHate is one of the best enemies to lovers books for you.
With each passing year, Jasmine Suko knows her chances of winning the coveted gold medal dwindle and when her skating partner ditches her, she’s ready to hang up her skates. But when Jasmine is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete in an upcoming competition with the a-hole golden boy she’s fantasized of pushing off a cliff for the past decade, she accepts, prepared to live out her dreams. Except it’s not that easy.
If they want this partnership to work, they’ll need to try to reign in the insults and refrain from killing each other before their big day. But between their grueling schedule and forced trust exercises, the nemeses soon learn there is a fine line between love and hate.
Fans of Kulti, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and slow-burn enemies to lovers romance will love From Lukov with Love. This sports-themed romance will end with you gushing about Jasmine and Lukov and falling into a YouTube figure skating rabbit hole.
When Lucy temporarily moves in with her best friend Olive and her husband Jason, she never expects the legendary Hollywood heartthrob Adam Connor to move in next door with his son. Curious to catch a glimpse of the famous bachelor, Lucy and Olive dabble in some light espionage and peer over the fence. In a twist of fate, Lucy finds herself locked behind bars with a new brand-new enemy in Adam Connor.
Hate Adam Connor? Is that even possible? Ella Maise delivers a funny, swoonworthy romance between a recently divorced single dad and a heartbroken college grad. Filled with off the charts chemistry, this enemies to lovers romance will have you breaking out the bullhorn, confessing your love to Adam Connor.
British rock god Alex Winslow is an addict stuck on lockdown after spiraling down a rabbit hole of self-destruction upon learning of his girlfriend and best friend’s betrayal. Set to go on tour, his agent hires a sobriety companion “babysitter” to help keep him from on the road to recovery while on the road.
Enter Indigo Bellamy. Indie needs this job and if that means dealing with Alex’s cantankerous ass, so be it. Nothing will dissuade Indie from a job that could be the key to helping her family. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy when it comes to the serial heartbreaker.
L.J. Shen is a master at the enemies to lovers trope and Midnight Blue is a shining example. Indie and Alex’s story is one of healing, forgiveness and love and will make your heart race. You won’t get off this emotional rollercoaster the same as how you hopped on.
Charlotte is a twenty something year-old, unemployed gal with a cheating ex in New York. When she drops off her wedding dress at a thrift shop, she discovers a beautiful dress with a note sewn into the tulle signed by Reed Eastwood. That night, Charlotte gets drunk on wine and ends up doing some light Facebook stalking on Reed. Turns out he’s a smoldering young lad who may or may not still have a fiancé.
In a moment of drunken spontaneity, Charlotte finds out he’s showing a loft priced around $6 million and sends in a request form. To say their initial impressions were disastrous would be an understatement. In an ironic twist of fate, Charlotte unknowingly lands a job as a secretary/personal assistant… for Reed.
Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward deliver a binge-worthy romance where a bad liar and an insensitive jerk clash in an epic battle of wills. Hate Notes is a smoldering enemies to lovers romance that will keep you up to the wee hours of the morning.
All it takes is one decision to irrevocably change the future.
Four years ago, Daria Followhill took fate into her own hands when she single handedly destroyed a fellow dancer’s chance at achieving her dreams and, in doing so, destroyed a relationship with the guy who wanted all her firsts. Now, he’s back. Except, this time, he’s her foster brother.
Penn Scully adored Daria until he didn’t. When she shattered the only good thing in his life, everything changed. He still wants her, but not in the same way. This time, the roles are switched and he’ll become the guy who destroys her.
Read Pretty Reckless if you’re looking for high school enemies to lovers romance books with misunderstood characters who toe the line between love and hate.
Born into a wealthy family, Emery Winthrop had it all: money, a loving family and a best friend who made her heart flutter. When Emery decides to make her move, she grossly miscalculates when she slides into the wrong bed: Nash Prescott’s, her best friend’s older brother. But in the midst of a family scandal, Emery’s boy problems are quickly forgotten when her life takes a turn for the worst. Now, four years later, the tables have turned and Nash has his sights set on the girl he’s never forgotten.
Read Devious Lies if you’re in the mood for an enemies-to-lovers slow-burn age gap romance.
In the wake of Harlow (Low) Westbrook’s father’s death, Low is determined to drown out her feelings with alcohol and sex. Finding her boyfriend trading spit with another girl is the cherry on top of the worst day of her life and the cause of the next series of events which ends with Low getting down and dirty with the junior chapter of the Sainthood, a powerful gang.
Saint, Galen, Caz and Theo are rumored to never go back for seconds. When they step through the doors of Low’s new school, that rumor quickly becomes a thing of the past as they lay “claim” on Low. From there, Low’s life takes a sharp u-turn into uncharted territories as she grapples with four complicated guys, buried secrets that were never supposed to be unearthed and a new “dad” who is the epitome of the devil. Jump on in for a truly wicked ride!
Read Resurrection if you prefer the reverse-harem/bully academy trope where the heroine has no problem giving it right back. The smut scale is off the charts and when I say off the charts, I mean off the charts. Strap yourself in because you’re for the ride of your life with this enemies to lovers romance.
Take a relaxing vacation with Olive Torres and Ethan Thomas on their Hawaii honeymoon. Well, it would be relaxing if Olive and Ethan weren’t always at each other’s throats and if the honeymoon was meant for them.
The unlucky twin of the bride Olive finds an unlikely nemesis in her future brother-in-law’s brother Ethan after a rocky first impression. When everyone in the wedding party besides Olive and Ethan falls sick with food poisoning, the newlyweds insist the two to go on their non refundable honeymoon trip. Deciding they can simply ignore one another while on the trip, they accept. But their plans are quickly dashed, pushing them to create an elaborate ruse that ends with them in a fake marriage.
For a witty and hilarious fake dating, enemies to lovers romance about two people who are forced to be around each other because their siblings are getting married, The Unhoneymooners is the perfect slow-burn romance read for you.
Alex Claremont, the first son of the United States, barely tolerates Henry, the Prince of England, and vice versa. In the aftermath of a particularly volatile verbal spar, the two are forced to play nice with one another when U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Still, no one ever said it was easy to build a friendship with your arch nemesis. As they truly get to know each other, their fake friendship blossoms and grows into something deeper they ever imagined.
If you’re obsessed with royalty, Red, White & Royal Blue is perfect for fans of M/M slow-burn enemies to lovers romance books. As one of the best enemies to lovers books ever written, it needs to be added to your TBR. Casey McQuinston’s instant bestseller will become your next book obsession.
Erika “Rika” Fane is exasperated with everything and everyone. Hoping to get a fresh start, Rika heads off to college in a new city. Those dreams are destroyed when she realizes her ex’s older brother Michael Crist, now a professional basketball player, is practically her neighbor.
When Michael realizes that Rika is in his city, he decides it’s time to serve up some justice for what Rika did three years prior. A decision that led to the imprisonment of his three best friends. With vengeance on his brain, Rika has no clue what she’s in for when Michael and his friends come for her.
If you’re in the mood for an intense, dark enemies to lovers romance, Penelope Douglas’s Corrupt is the perfect fit. Get ready for a tumultuous ride that will have you questioning your morals.
Speaking of Devil’s Night, Kill Switch is the third novel in this dark and twisted series, centered on a seemingly unredeemable villain and a fierce heroine who is not afraid to meet the hero head-on. In true Penelope Douglas fashion, you go from loathing Damon with a fiery passion to rooting him on over the span of three books. Fresh out of jail, Damon Torrance is ready to get revenge on the girl who put him there: Winter Ashby.
Overflowing with angst, steam and twists, Penelope Douglas weaves a dark complex web that will keep you intrigued and hoping to see more of Damon. The cherry on top? It’s one of her best enemies to lovers romance books to date.
Ever since the sixth grade, Dusty’s loathed the town’s golden boy with a blistering hatred. While she became the invisible loner, he transformed into the local football god who left Dusty behind when she needed him most. And her resentment towards the NFL-bound star has only grown over the past eight years.
Determined to follow her dreams of becoming a marine biologist, Dusty transfers to one of the best college programs which just so happens to be in the same city where Stone Reeves plays.
Dusty Phillips and Stone Reeves will take you on an emotional rollercoaster filled with angst, friendship, love and forgiveness. Fair warning, you’re bound to get whiplash.
Vaughn Spencer is the brooding artist: ruthless, arrogant and untouchable, no one gets past his defenses . . . well, except for Lenora. Vaughn and Lenny have a history and when Lenny enrolls in Todos Santos for her senior year, Vaughn makes it his mission to make her life hell.
Lenny is his opposite in every way. She stands her ground, matching him step for step. The only thing getting her through her senior year is the chance at winning a prestigious art internship with her biggest competition being Vaughn.
When Lenny learns they will both be interning in London, she finds herself questioning whether she should go. But Lenny has never been one to back down during a fight and she refuses to let Vaughn win this round.
If you love gritty love stories that don’t hold back, Angry God is one of the best enemies to lovers romance books to sink your teeth in.
Four years ago, Dylan and Jace were best friends. Then tragedy struck, pushing Dylan and her family to move away. By the time Dylan returns to her hometown, everything has changed which she realizes on the first day of school when Jace makes it known that she is persona non grata.
Confused by Jace’s intense hatred, Dylan tries giving him the benefit of the doubt. Once she realizes that Jace’s cruel new attitude is here to stay, Dylan finds her spine and gives it right back.
If you love the friends-to-enemies-to-lovers trope in bully romance books, I recommend adding Cruel Prince to your TBR list.
When Bailey Jennings’ boss trades in his scalpel for a pina colada, the surgical assistant is faced with a difficult choice: spend months learning a new specialty or take an open position as Dr. Russel’s assistant. Known to send his assistants running, Bailey is unsure whether she’ll be able to handle the intimidating surgeon with high expectations. But when it comes to her younger sister, she’ll do whatever it takes to keep them afloat. Even if that means dealing with Dr. Russel’s belligerent ass.
Hotshot Doc is a steamy, slow-burn medical romance between a hotshot doc and a brilliant surgical assistant who is probably the only assistant that can handle the brutal doc.
Zoey never expected her senior year to start with lube in her locker, but after getting a football player suspended for harassment, she has become a social pariah. One day, Zoey finds that she’s attracted the attention of the all-star quarterback Carter Mahoney. That’s when things go too far and Zoey finds herself caught in the snare of a devil lurking beneath the golden boy facade.
If you love books with a dark enemies to lovers romance, you should give Untouchable a go. But tread carefully, especially during the beginning of the book. It’s not for everyone.
Caven Hunt was minutes away from closing on a billion dollar business deal when he discovers a newborn baby girl on his doorstep who he later learns is his daughter. Four years later, Caven’s world is turned upside down once again when Hadley, the mother of his daughter, makes a surprise appearance at Rosie’s fourth birthday party. Suspicious of her intentions, Caven fights her at every turn until he learns of their shared past, drenched in tragedy.
Read Written with Regret if you’re in the mood for an emotional story filled with twists you’ll never see coming. The hatred the hero feels towards the mother of his child is a blazing wildfire, it knows no bounds.
Thirty-three-year-old business mogul Trent Rexroth, aka The Mute, has no time for distractions, especially in the form of eighteen-year-old high school senior Edie Van Der Zee. Blackmailed by her father, Edie is tasked with finding dirt on Trent, but along the way, she finds something completely different, yet incredibly priceless.
If you’re hungry for one of the best taboo enemies to lovers romance books with an age gap, this book needs to be added to your TBR list. Scandalous is bound to send your ovaries into overdrive.
Kate Evans is an expert on unrequited love. The boy of her dreams and her best friend from college fell in love. Now happily married with four children, Kate has long since buried those feelings. But when tragedy strikes, Kate alters her entire life to help Shane with the kids while he’s deployed. Things become even more complicated when they find solace in each other on the anniversary of Rachel’s death. A night they would soon regret.
With a hero everyone loves to hate and a heroine everyone wishes would grow a backbone and deliver a verbal smackdown on said hero, Unbreak My Heart is perfect for anyone who wants to become enraged. Fair warning, the hero is an unredeemable a-hole for most of the story.
When Summer Jenkins hears of a big Hollywood production coming to her small Southern town, she is anything but thrilled. But when she catches a break and is offered a job helping the movie scout learn more about the town, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Everything is going great until Mr. Hollywood heartthrob Cole Masten struts into town, managing to push every single one of Summer’s buttons along the way.
Hollywood Dirt is a fun, exciting and steamy enemies to lovers Hollywood romance that you’ll fall in love with.
Walking down the aisle with cold feet and second thoughts is not a great way to start a marriage, but what’s she to do? Daisy has no other choice. She’s broke. Every one of her credit cards have been cancelled. And the cherry on top of this delightful situation? She’s been threatened with jail time if she refuses to marry the mystery man. All she has to do is stick out the next six months with his traveling circus and then she’s free.
Humorous, witty and emotional, Kiss an Angel centers around an arranged marriage that evolves from a fake relationship into something real. Daisy and Alex’s enemies to lovers romance will make you laugh, cry and think. It’ll undoubtedly stay on your mind for quite some time.
When the uptight thirty-five-year-old lawyer Flint Hopkins rents out the upstairs unit to the bubbly, recently divorced music therapist Ellen Rodgers, he expects Beethoven and noise cancelling headphones. What Flint gets instead is a cacophony of sounds that permeate through the walls and drive him insane.
Determined to send Ellen on her way, Flint serves her with an eviction notice. But his plans are quickly derailed when his twelve-year-old autistic son Harrison becomes fast friends with Ellen and develops an appreciation for her music and four pet rats.
Hilarious, sexy and fun, Look the Part is an unputdownable rom-com and one of the best enemies to lovers romance books, perfect for fans of music, the slow-burn trope and single fathers.
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