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When the need to read a ‘hate at first sight’ romance book hits, nothing is better than a well-written enemies to lovers romance. From morally questionable villains to rivals from opposing kingdoms to foes on opposite sides of the battlefield, the enemies to lovers trope makes for an interesting storyline between two people who fall in love despite their initial hatred towards the other. And if you’re not a fan of insta-love romances, you’re in luck. Enemies to lovers romance books almost always have a slow-burn element and they typically put the slow in slow-burn making it all the more satisfying.
It’s been 42 days since the apocalypse: the day angels descended from above to eradicate humanity. For Penryn, life has become a game of life and death where only the lucky survive. When her younger sister is kidnapped, Penryn will do whatever it takes to rescue her. Even if that means striking up an unlikely alliance with the enemy.
After eons of fighting his own battles, Raffe never expects a half-starved teenage girl to come to his rescue. But when a fight ends with him wingless, they must rely on each other to survive the dangerous wastelands of Northern California.
Angelfall is the book to read if you’re a fan of fantasy enemies to lovers romance books set in an apocalyptic world ruled by angels with a slow-burn romance between foes.
Feyre is out hunting when she notices a wolf stalking her prey. When she kills the predator, she never expects to be swept away to a magical kingdom and placed on trial for murder. Held captive by the mysterious green-eyed Tamlin, Feyre finds herself growing feelings for her jailer. But the question remains: What is he hiding behind the mask he refuses to remove?
As one of the best Beauty and the Beast retellings, ACOTAR is a must-read for anyone looking for one of the best fantasy enemies to lovers books filled with adventure, magic and romance.
At seven, Jude’s entire life imploded, leaving her orphaned and reliant on her kidnapper after being whisked away to live in Faerie. At seventeen, Jude wants nothing more than to fit in, despite her own mortality. But many of the Fae despise humans, especially the youngest son of the High King. Cunning, charming, cruel and wicked, Prince Cardan has a real mean streak when it comes to Jude. But the tides are changing. Swept into a deadly game of politics, Jude must stay one step ahead to come out victorious.
The Cruel Prince is perfect for everyone out there who loves their fantasy enemies to lovers romance books centered around cutthroat fae, scheming royals and a slow burn romance (of epic proportions).
After a botched mission, gifted thief Romeria’s night takes a turn for the worse when a mysterious woman tricks her into providing her services. Tasked with a dangerous quest to save Sofie’s husband, Romy is spirited away to an unsettling realm of warring kingdoms, unstable monarchies, and fantastical creatures.
The mission would be simple if not for the identity she has assumed as the treacherous Ybarisan Princess. Imprisoned for murdering the king and queen on her wedding day, Romy must figure a way out of her precarious predicament. All while looking for the sought-after stone hidden within Islet’s sacred garden.
Exciting, beautiful and unpredictable, A Fate of Wrath and Flame is an enchanting tale overflowing with political intrigue, magical twists, unforeseen betrayals and a blossoming romance. And as one of the best enemies-to-lovers fantasy romances released in 2021, you won’t be able to put this page-turner down once you feast your eyes on K.A. Tucker’s intricate world-building and magnificent prose. Prepare to be spellbound.
Since the beginning of time, the Aska and Riki Viking clans have harbored nothing but resentment towards each other. During their yearly battle, Eelyn, an Aska warrior, spots her brother fighting on the wrong side on the wrong side of the battlefield. A brother who she believed to be dead. Hungry for answers, she follows him only to end up a prisoner of the Riki.
Read Sky in the Deep if you’re interested in slow-burn fantasy enemies to lovers romance books with a strong female heroine, Vikings and epic battles.
The Wrath and the Dawn tells the story of eighteen-year-old caliph, Khalid, who takes a new bride each night only to have a silk cord wrapped around their neck each morning and a commoner, Shahrzad, who is intent on ending after her best friend falls victim to Khalid.
For an enemies to lovers romance mixed with a pinch of magic and a deadly vendetta, give The Wrath and the Dawn a chance. This fantasy romance novel will not let you down.
Starting your senior year at a new school in a new town is hard enough as it is without adding in the hot jerky neighbor. Everything changes the day Daemon rescues Katy by freezing time. Forced to reveal his unique origins, he accidentally marks Katy as a target. Together, they must figure out how to get rid of the mark before it’s too late.
Light up your day with this forbidden enemies to lovers romance between a native Earthborn human and an extraterrestrial from a different galaxy.
Former street thief turned Rahtan, a member of Queen Lia’s elite squad of soldiers, Kazi is given a mission to locate the man responsible for the deaths of Lia’s father and brother. Rumors of the general’s whereabouts lead her to Hell’s Mouth, a city unofficially under the control of the Ballenger family. When Jace, the new Patrei of the Ballenger family, finds himself abducted and shackled to Kazi by labour traders, they must trust each other in order to escape and survive the elements.
I recommend reading Dance of Thieves if you like your fantasy romance novels centered around kickass characters who can handle their own in a fight… and, of course, the enemies to lovers trope. You can never go wrong with that one.
Louise le Blanc escapes to the city of Cesarine where she blends in as a common thief, hiding the fact that she’s a witch. If the wrong person finds out, she may find herself burned at the stake as witches are feared and hunted by the masses.
As a Chasseur (huntsman) for the Church, Reid Diggory is bound to one duty: kill all witches. However, he finds himself in a precarious predicament when Lou pulls a sly stunt that ultimately ends with the two becoming husband and wife.
If you’re into magic, witches, and an enemies-to-lovers romance between a hero with questionable morals and a quick witted heroine who can hold her own plus a fake engagement, then Serpent & Dove is one of the best fantasy romance novels for you. It literally has everything!
When Aria and her sisters return to the Human Realm of Haven Falls, they hope to find their missing sister except she’s not there. They soon discover that the Human Realm has changed and nothing is what it seems, especially Knox, a stubborn and egotistical man who stepped up as the unofficial king in the wake of the sisters’ absence.
Aria and Knox clash in a fiery explosion of sparks when they first meet and the sparks show no signs of dying. Still, no matter how much Knox is falling for Aria’s personality and friendly banter, nothing will stop him from setting the stage for the war he’s been planning for the past 500 years. Not even the descendants of Hecate.
You haven’t seen true hatred until you’ve read Flames of Chaos, making it perfect for anyone interested in an extreme case of the enemies to lovers trope.
Swept away from her sheltered life in the countryside town of Halfix with her uncle, Elloren Gardner is swiftly thrust into a shiny, new world of pretty veiled threats, treacherous political landmines, lofty expectations and preconceived beliefs that prove more debilitating than bullets. As the granddaughter of the Black Witch, Elloren’s lack of magic is a great source of disappointment in her aunt’s eyes.
Only when she begins attending Verpax University does she begin to question everything: her beliefs, the laws of the land, the history of her people and her burgeoning feelings for the enigmatic son of the commander and the mysterious Kelt who hates her on sight. Nothing is what it seems and the world, crumbling beneath the Gardnerian’s rule, is on the precipice of change.
If you like enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance books that are light on the romance and heavy on everything else, I would suggest The Black Witch, especially if you enjoy flawed characters with wonderful character arcs.
With her large collection of prince’s hearts, Princess Lira is revered across the ocean as one of the sea’s deadliest sirens. But when fate forces her hand in killing another siren, Lira’s mother transforms her into the one thing she despises the most: human.
Hunting sirens isn’t simply a hobby for Prince Elian, it’s his purpose. After unknowingly rescuing the siren princess from the grizzly depths of the ocean, Elian finds an unlikely partner in the mysterious woman in his quest to destroy all of sirenkind. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Right?
The Siren Reaper and the Heart Thief clash in this epic maritime love story between mortal enemies, perfect for anyone who loves enemies to lovers romance books.
As a mercenary, Kate Daniels makes a living by cleaning up supernatural messes. But when her guardian is viciously murdered with no witnesses or leads in sight, Kate takes control of the investigation, inadvertently drawing her into a precarious situation dominated by two warring rivals within the magical community. If Kate’s life wasn’t hard enough, she soon learns she’s become a target of a merciless killer.
Between Kate’s badass “take no shits” personality and Curran’s stubborn, assholeish streak, you have yourself one helluva entertaining read ahead of you. Expect witty banter, hilarious Kate Daniels-isms and a splendid enemies to lovers romance, perfect for all you slow-burn fans out there.
It has been foretold that the arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will spell the end for mankind. Well, humanity has been judged and they’ve been deemed guilty. When Pestilence rides into town, Sarah Burn refuses to stand by and do nothing as everyone she loves dies. Determined to end his reign of terror, Sarah makes an attempt on his life only to quickly learn that he’s indestructible.
With vengeance on his mind, Pestilence takes his would-be assassin hostage. But as they journey across state lines, Sarah finds her initial all-consuming hatred towards the deadly entity morphing into something unexpected. But the question remains: Can the horseman rise above his purpose and forge his own path?
For a spicy slow-burn enemies to lovers romance between a human and one of the four harbingers of the apocalypse, I recommend checking out Pestilence.
In place of the gallows, Yelena is offered the chance to become the Commander’s new food taster. Naturally, Yelena accepts.
However, the head of the Commander’s security Valek is not one to leave things to chance. To ensure Yelena doesn’t try running away, he feeds her Butterfly’s Dust, a fatal poison that requires a daily antidote to stave off an agonizing death.
Thrust into a dangerous world of politics, assassination attempts and deadly poisons, Yelena will need all her wits to survive this political warzone.
If you’re in the mood for fantasy romance books with magic, adventure and romance, Poison Study is right up your alley. Also, if you like your enemies to lovers romance books slow-burn with a dash of espionage, you’ll have a blast with this exciting paranormal romance!
Laia’s life is turned upside down when her brother is arrested and likely tortured by masked soldiers commonly referred to as the Masks. To save her brother, Laia seeks help from the resistance, but they demand something in return. As payment for their aid, Laia must enter Blackcliff Military Academy as a slave in order to spy on the Commandant who is in charge. While there, she meets the son of the Commandant, Elias, who wants nothing more than to escape his tyrannical mother and his rigid life as a Mask.
An Ember in the Ashes is perfect for anyone who loves slow-burn enemies to lovers romances, badass heroines and dystopian worlds. This is the fantasy romance novel for you!
As a maiden, Poppy’s life has never been her own. At a young age, Poppy was taught that her duty was to the kingdom. That one day, the gods would lay judgment on the future ruler and decide whether she’s worthy of ascending. But when a dashing guard enters her life, Poppy begins to question everything. And when a fallen kingdom forsaken by the gods emerges from the shadows, Poppy quickly finds herself on the brink of losing it all.
From Blood and Ash is an unputdownable tale centered around a nineteen-year-old girl at risk of losing her heart to the villain of her story. For an exciting enemies to lovers romance between two star-crossed souls, this fantasy romance book will make the perfect addition to your TBR list.
Getting captured by a ship of enemies was all part of the seventeen-year-old pirate captain’s plan. As a hostage, she’ll have the chance to search the ship for the fabled map believed to hold the secrets behind the hidden treasure. Romance was never supposed to be a part of this operation, but when Princess Alosa’s feelings grow complicated towards the brother of the cruel Captain, she must make a choice: act on her feelings and fail the Pirate King or find the ancient map.
Pirates, magic and adventure… What more can you ask for? Besides an enemies to lovers romance between a morally grey protagonist and a charismatic pirate, of course.
When criminal prodigy Kaz Brekkar is offered the once-in-a-lifetime chance at an impossible heist to earn an insane amount of money, he jumps at the chance. But to successfully carry out this deadly mission, Kaz needs to recruit the best crew the Barrels can provide: the dangerous assassin known as the Wraith, the gambling sharpshooter, the brains of the operation, the Grisha who can kill with a single look and a hunter trained to kill Grisha.
Breaking into the world’s most impenetrable fortress to rescue an important prisoner should be a walk in the park…
Rather than focusing solely on the romances, Leigh Bardugo writes the relationships to complement the story. And complement it they do. But to satisfy your enemies to lovers craving, Nina, the fun-loving Grisha, and Matteis, the complicated warrior, have you covered.
Growing up in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries has taught Elisabeth three things: (1) all sorcerers are evil, (2) the magical grimoires must be kept secure at all times and (3) that she wants to become a warden one day. That all changes when one of the most dangerous grimoires escapes one night and Elisabeth tries to intervene.
Suspicions arise when Elisabeth comes forth with the information and ends with her incriminated and in shackles. Sent off to the capital to answer for her “crimes,” Elisabeth must rely on the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn and his demonic servant as her world implodes.
On the market for fantasy enemies to lovers romance books featuring sorcerers, demons and a strong female heroine? Sorcery of Thorns is your perfect book match.
Cursed to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth birthday, Prince Rhen is determined to break the curse by falling in love.
From an absentee father, a mother whose time is limited and a brother who underestimates her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper understands struggles. When she witnesses what appears to be a kidnapping in action, Harper steps in and whacks the would-be kidnapper in the head…and ends up in Emberfall.
If you’re into Beauty and the Beast fairy tale retellings featuring a kickass heroine and an enemies to lovers trope, A Curse So Dark and Lonely is right up your alley. You’ll fall in love with this fantasy romance novel for sure!
It’s time to get into Sarah J. Maas’s Crescent City series, filled with magic, danger, and a scorching romance. Half-Fae and half-human Bryce Quinlan is out for blood after learning that her closest friends were murdered. With help from the infamous Fallen angel Hunt Athalar, Bryce plans on finding the murderer and bringing her friends justice.
Read House of Earth and Blood if you love the enemies to lovers trope, angels, demons and kickass heroines who will do whatever it takes to destroy the monster responsible for the vicious slaughter of her friends.
Powerful witch Andraa and gifted wizard Jatin would sooner see each other dead than be burdened by a sham marriage, a betrothal forged in the fiery pits of Hell, but fate has plans of her own. When their paths intertwine, neither fiancée recognizes the other beneath their false identities, but between epic battles and death-defying missions, the pair must learn to trust each other or die trying.
Searching for enemies to lovers romance books with a case of mistaken identities? Check out Cast in Firelight for a magical adventure with an epic romance.
Juliette’s touch is fatal. Imprisoned for a crime she never wanted to commit, Juliette has gone 264 days without touching another person since that fateful day. In a twist of fate, Juliette finds herself recruited by the Reestablishment, the very institution that had her imprisoned, for her deadly ability. Now held captive by the son of the enemy, Juliette must gain control over her powers before she becomes a puppet of the Reestablishment.
Read Shatter Me if you’re interested in enemies to lovers romance books where the hero is a literal villain who makes questionable choices.
Alessandra has a clear set of goals which are as follows: (1) Woo the Shadow King, (2) Marry him and (3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself. The third part of the plan goes awry when she saves him from numerous assassination attempts . . . after all, how else will she become queen if there is no king to make her his queen? Dance with the shadows in Tricia Levenseller’s latest novel The Shadows Between Us.
If you like your fantasy romance novels dark with a slow-burn enemies to lovers romance, then you should definitely read The Shadows Between Us.
Shifters, tellers, healers and spinners, oh my! If you have any interest whatsoever in the fantasy genre, then this will be right up your alley. With a shape-shifting king and a girl who can command anything to her will, it’s impossible to become bored.