19 Best Rivals to Lovers Romance Books

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Are you a fan of the rivals to lovers trope in books? If you are, then you’re in luck! 

With a blend of romantic comedies as well as more academia-based rivals to lovers, there’s something for every reader. So, if you’re curious to find out which books you should be adding to your reading list, then come join us and take a look at the best books with the rivals to lovers trope.

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

As senior year winds down, Rowan Roth and Neil McNair face off in the final battle of their long-standing rivalry: Howl, a fast-paced, high-stakes game that takes them around Seattle. With Neil at the top of the class, Rowan is determined to secure one last victory – no matter what. 

Rachel Lynn Solomon’s Today, Tonight, Tomorrow offers readers a thrilling ride with a heart-pumping YA romantic comedy that features swoon-worthy moments, side-splitting laughter, and an empowering message about female strength. It’s the perfect read for lovers of teenage romance books with the rivals-to-lovers trope.

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From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

When Jasmine Suko’s skating partner abruptly leaves her, she’s almost certain her dream of winning a coveted gold medal is over. But when she’s presented with the opportunity to compete in an upcoming competition with the golden boy she’s despised for the past decade, she reluctantly accepts.

If they want this partnership to work, they’ll need to refrain from killing each other—a seemingly impossible feat. But between their grueling schedule and forced trust exercises, the nemeses soon learn there is a fine line between love and hate.  

Romance readers will swoon over From Lukov With Love, a rivals-to-lovers tale with a steamy figure skating twist. The slow-burn narrative will have you cheering for Jasmine and Lukov and falling into a YouTube figure skating rabbit hole by the end.

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Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid 

The long-standing rivalry between Canadian hockey sensation Shane Hollander and Russian heartthrob Ilya Rozanov is one of epic proportions. But what nobody knows is that it’s all a front. Ever since the beginning of their careers, they’ve been secretly hooking. And now, as the hottest names in the NHL, they’ll have to work extra hard to keep their hidden affair hidden. 

Heated Rivalry is an unmissable MM romance with the rivals to lovers trope that’s sure to keep you hooked. Filled with witty banter and sweet moments, you won’t be able to stop smiling while reading Shane and Ilya’s story. This book is the perfect pick for readers who like their sports romances with a side of drama.

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TJ Power Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo

Beautiful debater TJ Powar decides to take a stand against unrealistic beauty ideals when her cousin Simran becomes the target of a meme shaming her for her natural body hair. Determined to deconstruct the harmful standards, TJ ditches the razors to prove that body hair does not detract from one’s beauty.  

TJ Power Has Something to Prove is a beautifully-written debut from Jesmeen Kaur Deo that is rich with positive messages, humor, and a swoon-worthy academic rivals-to-lovers romance that steals the spotlight. 

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Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

Fall head over heels with the hilarious and heartwarming Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute from Talia Hibbert. This romantic adventure follows two unlikely lovers: a conspiracy-obsessed content creator and a star football player whose lives collide when they are forced to embark on a journey into the great outdoors, testing their survival skills and clashing in a clash of wills. Will they overcome their differences and find true love? Read this cute rivals-to-lovers romance to find out!

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Beach Read by Emily Henry

When college rivals Augustus Everett and January Andrews realize they are spending the summer in neighboring beach houses, they discover they have one thing in common: writer’s block. Desperate for their manuscripts to be done by the end of the summer, they make a deal to push them out of their comfort zones.

What could possibly go wrong between the acclaimed fiction novelist Augustus, who is used to killing off his entire character ensemble, and January, a bestselling romance writer who is partial to happy endings?

Emily Henry’s swoon-worthy contemporary romance Beach Read is the perfect story for fans of the rivals-to-lovers trope.

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Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Alex Claremont, the first son of the United States, and Henry – the Prince of England – have never seen eye to eye. But when the countries’ relationship turns sour, they must put aside their differences to appear friendly. Little do they know, their fake friendship will soon become something much more. 

If you love royal-themed books, then Red, White & Royal Blue is the perfect pick for you! From the witty writer, Casey McQuinston, comes this celebrated hit with a rivals-to-lovers romance that’ll make you laugh and swoon throughout your read. Get it now, and it’s sure to be your new favorite obsession!

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Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

In Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries, Heather Fawcett weaves an enchanting fantasy world rich with vivid world-building, complex characters, and deadly magic. 

Cambridge professor Emily Wilde has always been fascinated by the Fair Folk, pushing her to put together the first-ever encyclopedia of faerie lore. 

When her work takes her to the tiny village of Hrafnsvik, she has no plans of making friends with the townsfolk, especially not with her insufferable academic and mysterious rival, Wendall Bambleby, who seems to stunt her and her research at every turn.    

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I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Chloe Green is determined to become valedictorian at Willowgrove Academy. That is until Shara Wheeler, the sharp-tongued it-girl and her high school rival, turns her world upside-down with a kiss the weekend of senior prom. To make matters worse, Shara disappears with no clue as to where she’s gone. 

Determined to get to the bottom of things, Chloe enlists the help of the two other people Shara kissed: Smith, the quarterback, and Rory, the boy next door. Together, the trio embarks on a hilarious mission to uncover the truth. 

In I Kissed Shara Wheeler, Casey McQuiston serves up a deliciously funny romance packed with wit, charm and plenty of clever plot twists. It is a must-read for readers looking for a rivals-to-lovers romance.

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Kiss the Sky by Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie 

Rose Calloway’s life seems perfect: a prestigious Ivy League education, successful business, and a relationship with her college rival-turned-intellectual counterpart. But when her sister’s sex addiction leaks and sales of Calloway Couture plummet, Rose resorts to an unconventional solution: Reality TV. 

For Connor Cobalt, starring in the show and helping to repair Rose’s reputation is a challenge—one that tests him at every turn. Luckily, Connor never backs down from a challenge. 

Kiss the Sky is a swoon-worthy romance that follows the classic rivals-to-lovers trope. Get ready for high-tension banter in French, Shakespearean seductions, and heated intellectual conversations. The perfect book for readers who love a passionate story with plenty of cute couple moments.

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Falling for My Enemy by Claire Kingsley

Corban Nash and Hazel Kiegen are academic nemeses: Corbon believes his theory can make two people fall in love, and Hazel vehemently disagrees. 

Find out whose theory is valid in this fun romantic comedy.

Falling for My Enemy is a popular romance with the rivals-to-lovers trope overflowing with sexual tension, witty banter, and ultra-swoon-worthy moments.

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Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

In Divine Rivals, Rebecca Ross weaves an enchanting fantasy world immersed with magic, intrigue, and a rivals-to-lovers romance.

At eighteen, Iris Winnow is doing everything she can to keep her family together. But with her mother’s addiction and her brother missing on the front lines, she knows that the only way to make things manageable is to snatch the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette. 

To stave her worries, she pens letters to her brother and places them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish. What Iris does not realize is that they find their way into the hands of her rival at the paper, the cold and calculating Roman Kitt. When Roman writes back, Iris unknowingly forges a connection with her archrival.  

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Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Nora Stephens, the renowned and ambitious literary agent, is unwillingly pulled away from her workaholic life when her pregnant sister Libby invites her on a trip to the small town of Sunshine Falls.

Already dreading the idea of a “relaxing girls’ getaway,” her mood darkens even further when she finds out her arch nemesis, Charlie Lastra, an editor from New York, is also visiting. Despite all her attempts to avoid him, the two keep bumping into each other.

Filled with witty banter, explosive chemistry and charming moments, Book Lovers is sure to capture the hearts of many with its captivating romance. It is already being regarded as one of the best books featuring the ever-popular rivals to lovers trope, providing readers with an experience they won’t soon forget.

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The Risk by Elle Kennedy

What happens when the daughter of the hockey coach lands herself in a fake relationship with the captain of the rival team? 


Complete and utter chaos.

As one of the best college rivals-to-lovers romance books, I recommend taking a risk on The Risk, especially if you love swoon-worthy hockey players, hilarious banter, and sizzling hot chemistry. 

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Fans of the rivals-to-lovers trope won’t want to miss out on The Hating Game

From the moment Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman walk into the office, their icy rivalry ignites – passive aggressive comments, scorned glances and all. As the battle for the upcoming promotion intensifies, the line between love and hate begins to blur. 

This laugh-out-loud romantic comedy not only captures the heat between rivals, but also the palpable sexual tension. Curl up and let the hate turn to love – it’s the perfect story to warm your heart.

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Iced Out by C.E. Ricci

High school hockey archrivals Quinton de Haas and Oakley Reed are sworn enemies, with their long-standing feud still going strong as soon as they find themselves at Leighton University. Their taste for insults and physical scuffles, combined with the unlikely possibility of being on the same team, make them both apprehensive of the future.

Iced Out is a college romance that proves that even rivals can find love. It’s unputdownable, with sexy, cute, and heartwarming elements that make it one of the best rivals-to-lovers trope books out there. Be prepared for an unforgettable story of opposites that attract.

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A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

At the Scholomance, a deadly school where your life is at stake, El Higgins knows to survive she must tread lightly and be forever on high alert around others. That is, until she meets Orion Lake, the golden boy whose reputation precedes him.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik is an intricately crafted dark academia novel, blending classic fantasy elements with the ever-popular rivals-to-lovers trope. Get ready for an immersive experience that will leave you spellbound.

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Egotistical Puckboy by Eden Finley

Ezra Palaszczuk is the Texas-sized, gay pro-hockey star that everyone loves to hate. Bold, egotistical, and witty, he’s the undisputed best in the NHL—but what he doesn’t know is that his latest trade has brought him face-to-face with Anton Hayes, the league’s straight-laced golden boy and the same man who rocked his world during a steamy, unforgettable one-night stand.

Anton is every bit as cocky and confident as Ezra and is determined to keep his cool and focus on the ice, but it’s not easy when his closest rival ignites an undeniable spark that refuses to die.

Egotistical Puckboy is an unputdownable rivals-to-lovers romance filled with sizzling chemistry and sharp banter.

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The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Every year, six of the most powerful magicians get a chance to compete for a prestigious spot within the secret society of gifted magic practitioners. This year, the chosen few include the following six initiates: Libby, Nico, Parisa, Callum, Reina, and Tristan. All powerhouses in their own right. 

The catch?

Only five will make it to the end. 

Overflowing with deadly magic, intrigue, and hidden secrets, The Atlas Six is dark academia at its best. If you prefer novels low on the romance spectrum, this will be the perfect rivals-to-lovers book for you.

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