I love romance. Whether it’s the main plot or a subplot, I can guarantee it’s almost always my favorite part of any given book. And like any good romance fan, I have my particular favorite trope — enemies to lovers.
Friends to lovers is the classic romance slow burn, and — don’t get me wrong — I love that too. But there’s something about two people who start off hating each other, or otherwise pitted against each other, and who wind up falling in love that just gets to me. The breaking down of each other’s walls, the discovery that they really do have more in common, the reluctant acceptance that they actually like each other — swoon! It gets me every time.
I’ve rounded up a list of some of my personal favorite enemies-to-lovers stories. Check it out!
18 Fantastic Enemies to Lovers Romances
1. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Normally a Romeo and Juliet retelling features the star-crossed lovers trope (and it still does) but These Violent Delights is also an amazing enemies-to-lovers story. Heirs to rival gangs, Roma and Juliette must put their differences aside to save their city from a mysterious illness. Can they work together to save their city before they betray each other? You’ll have to read to find out.
2. Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
Snarky, annoyingly cute, next-door neighbor? Yes please! Liz is determined to get her longtime crush, Michael, to ask her to prom, but Michael has only seen her as little-Liz, the girl from his childhood. Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—even befriend Wes Bennet, her neighbor who has only ever been a pain in her side. But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes.
3. Made in Korea by Sarah Suk
This feel-good romantic comedy follows two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for. But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top.
4. Glimpsed by G.F. Miller
This charming, sparkly rom-com follows a wish-granting teen forced to question if she’s really doing good—and if she has the power to make her own dreams come true. Charity is a fairy godmother. She doesn’t wear a poofy dress or go around waving a wand, but she does make sure the deepest desires of the student population at Jack London High School come true. But, when Charity fulfills a glimpse that gets Vindhya crowned homecoming queen, it ends in disaster.
5. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.
6. Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
In Today Tonight Tomorrow, Rowan and Neil have been rivals since the start of high school and nothing can change that…or so they thought. When they have to team up together for Howl, a senior class game, that will take them all over Seattle, they’ll discover that maybe they don’t hate each other after all.
7. Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
When Jaya Rao discovers that Grey Emerson, the heir to her family’s centuries-old rival is responsible for targeting her little sister in the newspapers, she devises a plan to make him fall in love with her with the intent of breaking his heart. The only problem is that Grey Emerson is not what she expected.
8. The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
Jenn Bennett’s newest book, The Lady Rogue, takes place in 1930s Romania and follows Theo as she and her ex-boyfriend Huck set out to rescue her father who disappeared while searching for a mysterious ring that was believed to have belonged to Vlad the Impaler himself. With only her father’s journal to guide them, Theo and Huck are in for a big adventure and maybe by the end they’ll be able to rekindle their love for each other.
9. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Elisabeth has been training her entire life to be a librarian in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries. In her world, books of magic are dangerous and can transform into terrible monsters. Her entire life has been spent protecting the kingdom from their power. Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
10. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Zorie and Lennon used to be best friends, but now they avoid each other at all costs. When a camping trip goes south, the two teens find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together. What could go wrong? You can find out in this second novel from Alex, Approximately author Jenn Bennett.
11. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
In a world where death has been eradicated, the population is controlled by Scythes — a mysterious group of people with the power to “glean,” or permanently kill, anyone they want. When Citra and Ronan are chosen to be apprentices to Scythe Faraday, they’re in for more than they bargained for — especially when their apprenticeships turn into a competition that only one of them can survive.
12. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Isobel knows that the fair folk are not to be trusted. But Isobel’s life is thrown into disarray when she accidentally paints mortal sorrow into the eyes of Rook, the Autumn Prince, and he spirits her away to his kingdom to stand trial. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
13. This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
The world has been overrun by a mysterious plague that’s put humankind on the brink of extinction. Hacking genius Catarina Agatta hates the shadowy corporation Cartaxus — they kidnapped her father Lachlan years earlier to force him to work for them. But when Cartaxus soldier Cole shows up on her doorstep with news that her father’s been killed, and that Cat is the only person who could access the cure Lachlan supposedly found before he died, Cat must decide who she can trust.
14. Shimmer and Burn by Mara Taranta
When her sister is captured, Faris is forced to work with Princess Bryn and a traveling magician named North on a dangerous scheme — smuggling magic into a plague-ridden neighboring kingdom. Find out what happens in this exciting and dangerous start to a brand-new fantasy duology.
15. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Dimple is fed up with her mother’s traditionalism and obsessive quest to find Dimple the “ideal Indian husband.” Luckily, the summer program for aspiring web developers she’s in will offer a reprieve from that. Except Rishi is also attending the program. Rishi who, unbeknownst to Dimple, is the second half of a suggested arranged marriage her parents have set up for her.
16. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Esta is a talented thief with an incredible ability — she can manipulate time. She uses this power to steal magical artifacts from a sinister organization, the Order, looking to keep magic users down. And all of her training has been for one mission: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book before a man known only as The Magician can destroy it and doom magic users forever. But Old New York is not what Esta expected — and neither is the Magician.
17. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
In Tally’s world turning 16 doesn’t mean getting your license, it means getting a surgery to be turned “pretty”. But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world—and it isn’t very pretty. Enter David, someone from the outside who against everything Tally ever knew.
18. Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
Amelia & her best friend Cate have worked at Molly Meade’s locally famous ice cream stand for the last 3 summers. When Molly suddenly passes away, her grandnephew Grady takes over and starts making changes. Grady’s presence threatens everything Amelia wants to protect–the stand, her friendships, and most inconveniently, her heart. Grady and Amelia don’t always agree, especially at the beginning, and this leads to some major conflict that’s further complicated by some major chemistry.