Enemies-to-Lovers Is Taking Over #BookTok—These Are 15 Titles to Read, Stat

From rivalry to romance.

By Casey McKee
Camille Styles reading.

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I have shamelessly fallen down the #BookTok rabbit hole once again. All my free moments are spent on the app, consumed by book reviews, recommendations, and fan theories. Yet, within the past year, one trope has singlehandedly brought back my love for reading. Enter: enemies-to-lovers books. From rivals with the deepest hate in their hearts to a pair that’s madly in love, I can’t get enough of the spellbinding art of a good enemies-to-lovers tale.

While enemies-to-lovers books didn’t necessarily gain all of their popularity from TikTok (some of us are still avid Goodreads users and Barnes and Noble regulars), it’s certainly become one of the hottest topics within the BookTok community as of late. For me, it all began with the Bridgerton spin-off, Queen Charlotte. The rollercoaster of emotions between young Queen Charlotte and King George as they navigated their love story beginnings kept me addicted. And… the TikTok algorithm quickly followed suit. Suddenly, my FYP was packed with enemies-to-lovers book recommendations. And yes, I’ve been hooked ever since.

books stacked on table_enemies to lovers books

What are enemies-to-lovers books?

Most enemies-to-lovers books feature protagonists whose relationship with either an antagonist or another protagonist begins as hostile or adversarial, but gradually develops into a romantic and electric relationship. These books often explore themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the sheer power of love.

The trope emerged long before TikTok, with classics including Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Enemies-to-lovers books span a variety of genres, including contemporary romance, historical fiction, and dystopian literature.

remi ishizuka reading

15 Enemies-to-Lovers Books to Read, Stat

Warning: these enemies to lovers books may make you believe in love again. From fantasy to realistic fiction, it’ll be hard to set down any of these 15 picks. Happy reading!

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Genre: Fiction, Romance

Review: While I haven’t dived back into the literary world of Jane Austen since high school, I still credit Pride and Prejudice for much of my love for the enemies-to-lovers trope. As a true Regency Era fanatic, it’s not just Darcy and Elizabeth’s storyline that keeps readers hooked—it’s imagining the tale in a world of flowy gowns and elaborate balls.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A novel of manners about the romantic pas de deux between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, two begin as enemies depite their similarities. Pride and Prejudice practically created the enemies to lovers genre and has become one of the best-loved novels of all time.

2. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Genre: Romance

Review: This novel is all you could want in a cute and quirky enemies-to-lovers book. With relatable protagonists that demonstrate what it’s like to question your feelings, the banter and dialogue in The Hating Game is the enemies-to-lovers book for hopeless romantics everywhere.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other, and they have no problem displaying their feelings in a passive agressive manner in the workplace as executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Up for the same promotion, their battle of wills comes to a head.

3. Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez

Genre: Romance

Review: If you like the fake dating trope, this story is a well-executed iteration. Abby Jimenez’s effort and care in portraying a protagonist with a social anxiety disorder are commendable and make the storyline all the more realistic.

Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez

After leaving her cheating husband, ER doctor Brianna Ortiz finds herself falling for Dr. Jacob Maddox who may be the answer to all of her prayers.

4. A Court of Thornes and Roses by Sarah J. Mass

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Review: While the real enemies-to-lovers plot doesn’t emerge until book two (A Court of Mist and Fury), the pairing that gave the ACOTAR series its claim-to-fame is the epitome of an intoxicating, slow-burn romance. The series is perfect for anyone looking for a striking balance between complex world-building and captivating characters.

Coming Soon: Mass has said that another ACOTAR book is in the works but will likely be released in one to two years.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a terrifying creature arrives to demand retribution. Taken to a land of faeries, she learns quickly her important role in saving both the land of her people and of theirs.

5. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Genre: Romance

Review: Any modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice has the potential to become a great enemies-to-lovers read. Eligible does a wonderful job of staying true to its themes of gender, family ties, and modern courtship.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

This spin on Pride and Prejudice follows Liz, a magazine writer in her late thirties, who returns home to Cincinnati when her father has a health scare. She discovers that the sprawling Tudor she grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray. Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor, and his friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy.

6. Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Genre: Romance

Review: Book Lovers is one of those all-around perfect romance novels. It gives you a main character that’s easy to live vicariously through while supplementing their life with a romance you can only get in the movies (or books, in this case). As a fellow control freak older sister who is not the best about change in a world full of unpredictability and a family far away, this one really spoke to me.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Nora Stephens knows she’s not an ideal heroine, and Charlie Lastra knows he’s nobody’s hero. But as they are thrown together again and again, what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

7. Woke Up Like This by Amy Lea

Genre: Romance, Coming-of-Age

Review: Personally, I don’t know if I would handle falling asleep at 17 and waking up at 30 next to my high school nemesis as well as Charlotte did. However, this novel almost acts as a reality check for anyone who’s living only to reach the next milestone in their life. It’s a quick read and has the vibe of a 2000s rom-com.

Woke Up Like This by Amy Lea

Planning the perfect prom is one last “to do” on ultra-organized Charlotte Wu’s high school bucket list. So far, so good, if not for a decorating accident that sends Charlotte crash-landing off a ladder, face-first into her obnoxiously ripped archnemesis J. T. Renner. Worse? When Charlotte wakes up, she finds herself in an unfamiliar bed at thirty years old, with her bearded fiancé, Renner, by her side.

8. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Genre: Fantasy

Review: This enemies-to-lovers romance doesn’t start out pretty. While Rebecca Yarros likes to drop hints about the future of the pairing, the two protagonists start out with a very deep hate for one another. However, like any good enemies-to-lovers plot, they eventually see the light and become an unwavering pair. Fourth Wing’s tone is geared toward a more young adult audience, and the banter between this pairing makes their ages of 20 and 23 all the more realistic as they navigate their danger-ridden relationship.

Coming Soon: After the much-anticipated release of Fourth Wing’s sequel, Iron Flame, Yarros has announced that book three may not arrive until late 2024 or early 2025.

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

9. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Genre: Romance

Review: Knowing your partner on a friendship level may be one of my biggest green flags, and The Unhoneymooners serves as a great reminder of how impactful it can be. It explores themes of trust, family ties, and complicated pasts as the two main characters explore their newfound feelings.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Olive Torres braces herself for her sister’s wedding, determined to put on a brave face. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and her nemesis Ethan Thomas. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

10. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Genre: Fiction, Romance

Review: This novel is another ode to the hopeless romantics. The aching and longing for each other that the two main characters develop while getting to know each other and uncovering their feelings is what readers strive for. It’s a joyful and hope-filled plot that will keep you smiling.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey Mcquiston

This novel is a big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends

11. Normal People by Sally Rooney

Genre: Psychological Fiction

Review: I read Normal People just after graduating high school, and I don’t think I ever recovered from the emotional impact it had on my life. While these protagonists may not have been enemies, per se, they definitely didn’t see eye-to-eye at the start of their story. It’s not your typical love story, dealing with the burden of change and the perpetual cycle of right person, wrong time.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life-changing begins.

12. Beach Read by Emily Henry

Genre: Romance

Review: If you’re in pursuit of a summery enemies-to-lovers read, Emily Henry has the perfect fix for you. Beach Read is everything to love about a realistic fiction novel where two main characters develop real and complicated feelings due to both close proximity and surprising similarities. The novel takes place among a series of western Michigan beach towns, making it the perfect book to pack in your beach bag this season.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

January Andrews, a romance writer who no longer believes in love, and Augustus Everett, a literary writer stuck in a rut, engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

13. The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Review: If the complex world/nation-building concept present in novels like A Court of Thornes and Roses and Fourth Wing keeps you intrigued, The Wolf and the Woodsman is a must-read. The plot is mythologically inspired and demonstrates how the power of stories and histories can both soothe our souls and yet be used against us in a modern world.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

This novel follows a young pagan woman, Évike, with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant.

14. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Review: The Cruel Prince was one of the first enemies-to-lovers books to explode on BookTok. It’s nothing short of magical and allows readers to fall into a world of romance, drama, and war. Not to mention, the protagonist is a strong-willed and imperfect female who reflects on the importance of growing and understanding your impact on those around you.

Coming Soon: The recently-released novel The Prisoner’s Throne isn’t directly a part of the series but contains many references (and spoilers) to The Cruel Prince.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

To win a place at the Court, Jude must defy Cardan, the prince of the High Court, and face the consequences. But in doing so, a civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence. Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters and Faerie itself.

15. A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Review: With Greek-mythology-inspired references and a unique blend of fantasy, politics, and romances, A Promise of Fire was a great find on BookTook. It features characters with strong and intriguing personalities and, of course, a romance that’s tense and calculated yet heart-wrenching and tender as it develops.

Coming Soon: Amanda Bouchet has left things unclear as to whether or not there will be a fifth book in the The Kingmaker Chronicles series but claims that she has ideas in the works.

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

“Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker with no interest in her powers and strives to avoid her power-hungry mother. But when she’s captured by an ambitious warlord, she’ll do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny.