Discussion: Enemies to lovers is the best romance trope, and you’ll never convince me otherwise + some recs

If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, I’m sure you realise that I adore the enemies to lovers romance trope. There’s just something about two people who hate each other — really despise one another — who spend time together and slowly — so slowly — begin to develop romantic feelings. It’s usually reluctant — one or both of the characters fight their growing attraction — but as the walls break down between them, they succumb to their feelings and finally — finally — allow themselves to fall in love.

Oh boy, I’m blushing just thinking about it.

I wanted to talk about the reasons why I love the enemies to lovers trope and why I think it’s the best romance trope out there. I do have a soft spot for friends to lovers, but, let’s be honest, enemies to lovers wins out every single time.


Below is a list of reasons why enemies to lovers is the superior romance trope.


Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pmIn spite of her deeply-rooted dislike, she could not be insensible to the compliment of such a man’s affection, and though her intentions did not vary for an instant, she was at first sorry for the pain he was to receive; till, roused to resentment by his subsequent language, she lost all compassion in anger.


The Slow-burn

Ohhhhhhh, the slow-burn in enemies to lovers romance is incredible. Because the love interests hate each other so much, oftentimes it can take a good 50-60% of the book (or even multiple books) for them to even kiss! It’s a powerful build-up and, not to forget, it’s super believable. I’ve always been the type of person who wants believability in their romance, which is why I hate insta-love — but enemies to lovers drags out the romance to the point where the reader is screaming and/or crying on the floor.



The Tension

When you have two characters that really despise each other, getting all up in each others business, it can get … tense. What’s that common idiom? Love and hate are two sides of the same coin? Well when you combine hate and budding romance, you’re left with a lot of tension — sexual, romantic, dramatic. It’s a heady mix and ups reader’s anticipation for when the characters finally make out or admit their feelings.



The Payoff

So you’re reading this 300-page romance book or a three book series and you’re on the very edge of your seat waiting for these damn characters to finally admit their feelings and then … it happens. You’ve been on a journey with these characters: you’ve read and watched as two complicated characters — two mortal enemies — cast aside their hate and their differences and fall in love. It’s emotional, it’s exciting, it’s amazing. While sometimes you may be waiting through multiple books for this moment, the payoff for enemies to lovers romance is definitely worth it.



The character growth 

If, like me, you love characters that grow as the book progresses, then enemies to lovers certainly helps with that. Before the characters understand that they love one another, they’re both flawed people. I mean, no one is perfect, but when you hate someone and resolve to continue to hate them, you can’t see beyond your loathing. But the great thing about this trope is that once the characters begin to see the person they hate in a different light, their deeply held prejudices change or even dissipate. Or they may even desire to be a better person because of the other.



They’re better together

They hated each other, they wanted to maybe kill one another, but along the way, they fell in love. They didn’t think they’d ever get this far — the tension and the slow-burn probably killed you, the reader, at some point — but at the end of the day, they’re better together: in the words of my favourite character in my favourite enemies to lovers romance novel, together they can do what they cannot apart.



Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.38.38 pmHe thought of Laurent’s delicate, needling talk that froze into icy rebuff if Damen pushed at it, but if he didn’t — if he matched himself to its subtle pulses and undercurrents — continued, sweetly deepening, until he could only wonder if he knew, if they both knew, what they were doing.


Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 6.33.18 pm

Let me throw some recommendations at your face


If you want enemies that legit want to kill each other:


If you want enemies that are soft cinnamon rolls:


If you want enemies in a historical setting:


If you want enemies in a fantasy world:


Do you love the enemies to lovers trope as much as I do? Or are you more of a friends to lovers kind of person? Have you read any of my recommendations? What’s your favourite enemies to lovers book? Let me know!

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 4.10.28 pm


27 thoughts on “Discussion: Enemies to lovers is the best romance trope, and you’ll never convince me otherwise + some recs

  1. Bookmark Chronicles says:

    Love this. Especially in P&P However I recently found out that some people ship Hermione and Draco and I hate that from the depths of my soul because it is so disrespectful to Hermione and there’s a whole larger issue behind it. But otherwise, I am with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma's Library says:

    I usually tire of romantic tropes but the one I seem to read more of is enemy-lovers. Like you said, it comes across as more realistic and I’m all for a non-cliché romance to make be believe it does happen. I sort of like forbidden romances too because there is often a cross-over in the characteristics – Karou and Akiva in Daughter of Smoke and Bone is probably the best example I can think of at the moment, and possibly Diana and Matthew in the All Souls Trilogy although that is insta-lovey at the same time

    Apart from The Cruel Prince (which I DNFed as Cardan was too much of a bully for me to like him and I wasn’t connecting with the story) I’d say your recs are spot on as well. Anything to throw Pride and Prejudice under a huge golden spotlight, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebookcorps says:

      Yeah, enemies to lovers is so realistic. I think because it’s the slow-burn — the characters really get to know each other. I like friends-to-lovers but a lot of the time the author doesn’t really develop the feelings of the characters, just relies on their past friendship as a way to get them together. Whereas enemies-to-lovers is all about developing the characters and it’s amazing.
      I’ll have to check out the All Souls Trilogy!! And LMAO!! Yes, anything to rave more about Pride and Prejudice haha 💕😘

      Liked by 1 person

  3. katreadssph says:

    Ah, Laura. That was one good post! I looove the enemies to lovers trope and it just never goes out of style for me! ✨ I mean. THE BUILD UP? THE TENSION? THE SLOOOOW BURN? Yes, yes and yes!! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Yes yes yes!!! Best. Trope. Ever ❤️❤️❤️

    You’re absolutely right, the slow burn and the tension and the realness of it make it the most satisfying type of romance and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    The only thing I don’t like is when characters cross a line and things start to become severally toxic. For instance, I didn’t like the romance in The Cruel Prince because of all the bullying and humiliation that Cardan gave Jude. It was too one-sided and played with power roles too much for me to root for it. Had they been on equal footing, I would have no problem with it. But they weren’t and even though it kind of evens out in the end, my skin still crawled at the thought.

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recs, Laura! I have Sky in the Deep and The Wrath and the Dawn on my TBR just ready to go – I’ll be checking on the others too very soon 🙂

    Amazing post, hon. You literally just spoke to my soul hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebookcorps says:

      It really is!! Yeah sometimes this trope has the potential to be toxic and I was thinking about adding that in the discussion but wanted to make this more light-hearted instead. I hope people, when reading an enemies to lovers book, are able to think critically about the relationship they’re reading and decipher between a slow-burn, healthy relationship and a toxic one. It’s a hard line to straddle sometimes, because I get that authors want to make the relationship really hateful at the beginning for drama and extra angst when they begin to fall in love, but sometimes it can fail.

      I hope you find an amazing read in the recs!!! 💕 Thank you lovely ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. emmareadstoomuch says:

    oh my god. YES. i love this trope so much and i am constantly looking for recommendations for books that have it. bookmarking this right now. thank you for your service

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious says:

    This is a great post, and while I am not the biggest fan of romance I have to admit that I like the trope a lot when it shows up in fantasy reads (unless while enemies it is abusive, because then it can gtfo). I like character growth and I think this trope really lets the characters grow so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebookcorps says:

      I’m a massive sucker for romance hahaha so while I love a lot of tropes enemies to lovers is my favourite. Yeah this one can sometimes come across as a abusive, which is a big issue, and I tend to stay away from those books :/ — I definitely love the growth when it’s done right though !! 😘


  7. Aimee (Aimee, Always) says:

    I looooove enemies-to-lovers! The tension gets super intense, and when something finally happens I feel like my brain just explodes! 😍💓🙈 But I do have to admit that I’m more of a fan of BFFs-to-lovers. I’m just a sucker for sweet, cutesy moments more than I am of hot and heavy ones. 😂 I mean, give me two books with both and I’d read them both in a heartbeat, but I think it’s because I’d prefer a BFFs-to-lovers trope for myself in real life, which is why I slightly prefer that trope in books. 😂 Anyway, awesome recs!! I LOVED the slow-burn romance in Sky in the Deep. *fans self*

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always


    • thebookcorps says:

      You know what’s even better?? Enemies to friends to lovers!! Then it has all the best romance tropes hahah
      Ohhh yes I loved Sky in the Deep!! That romance was amazing! Can’t wait for the author’s other workS 💕


  8. Norrie says:

    Great points! I can see why you like this trope 🙂
    I don’t read many books with romance involved, but read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and i liked it quite a lot!
    Jellicoe Road is on my list too 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Justine @ Bookish Wisps says:

    I broke my neck nodding along with these point and the recs are much needed! To sum up my head nodding agreements I LOVE THIS POST. I love everything you just said about it and gods I am blushing too. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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