I'm so sorry this is posting late, but Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I have author Cass Lennox today with her Top Ten Tuesday post (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). Cass is the author of the Toronto Connections series. You can find my review of the first book Blank Spaces here and my review of the second book Finding Your Feet here. Definitely check them out!
Top 10 Favourite Enemies to Lovers Romances
by Cass Lennox
I love this trope so much. So much. Enemies to lovers is brilliant for chemistry, and sets up a first challenge for the relationship to work through. Despite reading and writing in the LGBTQIA+ corner of the genre, I have to confess something here. When I think of this trope, I think of a specific hetero movie scene: the house fight scene in Mr and Mrs Smith. Our two (unfairly hot) protagonists have realized they're secret agents working for different agencies, and they have hits out on each other. Twist! They've been married for years and didn't know they worked for opposing agencies! Whaaaaat?! Cue a ridiculous, destructive fight in their McMansion that ends with a searing kiss. Dang. There's apparently a very thin line between love and hate, and violence aside, it's a hot scene.
But, we're here to talk about books! Enemies to lovers can take form in a variety of ways - business rivals, criminal and law enforcement, players on opposing teams, a broken-up couple, two households both alike in dignity, etc etc. The below are simply some of my faves – there are loads out there and it was really difficult to choose just ten. The trope abounds in romance, and as there's no way I've read them all, I'm expecting great suggestions in the comments!
1. Empty Net, Avon Gale. This trope shows up a lot in the Scoring Chances series (part and parcel of sports romance territory), but oh man do the two guys in this hate each other at the start of this novel. The way Gale unpicks their rivalry and builds up their relationship is wonderful to read.
2. Icecapade, Josh Lanyon. A Christmas short about an ex-thief and an ex-Fed who, after years of cat and mouse, finally catch each other.
3. Slow Burn in Tuscany, Giselle Fox. High school rivalries never die out – or do they? Helped by a trip to Italy, these two women discover there’s more to each other than they thought.
4. A Seditious Affair, KJ Charles. A brilliant book in an incredible historical series, this is about a Radical and a Tory. Turns out politics need not completely divide us.
5. The Burnt Toast B & B, Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz. Things turn upside down for B&B owner Derrick when an injured stuntman, Ginsberg, moves in. So naturally he decides to drive him out through sheer incompetence. Too bad Ginsberg takes this as a challenge to help turn the B&B around instead.
6. Off Campus, AJ Cousins. I adored this. Two roommates who can barely stand each other slowly chip away at each other's defences.
7. Peter Darling, Austin Chant. A twist on a Peter Pan retelling, with a grown up trans Peter and a Hook who isn't as villainous as his reputation would make him out to be.
8. The Two Gentlemen of Altona, Lisa Henry and JA Rock. Another criminal and Fed story, but this one's hilarious and full of Shakespeare references.
9. The Distance Between Us, LA Witt. Two guys break up, but need to live together until they can get rid of the house. Enter sexy lodger Kieran, and suddenly sharing things doesn't seem so bad.
10. Hold Me, Courtney Milan. Two online friends (with potential for more) are passionate enemies IRL. Emphasis on the 'passionate'.