I Hate That I Love You: 10 of the Best Lovers to Enemies to Lovers Romances

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Silvana Reyes Lopez

Senior Contributor

Silvana Reyes is a Mexican book blogger. She enjoys all types of sub-genres, but loves a good love story. Romance fiction is her heart and joy and you might find her screaming about book releases on her Twitter account.

Reading fiction can make you love certain tropes you wouldn’t go for in real life. For example, this one right here: lovers to enemies to lovers. So, basically, falling in love with your ex. Some would say this would never happen in real life, but if you read it in a romance book, you can’t help but eat it up. This trope is one angsty feast! Because they’re not only an ex…they’ve become the enemy now, too. Get ready to find out more about these lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romances.

When it comes to lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romances, there is so much history between the main characters. They not only were together once upon a time, but now, they hate each other with the passion of a thousand suns. It’s the author’s work to make us believe how it went from point A to point B, how it went from a happy relationship to the worst thing to ever happen to them. But even though they can’t look at each other without arguing, love still blooms. You know what they say…there’s just one tiny step between hate and love. And it’s truer than ever in these lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romance books.

Cover of Trapped With You by Marzy Opal

Trapped With You by Marzy Opal

Initiation Night is when the cheerleader squad and the hockey team have a treasure hunt on the school grounds at midnight for the new recruits.

And Ella just got paired with her ex-boyfriend. The bane of her existence.

Now, they must work together to win Initiation Night. But unresolved feelings and secrets still plague them even months after breaking up. And if they don’t figure out how to work together, time will run out…and maybe they won’t have the opportunity for a second chance at love.

Cover of Just My Type by Falon Ballard

Just My Type by Falon Ballard

Competing for a coveted columnist position with your ex-boyfriend doesn’t sound ideal. But that’s what’s happening to Lana Parker when her high school ex, Seth, takes an assignment at Lana’s workplace. He has broken her heart twice before… Hopefully, there’s not a third time this time.

Cover of The Co-op by Tarah DeWitt

The Co-op by Tarah DeWitt

If you’re a fan of You Deserve Each Other, you’re going to adore this novel. It’s a marriage of convenience romance where two exes have to wed in order to sell the apartment their grandmothers left them.

LaRynn never saw herself going back to Santa Cruz, but here she is. She never expected to reunite with her teenage fling, Deacon, who she still loathes after that one fateful night when they were eighteen. But they need money, and the only way to do it is to renovate the apartment their grandmothers left them and sell it to the highest bidder. A marriage of convenience is the perfect solution to their problems.

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai book cover

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

When Livvy and Nicholas were young, they were considered the princess and the prince of their respective households. They shared something no one but them could relate to. But unfortunately, when tragedy hits, their families suddenly become enemies, and their relationship fizzles out. Years later, Livvy and Nicholas have agreed to meet up one night of the year — to remember, to forget. But then one day, Livvy doesn’t show up.

This lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romance is filled with emotion, angst, and a second chance at love.

Partners in Crime cover

Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai just knows how to write a great second-chance romance. And it’s not a surprise I have to mention two of her books in this list. Partners in Crime, though, is more of an adventure romance than a contemporary romance. Our protagonists are shoved into a wild situation where they get kidnapped and have to retrieve a diamond necklace to save their lives. Along the way, these exes just might uncover some old feelings.

Cover of Final Offer by Lauren Asher

Final Offer by Lauren Asher

Lauren Asher closes her Dreamland Billionaires series with Final Offer, Cal’s story. In order to have access to his inheritance, his grandfather has left a clause he must complete before the summer ends: Cal has to sell the lake house.

But when he arrives, he bumps into the love of his life and the girl he left behind, Lana. Between being back to this place which felt more like a home and spending time with Lana once again, Cal has to make tough choices like never before.

Cover of Ex Appeal by Cathy Yardley

Ex Appeal by Cathy Yardley

What does one do when your fixer ex asks for help retrieving ten million dollars? You say yes, of course.

In Ex Appeal, you’ll meet Vinh Doan, who is content with his perfect world. But when ten million dollars goes missing from one of his accounts, he must figure out who took it before anything goes wrong. The only one who can help him is his ex-girlfriend, who hates him — but also happens to be the best hacker he knows.

The Hate Project by Kris Ripper Book Cover

The Hate Project by Kris Ripper

Oscar is known to be grumpy, but his friends adore him either way. Yet there’s one person who he always clashes with, and that is Jack. They’re always bickering, and it seems that they cannot be in the same room without arguing. But that didn’t stop them from having a one-night stand.

When Oscar finds himself without a job, it’s Jack who hires him to clean out his grandfather’s house in order to sell it. While working alongside him, Oscar starts realizing that Jack is not that bad after all, and what was supposed to be only a one-night stand soon turns into a frenemies to lovers relationship.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong Cover

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

While not a romance novel, one of the best lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers books out there has to be These Violent Delights. Chloe Gong wrote a fantastic YA fantasy novel set in 1920s Shanghai about two ex-lovers who loathe each other but have to work together in order to defeat a monster living in the shadows.

Cover of New Adult by Timothy Janovsky

New Adult by Timothy Janovsky (Aug. 15th)

Timothy Janovsky continues to gift us with incredible queer rom-coms that will make you smile in every single chapter. In his upcoming romance New Adult, you’ll be reminded of 13 Going on 30 (2004) when Nolan, the main character, wishes on a set of magical healing crystals to get to the good parts of his life already. And that’s how he finds himself waking up the next day… seven years later. He now has a perfect life and the perfect job. But what’s missing are his friends and family, who are not taking his calls. As Nolan works to get back to this younger self, he has to take a look inside himself and his heart.

Another take on this trope is the friends-to-enemies-to-lovers trope, which is similar in that there is so much history between characters that will lead to unresolved feelings and miscommunication that has to be solved before they attempt a happily ever after. Most of these romance books in both of these tropes will have a slow-burn romance, because it will take a bit before they reach that part of the understanding between them. Yet when they finally have everything figured out, it leads to a romance that you won’t ever forget.