Enemies To Lovers | The Best Romance Trope of All Time

Bri Castellini
3 min readFeb 7, 2023

As one of the most popular tropes and one of my favorites, we will certainly be seeing more of this in the future.

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Battle Royale by Lucy Parker. Fictional Great British Bake Off enemies to lovers romance- him, the Simon Cowell of the baking world judge, her, a glittery former contestant turned judge. Them: now coworkers and adversaries as they film the show and on the side compete to win the cake contract for an upcoming royal wedding. Business rivals, TV rivals, and yet at their core, two professionals with different styles and unending respect for the other.

This would be a good holiday season read, not because it’s set during the holidays but because it will make you feel warm and fuzzy and has baking at its center, which always makes me think of Christmas and winter holidays.

Rating: 5/5

How hot? 🔥🔥🔥🔥

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Now a major motion picture (which is OK at best- I really disagree with how they handled the ending), this book is sort of the platonic ideal of an enemies to lovers story. Lucy and Josh are the assistants to the co-CEOs of a recently merged publishing house, and represent the stark differences between the two formerly separate companies: heart/art and money/business. They also hate each other but in a way that makes them completely obsessed with each other and are constantly playing petty games to try and get under the others’ skin (as if they aren’t already there). When a job opens up that they both covet, they make a deal: whoever doesn’t get the job quits, ending the toxic stalemate. But is the stalemate really toxic, or is it just two people who are really bad at flirting?

I’ve read this book twice already this year, and the second time I did so while listening to a Breakmaster Cylinder shuffle playlist and it was the perfect combination because this book (first person present tense) reads like my brain is on fire, but in a good way, which is the exact way Breakmaster Cylinder makes me feel? I can’t explain it until you try it yourself.

Rating: 5/5

How hot? 🔥🔥🔥

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon. Shay and Dominic work at a struggling Seattle public radio station and are constantly at each others’ throats. When Shay pitches an idea for a relationship advice show hosted by exes, their bosses decide that their fiery chemistry (despite having never dated) is perfect for the task. A fun subversion of fake dating (by skipping to the end before it begins) that deals with journalistic & culture influencer ethics and the price of being a public figure whose rise to fame isn’t 100% truthful. Also, as a podcaster who likes to argue, this was very much up my alley.

Rating: 5/5

How hot? 🔥🔥

Subscribe to my romance newsletter, Forced Proximity, that will deliver you 3 new romance recommendations every Friday afternoon!

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Bri Castellini

Freelance indie film and crowdfunding consultant. Writer of mystery TV and romance novels. Human bulldozer. www.BriCastellini.com