Walk of Shame
Lauren Layne is the queen of romance, and this is one of her best. Spunky New York socialite Georgianna and cynical divorce lawyer Andrew share an apartment building—and a love for getting under the other’s skin. But when their sparring leads to real sparks, they must decide if their opposing lifestyles can survive a real-world relationship. This novel has everything: a sick scene (my catnip), references to the movie Enchanted (swoon), whip-smart banter, and serious steam.
Breathe the Sky
Mari Tucker is a soft-spoken biologist charged with protecting native wildlife on construction sites—and Jack Wyatt is the rough-around-the-edges, surly foreman who wants her gone. Jack’s the ultimate gruff, shy hero we love to root for, and Mari, the strong, smart heroine who draws him out. I loved the pacing and development of their relationship, which was emotionally layered and unrushed (their sweet first date scene had me grinning like an idiot). Breathe the Sky is a moving, sneaks-up-on-you opposites-attract romance with real heart.
The Thing About Love
Ultra-competitive FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd clashed during their training at Quantico, then went their separate ways. Six years later, they’re paired up as part of a sting operation and forced to hole up at a romantic beachfront resort as part of the investigation (you know what that means—there’s only one bed!) Julie James nails the tension between these two, seamlessly balancing banter and heat (and I loved the inside look at FBI training).
Paris Is Always a Good Idea
Workaholic Chelsea Martin decides to retrace her steps from the post-college gap year she spent in Ireland, France, and Italy, intending to find out if the flings she had with Colin, Jean Claude, and Marcelino were meant to be more—but when her annoying coworker, Jason, crashes her trip, she finds love in the place she least expects. This book combines so many of my obsessions: fantasy travel all over Europe (and an Eiffel Tower kiss!), family ties, an adorable love interest, a charming cast of characters, and more. The perfect pandemic read for all of us with wanderlust!
Last Tang Standing
For workaholic but dutiful Chinese-Malaysian daughter Andrea Tang, the weight of familial expectations is impossible to ignore—but so are the men life keeps throwing in Andrea’s path, like Suresh Aditparan, her annoyingly attractive rival she’s up against for partner and the last man she should be spending time with. In Last Tang Standing, Lauren Ho gives us a hilarious peek into Singaporean culture, and her brilliant, bitingly sarcastic voice had me in stitches.
Meet You in the Middle
There’s just one thing standing between liberal Senate staffer Kate Adams and passage of the landmark legislation she’s been fighting for all year: Ben Mackenzie, intimidating gatekeeper for one of DC’s most powerful conservative senators. After Kate and Ben lock horns in a meet-not-so-cute, they vow to take each other down—by any means necessary.
She thinks he’s arrogant (and doesn’t deserve those gorgeous green eyes). He thinks she’s too quick to judge (and irresistibly maddening). But as their endless game of one-upmanship becomes Kate’s favorite part of the day, she starts to wonder if her feelings for Ben are closer to attraction than animosity…and maybe their sparring is flirting. When Kate realizes there’s more to Ben than meets the eye, she’s forced to confront her biggest fear: In her sworn enemy, she may have found her perfect match.
What’s your favorite romance trope, and why is it enemies-to-lovers?
All jokes aside, there’s a reason why enemies-to-lovers stories consistently rank among romance readers’ favorites—and I’m no different. There’s something about that thin line between love and hate that gets me every time. No matter how many opposites-attract stories I read, I’ll never get tired of (silently) screaming at the protagonists: JUST KISS ALREADY! The chemistry, that delicious push-pull of tension, the razor-sharp banter, and inevitable surrender all make for a uniquely compelling, can’t-put-it-down reading experience. These are some of my favorite enemies-to-lovers reads.
Featured Image: @alinabuzunova/Twenty20