Book Recs By Tropes is a series where I recommend books according to tropes.
Let’s start with everybody’s favorite, enemies to lovers.
There nothing quite as satisfying and squeetastic as two sworn enemies or bitter rivals falling in love with each other. We all live for those don’t-look-at-my-boner-while-we-fight scenes and the thrill of anticipation for that glorious moment when they surrender to the inevitable.
Here’s are some of the most enjoyable enemies to lovers stories I’ve read. I hope you’ll love them too.
Four Bears Construction: Nailed – K.M. Neuhold (4 stars)
More warring neighbors than enemies to lovers, Nailed is a humorous tale of two people who started off on the wrong foot. One is very determined to annoy the other while the other grumps his way through life. It took a galivanting dog to bring them together.
The book star two MCs who were over forty. They were kind of immature but the romance was cute. I loved how the couple made their relationship work. And if you like dogs, you’d love Rudy the dog.
This is the second book of the Four Bears Construction, a series about contractors and the men they fall in love with. This series is highly recommended if you’re looking for contemporary romance about mature men who are good with their hands.
The Killough Company: The Assassin – M.D. Gregory (4 stars)
(dark, crime, action/suspense)
This book is part of The Killough Company, a series about an Irish mob headed by Sloan Killough. His assassin Ardan Murphy is obsessed with Italian Gabriel Mancini, believing him a man without honor and therefore should die. He tracks him all over the country with the sole intent of putting a bullet in his head. Of course we all know how that ended.
As I said in my review, the book was very effective in making you feel those complicated, burning I-really-really-hate-you-but-I-want-you-so-bad feels that culminated in a messy fist fight and a messier hatefuck. Whether these two killers liked it or not or even admit it to themselves, their chemistry was explosive. So if hatefucks are your jam, this one’s a treat. Yum!
BUY LINKS: Amazon
Criminal Delights: Assassin: Match Grade – G.B. Gordon (4 stars)
(dark, crime, action/suspense)
This list is biased towards assassins. I have a thing for assassins falling in love. Bonus if it’s with their enemy.
Match Grade is part of the delicious Criminal Delights series. Troubled hitman Eirik Haldurson was contracted to kill ex-military Matteo Moreno. The man stumbles upon a half-starved kitten and just had to adopt it. Even stopped in the middle of an intense fuck/fight scene just to feed it. Matteo quickly realized the man is a genuine treasure and did not let him go.
The chemistry was as explosive as fire and gasoline. This is one of the most delightful book in the series. Recommended if you like charming vigilantes falling in love with cat-loving assassins who read like a scholar, kiss like a poet and fuck like a god.
BUY LINKS: Amazon
Hazard and Somerset: Pretty Pretty Boys – Gregory Ashe (4 stars)
(mystery, police procedural)
Emery Hazard and John-Henry Somerset started off with the one of the most lose-lose setups I’ve ever encountered in romance. Somerset was a married man who was caught cheating. He was also Hazard’s high school bully. Hazard of course hates his guts. But wants him oh so badly.
The magic of the series was how this two went from death threats to each other to one of the most beloved couples in MM romance. This is very slow-burn. They didn’t become a couple until the later books. If you like a love story that really took time letting the characters grow, plus writing that is poignant and gripping, and mysteries that are compelling, Pretty Pretty Boys is a good place to start.
BUY LINKS: Amazon
Future: Future Ex Enemy – Kate Hawthorne & E.M. Denning (4 stars)
Future Ex Enemy is about two rival florists who hated each other so much but wanted to fuck each other so badly. There’s an age gap aspect as well. I loved the title and the blurb.
This book really did a good job showing the antagonistic nature of their relationship. The two MCs genuinely liked pissing each other while throwing off USTs like fireworks. Then they had to share a bed and it was just bam! Eventually, feelings came sneaking up on them and the two didn’t stand a chance.
Read this for the passion, the flowers and the USTs.
BUY LINKS: Amazon
Love Around the Corner – Sally Malcolm (4 stars)
(contemporary romance, holiday)
Love Around the Corner is an MM take of that famous movie, You Got Mail. This is about two rival bookstore owners who didn’t get along in real life but were hitting it off really well online.
This is a charming story set in the titular town of New Milton around winter. The two men bonded over their mutual love of Jane Austen. The novella is typical of rom-coms but the author was able to keep things interesting. The characters were very endearing. I was rooting hard for them.
If you like a warm, fluffy Chrismasy tale about bookworms, I think you’d enjoy this one.
If The Seas Catch Fire – L.A. Witt (4.5 stars)
(action/suspense, dark, crime)
A hitman moonlighting as a stripper is out for revenge. He crosses paths with the world’s most reluctant hitman from the Mafia family he wants to take down. They were irresistibly drawn to each other until things came to head and choices had to be make.
There are plenty of twists and turns designed to put the boys through hell. The book put me through a rollercoaster of emotions. If I hadn’t known this was MM romance, I would have expected tragedy. How they survived was miracle worth staying until the end.
This book is best enjoyed in audio form. It’s narrated by the great Michael Ferraiuolo. If you’re looking for a gritty book about anti-heroes going through rings of fire to complete their mission in life, If The Seas Catch Fire is a sure bet.
Paranormal Princes: The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard – Charlie Cochet (4.5 stars)
(paranormal, urban fantasy, humor)
This is the book that showed me how good Charlie Cochet is at writing humor. This novella is downright hilarious!
Our prince here is an ocelot shifter who was assigned a grimwolf as his bodyguard. Hackles rose, fangs were bared, tempers flared, private parts were displayed. At the end of the day, the prince realized what was truly important in his life.
This is a story you’d pick up if you want a light-hearted tale of love and adventure with lots of hissy fits and dogged determination.
The Turner Series: The Soldier’s Scoundrel – Cat Sebastian (5 stars)
A perfectly executed historical enemies to loves that I still remember to this day. This was one of the first MM romances I read.
The Soldier’s Scoundrel is the first book of the highly recommended Turner series by Cat Sebastian. This stars Jack Turner, scoundrel and problem solver, who met his match in Oliver Rivington, ex-soldier, expert curricle driver and gentleman. The two crossed paths when Oliver confronted Jack with accusations about swindling his sister. Later, Oliver tags along with Jack to investigate a mystery.
The chemistry, the banter and all those feelings that blossomed were a pleasure to watch as they unfold. I lived for all those quieter moments and the small gestures, like that scene where Jack fixed Oliver’s cravat and smoothed his hair. There was so much emotion packed into that brief intimate moment.
Recommended if you like stories about people from different social classes working together to uncover the truth while engaging in reckless driving and seducing each other in a tavern inn.
Game Changers: Heated Rivalry – Rachel Reid (5 stars)
This was my #1 book of 2019. I’m typically not that enthused about reading sports romance but Heated Rivalry not only made me love it, it made me obsessed. Truly a game changer!
This is about a good Canadian boy, Shane, and a cocky Russian, Ilya, who were bitter rivals on the ice. Unbeknownst to the world, the two had been periodically hooking up every chance they get. And they didn’t even like each other.
The sexual chemistry here was off the charts! The gentler moments were even sweeter, especially when our favorite Russian found himself falling for the nice Canadian. The most unforgettable scene for me was when they were Skyping and Shane kissed his fingers then touched the screen to say good night. It was such tender gesture it made Ilya’s heart stop. It made mine stop too.
This one’s for everybody. Even if you’re not a fan of sports, and believe me, I hate sports, you’ll find yourself rooting for these two dorks too.
BUY LINKS: Amazon
Society of Gentlemen: A Seditious Affair – K.J. Charles (5 stars)
If you want to see a Tori and a Radical getting on with some BDSM fun, this is the book for you.
This is the second book of Society of Gentleman, a fabulous Regency historical by K.J. Charles. When I finished Book 1, I approached this with the intent of simply getting through it to get to Book 3, which has my favorite character. Boy, was I wrong.
To my delight, it turned out to be funnier, snarkier and several times more heartwrenching than its predecessor. I was swept away by the fiery passion of two obstinate men with completely opposing political beliefs, in completely different social classes, both very determined to be together (and get their kink on). Even with the very real threat of death hanging over their heads.
Beyond the love affair, this is a brilliantly written historical with real life events masterfully interwoven with the plot. It’s one of the best books I’ve read and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Bear in mind that this is best read as part of the series.
Where Death Meets the Devil – L.J. Hayward (5 stars)
When I finished this, I was so blown away I literally had goosebumps. Where Death Meets the Devil is the action/suspense thriller of my dreams. Please Hollywood, make this a movie!
This is the story of a government spy forced to work together with one of the world’s most dangerous assassin to uncover the traitor in the organization. Said government spy found himself unable to resist the very alluring assassin.
I went completely gaga over Ethan Blade, my cinnamon roll assassin. And you would be too because let’s face it, who wouldn’t? The man is adorbs!
You’ll also enjoy the all out gunfires, explosions, car chases, death-defying stunts along with a twisty-turny plot and a ridiculously squee-tastic romance you’d remember forever.
Read if you’re a fan of the Bourne movies or any of those OTT action flicks. Or looking for some pure escapist fun.
Okay so this was inspired by The Old Guard’s Joe and Nicky (I L❤️VE THEM!!!). If they can make it work for 900 years, the rest of us can too.