10 Slow Burn Enemies To Lovers Books You Must Read

Bully Romance

When combined, the “slow-burn enemies-to-lovers” trope means that not only do the characters transition from antagonists to romantic partners but this transition is also drawn out, allowing for deeper character development and a heightened sense of anticipation for the reader. The joy of this trope lies in the journey, watching characters overcome their initial prejudices or conflicts and slowly recognizing their feelings for one another. It’s especially satisfying because of the emotional depth and growth showcased throughout the story.

There are many sub-genres of romance, and bullying or enemies to lovers is one of the most popular sub-genres for the romance reader. This type of reader also loves slow-burn romance, where the plot and characters can be established properly. It is a very common and real-life situation described in the books.

10 Slow Burn Enemies To Lovers Books (Bully Romance)

The relationship’s slow development allows us to explore the characters’ emotional growth fully. You get to witness the full transformation of feelings from hate to attraction, making the eventual romance feel earned and genuine. The journey from enemies to lovers is rarely straightforward. This trope focuses on the complexities of relationships, providing a multi-dimensional portrayal of love that evolves from a place of discord.

Most of the relationships start with the bully or teasing each other. This type of relationship builds strongly, which takes time. People love it because it gives all types of excitement and feelings. To keep your feelings alive, I will discuss the top 10 slow-burn enemies-to-lovers books you will love reading.

Obsidian by Jennifer L. ArmentroutA girl moves to a new town and discovers her enigmatic neighbor is an alien, leading to forbidden attraction and danger.Aliens among us, forbidden romance, high school setting, new girl in town, bad boy with a secret, protective sibling dynamics, enemies-to-lovers, supernatural powers.
Vicious by L.J. ShenA privileged, ruthless man seeks revenge against a woman from his past, leading to a complex love-hate relationship.Billionaire romance, enemies-to-lovers, revenge plot, second chance romance, bad boy redemption, dark romance, power dynamics, tortured hero.
Scorpio Hates Virgo by Anyta SundayNeighbors with clashing star signs navigate their feelings through witty banter and lingering memories of shared pasts.Enemies-to-lovers, slow burn, astrological themes, friends-to-lovers, neighbor romance, hidden feelings, LGBTQ+ romance, snarky banter.
Punk 57 by Penelope DouglasTwo corporate co-workers locked in mutual disdain engage in daily battles of wit, only to realize their hatred might be masking deeper feelings.Enemies-to-lovers, secret identity, high school setting, misunderstood bad boy, hidden correspondence, dual perspectives, coming-of-age, dark romance.
Pestilence by Laura ThalassaA woman captured by one of the Four Horsemen, Pestilence, struggles in a world-facing apocalypse while battling her growing feelings for her captor.Apocalypse scenario, enemies-to-lovers, supernatural elements, captivity romance, redemption arc, moral dilemmas, immortal and mortal romance, slow burn.
Filthy Gods by R. ScarlettA scholarship student becomes entangled in a passionate summer fling with a wealthy elite, leading to power plays, secrets, and unexpected love.Rich boy/poor girl, forbidden romance, enemies-to-lovers, summer fling, class differences, hidden relationship, alpha male, contemporary romance.
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. MaasCelaena Sardothien, reeling from betrayal and loss, discovers her Fae heritage and trains with a mysterious prince, leading to self-discovery and the rise of a warrior.Hidden powers, magical training, Fae realm, slow-burn romance, personal transformation, warrior and prince dynamic, inner demons, rebellion and uprising.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenHidden powers, magical training, Fae realm, slow-burn romance, personal transformation, warrior and prince dynamic, inner demons, rebellion, and uprising.Enemies-to-lovers, societal class differences, misunderstandings, family dynamics, marriage market, strong-willed heroine, character transformation, social commentary.
The Hating Game by Sally ThorneTwo corporate co-workers locked in mutual disdain engage in daily battles of wit, only to realize their animosity might be masking deeper feelings.Enemies-to-lovers, office romance, witty banter, love-hate relationship, competition, opposite personalities, sexual tension, slow-burn romance.
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. MaasFeyre Archeron, grappling with the aftermath of a harrowing ordeal, finds solace and strength in the Night Court, leading to a transformative bond with its enigmatic High Lord.Beauty and the Beast retelling, enemies-to-lovers, Fae realm, slow-burn romance, redemption arc, power dynamics, traumatic recovery, forbidden love, political intrigue.
Slow Burn Enemies To Lovers Books List

1. Obsidian (Lux)

Our main character, Katy, and her mother moved to a new town next door to Daemon. Daemon is extremely attractive but an arrogant prick. The exciting thing about him and his sister is that they are aliens. They also have enemies, and the only way for Katy to stay safe is to stick close to Daemon.

Katy was a strong character, and she stood up to Daemon. She was quite a relatable character, especially for readers, because she’s a book lover. The fact that she does book blogs. However, she never gives you evidence that she writes until the live show. She’s so joyful. But then we have Daemon. Sometimes he seems to redeem himself, but then he turns around and becomes a jackass again, even though he did it for a reason. Sometimes, he was an over-the-top jerk, like he was so mean.

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Average Rating: 4.5/6
Category: Aliens Sci-Fi Action & Adventure, Bully Romance
Available: Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

2. Vicious (Sinners of Saint)

This book is about Emilia and Vicious, a story from two timelines. We get modern-day, Vicious and Emilia, who have been brought back together under shitty circumstances. In Emilia’s case, she ends up working for Vicious, and then we get flashbacks to high school and their interactions in their enemy’s situation and how they became enemies.

Emilia ended up dating one Vicious friend, but they both hate each other. So they’re unrequited love pining elements as well as the enemy. Vicious is one of those characters distinctive in new adult books.

Author: L.J. Shen
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Action & Adventure, Slow-Burn Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | MP3 CD

3. Scorpio Hates Virgo (Signs of Love)

This is the second book of the Signs of Love series. It is the one book in the series that is an enemy-to-lover situation. The story follows Percy and Callaghan Glover reuniting after a childhood rivalry. They both end up moving back or into their childhood homes next to each other. You see their witty banter and a little flashback into their previous tension.

It is lighthearted and fun, and some slightly more serious topics are handled. One of the guys has a bad relationship with his family. They aren’t accepting that he is gay, but overall, it is a lighthearted story. If you want to diversify your slow-burn enemies to lovers reading and want to get into LGBT, this is an excellent place to start.

Author: Anyta Sunday
Average Rating: 4.3/5
Category: College Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

4. Punk 57

The story is about Misha and Ryen, pen pals since elementary school. They’re now in high school, but they’ve been writing to each other since elementary school. They know each other’s deepest, darkest secrets but don’t know their last names. On the last day at school, they agreed not to look each other up on Facebook or social media. So this friendship exists in a vacuum, which is super exciting and a different spin on many new adult slow-burn enemies to lovers.

They both become aware of who the other person is, and we see them grapple with the fact that they know each other intensely and know each other’s deepest, darkest desires. But they don’t know the facade that each other puts out into the world. So, they end up not liking each other through most of this book.

You get to know without knowing their whole story, seeing what someone’s withholding is interesting, and the idea that you can build history between two characters through a pen pal situation. Compared to many of Penelope Douglas’s other Bully romances, this is more than the romance.

Author: Penelope Douglas
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Adult & College Bully Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

5. Pestilence (The Four Horsemen)

This book starts with a firefighter named Sara drawing the short end of the stick and fighting one of the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse. Sara is someone who will remind you of a lot of other paranormal or urban fantasy heroines. The world is ending, and Pestilence is spreading his plague across the globe. So Sara knows that Pestilence is in her town. This is set in Canada, and she has to shoot him.

Unfortunately, Pestilence is immortal and unhappy about being shot in his washboard abs. So, the story follows Pestilence and Sara. Pestilence kidnaps and takes her across the world as he spreads his plague. So it is a slow burn enemy to lovers situation.

The book starts with both of them doing pretty equally messed up things to each other. In the beginning, Sara shoots him, and then Pestilence drags her behind a horse. She has to walk behind a horse for days without resting. So, they start with the true enemy situation.

Author: Laura Thalassa
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Mythology & Folk Tales, Fantasy Romance, Science Fiction (Best Seller)
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

6. Filthy Gods (American Gods)

Yale has a gentlemen’s society, and our hero, Gabriel, is a part of it. Gabriel, over the years at Yale, this is his and the heroine’s junior year at Yale. They have been battling it out, trying to get the best grades, arguing, and bantering back and forth in class. Juliet, our heroine, comes from less money than Gabriel and doesn’t have that trust fund lifestyle.

Juliet decides to work as a maid at a local sushi hotel one summer. Gabriel’s mother owns a hotel, so she becomes his maid. But there’s also the enemies aspect since they battled it in college. It is very angsty and steamy, but it’s also incredibly well-written.

Author: R. Scarlett
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Erotic Literature & Fiction
Available: Paperback | Kindle

7. Heir of Fire

Heir of Fire is the third book in the Throne of Glass series. So this book picks up right after the bomb dropped at the end of Crown of Midnight, and Celaena is on a journey to Wendland. She’s been sent away. You get to see every side of things. The author creates this whole elaborate world full of magic.

Celaena still shows her soft side at times, which you can see when reading from her perspective. Sarah Mass is trying to turn us away from Dorian. Manon is an interesting character because, as a witch, she’s supposed to be ruthless about any one person, but she doesn’t. She does have a little bit of heart to her.

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Average Rating: 4.8/5
Category: Teen & Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | MP3 CD

8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Set against the backdrop of the English countryside, this timeless novel follows Elizabeth Bennet, one of five sisters living in a society obsessed with marriage. When the wealthy and aloof Mr. Darcy enters her world, Elizabeth instantly dislikes his proud demeanor.

Their subsequent interactions are laden with misunderstandings, judgments, and a mutual pride that stands as a barrier to their attraction. The narrative unfolds, and both characters transform understanding and sentiment, revealing the intricate layers of their personalities and the depth of their feelings for one another. Austen’s sharp wit and intelligent commentary on society’s norms make the slow-burning romance between Elizabeth and Darcy a compelling journey of self-discovery and love.

9. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman share an office and an intense mutual hatred. Both are assistants to co-CEOs in a publishing company, and their daily interactions are characterized by snarky comments, games of one-upmanship, and a rivalry that’s as entertaining as it is fierce. When they find themselves competing for a promotion, their dynamic takes an unexpected turn.

Underneath their battles lies a tension that’s more than just professional rivalry. They spend more time together, and their relationship evolves, unearthing vulnerabilities, past traumas, and a budding attraction. Thorne masterfully crafts a contemporary romance filled with humor, emotional depth, and palpable chemistry.

10. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

This sequel to “A Court of Thorns and Roses” focuses deeper into the story of Feyre Archeron. After the harrowing events Under the Mountain, Feyre grapples with emotional trauma and the weight of her newfound powers. While her relationship with Tamlin begins to strain, her unexpected bond with Rhysand, the enigmatic High Lord of the Night Court, deepens.

What starts as an uneasy alliance based on a bargain transforms into a deep connection built on mutual respect, understanding, and attraction. The world of Prythian is further expanded in this installment, showcasing its politics, intricate magic systems, and the stark contrast between the different courts. The slow-burn romance between Feyre and Rhysand, set against a backdrop of looming war and dark secrets, is intense and heart-wrenching.

5 Fantasy Slow Burn Enemies To Lovers Books

Here are five fantasy novels with a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers trope:

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: Set in the darkly alluring world of Faerie, Jude, a mortal girl, despises Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. Black crafts a tale where hatred gradually transforms into attraction.

The richly detailed Faerie realm, replete with political intrigue, betrayal, and dangerous magic, is a backdrop for a relationship that blurs the lines between hate and passion. Jude faces her place in a world that despises mortals, and her complex dynamics with Cardan take center stage, making readers yearn for their every interaction.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown: In a world inspired by West African folklore, Malik and Karina are pitted against each other due to unfortunate events and mutual objectives. Brown beautifully weaves a narrative where trust is scarce and emotions run high. The duo goes on a perilous journey, and their initial antagonism gradually gives way to deeper understanding and unexpected attraction. The book’s cover themes of grief, destiny, and sacrifice are expertly intertwined with the slow-burn romance, creating a captivating read.

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin: In a world divided by witches and witch hunters, Louise Le Blanc, a witch, and Reid Diggory, a witch hunter, are forced into a reluctant marriage. Mahurin masterfully plays with the trope as their relationship evolves from deep distrust to undeniable attraction. The intricacies of their world, with its strict religious and societal norms, add layers of tension to their budding relationship. The narrative balances dark magic, moral dilemmas, and the evolving dynamics of two individuals bound by duty and unexpected feelings.

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh: A retelling of “One Thousand and One Nights,” this novel introduces Shahrzad, who volunteers to marry the notorious king Khalid, known for killing his brides come dawn. Intent on avenging her best friend’s death, Shahrzad’s initial hatred for Khalid slowly transforms as she unravels the mysteries surrounding the murders. Ahdieh’s lush prose and atmospheric setting create a world of magic, love, and betrayal. The slow evolution of Shahrzad and Khalid’s relationship amidst secrets and dangers is both heart-wrenching and compelling.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson: Isobel, a talented mortal portrait artist, finds herself in deep trouble when Rook, a faerie prince, finds fault in a portrait she painted of him. They are forced into a dangerous journey through the treacherous faerie lands, and their initial antagonism shifts to mutual respect and attraction. Rogerson’s depiction of the faerie world is beautiful and deadly, serving as a perfect setting for a relationship that challenges the boundaries of mortality, immortality, human emotions, and faerie coldness.

Each of these novels offers readers a deep dive into richly imagined fantasy worlds, where the enemies-to-lovers trope is not just a romantic setting but intricately tied to the larger stakes and themes of the narrative.

More Romance Books:

Dark Romance Fantasy Books

15 Slow Burn Romance Books

15 Young Adult Enemies To Lovers Books

Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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