I’m a sucker for romance. There’s nothing I love more than a good love story, where a swoon-worthy gentleman does everything he can to win the hand of his special lady/gentleman. And the only thing that makes all that better is when the two love interests start out as bitter, bitter enemies. It’s a trope, but I love it–especially when it includes banter, misunderstood intentions, and loads of sexual tension.
So, this is my paean to all the handsome fictional boyfriends out there who also start out the protagonist’s antagonist. We love to hate to love you!
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett, from Pride & Prejudice
I think I am safe in saying Darcy and Elizabeth epitomize the hate-to-love romance genre. I mean, it’s in the title! Elizabeth can’t stand Darcy from the get-go, and with pretty good reason–or so we think. It’s not long before their opinions of each other begin to shift, but not before we’re treated to some really delightful shade on Elizabeth’s part.
Rating: From “not handsome enough to tempt me” to “you must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you” in only 33 chapters.
Damianos and Laurent, from the Captive Prince Trilogy
When Prince Damianos of Akielos has his throne usurped, he’s sold into slavery to the crown prince of Vere, his sworn enemy. Fortunately (and occasionally unfortunately) for everyone concerned, Laurent is beautiful, cruel, and fiendishly intelligent. And he’s not about to let Damen forget where he came from–or what they both stand for.
Rating: three books’ worth of devious, delicious mind games and beautiful boys
Vikram and Gauri, from A Crown of Wishes
Exiled princess Gauri and foundling prince Vikram team up reluctantly to win a supernatural contest and unite their kingdoms. But they really can’t stand each other. Until an ordeal including magic apples, serpent kings, and poisoned courtesans forces them to stop arguing for like two seconds and work together…
Rating: “You spend an awful amount of time looking at my
“That’s only because I’m horrified at the sheer idiocy of the words
leaping out of them.”
Alex and Henry, from Red, White, and Royal Blue
Alex is the first son of the United States. Henry is an English prince. Really, need I say more?
Rating: tack room assignations and late-night ice-cream
Jude and Cardan, The Cruel Prince
Wow, I’m only just realizing how many princes are making it onto this list. Sorry not sorry.
Jude is a mortal girl living in Faerie after her parents were brutally murdered. Cardan is the wicked, handsome, wastrel prince who’s like 6th in line to the throne. He torments her endlessly. She plots her revenge. And revenge is best served…hot and bloody?
Rating: she’ll only kiss him with a knife held to her throat…or is it his throat?
Sunder and Mirage, from Amber & Dusk
Shameless plug! When Mirage arrives at the Amber Court, she doesn’t know who to trust, but she has a pretty good idea who not to trust–the haughty lord with knives in his fingertips and deceit in his soul. But it’s not long before their fates are hopelessly entangled…
Rating: I’m biased because I wrote it to be everything I wanted in an enemies-to-lovers romance!
Do you have a favorite hate-to-love romance? Let me know in the comment section below!