Valentine’s Day is around the corner (have you noticed the bouquets, chocolates, and heart-shaped balloons literally everywhere?!) and you know what that means, right? Yup, it’s time to get lost in your favorite literary love stories! Bookseller Bug joins us on the blog to recommend of their spicy faves!
Hey there. Bug here, your favorite goblin book person! I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day myself, and sometimes the cheesy romances just don’t do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Nora Ephron moment…
…but around this time of year I like my romance with a little bit of spice. Please imagine salt bae sprinkling salt over a stack of books here. Without further ado—here are SPICY BUG’S ENEMIES TO LOVER—wait!!! Some of y’all are probably saying, Bug, what on earth is E2L? Don’t worry baby birds, I’ll feed you the info. Enemies to Lovers (or Rivals to Lovers) is a literary trope that is both beloved….and maybe a little overused at some points. I mean, if you have a rival that is juuuust code for eventual lover. When two people dislike each other veryyyyy much, sometimes the world forces them to spend time together, and they realize that this dislike is actually poorly concealed love. And that, dear readers, is how this spicy trope is made. Now! I present to you: BUG’S SOMEWHAT SPICY ENEMIES TO LOVERS RECS 2021.
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
Alessandra is the second born daughter of a nobleman, who spends her time scheming and breaking hearts while she waits for her chance to be introduced into society. Once her elder sister is finally engaged, Alessandra comes up with her greatest and most devious plan yet—seduce the newly-crowned Shadow King and kill him to inherit his kingdom. But the Shadow King has powers nobody seems to understand, and the power of love may just halt Alessandra’s plans altogether. She killed for a broken heart once, but is she willing to do it again? Find out in this wonderfully devious and spicy romance.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Perhaps—in my opinion—the original enemies to lovers story. Rude, handsome, yet so un-charming Mr. Darcy and willful, fiery, opinionated Elizabeth Bennet! They meet! They begrudgingly fall in love, with so many missteps along the way.
Enjoy the tears, the family drama, the civilized verbal sparring all set against the delightful backdrop of Regency England. A classic leading man we can support, and no secret wives hidden in an attic! (I’m looking at you, Mr. Rochester!)
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
For this final book, if you frequent Book People, then you have probably heard of it. The love story that took our staff my storm in 2019. (For a good reason, McQuiston instantly became a queer icon.) First son Alex Claremont-Diaz finds himself in a ‘situation’ —not entirely of his own doing—where he pretends to be the best friend of his arch enemy: Prince Henry of England. While parading around for the public, will love blossom as the hatred between the two begins to fade? Was it ever really there to begin with? Most importantly, will the reader enjoy watching these two make history? (I think so.)
Maid-Sama! by Hiro Fujiwara
This is a little extra treat for my fellow manga lovers! Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with Lilli’s Jump Into Manga series, and her most recent installment on Shoujo (also known as romance manga)! Maid-Sama! is one of the cutest stories, following tough high school president Misaki who rules over the predominantly male Seika school with an iron fist. She runs into mysterious hottie Usui at her secret after school job, working as a host at a Maid café. Hijinks ensue as Usui is able to let himself be free and fanboy, and Misaki finds herself reluctantly decoupling feelings for the boy she wants to see only as a nuisance. Serious heart-eye emojis over this one, y’all.
About the bookseller: Bug is a 2,700 year old Goblin Bookseller here at BookPeople! She/They enjoys getting tattoos, screaming about anime villains, and drinking iced coffee in the snow.
You can find the titles featured here at BookPeople in-store and online today! And if you’re in the mood for more perfect picks for the weekend, explore our reading lists for those of you feeling the love or just feeling a little…MEH.