Sep 27 2012 6:00pm

Trope of the Month: Kiss or Kill (or, Enemies to Lovers)

Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah MayberryAcademically put, tropes are “common or overused theme[s] or device[s]," which makes them sound like cliches, which makes them seem like a bad thing. But they’re totally not! Romance novel fans all have their favorite—not to mention least favorite—tropes, from friends to lovers, chick in pants, secret baby, marriage of convenience, opposites attract, May-December, boss-assistant...the list goes on.

Each month, we’ll be picking a romance novel trope and ask you to offer recommendations falling under the trope rubric (again with the academic talk!).

This month, we want your recommendations for Kiss or Kill romances, or novels/series in which the hero and heroine go from mortal enemies to devoted lovers. Here are a few on our minds:

  • Meljean Brook's Demon Angel 
  • Anne Stuart's A Rose At Midnight
  • Kresley Cole's Lothaire
  • Sarah Mayberry's Her Best Worst Mistake

What books would you add? Recommend your favorites in the comments!

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. ChelseaMueller
My favorites here are Eve Silver's Otherkin series, particularly the third book Sins of the Flesh. Also, pretty much any of Karina Cooper's Dark Mission books, especially the first one Blood of the Wicked.
2. SassyT
Actually, you could substitute most of Kresley Cole's IAD titles in for Lothaire as most of her books have heroes/heroines who can't decide if they want to kill each other or kiss each other or both (they usually try and succeed in at least torturing each other).
Heather Waters
3. HeatherWaters
@ChelseaMueller -- Thanks, Chelsea!

@SassyT -- Ha ha, I was thinking that about Anne Stuart, too! I love her books but the hero and heroine generally start out at least at cross-purposes, if not revenge in mind. It's just her thing, and I devour it (almost) every time.
4. huntece
I think Ilona Andrew's Gunmetal Magic could definetly fall into this categorie :)
7. wsl0612
G.A. Aiken has a few, as does Kelley Armstrong. Jeannine Frost of course!
Alisa Kwitney
8. AlisaKwitney
Shannon Mckenna...especially the one with the nearsighted skinny dipper who doesn't realize she's in a mafiya boss's pool. Undercover special ops guy shows up, thinks she's probably an assassin sent to kill him...what's the name of this book, again? I'm supposed to be revising my own book, but got distracted. As an aside: I want more Russian kiss me or kill me heroes. I don't know why, but I do.
Heather Waters
9. HeatherWaters
@huntece @wsl0612 -- I love this feature--so many cool recs. Thanks, guys!

@AlisaKwitney -- Oooh, now you've made me curious. I'll have to see if I can find out what book that was myself! Good luck with the revising; think I might know why you've got Russians on the brain.
10. Rhonda B
All Jacked Up Lorelei James is one of my favs. There is some great verbal sparring. Loved her best worst by sarah too.
Shauna Comes
11. djshauns
@AlisaKwitney -- you made me curious, so I started looking around. Was it Extreme Danger?
Vanessa Ouadi
12. Lafka
Ooooh, I love Enemies to Lovers trope !

Her Best Worst Mistake was pretty good indeed.

Lisa Kleypas has used the trope once or twice. Book #4 in the Hathaways series, though not my favourite book in the series, was about "enemies" becoming lovers. Same thing in Then Came You (Gamblers #1) and It Happened one autumn (Wallflowers #2).

Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels is also about a hero and heroine who can't stand each other in the beginning of the book.

And in my to-be-read-not-published-yet pile, I'm particularly eager to read R.L. Mathewson's Checkmate. It will be the 3rd book in her Neighbours from Hell series, in which all the books are about antagonism turning into romance. But the 3rd book I believe will go further in the enemies-to-lovers trope, because the characters have known _ and apparently hated _ each other for years. November cannot come soon enough!
Alie V
13. ephramyfan
The best of them all (in my humble opinion): Pride & Prejudice!
Candice Burnett
14. SleepyVamp
Urban & Roux's Cut & Run is one of my favorites. The fight scene in the alley between Zane and Ty feels sexy even as you realize they are actually beating the hell out of each other. (Also, unrelated, love that they actually stay hurt, don't just brush off those cracked ribs and bloody face in the next scene like some rom.-suspense!)
15. Evelyn G
Sherrilyn Kenyon has a few: Retribution (Sunshine & Abby - she thinks he killed her family), Seize the Night (Valerius & Tabatha - she stabs him the first time they meet), and Born of Fire (Syn & Shahara - she's the bounty hunter trying to capture him)
16. sms
very good...
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