When it comes to romance, there's nothing better than watching two enemies turn into lovers, as mutual aversion transforms by some strange, sexy alchemy into undeniable attraction. These three new romances—spanning the Scottish Highlands, Victorian England, and outer space—deliver fresh takes on the enemies-to-lovers trope that are sure to dazzle fans of sparring hearts.

Do Your Worst

Rosie Danan. Berkley, $17 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-43714-8
Danan (The Intimacy Experiment) gets the enemies-to-lovers trope right in this light, supernaturally inflected romp. Riley Rhodes, a cursebreaker by both trade and family tradition, hopes a promising job at the ruins of a castle in the Scottish Highlands will give her fledgling career the boost it needs. Meeting (and kissing) a handsome stranger on her first night in town seems an auspicious start—until that same stranger turns up at the site the next day and tries to get her fired. Archaeologist Clark Edgeware hopes to redeem his professional reputation with a career-making dig. He doesn’t believe in curses, and he’s not going to let a woman he perceives as a con artist get in the way of his work. Unfortunately, stopping Riley would be much easier if she wasn’t so stubborn—and if he wasn’t so attracted to her. Danan hits all the expected beats with precision. The result is a easy pick for fans of sparring hearts. Agent: Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Nov.)


Constance Fay. Bramble, $18.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-33041-3
Fay’s unputdownable debut, the first in a sci-fi romance series, is packed to the brim with heat, heart, and humor. Temperance Reed was banished from her highly influential family for refusing to cooperate with her “warhead” brother’s cruel business tactics. She finds a new home among the scrappy crew of the scouting ship Quest—until her affair with the captain ends in betrayal and he announces his intention to sell the ship. Temperance throws caution, and all her money, to the wind to buy it and keep her found family together, but that means they can’t say no when someone from the Escajeda family, one of the galaxy’s most powerful, wants to hire them. The job is simple: travel to the planet Herschel Two to scout a valuable mineral that could revolutionize space travel. The catch is that Arcadio Escajeda will be coming along as the crew’s new “head of security” (read: a spy for his family). Temperance bristles at his presence while Arcadio delights in getting under her skin, but they have to put their differences aside to survive. Fay enriches the enemies-to-lovers romance with meticulous worldbuilding and lovable, larger-than-life characters. The space hijinks and tantalizing mystery make this a gift for any romance lover who’s also a Firefly fan.(Nov.)

Never Met a Duke Like You

Amalie Howard. Forever, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-5387-3776-7
Howard (Always Be My Duchess) pairs unconventional aristocrats in this page-turning Victorian romance. Beautiful, lively, and beloved by society, self-proclaimed matchmaker Lady Vesper Lyndhurst embodies all the virtues of the perfect duke’s daughter—except that she’s disinterested in matrimony. In her mind, no man measures up to Aspen Drake, the Duke of Greydon, her childhood friend, neighbor, and longtime crush. Seven years after he spurned her during her debutante season, Aspen finally returns to England from his study of fossils abroad. Thrown together by Aspen’s work with Vesper’s father on a bill advocating for more humane treatment of those with mental illness, Aspen taunts Vesper incessantly, though his belief that she is merely a spoiled aristocrat is dispelled when he learns of her sometimes-dangerous charitable pursuits volunteering in the seediest parts of London. As he comes to see her unexpected depths, his attraction to her grows, and the taut romantic tension eventually gives way to some truly sizzling sex scenes. Meanwhile, Howard treats the 19th-century milieu as more than just set dressing, enriching the narrative with cameos from real historical figures advocating reform. Howard’s admirable and progressive protagonists and Clueless-inspired plot are sure to have readers charmed. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Nov.)