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20 Swoon-Worthy Books Like “The Hating Game” For Rom-Com Fans

Find Your Next Romantic Obsession With These Books Similar to "The Hating Game"
by The Blinkist Team | Apr 24 2024

“The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne is a quintessential enemies-to-lovers romance that has captured the hearts of readers everywhere. Its blend of witty banter, palpable tension, and ultimately heartwarming romance sets a high bar for the genre.

If Lucy and Joshua’s hate-turned-love story left you craving more of that delicious romantic tension and laugh-out-loud moments, you’ve landed in the perfect spot. Here are 20 books that channel the same irresistible blend of antagonism and attraction, ensuring that fans of “The Hating Game” are spoiled for choice with their next reads.

Top 20 books to read after “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne


1. “Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston

When Alex Claremont-Díaz, the First Son of the USA, is forced into a fake friendship with his nemesis, Prince Henry, sparks and witty banter fly.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Enemies-to-lovers theme with sizzling chemistry.
  • Hilarious and sharp dialogue.
  • A heartwarming, feel-good romance.


2. “You Deserve Each Other” by Sarah Hogle

Naomi and Nicholas are the perfect couple, except for the fact that they can’t stand each other anymore. Their path to rekindled love is laugh-out-loud funny and sweet.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Lovers become enemies become lovers again.
  • Humorous and engaging writing.
  • A romantic storyline with depth and warmth.


3. “Well Met” by Jen DeLuca

Enemies take their rivalry to the Renaissance Faire in this charming, enemies-to-lovers romance that’s filled with witty exchanges and undeniable attraction.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • A hate-to-love romance set in a unique environment.
  • A strong, witty female lead.
  • Playful and engaging romantic dynamics.


4. “99 Percent Mine” by Sally Thorne

Darcy Barrett must navigate her tumultuous feelings for her brother’s best friend, Tom, whom she’s had a crush on forever and now seems to be 99 percent hers.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • A tension-filled romance with a strong, quirky lead.
  • A blend of humor and emotion.
  • Sally Thorne’s signature engaging style and banter.


5. “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren

Olive Torres and Ethan Thomas can’t stand each other, but when an opportunity arises for a free vacation, they pretend to be newlyweds and discover they might not hate each other after all.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • A fake relationship turns real.
  • Enemies-to-lovers theme.
  • Hilarious situations and witty dialogue.


6. “Beach Read” by Emily Henry

Two authors with nothing in common except their beach houses and a case of writer’s block find themselves more than just neighbors.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Opposites attract narrative.
  • Witty banter and evolving relationship.
  • A deeper emotional journey amidst the romance.


7. “The Ex Talk” by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Shay and Dominic must pretend they’re exes for their radio show’s new concept, leading to unexpected sparks and personal revelations.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Workplace romance with a twist.
  • A fun, enemies-to-lovers premise.
  • Authentic and engaging character development.


8. “If I Never Met You” by Mhairi McFarlane

Laurie and Jamie fake a relationship for mutual benefit, but their pretend romance starts feeling all too real.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Fake dating scheme.
  • Witty and warm romantic development.
  • Strong, relatable characters.


9. “Dating You / Hating You” by Christina Lauren

Carter and Evie, two Hollywood agents, go from potential love interests to rivals overnight, navigating their careers and feelings for each other.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Office rivalry romance.
  • A fine balance of hate-to-love dynamics.
  • Engaging, humorous writing style.


10. “To Hate Adam Connor” by Ella Maise

Neighborhood disputes turn into unexpected attraction between Lucy and Hollywood star Adam Connor.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Love-hate relationship sparked by initial animosity.
  • Engrossing romantic tension.
  • Characters with depth and humor.


11. “Hate to Want You” by Alisha Rai

Forbidden love and family drama intensify the complex relationship between Livvy and Nicholas, who can’t stay away from each other.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Deep emotional and physical connection.
  • The fine line between love and hate.
  • Strong, multifaceted characters.


12. “Walk of Shame” by Lauren Layne

Celebrity socialite Georgie and divorce lawyer Andrew have opposite lifestyles but discover an unexpected connection during their early morning encounters.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Opposites attract romance with a sizzling chemistry.
  • A light-hearted, engaging narrative.
  • Witty banter that defines their relationship.


13. “Fight or Flight” by Samantha Young

A cancelled flight leads to an intense dislike and an unexpected fling between Ava and Caleb, who are trying to make sense of their feelings.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • The immediate spark of dislike turning into something more.
  • A compelling mix of arguments and attraction.
  • A romance that’s both heated and heartwarming.


14. “RoomHate” by Penelope Ward  

Sharing a house with a childhood friend turned enemy, Amelia and Justin grapple with unresolved tension and a budding romance under the same roof.  

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:  

  • Roommates with a rocky past navigating their relationship.  
  • The thin line between love and hate explored in close quarters.  
  • A humor-filled, emotional romantic development.


15. “The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang

Stella Lane hires escort Michael Phan to help her get more experienced in relationships, leading to unexpected lessons in love.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Unique characters challenged by their perceptions of love.
  • Sweet and sexy moments.
  • A heartwarming journey of self-discovery and romance.


16. “The Worst Best Man” by Mia Sosa

Wedding planner Lina Santos is forced to work with her ex-fiancé’s brother, Max, stirring repressed feelings and new romantic possibilities.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • A compelling mix of love, humor, and second chances.
  • Workplace and romantic tension.
  • Charming and relatable characters.


17. “The Flatshare” by Beth O’Leary

Tiffy and Leon share an apartment and a bed but have never met. Their unconventional living arrangement leads to an unlikely romance.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • An original take on the roommates-to-lovers trope.
  • Heartfelt and quirky relationship development.
  • Engaging narrative with emotional depth.


18. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

The classic tale of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, whose initial misunderstandings and judgments evolve into love and respect.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • The ultimate enemies-to-lovers story.
  • Witty dialogue and memorable characters.
  • A romantic tension that builds beautifully.


19. “From Lukov with Love” by Mariana Zapata

Figure skaters Jasmine and Ivan Lukov go from rivals to partners, both on the ice and in life.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • A slow-burn romance with a competitive edge.
  • Characters who grow and evolve together.
  • Intense chemistry amidst bickering and banter.


20. “Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating” by Christina Lauren

Hazel knows she’s too much for most men, but Josh isn’t like the others, sparking a unique and endearing friends-to-lovers tale.

Elements in common with “The Hating Game”:

  • Friends with undeniable chemistry.
  • A light and playful romantic storyline.
  • Heartfelt moments that deepen their connection.

If you loved “The Hating Game” for its snappy banter, chemistry between characters and enemies-to-lovers storyline, then these books are perfect for you.

They offer their own unique take on the romantic comedy genre, from workplace dramas to fake relationships that turn real. Grab your next romantic read, snuggle up and enjoy the swooning! Happy reading!


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