Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.
If you’ve been anywhere near BookTok lately (guilty!) you don’t need me to tell you that Red, White, & Royal Blue is coming to Prime Video this Friday. TBH, I’ve been keeping an eye on the release date since the movie was announced. The movie, which is based on the book by Casey McQuiston, has some of my *favorite* romance novel tropes. Fake romance! Enemies-to-lovers! Secret relationships! It’s no wonder I inhaled this book on the beach the summer it came out, basically ignoring my family for a full 24 hours to see what would happen to Alex and Henry, the main characters of the novel.
Since reading Red, White, & Royal Blue, I’ve been on a mad hunt to find similar books, basically living on BookTok to get suggestions that follow the same kinds of tropes. And luckily, there are plenty of stories out there waiting to be devoured on a family vacation to the beach. Ahead, I’ve rounded up the best books to read if you loved Red, White, & Royal Blue. (Which, if you haven’t read it yet, you absolutely should do rightfuckingnow.) They’re good to tide you over between rewatches of the movie. Trust.
If you’re looking for another #ETL book with movie potential
Emily Henry is the queen of beach reads IMO, and so it makes sense that her book Beach Read is the ultimate story to dive into while lounging by the ocean. Even better—it’s one of her three (!) books that has already been optioned to be developed into a movie, so you’re going to want to read ASAP.
If secret relationships is your fave trope
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is another book I couldn’t put down. (Cut to me reading it by the light of my iPhone at 3 AM so I wouldn’t wake up my fiancé who was sleeping next to me.) It’s similar to Red, White, and Royal Blue because it follows a secret, queer relationship—but with an incredible twist in the end.
If you want to immediately watch the adaptation after reading
I am a self-proclaimed Sally Rooney stan, and Normal People is probably my favorite of her books. While it’s friends-to-lovers instead of enemies-to-lovers, this book has already been adapted to the small screen in a TV series for Hulu, so you can binge as soon as you finish reading.
If you’re an adult who *loves* a YA novel
Another foray into a secret, queer romance, If This Gets Out follows two boy band members who fall in love with one another. But in order to maintain their teen heartthrob status, they feel that they need to keep their relationship a secret.
If you want to read a fanfic that has gone mainstream
The Love Hypothesis started as a story on a Star Wars fanfic website, and once it was published, it took BookTok by storm. It features an enemies-to-lovers storyline where the main characters aren’t actually toxic to one another—a revelation!
If you like to dabble in alternate realities
While Red, White, & Royal Blue follows an American who falls in love with a royal, American Royals is a story set in an alternate reality where the US has its own royal family. It follows the three siblings of the American monarchy and the complicated world they’ve been born into.
If you love a workplace drama
Enemies-to-lovers is a well-worn trope in romance novels, but throw in some workplace drama, and you’ve got The Hating Game. Two coworkers vying for the same job promotion start to realize their feelings for each other go beyond loathing. Bonus: It’s already been adapted into a movie starring Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell.