15 Sexy Office Rival Romance Books

Whether you call it enemies to lovers or office romance with a little extra sexual tension, workplace rivals romance is a beloved trope for a reason. I love the friction that comes from two people who are fighting – or fighting their feelings – and the forced proximity is always a win. The heroes can also vary, from the smirky, smug alphaholes to the secretly sweet cinnamon rolls who are simply misunderstood. And while miscommunication can be a frustrating trope, it often leads to some very good rivals romances. In fact, some of my all-time favorite romance novels include these scenarios.

The books on this list all feature co-workers who can’t seem to get along, for one reason or another. They’re stuck working together, and are forced to work out their differences… sometimes in super spicy ways. There’s a little something for everyone on this list, and they’re all 4 or 5-star contemporary romance novels that kept me hooked while I was reading. If I’ve reviewed a book, the link is included, as well as blurbs and links to Amazon for easy addition to your TBR. Happy reading!


The Devil You Know by Elizabeth O’Roark

There’s a devil on my shoulder, and every Monday morning she announces herself. She’s this delicious flame in my chest, a flurry of whispered suggestions in my ear. Suggestions I ignore…because every single one of them is about Ben Tate.

Ben—Stealer of Clients, Evicter of Homeless Women, Nemesis. Sitting across from me every damn Monday with his lovely, smug smile and his too-perfect teeth, the living symbol of everything I hate.

It’s been my policy to avoid him, but when a case comes into the firm—one that could change his career and mine—I make an exception. It means weekends and evenings by his side. It means enduring his smirk and his smart mouth and never taking the bait.

Until the night Ben says “Beg”…and that devil on my shoulder decides to make a few demands of her own.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3usLXHk


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.

                       2) A person’s undoing

                       3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ETDtwp


Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.

Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project—a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.

Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school—archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas…devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3a4oYfe


The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

A TikTok sensation, this rom-com about a young woman who agrees to fake date a colleague and bring him to her sister’s wedding has “everything you could want in a romance” (Helen Hoang, New York Times bestselling author).

Catalina Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiralled out of control. Now everyone she knows—including her ex and his fiancée—will be there and eager to meet him.

She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic and aid in her deception. New York to Spain is no short flight and her raucous family won’t be easy to fool.

Enter Aaron Blackford—her tall, handsome, condescending colleague—who surprisingly offers to step in. She’d rather refuse; never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling, and insufferable man.

But Catalina is desperate, and as the wedding draws nearer, Aaron looks like her best option. And she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3CEzuWm


Rival Radio by Kathryn Nolan 

These two on-air enemies can’t stop rubbing each other the wrong way in the booth…and the right way in bed. 

Theo
Whoever said “keep your enemies close” never had to share a small, dark sound booth with her. Daria Stone is the infuriating host of “Choosing Yourself.” The name is almost as ridiculous as the concept. Permanently single? Please. The woman’s made a career out of rejecting everything I stand for.

I’m looking for the one. The right woman who’s ready for marriage and a lifetime together. Not some sultry, stubborn vixen who makes my life a living hell and insists a husband can be replaced by a curated collection of bedroom toys. And I know she’s wearing those skin-tight leather pants just to annoy me.

Daria
Dr. Theo Chadwick is a professional pain in my…workplace. Sure—on the outside, the man is gorgeous. But he’s also obsessed with finding his better half and getting his radio show, “True Romance,” syndicated so he can give false hope to lovelorn listeners everywhere.

He keeps pushing my buttons with his arrogant “expertise” about how wrong I am. I just want to see him snap. Maybe that’s how I ended up here, pinned against a wall with my legs wrapped around his waist…whoops…

Can these enemies put their feud on hold and play nice in a shared timeslot to save their popular beach town radio station? Or will their sparks burn everything to the ground?

Author’s Note: One-click if you love forced proximity, breakroom bickering, “we’re just getting it out of our system” one-night stands, a rag-tag crew of DJs, and beachy, retro boardwalk magic.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wEbkXV


We Shouldn’t by Vi Keeland

From #1 New York Times Bestseller Vi Keeland, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

Bennett Fox walked into my life on one hell of a crappy Monday morning.

I was late for the first day at my new job–a job I’d now have to compete for even though I’d already worked eight years to earn it, because of an unexpected merger.

While I lugged my belongings up to my new office, a meter maid wrote me a parking summons.

She’d ticketed a long line of cars–except for the Audi parked in front of me, which happened to be the same make and model as mine.

Annoyed, I decided to regift my ticket to the car that had evaded a fine. Chances were, the owner would pay it and be none the wiser.

Except, I accidentally broke the windshield wiper while slipping the ticket onto the car’s window.

Seriously, my day couldn’t get any worse.

Things started to perk up when I ran into a gorgeous man in the elevator. We had one of those brief moments that only happened in movies.

You know the deal…your body lights up, fireworks go off, and the air around you crackles with electricity.

His heated stare left me flushed when I stepped off the elevator.

Maybe things here wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Or so I thought.

Until I walked into my new boss’s office and met my competition.

The gorgeous man from the elevator was now my nemesis. His heated stare wasn’t because of any mutual attraction. It was because he’d seen me vandalize his car. And now he couldn’t wait to annihilate his rival.

There’s a fine line between love and hate–and we shouldn’t cross it.

We shouldn’t–but straddling that line could be so much fun.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3tDvqPz


The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbary

Eight weeks of forced proximity is a long time to hate someone you’re trying not to love.

Sebastian Stremmel doesn’t need another headache. He has enough of his own without Sara Shapiro, the noisy new reconstructive surgeon, stomping all around his surgical wing with her chippy, chirpy cheerfulness.

But Sebastian doesn’t usually get what he wants.

No one gets under his skin like Sara – so much so a heated “debate” and an exam room left in shambles later, they land themselves in eight weeks of hospital-mandated conflict resolution counseling. Now they’re forced to fight fair…which quickly leads them to playing dirty when no one’s looking. 

They know it’s a mistake.

They promise themselves it will never happen again.

They swear they got it out of their systems.

They didn’t.


Author’s Note: Grumpy/recovering people-pleaser sunshine. Introverts attract. Enemies-to-lovers in the workplace. Banter, bicker, and button-pushing foreplay. Don’t tell the friend group, get jealous when the friend group tries to fix her up.

Heat: rip her clothes off before you get the front door open. 
CW/TW: chronic illness, absent/negligent parents, history of disordered eating.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3z1vhZw


Shipped by Angie Hockman

The Unhoneymooners meets The Hating Game in this witty, clever, and swoonworthy novel following a workaholic marketing manager who is forced to go on a cruise with her arch-nemesis when they’re up for the same promotion.

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.

The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.

Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.

With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?

Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne, Shipped is a fresh and engaging rom-com that celebrates the power of second chances and the magic of new beginnings.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/39vc0EU


See Me After Class by Meghan Quinn

“Did you have relations with my brother . . .”

Good question.

I’d like to preface this by saying it was never my intention to ever get involved in a workplace romance, let alone get involved with the most surly, agitating, and pompous man I’ve ever met who just so happens to be my new friend’s brother.

My intentions were to show students how English and reading books could actually be fun and make a new life for myself in the suburbs of Chicago.

But so far, I’ve managed to be called into the principal’s office.

Coerced into participating in the teacher’s badminton league.

And instigated into passionate fights with Arlo Turner over education and decorum while losing my underwear at the same time.

Known as Mr. Turns Me On, he’s the reason I might get fired from my first ever teaching job.

Read the review here

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Iu8iQM


Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting

Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake and cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight and his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream and bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.

From ax throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire and Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war and work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake and eat it too.

Read the review here

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2XS1OzW


The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese

From the author of THE BERGMAN BROTHERS series comes a slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers holiday romance, perfect for fans of THE HATING GAME and YOU’VE GOT MAIL.

He loathes the holidays. She loves them. She’s full of festive cheer. He’s brimming with Bah, Humbugs. Besides unreasonably seasonable names, the only thing Jonathan Frost and Gabriella Di Natale have in common is a healthy dose of mutual contempt. Well, that and the same place of employment at the city’s most beloved independent bookstore, Bailey’s Bookshop. But when the store’s owners confess its dire financial state, Jonathan and Gabby discover another unfortunate commonality: the imminent threat of unemployment.

With the Baileys’ requests to minimize expenses, win new customers, and make record sales dancing in their heads, Jonathan and Gabby conclude–barring a financial Christmas miracle–one of them will soon be cut from the payroll. Neither are willing to step down from their position, so they strike a bargain: whoever has more sales in December gets to stay on in the new year; the loser will resign. With a lifetime’s worth of festive tricks up her sleeve, Gabby should easily outsell her nemesis, except the unreadable Mr. Frost’s every move seems purely designed to throw her off her game. 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Gabby’s deceptive ex won’t quit pursuing her, and her anonymous online friend suggests they take a break. Worst of all, as the pressure mounts to save the bookshop and her job, Gabby meets a new, tender side of Jonathan. Is this the same man she’s called her cold-hearted enemy?

Maybe he’s got a motive she just can’t figure out–or maybe Jonathan Frost isn’t as chilly as she once thought. Maybe Jonathan and Gabby already know–and love–each other in ways they never thought possible.

This is an #OwnVoices story for its portrayal of autism by an autistic author.

Read the review here

The Mistletoe Motive is a Kobo Original, so you won’t find this one anywhere else!

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3BqPV4X

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3k4sJUo


Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl

A smart, sexy, and witty romantic comedy—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne—about a twentysomething who lives out every woman’s fantasy: getting paid to give men who do us wrong a taste of their own medicine. But when a previous target unexpectedly shows up at her office, she’s forced to rethink her life as a professional heartbreaker.

Brinkley Saunders has a secret.

To everyone in the academic world she left behind, she lost it all when she dropped out of grad school. Once a rising star following in her mother’s footsteps, she’s now an administrative assistant at an insurance agency—or so they think.

In reality, Brinkley works at Heartbreak for Hire, a secret service that specializes in revenge for jilted lovers, frenemies, and long-suffering coworkers with a little cash to spare and a man who needs to be taken down a notch. It might not be as prestigious as academia, but it helps Brinkley save for her dream of opening an art gallery and lets her exorcise a few demons, all while helping to empower women.

But when her boss announces she’s hiring male heartbreakers for the first time, Brinkley’s no longer so sure she’s doing the right thing—especially when her new coworker turns out to be a target she was paid to take down. Though Mark spends his days struggling up the academic ladder, he seems to be the opposite of a backstabbing adjunct: a nerd at heart in criminally sexy sweater vests who’s attentive both in and out of the bedroom. But as Brinkley finds it increasingly more difficult to focus on anything but Mark, she soon realizes that like herself, people aren’t always who they appear to be.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3kRSV5E


The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Public radio co-hosts navigate mixed signals in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s sparkling romantic comedy debut.

Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio. 

When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.  

As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3rL4HPl


Own the Eights by Krista Sandor

Bookshop owner, Georgie Jensen, is done with shallow
jerks.
 Her Own the Eights blog dishes out advice on how to steer clear
of egotistical creeps only concerned with looks and status. Her focus is
finding one’s true soulmate—not the superficial ten but the solid, reliable eight.

Jordan Marks is the city’s top fitness trainer who won’t
settle for anything less than the best.
 His blog promotes working
hard, playing harder, and striving to always be—you guessed it—a ten.

When these two opposites are forced to team-up for an
online competition, opinions clash and mouse pads fly.

The twist: there can only be one winner, and if Georgie wants to keep her shop open, that winner needs to be her.But the more time this eight and this ten spend together, the more they learn that, when it comes to love, a number might not be what matters the most.

Own the Eights is a steamy rom-com full of heart, heat, and oodles of laugh out loud moments!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3a4jTi6


The Proposal by Maya Hughes

When I envisioned Zara Logan dropping to her knees in front of me, this wasn’t what I had in mind…

I was expecting a lot less glaring and a lot more moaning.

Instead, she’s proposing an enticing deal that I can’t bear to walk away from.

To land one of the city’s biggest clients, she wants us to put our differences aside and play fake fiancés for the next thirty days.

So, I slip the diamond ring onto her finger and agree to play the perfect fiancé. How hard can this be? 

A hell of a lot harder than I thought… 

She’s infuriatingly stubborn and she thinks I’m a cocky jerk with an enormous ego. (She’s right, but I can definitely back it up…)

As our long days stretch into even later nights, it’s getting harder to remember we’re only playing pretend, which means one thing. 

She won’t be faking it for long…

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3h9AdS9


Want more romance recommendations? Check out some of my other lists!

15 Sweet & Spicy Small Town Romance Books

15 Sexy Fake Relationship Romance Books

15 Sexy Office Romance Books

15 Low Angst Romantic Comedy Novels

15 Sexy Single Dad Romance Books

15 (More) Great Grumpy / Sunshine Romance Books


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