Surprising exactly no one, I’m a big fan of the enemies to lovers trope. The reasons for this are numerous (It’s satisfying, it’s a female power fantasy, I could go on and on) and one of my favorite enemies to lovers (but also so much, much more) fics is “The Lady and the Monster” by 3todream3. This is a workplace AU where both Kylo and Rey work for Skywalker Enterprises and don’t have a good relationship (guess who’s the lady and who’s the monster?) but manage get in flagrante delicto at a masquerade party. After this tryst, the ups and downs of their relationship is both a compelling story, and a really touching monument to what people can endure and how it isn’t too late to do right by someone we’ve wronged.
To me, “The Lady and the Monster” was so resonant because instead of showing a perfect world with perfect people, 3todream3 shows us an imperfect world with flawed people who hurt each other, but shows us how to come back from that: how we can have hope because love does indeed win.
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner reminded me of “The Lady and the Monster” because it’s a story of two sisters, told through the decades. It shows how all too often the people we love are the people that we hurt the most. And it shows how even though the world continues to beat women down, we continue to rise up and hope.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne is another story of overcoming all the burdens the world can thrown at you, and still find hope in the mess. Cyril Avery has a stacked deck against him, but he learns to play the game, and he learns a lot about himself along the way.
Have you read “The Lady and the Monster” or any of the read alikes I recommend? I’m always up to chat reading on Twitter @AmyWishman (https://twitter.com/AmyWishman).