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Top 10 Fantasy Novels With The Forced Proximity Trope

by | Apr 3, 2023 | Forced Proximity Trope

I’ve always been drawn to the exciting world of forced proximity fantasy books, and I know I’m not alone. As a popular subcategory of the well-known enemies-to-lovers theme, these stories place two seemingly mismatched characters in tense situations, pushing them to face their judgments and initial dislike. As they slowly uncover the layers of each other’s complicated personalities, they find unexpected connections and hidden depths that make them question their first impressions.

I can’t help but think about what the future holds for these characters, full of potential and fascination. Will they form a fragile partnership only to betray each other when it matters most? Or will their shared experiences lead to a love that inspires them to fight together, overcoming all obstacles? The thrilling excitement of discovering the twists and turns in their relationship keeps me hooked, my heart pounding with anticipation as I turn the pages.

In my specially chosen list of the top 10 fantasy books featuring forced proximity romance, we’ll dive into magical worlds filled with adventure, passion, and undeniable attraction. Under extraordinary conditions, these characters will find themselves irresistibly drawn together, their destinies linked as they face various challenges.

So, let’s dive into these top forced proximity trope books! These stories will appeal to readers from all backgrounds and preferences as they explore the depths of human connection and the life-changing power of love when faced with difficulty.

Crescent City

By Sarah J. Maas

First on our list of forced proximity books is one of the queens of fantasy herself, Sarah J Maas. Crescent City is the first book in the Crescent City series, introducing us to Bryce Quinlan, a half-human, half-fae living in the bustling city of Crescent City.

When tragedy strikes close to home, Bryce finds herself on a mission to seek justice, joining forces with the mysterious and alluring fallen angel, Hunt Athalar. Together, they must navigate the city’s treacherous underbelly, unearthing secrets and facing the darkness that looms over their world.

Forced to work together, Bryce and Hunt must navigate their complex partnership as they work to unravel the mystery. The close quarters and shared mission create an undeniable tension, and readers will be on the edge of their seats, eager to discover how their relationship evolves.

Kingdom of the Wicked

By Kerri Maniscalco

In Kingdom of the Wicked, Kerri Maniscalco introduces us to Emilia and Vittoria, twin sisters and secret witches who live among humans in 19th-century Sicily. But when Vittoria is brutally murdered, Emilia is determined to find her sister’s killer and avenge her death. Enter Wrath, one of the Wicked—princes of Hell—who claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked with solving a series of women’s murders.

These two are thrown together in a race against time to uncover the mysterious murderer. Their undeniable chemistry and tension make for an intoxicating read, with readers constantly wondering whether they will succumb to their forbidden attraction or remain enemies. This deliciously dark and Gothic tale is perfect for those craving a unique twist on the forced proximity trope.

These Violent Delights

By Chloe Gong

In Chloe Gong’s stunning debut, These Violent Delights, the streets of 1920s Shanghai are drenched in the blood of a bitter feud between two powerful gangs, the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers. At the heart of this chaos is Juliette Cai, a fierce young woman and heir to the Scarlet Gang, and her first love, Roma Montagov, heir to the rival White Flowers. When a lethal contagion threatens their city, the two enemies must join forces to save their home.

Their undeniable chemistry and shared past create a delicious tension that lingers throughout the novel. As they navigate their complex relationship and the dangerous world, Juliette and Roma must decide whether to let their love overcome the hate sown by generations of conflict.

Dance of Thieves

By Mary E Pearson

In this thrilling spin-off from The Remnant Chronicles, Mary E. Pearson presents Dance of Thieves, a captivating tale that brings together Kazi, a former street thief who now serves as part of the queen’s elite guard, and Jase, the young leader of a formidable outlaw dynasty. As Kazi ventures into Jase’s territory on a mission to investigate their wrongdoings, fate binds them together—quite literally—as they find themselves chained to one another and taken captive.

Forced proximity has never been more intense than with Kazi and Jase shackled together. Inextricably linked, the two must learn to cooperate to survive. As they navigate their dangerous circumstances, the stakes are raised with the duo grappling with upholding their individual loyalties while resisting their burgeoning feelings for each other. Their passionate and mistrustful encounters make for an electrifying and unpredictable journey that will leave readers on the edge of their seats.

Children of Blood and Bone

By Tomi Adeyemi

This captivating tale takes us to the enchanting world of Orïsha, where we meet Zélie Adebola, a young woman on a dangerous quest to restore magic to her kingdom. With the help of Amari, a rogue princess, Zélie must defy the odds, outsmart the ruthless king, and evade his son, Inan, the crown prince who is determined to eradicate magic forever.

As Zélie and Inan find themselves thrown together, the forced proximity between these natural enemies adds a layer of tension and intrigue to their journey through Orïsha’s perilous landscapes. The intensity of their mission is further complicated by Zélie’s struggle to control her powers and her growing feelings for the enemy prince. Adeyemi masterfully weaves a captivating tale steeped in Nigerian mythology and Yoruba beliefs, where magic, danger, and high-stakes adventure intertwine.

Serpent & Dove

By Shelby Mahurin

In a world where witches are ruthlessly hunted and burned, we encounter Lou, a renegade witch forced to abandon her magic and survive by her wits. Fate takes an unexpected turn when she collides with Reid Diggory, a devoted witch hunter sworn to a life dedicated to eradicating her kind. Against all odds, destiny binds them together in the most improbable of unions: holy matrimony.

Forced proximity ignites the pages, with Lou and Reid thrust into a marriage neither of them wants. Their undeniable chemistry and clashing beliefs create an irresistibly addictive tension that crackles with every interaction. As they navigate the complexities of their new life together, the lines between love and hate blur, entwining their fates in ways they could never have anticipated.

City of Brass

By S.A. Chakraborty

Delve into the enchanting world of City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, where we meet Nahri, a captivating con artist in 18th-century Cairo harboring a mysterious past. Unwilling to believe in magic, she’s taken by surprise when she accidentally summons Dara, a mysterious and powerful djinn warrior, and finds herself thrust into a realm she thought only existed in tales. Hand in hand, they embark on a perilous journey to the mythical city of Daevabad, a legendary haven of brass shrouded in political intrigue, simmering racial tensions, and veiled secrets.

As Nahri and Dara navigate the treacherous terrain, their inescapable closeness invites their relationship to flourish unexpectedly. Their bond deepens and transforms with each twist of fate, enveloping them in a tangled web of emotions and divided loyalties. Confronting fearsome creatures, uncovering ancient mysteries, and challenging the very core of magic, they must learn to depend on each other for survival.

For the Wolf

By Hannah Whitten

In this dark and atmospheric retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Hannah Whitten tells the story of Red, the second daughter of the royal family, who is destined to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wilderwood in the hopes of restoring the world’s imprisoned gods. Red, however, is almost relieved to fulfill her fate, as it means she can no longer harm those she loves with the uncontrollable power she possesses.

Yet, the legends have deceived her. The Wolf is a man, not a monster, and her magic is a calling rather than a curse. To save the Wilderwood and her world, she must learn to harness her power and face the god-like monsters lurking within.

Trapped in the Wilderwood, Red and the Wolf, Eammon, are drawn together by their inescapable forced proximity. As they navigate the eerie, sentient forest, they must rely on each other to face the ever-present dangers that lurk within. Their bond deepens and evolves as they confront monstrous creatures, unravel the truth behind the legends, and learn to harness the power that has led them to one another.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

By Brigid Kemmerer

In A Curse So Dark and Lonely, readers are introduced to a world where a cursed prince, Rhen, is forced to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year until he finds true love. When Harper, a tough young woman dealing with her challenges, including cerebral palsy, is unexpectedly pulled into this magical world, she doesn’t know what to make of the enchanted land or the cursed prince.

As she spends time with Rhen, Harper begins to understand the stakes, and the two of them form an unlikely alliance to save the kingdom from forces that threaten its very existence. As they face the challenges of breaking the curse and saving the kingdom, they learn to rely on each other, discovering their strengths and vulnerabilities. Their connection is intensified by the enchantment and the need for true love to break the curse. Still, their shared determination, resilience, and understanding ultimately bring them closer.

A Shadow in the Ember

By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rounding off our list is A Shadow in the Ember, a captivating tale of gods, magic, and forbidden romance by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Seraphena Mierel is a Maiden born to fulfill a desperate deal made by her ancestor to save his people. Destined to become the Primal of Death’s Consort, Sera’s true purpose is to make the Primal fall in love with her and end his life. Failure would mean the slow demise of her kingdom, plagued by the Rot.

Sera finds herself constantly in the presence of the enigmatic and alluring Primal of Death. As she grapples with her conflicting identities—chosen, consort, assassin, and monster—she finds herself unexpectedly drawn to him. Bound by fate, duty, and an undeniable attraction, Sera and the Primal navigate the complexities of their evolving relationship while contending with the looming threat of her ultimate mission.