Florists David Cranston and Luis Montgomery have hated each other since the moment they met. The men got off on the wrong foot when Luis was applying for a job with David and they haven’t been able to tolerate each other ever since. They mostly manage to avoid one another until David is hired to assist with flowers for a wedding at the venue where Luis is head florist. The men find themselves constantly infuriated with one another, and neither can quite admit that there is some lust mixed in there with their hatred.
When David and Luis end up competing against each other for a floral contest, they begin clashing even further. Not only are they in competition for the same prize, but the contest takes them out of town where they are forced to not only share a room, but a bed as well. The animosity continues between them and it is all they can do to tolerate one another… except for the times they can’t keep their hands off each other. David and Luis end up spending half their time feuding and the other half having passionate hate sex. Soon, David and Luis realize that they may just like each other more than they care to admit. When the contest is over, they can either walk away, or they can finally admit that they are perfect for each other after all.
Enemies to lovers is one of my catnip tropes so I was really excited for Future Ex Enemy. The authors do a great job really building that animosity between the men and finding that delicious line between hate and love. While some books pay lip service to the enemies side of things, here we can really see these guys dig into their feud with one another. It makes seeing them ultimately fall for each other all the sweeter. The men are so passionate about each other that they are explosive in every way, both in and out of the bedroom. There is a nice bit of opposites attract here that fuels some of their hatred of each other, as David is very traditional and Luis is more modern in his approach and so the two find themselves at odds in just about everything. I think the authors do a particularly nice job developing David’s character and really showing us how his deep connection to his shop, being a florist, and the traditions with which he was raised play into the man he is now. I don’t feel like we got to know Luis and what drives him quite as much, but I think the two were an entertaining couple together.
I also really enjoyed how the men being florists was incorporated into the story. It is not a profession I see often in romance novels and there was just the right amount of detail to bring that part of the story to life. I liked reading about how they were putting the arrangements together and how the men worked. So that was a fun element that added some extra spark to the story.
I do wish we got a better sense of just why these men hated each other so much, though. Things definitely get off on the wrong foot between them, but the intensity of their hatred seems out of proportion to that encounter. We never really see either man do anything particularly problematic, just the two of them fighting at every encounter. At times, it seems like they hate each other just because they decided they would. Aside from different floral philosophies, we don’t see much to show why they would be at odds. The jump from hatred to accepting their feelings and really caring for one another also happened a little abruptly for me. That said, the authors really pull together a solid enemies to lovers plot here and for fans of that trope, I think you are going to find a lot to like about Future Ex Enemy. This was a fun collaboration and I look forward to more books from these authors.