Romance tropes have something so endearing about them that you can’t help but be addicted. But there’s something very peculiar about the fake dating trope that makes people want it even more: two people making a deal to act enchanted with each other for what they think is a short time, until they tumble into long-term love.
Whether it’s an issue of an inheritance clause or a staged relationship for an ex’s wedding, fake dates are the way to go. And while not everyone gets a chance to be on a fake date, there are always more books to vicariously live through these fortunate characters.
‘For Butter or Worse’ by Erin La Rosa
Chef Nina Lyon wants to make her name in an otherwise male-dominated field and inspire young girls to follow their passions. Now, as a co-host of a reality TV series, she finally has the chance to achieve her dreams, but her co-host, Restaurateur Leo O’Donnell, happens to be the worst. She tries to control her rage, but when he crosses the line, she decides to quit. Worse, his apology goes haywire when the paparazzi angle captures them in what looks like a compromising position. It’s the exact moment Nina decides if a “secret romance” is what it takes for her career to rise, so be it.
A hilarious read featuring the truth behind the dramatic moments on reality TV, For Butter or Worsewill make you crack up as Nina and Leo try to pretend-date without killing and falling for each other.
‘The Wedding Crasher’ by Mia Sosa
In a few weeks, Solange Pereira will take off from DC. But right now, she is helping her wedding planner cousin on a random couple’s big day. It’s easy … until she stumbles upon a situation that could destroy the wedding. So, she does what any sane woman would do, she crashes the wedding. Dean Chapman had his entire future planned out until Solange crashed his wedding and, frankly, his plans. Worse, he needs her to pretend to be his girlfriend after he claims to be in love with her. But who’s to say this sham of a romance can’t induce real feelings?
Mia Sosathe USA Today bestselling author of The Worst Best Manbrings you a hilarious fake-dating read in the form of The Wedding Crasher.
‘The Deal’ by Elle Kennedy
Hannah Wells is a confident woman in all aspects of life except, well, sex and seduction. But to make her crush want her, she must fake date hockey team captain Garrett Graham. All he wants in return is for her to tutor him so he can increase his GPA and go pro. But when a kiss leads to the best sex of their lives, Garrett is determined to make Hannah like him, no matter what it takes.
One of the best books by Elle Kennedy,The Deal presents a pretend date that is mutually beneficial for both. As they tumble down the path of love, it’s invigorating to watch them realize the one they wanted is right in front of them.
‘The Kiss Quotient’ by Helen Hoang
Stella Lane thinks maths is the only thing that unites the universe. But unfortunately, she loves numbers way too much and has zero experience in dating. French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. So, she hires an escort, Michael Phan, to train her. He will be her pretend boyfriend for a few days, and once she’s ready, he’ll leave. But what happens when she realizes she loves him more than calculus?
An endearing love story with a woman in STEM, an accurate representation of Aspergers, and a boyfriend to make you swoon? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. When thinking romance, you can never go wrong with Helen Hoang‘s The Kiss Quotient.
‘Boyfriend Material’ by Alexis Hall
If there is someone who deserves credit for Luc O’Donnell’s stunted growth, it’s his infamous parents. And when his father – one he’s never met – makes a comeback, a compromising picture can ruin Luc’s future. Oliver Blackwood is the perfect boyfriend material. Too bad he doesn’t need a boyfriend. What they both need, though, are fake dates for a big event. But the problem with fake dating is that it can feel a lot like real.
A British romcom with unforgettable characters, Boyfriend Material, will take you to an emotional place you will never see coming. Its sequel, Husband Materialby Alexis Hallis expected to release on August 2, 2022.
‘The Cheat Sheet’ by Sarah Adams
Bree Camden has been hopelessly in love with her best friend, Nathan Donelson, but so is half of America. The star quarterback changes girlfriends faster than you can say ‘Jack Robinson.’ But when a drunk Bree spills her beans to a reporter, the entire world thinks they belong together. So now, they’re stuck in a fake relationship for three weeks. Except it doesn’t feel fake anymore.
In a childhood-friends-to-lovers, Sarah Adams brings one of the best book relationships (and book boyfriends) in the form of The Cheat Sheet.
‘Roomies’ by Christina Lauren
Holland Baker has been drawn to the street musician Calvin Mcloughlin for months. But he never noticed her until he saved her from a drunk attacker. As a thank you, Holland gets him an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. But when she realizes he’s an illegal immigrant, she decides to marry the Irishman, her attraction a secret only to him. As Calvin becomes a Broadway superstar, how long will it take before they realize that they stopped pretending long ago?
In Christina Lauren‘s most underrated book, Roomieslove will take over the steering wheel with thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty in the backseat.
‘Take A Hint, Dani Brown’ by Talia Hibbert
Dani Brown is clear about her goals: professional triumph, academic fame, and maybe to bump uglies to relieve career-induced stress once in a while. So when an ex-rugby player turned security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, she knows they’re meant to sleep together. But his act of bravery goes viral, and the internet starts shipping #DrRugbae. So they decide to fake-date to bench popularity for his sports charity for kids. She can do that, but when Zaf, a hopeless romantic, tries to break down her walls, it’s time to run for the hills.
The second book in The Brown Sistersseries, Talia Hibbert‘s Take A Hint, Dani Brownmight be your go-to book if you’re ready to swoon and be hung up on a book for days.
‘The Wedding Date’ by Jasmine Guillory
After a power outage strands them in an elevator together, Alexa and Drew agree to go as fake dates to his ex’s wedding. They have more fun than they thought possible, and it’s finally time to say goodbye. Drew has to fly home to LA to his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Berekely is waiting for Alexa to return and resume her position as the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other.
Brimming with humor, relatable characters, and plenty of simmering sexual tension, this charming rom-com kicks off Jasmine Guillory’sWedding Date series.
‘Twisted Lies’ by Ana Huang
Behind the gentlemanly suits he adorns, Christian Harper hides a gorgeous, lethal, and clever man. But unfortunately, he has no place for love in his life. Until one day, she moves in just one floor below him. She’s the one he desires, and he’ll do anything to have her, even lie. Stella Alonso is a hopeless romantic who has no time for love between her social media fame and two jobs. But when her past strikes, she’s driven into the arms of the most dangerous man she’s ever known.
The fourth and last book in the Twistedseries by Ana Huang, Twisted Liesfeatures a morally gray male MC and the promise of a very, very dark romance.