Skip To Content

    18 Romance Books That Contain The Fake Dating Trope

    I swear that if a guy approaches me in order to ask me to become his faux date for a wedding, I will say yes on the spot.

    1. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

    The Love Hypothesis cover. Book by Ali Hazelwood
    Berkley Books

    Why you should read it: If you are into slow-burn romance and academics, this book will give it to you and so much more! Adam and Olive completely owned me, and I'm sure they will do the same to you. One night, Olive kisses a "random" stranger in order to convince her best friend that it's OK if she starts dating her ex-flame. See? She's kissing someone new! But that little something soon creates a rumor that Olive is dating grumpy, stoic professor Adam (the "random" stranger she kissed). They make a plan to start a fake relationship for personal reasons, but this relationship quickly turns into something way too real.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    2. Act Like You Mean It by Shae Sanders

    Act Like You Mean It cover. Book by Shae Sanders
    Shae Sanders

    Why you should read it: In the real world, I bet you've wondered if two well-known actors weren't really dating, but going out for promotional purposes. It happens! And you can see this play out in Act Like You Mean It. The story follows actor August Chambers, who is in need of a fake relationship in order to fix his image. Enter Xandra Nicole, a socialite who is very familiar with faux relationships. She's beautiful, she has thousands of followers in her Instagram, and is very high maintenance. When the contract is signed, these two's facade will commence... But is it really all a lie?

    Get it from Amazon.

    3. The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

    The Spanish Love Deception cover. Book by Elena Armas
    Atria Books

    Why you should read it: If you've already read The Love Hypothesis and are searching for something similar, this book is it. It's a slow-burn romance between nemeses that will leave you wanting more. After going viral on TikTok, The Spanish Love Deception is here to shake up the world. With a grumpy hero who looks so very good in suits, a woman who hates her co-worker immensely, and a trip to Spain, this story will forever live inside your heart.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    4. Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley

    St. Martin's Griffin

    Release date: June 21, 2022

    Why you should read it: I'm preparing you for 2022, because we are going to have plenty of fake dating romances, and all of them sound spectacular. This is the case with Fake It Till You Bake It, a romance between a reality TV star and a cupcake-baking football player. Jada is probably the most hated woman in America after turning down a proposal on live television. She comes back home in order to lay low, but instead she finds herself getting into a fake relationship in order to save a football player's bakery.

    Get it from Amazon.

    5. The Love Con by Seressia Glass

    The Love Con cover. Book by Seressia Glass
    Berkley Books

    Why you should read it: Now, if you're a fan of best friends-to-lovers with a side of fake dating, The Love Con can become your new favorite book in an instant. Geeky and charming, you'll find yourself loving the main characters and their journey to a happily ever after. Kenya Davenport wants cosplaying to become a career for her, but sadly she doesn't see a way to make that happen. An opportunity arises when she joins a reality show competition! Of course, nothing is that easy. She finds out that the last challenge is about iconic pairs, and the judges want the contestants' significant others to participate...but Kenya doesn't have one. Luckily she has a best friend who is willing to pretend. 

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    6. Two Friends and a Funeral by Wendy Dalrymple

    Two Friends and a Funeral cover. Book by Wendy Dalrymple
    Wendy Dalrymple

    Why you should read it: I've quickly become a fan of Dalrymple's romances, and this one is going to satisfy your rom-com needs. Especially if you are a big fan of fake marriage plots. When it comes to fake dating, you have a variety of different types, right? It's not really just dating — you can also find this trope in an engagement or even a marriage! In Two Friends and a Funeral, best friends Amy and Owen need to pretend to be married in order for Owen to get part of his inheritance. A deal is made, but things might get complicated because of their simmering attraction.

    Get it from Amazon.

    7. Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

    Written in the Stars cover. Book by Alexandria Bellefleur

    Why you should read it: A sapphic Pride and Prejudice-inspired romance with fake dating awaits you between the pages of this book. If that doesn't make you excited about picking it up, I don't know what else to tell you. Elle and Darcy will surely capture your heart during the first pages you read. When Darcy's done with love, she tells her brother her last blind date went amazingly. didn't. Now her brother believes she's dating Elle, the cute social media astrologer! They have to pretend during the holidays, and both of them have conditions. Get ready to enjoy this opposites-attract romance with hilarious banter and romantic moments.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    8. For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa

    For Butter or Worse cover. Book by Erin La Rosa

    Release date: July 26, 2022

    Why you should read it: I'm a sucker for reality television. It tends to get dramatic and entertaining because, obviously, the producers want the viewers to tune in every week. Sometimes they can make things happen, and they might not be real at all. Like in For Butter or Worse, after a disastrous fallout on live TV, chef Nina quits right then and there. She's done being in the same room with restaurateur Leo! But after they're caught in a "compromising" position by the paparazzi, they soon find themselves in the middle of a fake dating path. They have to play along without catching feelings, of course.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    9. Totally Engaged by Mina V. Esguerra

    Totally Engaged cover. Book by Mina V. Esguerra
    Mina V. Esguerra

    Why you should read it: What if you need to fake date someone because your family thinks you are dating someone, but actually you are not dating anyone? Huh. You know that if a story starts that way, it's going to be *chef kiss.* Rose Alban is happy living alone. She's single, and her life is just perfectly simple. But her mom still thinks she has to move all the way to the US with them. The only way Rose sees her mom dropping that idea is if she sees Rose living happily with her fiancé. But the problem is...she has no fiancé. The good thing is the hot professor next door might be able to help her out!

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    10. Make a Scene by Mimi Grace

    Make A Scene cover. Book by Mimi Grace
    Mimi Grace

    Why you should read it: Make a Scene is such a cute romance that will bring joy and laughter into your life. But also...the way this book is going to make you crave baked goods! I recommend having some on hand whenever you're reading. Retta's day hasn't started in the right way. First, she finds out her ex-boyfriend just got engaged to her cousin. And second, the boxing gym next to her bakery is creating trouble for her. She has a talk with the owner, who ends up being a very handsome man named Duncan. To fix their little problem, Retta comes up with a deal — and it involves fake dating.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    11. Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

    Take a Hint, Dani Brown cover. Book by Talia Hibbert

    Why you should read it: It's Talia Hibbert. If the world provided me with only one chance for me to give people one piece of advice, that would be to read a Talia Hibbert romance novel. It's that simple. You see Hibbert's name in the cover? Just get it. In the second book of The Brown Sisters series (each one a standalone), we meet Dani and Zaf, two people who have danced around their attraction for a bit. But after an event creates a viral outcome for them where Zaf is filmed rescuing Dani, they now have to pretend to be a couple! It's fake in public, but behind-the-scenes? It's becoming all too real.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    12. The Five-Day Reunion by Mona Shroff

    The Five-Day Reunion cover. Book by Mona Shroff

    Release date: January 25, 2022

    Why you should read it: Ex-spouses now have to pretend to still be together because her former mother-in-law forgot to tell her family they were separated! So, during her sister's wedding celebrations, Anita and Nikhil have to act like they are still husband and wife, even if that hurts. The angst, the yearning, and the emotions are very present for them both, so it's only a matter of time before one succumbs, right? 

    Get it from Amazon.

    13. How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole

    How to Find a Princess cover. Book by Alyssa Cole

    Why you should read it: Sometimes the story isn't all about the fake dating part, you know? Maybe it is only a small part of the whole story! But it's very important to include it so the romantic relationship can develop. In How To Find A Princess, we meet Makeda and Bez. Bez has come to Makeda's front door in order to bring her back to her kingdom, because Bez believes Makeda is her kingdom's long-lost princess. Makeda decides to journey back to Ibarania with Bez, but in order to do so, they have to travel by ship. And the only way to get on the ship without paying one single dollar is to pretend they're married.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    14. Four Weeks of Scandal by Megan Frampton

    Four Weeks of Scandal cover. Book by Megan Frampton
    Avon Books

    Release date: June 28, 2022

    Why you should read it: One thing I love about historical romance books is the way emotions run very high. And the sexual tension between our main characters? Off the roof. In historical romance, touches in public are very minimal — and that creates tension and pining, which we love to see. Four Weeks of Scandal follows lively Octavia, a young woman who is desperate for money so she can pay off her debts. Her estranged father who recently passed away has left an estate, and she's ready to claim it. But when she arrives there, she encounters Gabriel Fallon, who also claims the estate is his.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    15. Private Eye by Katrina Jackson

    Private Eye cover. Book by Katrina Jackson
    Katrina Jackson

    Why you should read it: Spies have always intrigued me. Secret missions, action-packed days, and anonymity create a good story, right? Katrina Jackson mixes action and romance in this fantastic book where a cam girl and a spy must fake date in order to find a very bad guy. Kenny has a hectic life, but he knows that when Thursdays come, he has a date with Maya, a cam girl he constantly watches online. They don't know each other, never have met in person, don't even know their names, but both of them find themselves falling for each other. When circumstances create an opportunity for them to meet in real life, Kenny realizes he has to tell her he's actually a spy and she was her mark. 

    Get it from Amazon.

    16. Everything's Better With Lisa by Lucy Eden

    Everything's Better With Lisa cover. Book by Lucy Eden
    Lucy Eden

    Why you should read it: Lucy Eden creates stories that are like steamy Hallmark Channel movies. And Everything's Better With Lisa is no different! Plus if you're looking for a very low-on-the-angst romance, this is it, my friends. In this title, Lisa is next-door neighbors with Cole. Their first meeting doesn't have a good outcome, but soon after, these two become inseparable. When Cole finds out his mother had a secret baby, he is the first one to say that he'll take care of little CJ when his mother passes. But Cole can't do it alone, and Lisa is ready to help him.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    17. Sanctuary by Rebekah Weatherspoon

    Sanctuary cover. Book by Rebekah Weatherspoon
    Rebekah Weatherspoon

    Why you should read it: If you still haven't read the Beards and Bondage series, I say you're really missing out on some good, good romance. Steamy meets suspense in this series where big-city girls meet their other halves in unconventional circumstances. Sanctuary follows the story of attorney Liz, who has been targeted by a former client. A friend of hers offers his family farm as a place where she can hide, unaware that her friend's grumpy brother, Silas, lives there as well — with his five dogs!

    Get it from Bookshop or your local indie through Indiebound here.

    18. Circling Back to You by Julie Tieu

    Circling Back to You cover. Book by Julie Tieu
    Avon Books

    Release date: July 22, 2022

    Why you should read it: For the rom-com fans, you can never go wrong with a Julie Tieu book. She's blessing us once again with a new office romance story where two people have to pretend to be together for their families. I love that they're already partners, friends, before they start fake dating! It brings so much history and knowledge of one another already to the table. Fake dating? It's only a small step toward their happily ever after. These office besties will realize that pretending to be together feels far more real than they thought.

    Get it from your local indie through Indiebound here.