Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by Louisa
If you love a new adult, college romance novels with a more contemporary vibe (that means, doesn’t hold back on the bedroom scenes!).
Then you’re probably in the mood for books like The Deal by Elle Kennedy.
This tantalizing novel has you hooked into a storyline following two college kids who are bought together to achieve their goals and enter into a fake relationship.
If the prospect of a deal made in a relationship has intrigued you, you’re not alone.
These authors of books similar to The Deal have also imagined how this might play out, and it turns out, there are quite a few avenues this angle can take.
If you’re not sure what to read after The Deal, then these are the best books to add to your reading list!
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Quick Answer: 3 Top Picks!
Need a book but don’t have much time? Don’t worry, here are my top three favs!
#1 Best Highly Acclaimed Novel
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
- A tik-tok sensation!
- The story of two doctors entering a fake relationship
- Winner of Amazon’s Best Romance Novel, 2021, and Goodreads Choice Award nominee.
#2 Best in Romance
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
- #1 New York Times bestselling author
- Story of a no-strings-attached relationship
- Steamy contemporary romance
Summary of The Deal (Without Spoilers)
It may have been a while since you read The Deal, or maybe it’s still on your reading list.
If so, then you should brush up on the plot before reading these similar books! Don’t worry, I won’t reveal any spoilers.
The Deal is a college romance novel that’s part of the ‘Off Campus’ series by Elle Kennedy but can be read as a standalone novel.
It falls into the hockey romance trope, and while hockey does have a vital role in the storyline, the emphasis is more on the characters and their relationship.
It’s also a dual POV romance book, in which each chapter is told through the eyes of the hero and heroine.
Hannah Wells is known as the good girl, but when she meets a boy who piques her interest, she begins to feel insecure about her lack of confidence in the bedroom.
In a bold move to get his attention, she pushes herself out of her comfort zone by offering to tutor the cocky captain of the hockey team, all to secure a pretend date.
Garrett Graham has one ambition – to play professional hockey, but his poor academic performance is jeopardizing his chances.
When he meets the sarcastic and witty Hannah, he expects her to help him improve his grades, nothing more.
Yet, when a kiss between them leads to a night of unforgettable passion, Garrett is left wondering if a fake date is enough to satisfy his desires.
Read my complete review of The Deal by Elle Kennedy here.
College Romance Books Similar to The Deal
Let’s kick things off with my favorite college romance books like The Deal. Whether you’re into a cute love story or something a little more spicey, these are the perfect addition to your reading list…
1. Punk 57 – Penelope Douglas
If you’re in the mood for a passionate novel like The Deal, then Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas is sure to satisfy.
The story centers around Misha, who joins a pen pal program in 5th grade and gets matched with Ryen – a girl whose online profile reveals her to be the exact opposite of everything Misha stands for.
Despite this conflict and their agreement that they won’t meet or talk on the phone, they become the best of friends – eagerly waiting for new letters from each other.
But when Misha discovers Ryen’s true identity, everything changes. Filled with sizzling tension and unexpected surprises, Punk 57 takes readers on an emotional ride as we discover if this unlikely love story will triumph against all odds!
Related Reading: Books like Punk 57
2. The Spanish Love Deception – Elana Armas
The Spanish Love Deception is one of the most similar novels like The Deal because it also tells of a deal where two main characters pretend to be lovers.
It follows Catalina Martin, who believes everyone in her life has found love but her.
To get her family off of her case, Catalina makes up a little white lie that she has an American boyfriend. After all, how would they find out? They’re in Spain and she’s in New York.
There’s one little problem though. Catalina’s sister is getting married in four weeks and her family is expecting her to travel to Spain, with her American boyfriend.
Catalina needs to find someone to play the role of her boyfriend and the only one who offers to step in is the man who gets under her skin the most, her arrogant colleague Aaron Blackford.
However, as she spends more time with him, her feelings toward him start to change.
3. The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood
One of my favorite feel-good novels like The Deal is The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. Olive Smith is a third-year PH candidate who has always put her career first.
She has analyzed everything about her life and came to the conclusion that she doesn’t believe in long-term relationships. However, her best friend is a hopeless romantic who won’t get off of her case.
In a rash decision to convince her best friend that her love life is fine, Olive kisses the first man she sees.
This man just happens to be Adam Carlson, a well-known hotshot professor who is willing to go along with her “fake boyfriend” plan.
Despite his reputation for being a grade-A jerk, Adam surprises Olive with how supportive he is when she really needs someone in her corner.
Could she be wrong about relationships all this time? This is a heartwarming fake relationship, medical romance novel with a gripping storyline.
Related Reading: Books Like The Love Hypothesis
4. Wait For You – Jennifer L. Armentrout
If you want to read more books like The Deal that have a sweet love story, you may enjoy Wait For You by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
This romance novel will have you sucked in until the very end as you read along and unravel the secrets.
Five years ago, something happened at a Halloween party that changed Avery Morgansten’s life completely. She felt like she could live her life the same and kept a low profile.
Now, at the age of 19 and starting out as a college freshman, Avery is ready for a new chapter.
She’s immediately drawn to Cameron Hamilton, a guy with good looks and an even better personality. Avery wants to keep her low profile, but she can’t help herself when she’s around him.
However, once things start to heat up with Cameron, Avery’s past begins to haunt her.
Threatening emails and phone calls are just the beginning, as she learns someone is refusing to let that night go.
5. Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
If you liked The Deal, then you will probably love a book like Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.
First, we have the good girl Abby Abernathy. She doesn’t drink, smoke, or swear and is fully focused on her first year at university.
Then we have playboy Travis Maddox. He gambles, fights, and plays with every girl he meets. Travis is basically everything Abby wants to avoid.
Every girl he has ever met has been charmed by his wits, so Travis is taken aback when Abby ignores his advances.
Getting ignored is not something he is used to, so Travis goes the extra length to get in Abby’s books.
He makes a bet. If he loses, he can’t hook up with any females for a month. If Abby loses, she has to move into his apartment for a month. Who will win this bet?
This is a brilliant light angst romance novel with a bad boy MC.
6. The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden – Jessica Sorensen
Are you interested in reading more books similar to The Deal because you enjoy the story of a romantic connection between an unlikely pair?
You may have trouble putting The Coincidence of Calle & Kayden by Jessica Sorensen down then!
Callie has a painful secret that has kept her from opening up and letting people into her life.
Kayden has always remained silent and done as he’s been told.
When fate has these two crossings each other’s path, Kayden is convinced that Callie can save him from the only life he knew.
However, he soon realizes that she may be the one who needs help.
Bad Boy Romance Books Similar to The Deal
Okay, we all love a bad boy romance novel, so let’s step things up a notch and look at some of the badest romance books similar to The Deal.
7. Ugly Love – Colleen Hoover
Ugly Love is one of my top choices for books like The Deal because it’s by the international bestselling author of It Ends With Us, Colleen Hoover.
When Tate Collins and Miles Archer meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. Miles has no desire to fall in love with anyone and Tate has no time for love in her life.
However, there’s no denying that there is a strong physical connection that they both want to explore.
Since these two wouldn’t even consider themselves friends, they believe that a strict “hookup only” arrangement will be easy to stand by.
Miles even set rules in place where neither one asks questions about the past or expects a future.
However, following these rules proves harder than either one of them had imagined.
Related Reading: Books Like Ugly Love
8. Welcome To The Dark Side – Giana Darling
One of the most exciting books similar to The Deal is Welcome To The Darkside by Giana Darling.
This intense story revolves around Lou, a 17-year-old girl who has always done what she was supposed to.
She lived life as a good girl, doing volunteer work, attending church every Sunday, and always eating her vegetables. While this was a boring lifestyle, Lou was convinced there would be a reward for her obedience.
However, when she got diagnosed with cancer, it wasn’t the reward she was expecting. With the idea that life could be gone at any time, Lou wants to indulge in wild behavior.
That’s when a man who saved her life when she was younger gives her the offer to come to the dark side. She accepts, not knowing how dangerous this man really is.
9. My Favorite Mistake – Chelsea M. Cameron
If you liked The Deal, My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron will have you glued to the pages.
College student Taylor Caldwell is shocked when she finds out her new college roommate is the handsome bad boy Hunter Zaccadelli.
She has been burned by his type in the past so she has to struggle with temptation as she resists his charm.
Hunter isn’t everything his exterior presents. He has been hurt in the past too. However, he’s drawn to Taylor because she’s not like the other girls on campus.
He decides to propose an offer that will get Taylor to fall for him if she can convince him that she either loves or detests him he will leave the apartment.
This plan of Hunters gets challenged when Taylor’s ex comes back into the picture.
10. Bully – Penelope Douglas
When you’re after more dark romance books similar to The Deal, Penelope Douglas will have you covered. Another one of her bestselling books like The Deal is Bully.
Tate and Jared used to be best friends when they were young. However, once they hit high school, Jared became Tate’s biggest bully.
He made her dread facing another day at school. The bullying got so bad, that she transferred to France for a year.
During her time spent in France, Tate changed a lot. She’s ready to finish her senior year of high school in her hometown and she’s not going to let Jared stand in her way. She is done hiding and she’s ready to fight back.
Series of Books Like The Off-Campus Series
Sometimes one book just isn’t enough! If that’s the case for you, then you’ll love these series of books similar to The Deal.
11. The Sweetest Oblivion – Danielle Lori
Do you need more books similar to The Deal in your life that have a dark romance theme? The Sweetest Oblivion series by Danielle Lori is a dark mafia romance book series that will have you hooked.
Elena has the nickname Sweet Abelli because this charmer has a sophisticated response to everything. She used to be put on a pedestal until she got involved in a scandal.
Elena’s sister is arranged to marry billionaire Nicholas Russo, a Made Man. As far as Elena’s concerned, a Made Man is always trouble and Nicholas has a reputation that makes him one of the worst.
While she despises everything her new brother-in-law stands for, she’s also very tempted by him. Could Nicholas be Elena’s bridge to a darker side?
12. Addicted To You – Krista Richie
Are you looking for novels like The Deal that put a different twist on arranged set-ups? If so, you’ll want to grab a copy of Addicted To You by Krista Richie.
Both Lily and Loren have addictions. Loren is addicted to bourbon, while Lily is addicted to one-night stands. Both keep their addictions a secret, only confiding in each other.
As addicts that want to keep their secrets hidden both come to an arrangement. Together, they share an apartment and pretend to be a real-life couple so nobody catches on.
As their addictions begin to take over their lives, both question if the idea of being really together could be better than the fake lifestyle they have been leading.
13. Twisted Games – Ana Huang
Are you after more books like The Deal so you can read about steamy hook-ups and unexpected matches?
Twisted Games by Ana Huang is the second part of a series that follows different couples. This story focuses on Rhys Larsen, a man who’s protective of his clients and knows better than to ever get involved with them.
Following his rules has never been a problem until he meets Bridgette. She has a fiery personality that he can’t resist.
With each meeting they have together, Rhys feels more and more like he’s going to break his own rules. This is one forbidden romance novel you won’t be able to put down!
14. Terms and Conditions – Lauren Asher
Are you a fan of books that revolve around money, temptation, and suspense? If you enjoyed The Deal, then Lauren Asher’s Terms and Conditions might captivate you.
The book follows Declan, who is eager to take over his family’s media empire as the CEO. However, before he secures his inheritance, his grandfather imposes strict conditions – Declan must be married.
With no intention of settling down, Declan searches for a temporary wife, and his capable assistant Iris volunteers for the job.
Though neither expected to fall in love, they find it challenging to resist the growing attraction between them.
If you love CEO romance novels about the boss falling for the employee, then you’ll love this one.
15. Beautiful Broken Rules – Kimberly Lauren
If you’re interested in books like The Deal that feature a complicated romance, you should read Beautiful Broken Rules by Kimberly Lauren.
This book centers around Emerson Moore. She learned at a young age from her parents to never get attached to anyone.
For the better part of her life, that hasn’t been a problem. That is until she goes to college and ends up living next door to Jaxon Riley.
Emerson begins to drop her guard and let Jaxon into her world. However, challenges arise when she discovers a groundbreaking secret about her parents.
To make things even more complicated, Jaxon’s jealous ex-girlfriend isn’t going to let these two get together that easily.
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Final Thoughts on Books Similar to The Deal
So there you have it, those are my top books like The Deal from the sweet college romances to the dark bad boy romances.
Whether you’re after a standalone novel or a complete series to get stuck into, I hope you found what you were looking for on my list.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!