Last Updated on April 25, 2023 by Louisa
Fake relationships are becoming an increasingly popular romance trope.
Either it’s because they nearly always end in a happy ending or because there is something witty about entering into a fake dating plan and it not going as expected.
Surely you’d expect a fake relationship to end badly, right?
And that’s just the beauty of it. Whether it’s a friends to lovers, an office romance, a rivalry between old school friends, or even a deeper enemies-to-lovers story – a fake dating romance story will find your faith in love renewed.
If you’re new to the genre, or you’re just looking for more inspiration for something to read next, these fake relationship romance books are packed with tension, evolving feelings, and a need to see the relationship through to the end.
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What To Expect From Fake Relationship Romance Books?
Fake relationship romance books are usually packed with intense relationships that burn with a passion but also have the lightheartedness of faking it.
Its intriguing setup keeps readers guessing how the story will end, as they explore complex relationships between characters who find themselves pretending to be in a relationship for one reason or another.
This often creates an interesting dynamic between them as they try to understand each other without revealing their true feelings, which can often add extra tension to the story.
Most fake relationship romance novels have a sense of humor within them. Whether that’s from witty banter to awkward moments, there’s usually something to laugh about.
On top of that, many authors make use of satire and dark humor to add some levity to otherwise serious topics like lying or manipulation, which helps balance out the intensity between characters.
You can expect a fake relationship romance book to contain important messages about how love isn’t always what it seems on the surface, as well as themes of honesty and sacrifice.
The Best Fake Marriage Romance Books
We begin our list with the best fake marriage romance books, where the promise of an engagement or complete marriage is the overall theme.
1. Say You Do (A Wedding Bells Alpha Novel, Book 1) – Weston Parker
If you’re looking for a happily-ever-after romance with a great friends-with-benefits storyline, then Say You Do is a great romantic comedy book to add to your TBR.
In this story, Cyrus’s brother is getting married, and the beautiful florist, Luna, has been tasked with helping him pull off the big day.
Faced with the fact that he will be seeing his ex-wife at the wedding, he asks Luna to pose as his fake wife.
The only thing is, Cyrus doesn’t want Luna to be his fake wife after the wedding.
They decided to be friends with benefits, which turned into fake relationships, which soon became real. She’s ready to commit, the other not so much.
This great billionaire romance novel series that takes the reader on one rollercoaster ride of emotion that keeps you hooked throughout. You will find yourself laughing and crying, and falling in love with Cyrus and Luna’s story.
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2. The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren
The Unhoneymooners is possibly my favorite rom-com because the story is so far-fetched, it can only happen in literature.
The Unhoneymooners follows Olive Torres, the unlucky twin to her sister’s wedding. She has the misfortune of having to face her nemesis Ethan Thomas, who just happens to be the best man.
But things get worse when a food poisoning incident leaves the entire wedding party unable to go on the planned honeymoon.
Ethan takes up the chance and is all set for his ten days of paradise alone – that is, until Olive refuses to give him this opportunity without her.
Despite their animosity towards each other, they travel together and find that pretending to be newlyweds is easier than they imagined.
The two slowly start to discover how much they truly enjoy being with one another as they navigate their way through this tropical retreat, leading them both closer to figuring out their true feelings for each other.
I absolutely loved the chemistry between Ethan and Olive. At first, I really didn’t think they would find their way together, but was pleasantly surprised when they did. This is what a good enemies to lovers should do.
It brings together two very unlikely people in an opposites attract romance story.
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Read my complete review of The Unhoneymooners here.
3. A Not So Meet Cute – Meghan Quinn
Meghan Quinn is a USA Today bestselling author and A Not So Meet Cute is one of my favorite books of hers.
It’s a romantic comedy about a desperate billionaire looking to find a fiancée. In fact, it’s often described as a modern-day Pretty Woman, because this hilarious billionaire romance novel will have you howling throughout.
It starts when Lottie, a good girl who was just fired, decides to stroll around a wealthy neighborhood in Beverly Hills to search for a husband.
That’s when she bumps into Huxley, a man she takes an instant dislike to…but agrees to marry him anyway. What?
If you want a book to make you laugh until your stomach hurts and follow a romance story that seems completely implausible, then this is the book for you.
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4. Doctor Scandalous: Boston’s Billionaire Bachelors – J.Saman
Looking for a high school reunion gone wild? Then Doctor Scandalous is right up your bookcase!
Amazing chemistry, a fake engagement, and loads of confusion, welcome to the world of Amilia.
Shy and unhappy, Amilia decides to go to her school reunion and bumps into Boston’s most eligible and handsome doctor.
He makes a proposal to her which she accepts and agrees to be his fake fiance. Things are going fine until the end of the night but turn into a scandal.
Though Amilia agrees to be his fake fiancee for the sake of the media and his old mother, how long can they pull this act?
An interesting and hilarious doctor romance novel full of ups and downs, which will keep you engrossed till the very end. It’s a sweet story with some steamy scenes, but focuses more on the budding relationship and happily-ever-after moments.
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5. Faking Ms. Right (Dirty Martini Running Club Series) – Claire Kingsley
Another well-written romantic comedy that I fell in love with is Faking Ms. Right.
The story follows Everly Dalton who is not a good dating prospect. She has difficulty progressing beyond the first date, and she is often belligerent at work.
However, in her private life, she can be quite charming and entertaining.
Some of her coworkers wonder how she manages to handle the mean boss without getting bit.
But Shepherd Calloway isn’t about love or being a sugar daddy, especially when his gold-digging ex comes knocking, hitting him where it hurts.
His solution is to have Everly pose as his live-in girlfriend. But the timing is uncanny. It just so happens that Everly needs a favor from her boss—a big and awkward one—and this could ensure everyone gets what they want.
Although Everly can survive a few months of fake romance, there is a problem – Shepherd is supposed to be a single-minded, unemotional robot boss, not an actual human with emotions.
Soon lines are crossed and as she gets to know the real Shepherd, she realizes there’s more to him than money.
This is a fake relationship romantic comedy that is a perfect balance of angst and heat, which overall leads to a truly captivating romantic experience.
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6. Terms and Conditions – Lauren Asher
Do you want to read books that involve money, suspense, and temptation? If so, you will likely enjoy Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher.
In this book, Declan is ready to become the CEO of his family’s media empire. However, his grandfather has strict rules before he inherits the business. Declan must be married.
Since Declan has no desire to get married, he needs a woman to fill the role of his wife. That’s when his assistant Iris volunteers for the job.
While falling in love wasn’t supposed to be part of the arrangement, both Declan and Iris are finding it hard to resist.
This is a slow burn, grumpy sunshine romance novel with a small helping of age gap and angst. It has all the troupes of a good romance thrown into the mix, which is why this series was a Tik Tok sensation in 2022.
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7. The Villain – L.J. Shen
Okay, now everyone loves a bad boy, so we have to add a badass hero into this mix. If you love falling in love with the villain, then this book is for you. After all, it is aptly named The Villian.
We follow the story of Cillian Fitzpatrick who has been labeled every bad thing on earth by the media.
He’s the villain. But to Percy he’s the man who saved her life, and now she needs him to help her bail her out of a situation her husband got her into.
He’s one of the wealthiest men in America, but he doesn’t hand out free favors. Percy must be his eldest brother’s toy, to do as he pleases.
But Percy isn’t playing games, and soon he’s about to find out the most lethal weapon is also the sweetest.
It’s fast-paced enough to keep readers engaged, but slow burning enough to savor every moment of their journey together
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Fake Dating Romance Books
There are many great fake dating romance books, from best friends to lovers’ stories or dating for science experiments.
If you’re looking for a cute fake relationship romance book, these are the best ones!
8. The Spanish Love Deception – Elena Armas
The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas ticks all the boxes if you’re looking for a sizzling romance story with a hint of comedy. It has a sweet storyline that you’ll come to adore.
Playful and funny, we read about Catalina Martín’s desperate attempts to find someone who’ll pretend to be her boyfriend for a transatlantic journey to a wedding in Spain.
Although she cannot tolerate him, her colleague Aaron Blackford seems like the unlikely best choice—rather, the only choice Catalina has—and they embark on a trip that will change their relationship forever.
Swoon-worthy and steamy, The Spanish Love Deception is a foray into the rambunctious wedding that brings Catalina and Aaron together.
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9. Frankly in Love – David Yoon
Frankly In Love is a fake dating romance novel about a Korean man who falls in love with a white girl. It’s honest and raw, and opens up themes of prejudice and the balance between following cultural traditions and keeping up with modern times.
The story follows Frank Li, Sung-Min Li, who is of Korean descent but has lived his whole life in Southern California.
His parents pressure him to settle with a nice Korean girl, but his heart has chosen Brit Means – a girl as geeky as him, and who’s white.
His parents have sacrificed everything so he can grow up in America and their traditions are important to them.
So, to be with Brit without his parents knowing, Frank enters a fake relationship with a family friend, Joy Song, who has a similar problem.
But the fake relationship may not be the solution after all, and when life throws a curve ball, he questions everything.
I adored this book because it’s vastly different from the usual fake-dating books. It’s not as humorous as the other books on this list, but it has some great coming-of-age elements that are very poignant.
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10. The Summer Proposal – Vi Keeland
Ok, back to the rom coms! The Summer Proposal is a romance book filled with intense and passionate emotions, and characters that are vibrant and relatable, each of them full of life and energy.
Georgia turns heads when she meets the dynamic, dimpled hockey player Max on a New York hockey team.
Although their plan was to just spend the summer together so she could move on from her ex, an intense chemistry between them takes shape.
Though the couple feel like they’ve been brought together for more than just a fleeting romance, can the passionate connection between them really last beyond one summer?
This steaming hot angst romance novel by Vi Keeland is packed with pages full of fire and passion.
If you’re looking for a steamy standalone hockey romance novel that has you glued to the pages, this one is for you. And there’s no cliffhanger so you can read it as a standalone.
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11. The Wedding Date – Jasmine Guillory
The Wedding Date is not a concept that’s new. A guy needs a date for a wedding, and picks someone to be his fake girlfriend. However, the execution has been done brilliantly.
Alexa Monroe is usually hesitant to go out with guys she’s not familiar with, but Drew Nichols is different.
She finds him irresistible and agrees to go to his wedding even though she knows it’ll be uncomfortable.
On the day of his ex’s wedding, Drew is minus one. He has to find a plus one for the festivities, but he gets stranded with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend.
After enjoying an evening of fun with each other that they never thought possible, Drew has to leave for Los Angeles the next day and resume his job as a pediatric surgeon, while Alexa heads home to Berkeley to continue her work as the mayor’s chief of staff.
Unfortunately, they can’t help but think about each other all the time.
The two professionals are on a collision course toward the long-distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want.
The plot is well-developed, gradually unfolding as the characters grow and evolve throughout the story.
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12. The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood
One of my favorite feel-good novels 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 medical romance novel with a gripping storyline.
The chemistry between the main characters creates an irresistible connection that only intensifies as they get closer over time.
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13. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me – Mariana Zapata
Another fake dating book I loved because of its clever and unique plot is A Wall of Winnipeg and Me.
The story follows Vanessa Mazur who is an assistant and housekeeper to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization, but one day she plans to leave.
When Aiden Graves shows up at her door asking her to come back, she’s shocked.
The NFL star Aiden, also known as ‘The Wall of Winnipeg,’ would not speak to Vanessa for two years, but after she’s gone, finds he needs her more than he thought he did.
This is a tale of a budding romance, as their chemistry aligns and their feelings for each other blossom. It’s a slow read, and also a pretty long book, but it’s a beautiful sports romance story that never dwindles or loses its intensity.
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14. Fake It ‘Til You Break It – Meagan Brandy
If you’re looking for a split POV romance book, then Fake It Til You Break It has mastered this writing style to keep you hooked from start to finish.
Demi and Nico agreed to a fake relationship. It was meant to convince everyone at school that the star receiver was taken, and they play their parts well.
The problem is, as lines began to blur, one of them ends up falling for the other. But the other doesn’t return the feelings. By the time they realize their mistake, it’s too late.
The relationship falls apart and hearts get broken. Who wins in this fake relationship game?
Every scene is packed with emotion that will have readers eagerly turning pages to find out what happens next. I enjoyed the characters, who were relatable and also had a lot of depth to them.
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15. Faking With Benefits – Lily Gold
If you’re looking for a romance book that offers an engrossing read with characters that start off as friends and grow and develop into lovers throughout the story, then Faking With Benefits is for you.
Layla Thompson is 28 years old and never had a boyfriend. Now she’s losing her patience.
She has three friends who are too eager to help her with her dating life; Zack, the rugby player, Josh, the boy next door, and Luke, the divorcee, and her former professor.
The three men are determined to help her find a boyfriend and agree to be her practice boyfriends.
With a series of fake dates, make-out sessions, and steamy texts, soon her lessons start to become more intense.
What’s more, is that she talks about her progress on a weekly podcast.
As things start to get too deep, she realizes friendship isn’t what she wants anymore. The guys have taught her how to be boyfriends, and she wants all three.
This is a sizzling fake relationship romance novel with reverse harem multiple love interests and lots of heat!
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16. The Cheat Sheet – Sarah Adams
The Cheat Sheet is another BookTok Sensation that had me in stitches laughing, but also had me reaching for the tissues.
We follow Bree Camden who is hopelessly in love with a hot quarterback and good friend Nathan. He’s the package deal; smart, funny, and talented.
Only she’s convinced that Nathan doesn’t feel the same, like their polar opposites.
When Bree accidentally let’s slip how she feels to a reporter, she is forced to fake date Nathan for three weeks up until after the Super Bowl.
Nathan is putting on a show for the cameras, and it does nothing to help Bree control her feelings. It’s only three weeks, but can she fight it?
Is this going to end in tears or will Nathan see Bree as more than just a friend?
This is one of those best friends to lovers books that’s full of angst and promise, but even though it’s slow burning, the characters keep drawing you in and leave you wanting to find out how it ends.
I love how Sarah Adams incorporated mental health issues into this novel as something not to be ashamed of but something to talk about.
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17. The Dating Plan – Sarah Desai
Even with a step-by-step plan, it’s possible for these fake fiancés to fall in love accidentally in this hilarious, heartfelt romantic comedy from the author of The Marriage Game.
Daisy Patel is a software engineer who specializes in lists and logic. She understands these concepts better than bosses or boyfriends, which makes her an ideal person to be the decoy fiancé for her family.
Her life is all planned out and she does not have any interest in love, so this was the best option for her.
Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist who is looking for ways to prove himself. When he learns that his inheritance is conditional on being married, he realizes that his best friend’s little sister can help him out.
Anything to get Daisy’s family off her back and to agree to the terms in Liam’s late grandfather’s will. If only he hadn’t broken her teenage heart nine years ago…
Daisy and Liam had been dating for a few months, but they weren’t sure if their relationship was real or fake.
They decided that it would be a good idea to go on dates to try and legitimize their relationship, but they soon realized that things weren’t going as planned.
The history between them wasn’t matching up with the chemistry they felt, so their arrangement became very inconvenient.
Even though it may seem like they will never find a resolution at times, it is ultimately a satisfying ending that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
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18. If I Never Met You – Mhairi McFarlane
Another slow burning romantic comedy to add to your TBR is If I Never Met You, which is the perfect book to read after a breakup, as it will restore your faith in love.
Laurie is heartbroken when her partner of over a decade ends things. She is worried about how she will support herself and date again, but it’s terrifying to do so in the age of Tinder.
When news of her ex’s pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, Laurie can’t take the humiliation any longer. A chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility for Laurie that could provide some relief from her pain.
Jamie Carter is not interested in love, but he needs a respectable girlfriend to impress his bosses.
Laurie wants a hot new man to give the rumor mill something else to talk about so she can get ahead.
It’s the perfect proposition: a fauxmance played out on social media with strategically staged photographs and an end date in mind.
With the plan hatched, Laurie and Jamie begin to flaunt their new couple status, catching everyone off guard – including their friends and colleagues.
This book has the perfect blend of angst and heat creates a truly romantic experience that draws you into every moment.
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19. Big Rock – Lauren Blakely
Big Rock, although you won’t think it from the cover, is a friends to lovers romantic comedy that will have you laughing until you cried.
Charlotte and Spencer are good friends. He’s the playboy and loves to party and have fun, but his dad wants him to cool his jets.
With investors in town, looking to buy his dad’s flagship jewelry store, he needs to play it cool.
To show his father he can look committed, he asks Charlotte to be his new fiancee. She has her reasons for saying yes, and it’s not just the big rock he put on her finger.
But playing pretend in public suddenly leads to playing in the bedroom. Soon the fakeness dries up, and real feelings and passion burn through.
The intensity between Charlotte and Spencer builds up at an enticing level of angst and heat as they overcome obstacles to find true love – it’s hot and funny, what better combination?
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20. The Fill-In Boyfriend – Kasie West
If you’re looking for a more young adult fake dating book, then The Fill-In Boyfriend is a great read that has Mean Girl vibes.
Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, does the most despicable thing – he dumps her in the parking lot outside her high school prom.
Gia decides to do the unthinkable and convince the cute guy waiting to pick up his sister to pretend to be her boyfriend for the night. It’s only for two hours and has zero commitment.
The problem is that Gia can’t stop thinking about her fill-in boyfriend, but she’s not sure how to turn him into a real one without exposing her lie and possibly ruining her friendships.
Kasie West’s writing skill is on display in this story of a young girl’s search for love.
Her observations and descriptions are smart and well-executed, making the tale romantic and enjoyable to read. It also has some funny moments that leaves your heart feeling warm and a smile on your face.
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Fake Relationship Romance Series
When one book just isn’t enough, these are the best fake relationship romance series!
21. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games is a dystopian trilogy that you’ve probably heard about since it was made into a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence.
In case you don’t know the story, it’s set in a world where society is divided by class. Each class lives in a district, numbered 1-12.
The elite class, is the lowest numbers (1-2) and the poorest class is the higher number (12). Each class lives and works to serve The Capitol.
Each year, the Capitol holds an event called The Hunger Games. Where one boy and one girl from each district, battle in an arena to the death.
The victor wins enough food for their family for a lifetime, as well as earning fame in The Capitol
Katniss Everdeen is from district 12 and this year’s victor. In order to stay alive, she enters a fake relationship with her male tribute, Peeta Melark.
But as they enter the games, they realize the true enemy is not the other tributes, but the ones who put them there in the first place.
I loved this book because the fake relationship was about survival, which is something you don’t see often. I also loved that it was secondary to the story and the main focus was on the action and adventure.
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22. The Deal – Elle Kennedy
Another series that you may have heard of is The Deal by Elle Kennedy, which is an angsty romance novel that kicks off the ‘Off Campus’ series, but can be read as a standalone novel.
Hannah Wells, a good girl, becomes interested in a boy who intrigues her, but there’s a catch: she lacks confidence in the bedroom.
To capture his attention, she takes a bold step and tutors the cocky captain of the Hockey Team, even going so far as to set up a pretend date to impress him.
Garrett Graham dreams of a career as a professional hockey player, but his weak GPA may hold him back. When he meets the witty Hannah Wells, all he wants is to raise his grades and enter the professional league.
Their first kiss leads to a night of passion that neither of them will ever forget. But is a deal between them to seduce someone else enough to satisfy Garrett?
The Deal was made into a movie in 2022 and was quite accurate to the book, though I found the chemistry to feel more real in the book.
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Read my complete review of The Deal by Elle Kennedy here.
23. Boyfriend Material – Alexis Hall
Being British, I always love a romantic comedy book set in London as I feel British humor is something that is so unique and humbling, and Alex Hall achieves it perfectly (after all, she is British too).
The story follows Luc O’Donnell who is somewhat famous.
When he was young, his rock star parents split. The father he’s never met spent the next twenty years sailing in and out of rehabilitation programs.
Luc’s return to the public eye has led to him being targeted by the media, who are quick to exploit any compromising photo.
Luc needs to clean up his image in order to improve it. He can do this by finding a nice, normal relationship with someone like Oliver Blackwood.
Mr. Blackwood is an ethical vegetarian and has never been involved in any scandalous behavior. In other words, he would be the perfect boyfriend for Luc.
Unfortunately, aside from being gay, single, and in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have little in common.
So they strike a deal. Be publicity-friendly boyfriends, and then after the dust settles they go their separate ways.
When you engage in fake dating, it can feel a lot like dating in real life. And that’s when you get used to the person. This was the underlying message behind Boyfriend Material, though you may get swooped up in the sattire.
I loved the main characters, but the side characters also made the story more amusing. If you like books like Red, White, and Royal Blue for instance, then you’re going to love this book too.
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24. Burn For You – J.T. Geissinger
I’ve not really included anything too sizzling on this list, so allow me to change that now. Burn For You is packed with heat. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a slow burning romance that sucks you in from the first page.
Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, handsome, and extremely rude. Especially to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant.
When he asks her to cater for his fund-raiser, despite hating the man, Bianca can’t refuse as the cash will help to pay off her mother’s medical debt.
Jackson makes an unexpected proposal: marriage.
The unconventional offer includes a large sum of money, which Bianca desperately needs, even if it comes with a contract.
Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him.
The truth is even darker than the rumors, and he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, but sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully.
Soon though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy Jackson has built walls to avoid.
As the passion between them heats up, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé a recipe for happiness…or disaster?
If you love enemies to lovers romance, then this book takes it to the next level. It features captivating characters that come alive on the pages with intricate personalities, flaws and quirks that make them unique.
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25. The Contract – Melanie Moreland
The Contract is a steamy grumpy sunshine book that starts with intensity and keeps burning until the very last page.
Richard VanRyan is known for his tyrant lifestyle by day, but at night he can be a playboy. He doesn’t care about the opinions of others and has no remorse for his actions.
Katharine Elliott works for Richard as his personal assistant. She despises him, but tolerates the abuse he sends her way because she needs the job.
Katharine’s goal is more important than the daily mistreatment she receives from her tyrannical boss.
Until one day he offers her a new role with a personal contract – to be his fiancée.
Living together can be a challenge when two people who despise each other are forced to coexist. Until sparks fly.
To what extent can the power of love really change a person? Can they withstand the contract? And what do you do when one person you hate the most becomes the one person you can’t live without?
This book has an impressive balance of drama and romance that allows readers to be swept away by this passionate journey. It’s well written and has characters with depth.
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Final Word on Fake Relationship Romance Books
So there you have it, those are what I consider to be the best fake relationship romance books.
From cute fake dating scenarios to the promise of a marriage, you’ll find a story for everyone on this list.
Do you think I’ve missed anything? Let me know in the comments!