Discover all the best fake dating books in this book list if you love the fake dating trope. While the relationship may be fake, the awesomeness of these books is not.
While there are many different romance book tropes to choose from, the fake dating trope is one of the most popular because the connection between characters just sneaks up on them while they’re faking it to the outside world.
This book list gives all the best fake dating trope books you could possibly want to read.
*Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Best Fake Dating Romance Books
As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation.
Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.
That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known jerk. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend.
But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.
Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.
Ali Hazelwood’s books are some of the best enemies to lovers books but it all began with her debut novel, The Love Hypothesis with Olive and Adam fake dating their way through life in the lab and academia.
Who knew that a little kiss to keep her friend off her back would launch Olive into Adam’s orbit in a way that neither of them expected.
I loved Adam’s standoffish, gruff manner and yet he was so good with Olive behind the scenes and behind closed doors. This is definitely one fake dating book you shouldn’t miss.
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Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but she’s hasn’t been a whiz in the dating department. Raised by her grandparents—she’s been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in.
But when she hears about GeneticAlly, a new DNA-based matchmaking company, she decides to take a chance and dip her toes back into the dating world.
How can she go wrong with science and yet something is drastically wrong when she finds out she’s been matched with GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena- the stuck-up, stubborn man she knows is not her soulmate. When GeneticAlly proposes to pay her to get to know River, she can’t turn it down and may just find her soulmate after all.
All it took was some convincing and some cash to finally get Jess to agree to the fake dating set-up with River in this fun romance.
The author duo Christina Lauren are such whizzes when it comes to unique storytelling in romance and I loved this look at online dating and matchmaking with artificial intelligence.
Fake dating stories are so fun when they bring opposites together and it is fun to see River and Jess’s feeling grow in this one despite their initial feelings to the contrary. Check out my review of The Soulmate Equation.
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Stella Lane feels most comfortable at her job, working with numbers, which is why she has way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.
It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish.
Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice—with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan.
The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan—from foreplay to more-than-missionary position.
Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he’s making her feel.
I loved the set-up of this fake dating book with Stella hiring Michael for dating lessons to get in some practice.
Since she’s on the spectrum, Stella doesn’t always find it easy to be around people, let alone be in a relationship, but I loved how she was determined to gain “experience” with Michael in and outside the bedroom.
If you’re looking for a great fake dating book with diversity I highly recommend this romance!
Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.
And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the jerk isn’t making it easy for me.
I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend. For every fake date…he wants a real one.
Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father will end me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.
That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.
The Risk is definitely my favorite in Kennedy’s Briar U series because I love both of these characters so much. Brenna is the type of strong heroine I adore who has confidence, quick wit, and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. Plus, she doesn’t let people walk all over her.
Jake is the kind of romance hero I adore – assertive, confident, and yet also really caring. I loved that he was the instigator of their fake dating and truly became a great boyfriend. Check out my review of The Risk.
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Clay Johnson is the star wide receiver and Giana is the Public Relations Coordinator who’s trying to wrangle him. Only he’s not cooperating after his breakup with his high school sweetheart.
When he sees Giana’s own blunder in front of the guy she’s crushing on, Clay proposes a fake relationship to make his ex and her crush both jealous. Only the plan backfires when they can’t help but fall for each other.
Steiner blew me away with this perfect fake dating book that gave me all the feels. I loved the relationship coach aspect to the story because Clay and Gianna’s “lessons” were hot – even drawing inspiration from the romance novels Gianna read!
I absolutely love romance books where the fake dating is inspired to make an ex jealous or to gain the attention of an unrequited crush. This one has both!
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Darcy is tired of her brother trying to fix her up, so after a disastrous blind date with Elle, his coworker, she fibs and tells him that they were a match.
Elle is ready to find her soulmate but she’s assured that it is not Darcy who couldn’t be more opposite to the care-free astrologer.
But when she finds out that Darcy lied to her brother saying that they are now dating, she somehow agrees to Darcy’s plan to fake date through the holidays.
And the more these two spend time with one another, it appears love may be written in the stars for these two opposites after all.
I can’t really blame Darcy for cooking up a fake dating story to keep her brother off her back but it’s hilarious that she chose Elle after their not-so-great date.
These two really did come across as complete opposites but that’s why this is also a great slow burn because you could see them really connecting when they went out on their fake dates.
I highly recommend it and you can discuss even more reasons why by checking out my review of Written in the Stars.
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Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt.
Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.
When big, brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and former rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together.
But before she can explain that fact to him, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Suddenly, half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity.
Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf is secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism.
Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.
The easy lay Dani dreamed of is now more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?
I just have to say that I think Dani and I would be BFFs! I love her carefree attitude and unashamed interest in finding someone to scratch the itch so to speak.
Got to love it that social media helped her cause when it comes to Zaf. But I think Zaf is equally as engaging in this fake dating book as the hopeless romantic. Check it out and the entire Brown sisters series!
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Katie’s wanted her boss for so long and this Christmas she’s going to get her man. She just needs a bit of help becoming a vixen this holiday to score her man’s attention.
Her co-worker, Hunter is more than willing to help her and proposes a fake relationship to make her boss jealous. But the more time she spends with Hunter, the more she realizes her boss may not be the man she wants after all.
This fake dating book made me so happy! Office romances are a ton of fun but this one had that something extra by tossing in what they thought would be harmless fake dating between two co-workers to hopefully make the boss jealous.
Hunter is the perfect book boyfriend who truly notices the girl. All the little ways that he “got” Katie just made him stand out as the better man.
Plus, it had so many hilarious pun jokes! Check it out any time of year as well as my review of Charming Co-Worker.
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How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus, he’s a jerk. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?
As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy Fitzpatrick can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.
Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success.
But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.
Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail.
But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal?
Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.
Ok, this book should just be a one-click purchase for you. Just saying. I absolutely adored this fake dating romance and it instantly became one of my all-time favorite romances.
I love how the script is flipped with the hero needs some serious bedroom lessons given his initial underwhelming performance. Lucy should steer clear of him, especially since her brother can’t stand his teammate, but her own troubles pave the way to setting up their tutorial lessons while fake dating. So good!
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One compromising photo too many puts Luc’s job in jeopardy. His one chance at redemption turns out to be a fake relationship with a respectable boyfriend to clean up his image.
That “job” falls to Oliver Blackwood, a barrister, who is the opposite of Luc in every way.
But the thing about fake dating is that it can feel a lot like real dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.
I think Alexis Hall is one of those writers that I would love to sit down with and just have a cool chat. He hooked me on his writing with the witty banter between Luc and Oliver in this fake dating romance.
Luc was admittedly a bit of a trainwreck, reeling from issues with his father and now his job, but I loved that Oliver stood up for him when he needs it most.
Plus, I enjoyed the clever one-liners, jokes and little tidbits dropped along the way. Check out my review of Boyfriend Material.
As a leading columnist for Stiletto, Grace Brighton has built a career warning women about rotten, cheating liars. She just never suspected her fiancé would be one of them.
After Grace takes a heart-mending hiatus, her first assignment is to go on a couple of dates with a counterpart from the men’s magazine Oxford and report her impressions.
Grace 1.0 may have been instantly smitten with the gorgeous correspondent, but Grace 2.0 has sworn off relationships for six months, and she’s not falling for his outstanding bod and trophy-winning kisses . . . or is she?
Jake Malone wants to get back to the fly-by-night, who-knows-what’s-next guy he used to be, and he knows exactly how to do it. Oxford is adding a travel section, and Jake—with no wife and no kids is perfect for the job . . . except that his playboy reputation makes his new editor nervous.
To get the gig, he must agree to a fluffy joint article with Stiletto. But after just one date with snooty, sumptuous, sensational Grace Brighton, Jake starts taking this assignment a whole lot more seriously.
Layne’s entire Stiletto series is so much fun to read about a group of young women living and working in New York City. I loved Grace and Jake’s romance considering that they are so different from one another and how their respective jobs encouraged their fake dating that became more.
You won’t be disappointed with this fun and steamy read.
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Georgette Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town, but she prefers planning parties and making people laugh so no one really takes her seriously.
Georgie’s determined to fix herself up and finally go out on a date, but nobody’s asking the town clown out for a hot night.
To help change up her image, she turns to her brother’s best friend, Travis Ford.
Travis was major league baseball’s hottest rookie when an injury ended his career. Now he’s flipping houses to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days.
When Georgie proposes a wild scheme—that they pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job—he agrees. What’s the harm?
But the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her.
I LOVE fake dating love stories because they have the best tension and angst.
I love that this is an HGTV-inspired romcom and how Georgie’s determination to change her reputation forces her to confront her crush on Travis.
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Grey Brooks is on a mission to keep her career afloat now that the end of her long-running teen TV show has her (unsuccessfully) pounding the pavement again.
With a life-changing role on the line, she’s finally desperate enough to agree to her publicist’s scheme: fake a love affair with a disgraced Hollywood heartthrob who needs the publicity.
Ethan Atkins just wants to be left alone. Between his high-profile divorce, struggles with drinking, and grief over the loss of his longtime creative partner and best friend, Ethan has slowly let himself fade into the background.
But to produce the last movie he and his partner wrote together, Ethan agrees to a gossip-inducing affair with a gorgeous actress, even if it’s the last thing he wants to do.
Though their juicy public relationship is less than perfect behind the scenes, it doesn’t take long before Grey and Ethan’s sizzling chemistry starts to feel like more than just an act.
I sat down with this novel and devoured it in two days because I just couldn’t put it down. I loved that both of these Hollywood actors needed to turn around their careers, forcing them to go along with their publicist’s idea of fake dating to boost their cred in the public’s eye.
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Jamie Westenberg and Bea Wilmot have nothing in common except a meet-disaster and the mutual understanding that they couldn’t be more wrong for each other.
But when the people closest to them play Cupid and trick them into going on a date, Jamie and Bea realize they have something else in common after all—an undeniable need for revenge.
Soon their plan is in place: Fake date obnoxiously and convince the meddlers they’re madly in love.
Then, break up spectacularly and dash everyone’s hopes, putting an end to the matchmaking madness once and for all.
To convince everyone that they’ve fallen for each other, Jamie and Bea will have to nail the performance of their lives.
But as their final act nears and playing lovers becomes easier than not, they begin to wonder: What if Cupid’s arrow wasn’t so off the mark? And what if two wrongs do make a right?
This is classic fake dating set-up in which the two characters agree to the crazy shenanigans to get their meddling families off their backs. I love that the joke is on Jamie and Bea however who end up falling for one another in the process.
I’m not a Shakespeare fan but I’m definitely on board for this reimagining of Much Ado About Nothing.
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By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister—the lovely and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton.
But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate ruse to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers and to help Daphne attract some worthy suitors.
Though as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a sham.
Somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke and now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration like falling in love.
Wouldn’t you fake date a Duke if he looked like Rege-Jean Page in your mind? Thank you Bridgerton! Well, you can picture Simon however you like while reading this first book in the ever-popular Bridgerton series which started it all.
You get sizzling tension in such a well-written and captivating historical romance that you’ll read this on one sitting and then binge-watch the TV series!
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Charming and smart enough to hide it, Christian Harper is a monster dressed in the perfectly tailored suits of a gentleman.
He has little use for morals and even less use for love, but he can’t deny the strange pull he feels toward the woman living just one floor below him.
She’s the object of his darkest desires, the only puzzle he can’t solve. And when the opportunity to get closer to her arises, he breaks his own rules to offer her a deal she can’t refuse.
Every monster has their weakness. She’s his. His obsession. His addiction. His only exception.
Sweet, shy, and introverted despite her social media fame, Stella Alonso is a romantic who keeps her heart in a cage.
Between her two jobs, she has little time or desire for a relationship.
But when a threat from her past drives her into the arms—and house—of the most dangerous man she’s ever met, she’s tempted to let herself feel something for the first time in a long time.
Because despite Christian’s cold nature, he makes her feel everything when she’s with him. Passionate. Protected. Truly wanted.
Theirs is a love twisted with secrets and tainted by lies…and when the truths are finally revealed, they could shatter everything.
Social media is to blame for this fake dating romance. In need of more social followers Stella is hoping a fake relationship will do the trick. Enter Christian who’s become a bit obsessed with the beauty who now lives in the building he owns.
If you haven’t checked out Huang’s Twisted Love series, give it a go with this fourth and final book which can be read as a standalone.
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The friend zone is not the end zone for Bree Camden, who is helplessly in love with her longtime best friend and extremely hot NFL legend, Nathan Donelson.
The only problem is that she can’t admit her true feelings, because he clearly sees her as a best friend with no romantic potential, and the last thing Bree wants is to ruin their relationship.
After a car accident ended her chance at becoming a professional ballerina, Bree changed paths and now owns her own dance studio, with big dreams to expand it. But one more rent increase could mean the end of the studio entirely.
Then, as usual, Nathan comes to the rescue and buys the entire building. A stubborn Bree is not happy about it and decides to rebel with a couple—okay, maybe more than a couple—of tequila shots.
Then her plan backfires as she spills her deepest, darkest secret to a TMZ reporter. One viral video later, the world thinks Nathan and Bree are the perfect couple.
Before they can really talk about her confession, Nathan’s publicist proposes a big opportunity that could mean financial security for Bree. The catch? They have to pretend to be in love. For three whole weeks.
What will happen when Bree gives in to the feelings she’s been desperately hiding for so long, and could she be imagining that Nathan is actually enjoying it?
Could you just pretend to fake date the one person’s captured your heart, especially if you’ve been friend-zoned?! Gah! Poor Bree, although she really should be thanking that TMZ reporter (or the tequila) for finally moving things along.
Read it for the fake dating angst, but stay for the NFL hottie and the woman he falls for!
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Under ordinary circumstances, Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett would never even cross paths.
There’s nothing ordinary about Oakley. This bad-boy pop star’s got Grammy awards, millions of fangirls and a reputation as a restless, too-charming troublemaker.
But with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley needs to show the world he’s settling down—and who better to help him than Vaughn, a part-time waitress trying to help her family get by? The very definition of ordinary.
Posing as his girlfriend, Vaughn will overhaul Oakley’s image from troublemaker to serious artist. In return for enough money to put her brothers through college, she can endure outlandish Hollywood parties and carefully orchestrated Twitter exchanges. She’ll fool the paparazzi and the groupies. She might even start fooling herself a little.
I certainly love rock star romances but I’m all about Vaughn who would do anything for her brothers, including fake dating a pop star! Sounds oh so terrible, right, but I’m sure the paparazzi and Hollywood wannabes are no joke so I’m happy she finds love out of it all!
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Want to know the fastest way to get screwed out of a football career? Get photographed in a compromising position in a gay bar. Yep, welcome to my life.
My agent says he can fix my image. He wants me to become the poster boy for gay football players. Me? I just want back on the field. I’ll do anything to play for the NFL again, even pretend to have a steady boyfriend. If only my fake boyfriend wasn’t Noah Huntington III—the most arrogant, entitled rich guy in the world.
Pretend to be Matt Jackson’s boyfriend, my best friend said. It’ll be fun, he said. What Damon neglected to mention is Matt is surly and bitter. Being his boyfriend is a job in itself.
From his paranoia over being constantly photographed to his aversion to PDA, being with Matt isn’t the care-free fake relationship I expected when I signed on to do this.
It’s supposed to be a win-win. I get to stick it to my politician dad who thinks no one is good enough for the Huntington name, and Matt’s reputation of being the bad boy of football goes away.
What I don’t expect is to start caring for the guy. That’s not part of the plan. Then again, neither is fooling around with him.
This is another fake dating book where the relationship starts to clean up an image problem but I also love that Noah agrees as a way to stick it to his uptight father. Win-win!
I’m so on board with this gay romance. I want angst, I want forbidden moments, I want it all while they pretend to fake it for the outside world. Bring it!
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Luke Garrison is a hometown hero, a member of the National Guard ready to deploy again. He’s strong, hot, broody. The last thing he’s looking for is a woman to ruin his solitude.
When the wildly beautiful Harper stumbles into his life, though, he realizes that she’s the perfect decoy. A fake girlfriend to keep his family off his back until he’s deployed.
Harper was on her way to starting a new life… again. But something about Luke makes her want to settle down in this small town and make his house a home. When she’s in his arms, she finally knows what it’s like to feel safe.
One night of sharing a bed turns into something much, much more… and soon Luke can’t keep his mind off Harper’s wide gray eyes or his hands off her luscious curves.
He never thought he’d feel this way about a woman again. But he knows that he can’t tell her the truth about his dark past. And she can’t reveal what she’s running from.
At least this isn’t a real relationship. It’s only for a month. It’s only pretend. Until it isn’t…
I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for books about hardened veterans and if Lucy Score is writing it then I know it’s going to give me all the feels.
While they may start fake dating to keep Luke’s family from bugging him, I can’t wait to see how the forced proximity pushes him to give a real relationship a try.
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Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.
Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be… anywhere but Spindle Cove.
These unlikely partners have one week to
• fake an elopement
• convince family and friends they’re in “love”
• outrun armed robbers
• survive their worst nightmares
• travel four hundred miles without killing each other
All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.
What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.
Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble. And maybe… just maybe… love.
I couldn’t help but add another historical romance to the mix and you can’t go wrong with Tessa Dare!
This book honestly had me at spinster because I know that Minerva is going to have some spunk, plus I love the one-week timetable that they have for their pretend relationship to convince everyone that they are meant to be all while traveling in a small carriage.
Such a fun setup for this fake dating romance.
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