If you love the fake relationship trope then you’re going to devour this list of must-read fake relationship books!
Check out my favorite fake relationship romance books for the best worth reading.
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I LOVE the fake relationship romance book trope because the love connection between couples often comes out of left field completely blindsiding them – it’s awesome!
Fake relationship romances come in all varieties. There’s the fake relationship that is started to make someone jealous or to get someone’s attention. Or the fake relationship to improve someone’s image or to gain someone money or some sort of status.
Then there’s the fake relationship to appease family members or friends who won’t stop bugging you about finding a mate, or better yet the fake relationship to take to an event so you’ll no longer be the single one out.
Sometimes the fake relationship is necessary to keep one’s job or to keep someone safe. I love any and all reasons that bring two people together for what may be fake from the start but ultimately turns into something more.
The fake relationship romance trope is so much fun to read so I know you’re going to love this book list. Tell me your favorite fake relationship book in the comments below.
Happy reading, because life is better with a love story…
The Best Fake Relationship Romance Books
He’s the hottest player in Major League Baseball, the most notorious playboy in all of Manhattan…And my fake fiancé for the next three months.
Long story short, we got off to a bad start. But when the tabloids interpret our sparring as Drew Maddox “groveling” with a “mystery brunette,” his agent presents us both a proposal: Shacking up as a couple this summer.
It’s an alleged “win-win.” I need to prove to my ex that I’m fine. Drew needs to prove to his team that he’s stable. Hence this fiance thing.
Our fights are real, our kisses are fake, and thanks to the nonstop heat between us, I’m starting to mix up all my signs. But whether it’s real or fake, there’s one thing I do know: I’m already his.
Hothead is definitely one of my favorite fake relationship romance books and I consider it one of the best romance novels of all time as well!
This is a classic set up for a fake relationship where the bad boy athlete needs to clean up his reputation or he’s at risk of being traded to a new team. She’s recovering from being dumped and isn’t opposed to making her ex jealous so she agrees to the plan.
The chemistry between Drew and Evie is off the charts even while they’re faking it. They are both confident characters who can really pull off a rouse in public but it’s the connection they start to forge in private that makes them so perfect for one another.
I don’t know which I liked more, their witty banter or Drew’s dirty talk. Such a toss-up!
This is a must-read romance where two people finally trust in love and find the one they are meant to be with forever. Check out my review of Hothead.
Related: Best Baseball Romance Books
Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to romance.
If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice… even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date…and it’s going to be oh so good.
All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for.
If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest night of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it.
Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.
The Deal is such a popular fake relationship romance book because it is one of Elle Kennedy’s best.
The set up of this fake relationship is a mutually beneficial arrangement: Hannah will tutor the failing hockey stud if he helps her get the attention of the football player she’s after.
I love this kind of fake relationship romance where both people realize the one they really want is right in front of them, not the person whose attention they had wanted from the start.
Since Hannah was initially after someone else, I love how she can just be herself and gain some confidence whenever she is with Garrett. Garrett was the playboy not looking for a relationship but neither could resist the other the more they hung out together.
Such a perfect romance book!
Related: Best College Romance Books
Broke and desperate, Sugar Ryan has no use for arrogant, bad boy athletes . . . until she’s forced to bargain with one.
If only he knew she was alive. Her mission? Get on this hockey player’s radar any way possible.
Zack Morgan is the king of the ice and the bedroom—but nothing prepares him for the mystery girl who shows up everywhere he does—frat parties, his favorite bar, and finally his front door with an offer he can’t refuse. The only rule in her boyfriend bargain: no falling in love.
But after one (um, two) smoking-hot meetups, he’s done with pretending and vows to make their fake relationship real. Too bad she can’t trust a player with a reputation for breaking hearts.
Will this hockey star score his forever girl or will their boyfriend bargain end in heartbreak?
I seem to be on a roll with fake relationship romances with athletes and Boyfriend Bargain is definitely worth a read!
This time we get Zack, a college hockey player who’s tired of dealing with all the puck bunnies chasing him, so he’s game to take on Sugar’s proposal to pretend date so that she can benefit from his association and get into her favorite law school.
Rules were established for this fake relationship but of course rules are meant to be broken when it comes to love.
Madden-Mills knows how to write amazing new adult romances and create characters who you can’t help but fall for and love all their own. Zack and Sugar are two people deserving of a happily ever after and this book doesn’t disappoint.
Related: Best Hockey Romance Books
First Rule of Spite Club: Don’t fall for your fake boyfriend.
Here’s what happened: My boyfriend cheated on me with Nick Mason’s girlfriend.
We’re both angry. What better way to get revenge than to pretend to get together out of spite?
Nick is rude and rebellious and completely freaking gorgeous. He’s not my type, and I’m not his. There’s no way we would work outside of our little game of well kept secrets.
The more time I spend with him, the more I risk my good-girl image and my carefully built life.
I might want what’s bad for me. I might want Nick. And I might have to convince him – if I can survive him.
Spite Club was such a fun fake romance book!
Evie and Nick meet when their respective partners cheat on them. They literally both walk in on that scene but Nick’s advice to Evie after the encounter – find someone else to get under.
Even though they are complete opposites – Evie is the good girl, the one with a plan while Nick is more of a fly by the seat of your pants, bad boy – they start up a fake relationship to spite their exes.
This was a shorter read that hit all the boxes in my book. I loved their connection despite their differences and seeing them fall for each other after all. A must read!
Theo MacLeod wasn’t supposed to be the one.
Tall, dark and handsome suits me just fine, but the grin, know-it-all attitude, and mammoth ego? No thanks. I only hired him so I wouldn’t have to sit at the singles table again. It was just pretend.
He wasn’t supposed to kiss me. My heart wasn’t supposed to pound. We weren’t supposed to spend the night together—the hottest night of my life.
One night turns into a snowed-in weekend away, and even the blizzard of the century can’t cool the fire between us. I can’t get enough—of his smile, of his body, of the way he makes me feel.
I know he’s made mistakes. I know his wounds are deep, and he doesn’t trust easily. I know he doesn’t believe he could ever be enough to make me happy, but he could. All he has to do is stay.
If You Were Mine is a fake relationship romance that starts with a hired boyfriend. Claire is tired of defending her single status so she decides to hire a fake boyfriend to accompany her to a friend’s wedding.
I loved the different take on the start of this fake relationship but what I loved more is that we get a somewhat flawed character in Theo.
Even though their “relationship” was supposed to be just one night, the chemistry between them was undeniable and they continue to see each other. Another opposites attract, fake relationship romance that will not disappoint.
Catalina Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiralled out of control. Now everyone she knows—including her ex and his fiancée—will be there and eager to meet him.
She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic and aid in her deception. New York to Spain is no short flight and her raucous family won’t be easy to fool.
Enter Aaron Blackford—her tall, handsome, condescending colleague—who surprisingly offers to step in. She’d rather refuse; never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling, and insufferable man.
But Catalina is desperate, and as the wedding draws nearer, Aaron looks like her best option. And she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.
Who wants to show up at a wedding of all places, unattached, when you know your ex will be there with his fiancé? Oh heck no, so I don’t blame Catalina in taking up Aaron’s offer to step in as her fake boyfriend even if she can’t stand her colleague.
This book seriously has all of my favorite romance book tropes, including office romance and enemies to lovers as well as fake relationship, but it’s the slowly building love connection between Catalina and Aaron that really had my heart racing.
Related: Best Slow Burn Romance Books
Marley is jobless and broke so she’s moved back home into her parents house, back to the small town she wanted to leave behind. To try and get her life back on track she’s taken a temporary teaching job and is now coach of the girls soccer team.
Having no idea what she’s doing, she agrees to a fake relationship with the former bad boy from her teenage years who will teach her how to coach in exchange for her teaching him how to be in a relationship.
Lucy Score is a phenomenal writer and she hit this one out of the park as I consider it one of the best romance books of all time.
I love that the fake relationship between Marley and Jake just presents itself in the moment to fulfill a need they both have but turns into a bit of a second chance romance.
This book was honestly all about Marley for me. I love romance novels with older heroines and I just loved everything about her story and where she was in life. It is fantastic and is a must-read! Check out my review of Rock Bottom Girl.
Related: Best Romance Books of All Time
Olive’s identical twin sister is getting married, forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man. Though things finally seem to go her way when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning sparring her and Ethan, leaving an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, a little white lie forces her and Ethan to pretend to be loving newlyweds.
This fake relationship romance is one of Christina Lauren’s most popular books thanks to #Booktok but it’s deserving because it’s just that good.
Nothing’s more fun than a fake relationship pushing two enemies into lovers while in the beautiful Hawaii. I don’t blame them for jumping at the chance of a free vacation in paradise even if they have to survive a forced proximity situation, posing as newlyweds.
The best part of this fake relationship romance are the moments when its just the two of them actually getting to know each other. I loved it!
Related: Romance Books That Inspire Travel
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Jason Thorn is my brother’s childhood friend and was my first crush until he crushed my heart to pieces and moved away.
Now he is a movie star, the one who makes women of all ages go into a screaming frenzy.
And he’s back, about to star in a new movie inspired by the book I wrote. How am I to survive this?
This is the perfect pick if you like fake relationship books where the new relationship is posed to save someone’s bad reputation. This time it’s actor Jason who needs an image makeover and Olive is all too willing to step in and help.
Despite the relationship set up and Olive’s history of crushing on Jason, I like that she didn’t come across as a sap or weak heroine but a kind, sweet woman despite putting her heart on the line to save his image.
Related: Best Brother’s Best Friend Books
I’m at the height of my athletic career. Yet my arrogant brother is always trying to recruit me into the family business: a global security company.
I always pass, but then he ambushes me with a damsel in distress. That damsel is Alex, the competitive, sassy girl I knew when we were kids. Now she’s a drop-dead gorgeous woman in deep trouble.
So, guess who’s on a flight to Hawaii? It’s going to be a long week in paradise. My job is keeping Alex safe, while her job is torturing me with her tiny bikinis. Or maybe we’re torturing each other. It’s all snark and flirting until the threat against Alex gets serious. And this jock must become her major league protector.
Sometimes a fake relationship is needed to protect someone’s life and that’s why Eric steps in to help Alex as her fake boyfriend/bodyguard in this must-read book.
Alex is the strong heroine I love to read about in books but she’s juggling a pregnancy and huge business deal when she finds herself in danger. Eric may be a professional hockey player but he knew Alex when they were kids and steps up to help her through it all.
Related: Best Bodyguard Romance Books
A perfect storm led me to this place. Ghosted by my fiancé, I was suddenly broke, heartbroken and facing eviction. Enter Mason Leo, the six feet and two inches of pure muscle and arrogance I’ve hated with a passion since the day we met. The man is cocky, womanizing and ruinously gorgeous.
Worse than that, he’s my ex’s brother. And for the next two weeks, he gets to do with me as he pleases.
With both our exes – wait for it – set to marry each other in St. Lucia, I’ve agreed to let Mason pay my debts so long as I play his date. My only job is to keep my clothes on while I get my closure.
In the name of revenge, he gets to take me out, show me off – dress, touch and kiss me with those wicked lips. It’s all for show, but every night in paradise with him brings more drinks, more drama and another temptation, so no matter what I do, I can’t stop reminding myself this:
There’s absolutely no good to come from rebounding with my ex’s brother. No matter how good it’ll feel.
I can’t imagine waking up one day to find a note left by my fiance, boyfriend of three years, to say that he’s done and left. Plus, he’s saddled you with mounting debt that you’re sinking under. Then to hear weeks later that he’s marrying his brother’s ex. Yikes!
No wonder Taylor has no choice but to take up Mason’s fake relationship plan to pose as a couple. But it’s because they pose as boyfriend and girlfriend that they finally discover their misunderstandings and realize that maybe they were the ones meant to be together all along.
This was my first Rhys novel which made me a fan for life. Check it out as well as my review of Ex Games.
Related: Best Enemies to Lovers Books
Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night.
But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.
For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have quite a history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him.
So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.
Oh boy this fake relationship was steamy because of Matt and Sabrina’s history and I LOVED it! Matt and Sabrina are in the same friend group which makes them keep their hookups secret but when Matt needs a real break to save his career, it forces them to see the chemistry between them in a new light.
If you love fake relationship books with characters who know how to party and have such sass then you’ll love Hard Sell!
Related: Best Friends to Lovers Romance Books
Fake. That’s what we are. That’s what we agreed to be. So why does it feel so real? I thought it would have been harder, convincing everyone our school’s star receiver was mine and mine alone, but I was wrong.
We played our parts so well that the lines between us began to blur until they disappeared completely.
The thing about pretending, though, someone’s always better at it, and by the time I realized my mistake, there was no going back.
I fell for our lie. And then everything fell apart. It turned out he and I were never playing the same game. He didn’t have to break me to win. But he did it anyway.
There’s just something about enemies to lovers books set in high school that are a bit fierce and fiery and this one was no exception.
Of course this fake relationship book also comes with its fair share of drama but if you love opposites attract stories with high school angst, check this one out.
Related: Best High School Romance Books
They say nothing compares to your first kiss, But our first kiss was orchestrated for an audience.
Our second kiss . . . that one was REAL.
I forgot he was paying me to be his fake fiancée. I forgot we weren’t REAL. Our kiss was pure magic, and before you laugh and say those kinds of kisses don’t exist, Then you’ve never touched lips with Max Kent, the hottest quarterback in college history.
Three months. Two hearts. One fake engagement.
If you’re a college football fan then you’ll want to pick up this fake relationship romance between the star quarterback and his sweet neighbor.
I liked the storyline about Max having a shot at winning the Heisman trophy, but to help secure his chances and solidify his “good boy” reputation he asks his neighbor to pretend date him and then go so far as to pretend to be his fiancé.
This book also has a bit of mystery and fate rolled into it that only fuels their connection to one another which I thought was an added twist to this college romance.
Related: Best Sports Romance Books
Running into your ex is never ideal. Running into your ex who is now dating your nemesis is a literal nightmare.
That’s how I found myself in a sheer panic, reaching for the closest guy at the bar and kissing him. And to my delight he was easily the most attractive man I’ve ever seen.
The only problem is, when I tried to walk away after thanking him for his help, he stopped me with three life-changing words . . .“You owe me.”
That’s how I found myself, a college girl, in a fake relationship with a professional hockey player ten years older than me.
At first it was easy. He helped me with my internship. I helped keep his ex away from him. We were becoming fast friends.
It wasn’t until he started staying the night at my dorm did the rules of our arrangement become complicated.
Now my feelings are involved and even though I kissed the right man at the right time, I’m worried he’s just waiting for the clock to run out.
Meghan Quinn shines when it comes to her sports romance books and she brings her signature sassy heroine and hilarious hunk to this fake relationship romance which totally hit the sport for me.
Ollie may only be in college but she is such a strong, confident heroine who doesn’t hold back when it comes to physical intimacy. Taters, on the other hand, is the hot hockey player who’s been badly burned by his ex.
Both enter this fake relationship for their own means but come to find that they are a perfect match. If you like humor, heart and hockey, give this one a try.
When Lady Constance Stonewell accidentally ruins the Earl of Apthorp’s entire future with her gossip column, she does what any honorable young lady must: offer her hand in marriage. Or, at the very least, stage a whirlwind fake engagement to repair his reputation.
Never mind that it means spending a month with the dullest man in England. Or the fact that he disapproves of everything she holds dear.
Julian Haywood, the Earl of Apthorp, is on the cusp of finally proving himself to be the man he’s always wanted to be when his future is destroyed in a single afternoon. When the woman he’s secretly in love with confesses she’s at fault, it isn’t just his life that is shattered: it’s his heart.
They have a month to clear his name and convince society they are madly in love. But when Constance discovers her faux-intended is decidedly more than meets the eye—not to mention adept at shocking forms of wickedness—she finds herself falling for him. There’s only one problem: he can’t forgive her for breaking his heart.
If you’re in the mood for a historical, fake relationship romance, you can’t go wrong with Peckham’s book. Amazing writing, intriguing characters and a story that pulls you right in, this book has it all.
I found both Constance and Julian to be such fascinating characters. Constance for her quirks and her willingness to own her mistakes. Julian for his proclivities and unwillingness to be ashamed by them. Pick it up – you won’t be sorry.
Related: Best Historical Romance Novels
The deal is simple—pretend to be Ethan’s girlfriend for a psych study and we each get a nice payday. Despite him being a dumb jock who willingly gets punched for fun at my dad’s boxing gym, I can handle it. I’ve mastered the art of keeping others at a distance. Especially after… Well, never mind that.
Except, I didn’t count on him not understanding the definition of boundaries. Suddenly, we’re having to fake being in love all over campus to keep up the ruse. And when he tries to slip under the barriers I’ve worked so hard to create? Yeah, that’s not happening.
Even if it turns out he’s surprisingly understanding… and funny… and charming… and smarter than I ever would have given him credit for. I may have misjudged him, but that doesn’t mean I’m interested. He has no idea what kind of baggage I’m carrying. A relationship is the last thing on my mind. Even if I’m not fooling anyone.
Sometimes when you read fake relationship books set in college, they can all start to sound the same after a while but I found this to be a fresh story that really had me hooked to see how Lexie and Ethan would find their happily ever after.
Despite keeping to herself for self-preservation, Lexie finds herself claiming Ethan as her boyfriend in order to participate in a psych study on love to earn some well-needed cash.
I loved the idea of this psych study and how it forced them to become closer with the various tests they had to do.
This is a great read about a strong heroine, a misunderstood hero and the love they find despite faking it at first. Check out my review of Not Fooling Anyone.
Related: Best College Romance Books
He rejected her. She loathes him. Now they have to fool everyone and pretend they actually like each other.
Tanner Harris has been busy shagging his way through the ladies of east London, but getting caught by the paparazzi with his trouser snake in his hands means he’s sowed his last wild oat.
Dr. Belle Ryan once thought Tanner Harris was the perfect kind of bearded bad boy she needed to relieve a bit of stress after her intense job as a surgical fellow, but an icy cold rejection from London’s notorious playboy footballer puts the two at each other’s throats.
Fate and a favour conspire to put Tanner and Belle back in each other’s paths and they’re forced to do a lot more than get along to save face and their careers.
Rage turns to passion and tempers run sizzling hot when they realise they aren’t just falling for each other—they’re jumping head first. And neither have the endurance to keep their hands to themselves.
I loved all the Harris brothers in Amy Daws’ series about footballers but Tanner is my absolute FAVORITE! OMG this man is hilarious and hot and just so wickedly good and sweet and so much more.
I liked that he’s not really a golden boy in that he hasn’t cared at all about his reputation until the tabloids have it in for him, threatening his soccer career.
He’s friends with Belle because she’s best friends with his twin brother’s fiancé but starting a fake relationship with her brings their intense chemistry and bickering to a whole new level. I could reread this novel over and over again as it’s one of my favorite romance books of all time.
Parker Brown can’t believe she needs to hire a fake boyfriend. When she landed her dream job in renewable energy, she thought she’d be entering a world at the forefront of progressive thinking. But the head boss prefers to promote employees who are “settled.” Thankfully, she’s found the perfect candidate, a fellow intellectual looking for some quick cash. What Parker gets is his protective big brother—Rhys Morgan. The tall, muscled ex-boxer with a foul mouth shows up just as her boss does, and now she’s stuck with the manipulative jerk.
Responsibility weighs heavily on Rhys. Now permanently out of the ring, he’s trying to hold together his late father’s gym and keep his younger brother, Dean, on the straight and narrow. To save Dean from himself, Rhys takes his place, ready to give this society girl a piece of his mind. Instead, he finds an opportunity. Even though they can hardly stand each other, posing as Parker’s boyfriend is a win-win deal. She gets to keep her job, and he’ll charm her star-struck boss into sponsoring his gym.
Problem is, they can barely keep their hands off each other. And what started as an easy deal isn’t so easy anymore. Because what future can a rough ex-boxer, afraid to open his heart, and a polished society geek, who has sworn off real relationships, possibly have?
They say opposites attract. These opposites are about to combust on impact.
Strike up a fake relationship to look better in front of your boss? Yep! That’s exactly what Parker needs to do but instead of getting the man intended for the job, she hires a boxer who needs the money.
Though both Parker and Rhys enter into their fake relationship with chips on their shoulder and wrong assumptions, I loved their immediate spark.
If you love opposites attract love stories, give this one a try.
When Jamar Dixon wants back into the NFL, he needs a professional personal trainer to help get him there. And he wants Taylor Powell. There’s just one catch — no one can know what they’re doing.
But when they’re accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor agrees to fake date her client. Only now she’s not so sure if Jamar is only in it to achieve his goal or if he’s playing for keeps.
I admit that I love books with the storyline of a trainer and injured athlete falling for each other so this fake relationship romance had to make my list.
I’m also all about empowering women entrepreneurs like Taylor and seeing how she navigates the temptation of mixing business with pleasure when she’s been burned in the past.
After dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper.
In an effort to cheer up Jack’s ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib – that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle.
No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine – perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their “just friends” rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent.
Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?
This one is a favorite because it’s a fake relationship with a friends to lovers story but with so much heart that’s set in a small town where you come to love everyone.
Both Jack and Leah have their own demons to face but by facing them together, they are able to finally see what’s right in front of them all along!
Related: Best Friends to Lovers Books
What is your favorite fake relationship romance book? Share in the comments below.
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