Both the false confessions and the real ones in romance books always get hearts skipping a beat for readers who absolutely love the fake dating trope. As we all know, fake feelings always turn real somewhere along the way.
And we love reading about how the relationship changes with that sudden realization. Therefore, here are some romance books with the fake dating trope for your TBR list.
1. Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison
Lovelight Farms, the Christmas tree farm that Stella Bloom loved ever since she was a kid, is no longer the magical winter wonderland it used to be. It’s in need of some saving after too many dead trees. Santa’s barn has been overrun by a raccoon family, and shipments are going missing. Stella has taken it upon herself to save the farm when she enters an instafamous influencer’s contest with publicity and $100,000 as the prize.
In her attempt to save Lovelight Farms, she lied on the application about the farm being a romantic destination run by her and her boyfriend. The problem is she doesn’t have a boyfriend. But she does have a best friend, Luka Peters. He came home and now he has a farm that he runs with his best friend and totally real girlfriend. Are trees the only thing growing at this farm, or will love between the two grow as well?
2. The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale
Writer Freya Lal’s deadline for her second novel is in a month, but she can’t seem to overcome her writer’s block. She does have a secret look-alike, It-girl actress Mandi Roy. So desperate for inspiration, she uses that to her advantage and indulges in some mistaken identity for some perks such as free drinks and entry to a popular nightclub.
Actor Taft Bamber has it all, or so it seems. He’s attractive, talented, and Mandi’s love interest on-and off-screen. However, their relationship is only a publicity stunt. And after years of pretending, he longs for something real.
But suddenly, Freya’s recent outing as Mandi goes viral when Taft accidentally interferes. Breakup rumors of Hollywood’s golden couple are floating around. Now Freya must pretend to be the actress for a month, play house with Taft, and make all the rumors disappear. However, somewhere along the way of acting like they’re in love, the chemistry between the two ignites. They’re left wondering if their relationship is really all just for the cameras.
3. This May End Badly by Samantha Markum
Doe and her band of Weston girls are determined to win the extremely long prank war against Winfield Academy before their senior year is over. But they find out The Weston School will merge with their rival causing the feud to spiral into chaos. Doe starts devising a plan to prove Winfield boys and Weston girls don’t mix. She aims to target, Three, who is Winfield’s boy king and her nemesis.
Desperate to win, she strikes a deal with Wells, Three’s cousin. If they fake date, it will get under Three’s skin. In return, she will help him get his family heirloom back. However, the pranks aren’t the only thing escalating when Doe’s feelings toward Wells start to change. But when a teacher is suspected of inappropriate behavior with a younger Weston girl, Doe must decide which is more important: winning the rivalry or joining forces to protect something more important than the prank war legacy?
4. For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa
Chef Nina Lyon wants to make a name for herself in the culinary world and be an inspiration to young women who have the same dream as her. She’s constantly underestimated and undermined in the male-dominated profession and she’s tired of it. And she has the chance to prove herself as the co-host of The Next Cooking Champ!, a competitive reality TV series. But her co-host is unfortunately Hollywood’s smarmiest jerk.
Restaurateur Leo O’Donnell can’t help getting on Nina’s nerves, especially in front of the cameras. It just happens because of the anxiety and stress he deals with in this profession. But everything goes wrong when he takes one joke too far which leads to Nina quitting on live TV. Not to mention how paparazzi caught them in what appears to be a compromising situation causing fans to go crazy. Suddenly, a “secret romance” is just what they both need to boost their careers.
5. Make a Scene by Mimi Grace
Retta Majors is having the worst day possible after finding out her ex is engaged to her cousin. She gets this crazy idea to attend the wedding to show off her amazing, loyal, and very handsome boyfriend. Well, she would do that if said boyfriend existed.
Duncan Gilmore’s boxing gym just opened for business and he is focused on making sure it succeeds. He has no time to even think about relationships… or so he thought. The beautiful baker next door catches his eye. And he can’t refuse when she asked him to pretend to be her boyfriend for just one weekend.
But somewhere between all the flirting and kisses, their fake relationship starts blurring. What will happen as the end of the weekend approaches as does their fake relationship?
6. Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee
Fake Dates and Mooncakes will be released in May 2023 so make sure to preorder it!
The Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition occurs for teen chefs. And Dylan Tang is determined to win in memory of his mom as well as bring attention to his aunt’s struggling Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn.
Theo Somers is handsome, charming, and wealthy. His smile makes Dylan fluster, but he is a distraction. He has to focus on the competition. Not to mention how their worlds are complete opposites and different, yet Theo keeps showing up. He somehow even convinces Dylan to attend his family wedding in the Hamptons as his fake boyfriend.
Dylan finds himself lost in Theo’s crazy rich family drama and the world of glamour. Will he manage to focus on the mooncake contest, or will his fake romance have him distracted and falling for Theo?
No false confessions here when it comes to how much love the fake dating trope has from many readers. And to learn about other tropes often included in stories, check out this Bookstr article.
Looking for more book recommendations for all genres? Bookstr has some amazing ones here!