Fake Dating Books: 19 Novels to Love

Fake Dating Books to Love

Fake dating books are always some of my favorite romance books to read. I love that over the past few years, so much of the stigma that surrounded reading romances has been removed. After all, who does not love a happy ending?

The fake dating trope is one in which two individuals have to fake a relationship for one reason or another and inevitably fall in love. Pretty Woman is an absolutely iconic movie for a reason!

The fake dating romance books below are our favorite examples from the genres but are by no means all of them. If you want to see a complete list of romance lists, we have something for every romance book lover.

*Fake Dating Trope Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

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Fake Dating Romance Books

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Romance Book Lists

Do you love romance books like we do? Check out all of our romance book lists!

Fake Dating Romance Books

the spanish love deception

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

Catalina is a fiercely independent woman who ran away from her past but now she has to face it at her sister’s wedding where her former fiance is the best man.

She needs a fake boyfriend – and fast! Enter Aaron her annoying and grumpy co-worker who offers to help her with her ruse. As they put their differences aside to help each other out, their love begins to grow. This is the fake dating trope at its best.

While I enjoyed the enemies-to-lovers romance in this book, at over 500 pages this office romance novel was just a bit too long.

Books Like the Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Olive Smith is a Ph.D. student who does not believe in her ability to be in love. When her best friend develops a crush on someone she dated briefly, she decides to kiss the first man she sees to prove she is over him.

That one kiss happens to be with THE Adam Carlsen, an academic genius, who is also very standoffish. The two decide to fake-date and what starts as pretend, becomes something more- for Olive.

I loved this fake dating book/office romance novel that is also a perfect example of the grumpy sunshine trope. It has a well-earned spot on its list of the best romance novels of all time.

If you love this book as much as we did, check out our post: Books Like the Love Hypothesis to Obsess Over

Fake it till you bake it

Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley

Donovan is an NFL player who also owns a struggling cupcake bakery with a few of his friends. Jada is internet famous, and not in a good way. She rejected a proposal on a bachelor-like TV show and now she’s got haters all over!

After taking a job at Donovan’s store, she lies to a reporter and says she was still thinking of Donovan when she rejected the proposal. 

So now she is fake-dating Donovan and helping the cupcake store in the process. But can they turn this fake relationship into something more? 

Um yes, and with SIZZLING chemistry to boot! This is a fake dating book at its steamiest and a celebrity romance as well. You will love this pick from Ultimate Beach Reads 2023.

The Deal and more sizzling college romance books!

The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

The first in a series of books set in college about hockey players is also the series that got me hooked on the college romance books sub-genre!

This one features a bunch of bachelor hockey players who are the campus hotshots. It’s very similar to the How to Date a Douchebag series, but it has a bit more heart and a little less humor. This is one of the steamy fake dating books you will love.

The Bodyguard A Novel

The Body Guard by Catherine Center

Hannah Brooks is an Executive Protection Agent (a bodyguard) who looks more like a Kindergarten teacher. When is given her next assignment to protect Jack Stapleton, a movie star with a stalker, she is less than pleased. After all, this is not how to best use her talents.

When Jack’s mom gets sick, he needs to go home to visit but, he cannot worry and he must bring Hannah with him. The solution? Hannah has to pretend to be his girlfriend for the duration of the visit- enter the fake dating trope.

Katherine Center never fails to deliver a great book. This adorable celebrity romance put a smile on my face and is a great pick from our list of ultimate beach reads 2023.

Books With The Fake Dating Trope

How to Face it in Hollywood

How to Fake It in Hollywood by Ava Wilder

Grey Brooks wants to stay relevant in Hollywood after her sitcom was canceled. Ethan Atkins is an A-level celebrity who needs to rehab his image. So when their publicist suggests they start fake dating, the duo decides it might be just the ticket.

But we all know the fake-dating trope is gonna lead to real dating and then a break-up and make-up. BUT IT WAS SO CUTE! Predictable but adorable.

When its real

When It’s Real by Erin Watt

A regular girl plus a bad-boy pop star who needs to reform his image equals the perfect getaway from reality. Erin Watt never fails to deliver a great story.

This fake dating novel is predictable which is what makes it perfect for a list of fluffy books. Erin Watt’s Paper Princess Series is a great fluff read that was on our first list.

take a fint

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

I love every one of the books about the Brown sisters. This is a very spicy fake dating romance book that also touches on some more difficult topics like anxiety and loss as well.

Danika Brown is a Ph.D. student who knows what she wants: professional success and a friend with benefits since she does not have time for relationships. Zafir Ansari is a security guard who is also an ex-rugby player who also runs a sports program to teach boys how to be in touch with their emotions.

When Zafir rescues Dani during a drill, it is caught in video and goes viral. The two begin to fake date in order to bring attention to his charity. This is fake dating at its absolute best.

kiss quotient

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

I was definitely not prepared for this book.  Reader beware that it is the Rosie Project with a sprinkle of Pretty Woman and a whole lot of 50 Shades. 

I did not realize that some of the scenes would be graphic in this pick from reverse grumpy sunshine romance books. Stella decided to hire an escort to teach her how to have intimacy with other people. This is the fake dating trope at its absolute finest.

It is a great romance with a neurodiverse main character and I loved it. This contemporary romance is definitely on its way to classic status and has a well-earned place on our list of best romance novels of all time and was an easy pick for a list of books like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Duke and I

The Duke and I (Bridgerton #1) by Julia Quinn

I watched the show and LOVED it so much. I previously read some of the others in the series but I really wanted to read this first book in the Bridgerton book series and I have to say, it was my favorite.

There is something about Daphne and Simon that I adore. This book is a perfect historical romance. The Netflix book adaption smashed records and caused a boom in book sales.

Daphne Bridgerton is the fourth of eight children and is beginning her first season in the ton. As young women of marrying age search for a husband, Daphne is not quite like other girls.

When the eligible Simon Bassett suggests they begin fake dating to allow them both a chance to breathe. However, things do not always go as planned. To make matters more complicated, Lady Whistledown always seems to know the truth and the information ready for everyone to read. This is one of our fake dating books of all time.

Are you a fan of Bridgerton? We’ve got a list of books like Bridgerton you will love! And if you love romance books, we have Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Books in Order: Complete Guide to 20 Books.

wedding date

The Wedding Date (The Wedding Date #1) by Jasmine Guillory

This was such a fun read- it was perfect to take with me for a weekend away.  When Alexa gets stuck in an elevator with Drew, she makes the crazy choice to accompany him as a fake wedding date to a wedding the next day.  If you love fake dating books, this is one of the books like The Love Hypothesis you must read.

What she didn’t account for was the fact that there might be some real attraction between them.  She is a good girl and he is a commitment-phoebe.  Can they make it work? We think you’ll love this wedding book.

Happy Place

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Emily Henry is an author who is always consistent with her romances. She may be the queen of romantic comedy books. Nothing says “summer reads” like Emily Henry.

Harriet and Wyn have been together for years until they broke up 5 months ago. The only problem is that they still haven’t told their best friends and now they will be sharing a room during their yearly vacation with their friends.

How hard can it be to keep up the facade of a happy couple? If you love fake dating books, this is one of the best. And if you are hoping these two will have a second chance at love, you will not be disappointed.

There is something special in every one of Emily Henry’s romances and this newest book is no exception. It is one of the best books of 2023!

Find this Book in Emily Henry Books / Second Chance Romance / Romantic Comedy Books / Fake Dating Books

The Ex Talk and other book reviews in February 2021 Novel ideas

The Ex-Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

I picked up The Ex-Talk because I wanted to read a romance by a Jewish author. I loved that this one featured a biracial, interfaith couple.

The concept was cute – two radio show hosts fake a relationship to try to get ratings. Except they are pretending they already dated and broke up… which eventually leads to them dating.

This fake dating book was a cute, easy read. This is an office romance novel that is perfect for books like The Love Hypothesis.

husband material

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

This is the second fake dating book I read this month but this one hit all the right notes. This was such an adorable LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 romance.

When Luc, the son of two rock stars, needs a boyfriend who is respectable in order to keep his job, he is willing to fake a relationship. Oliver Blackwood is a barrister who needs a boyfriend to bring home to his family. The two could not be any more different.

It is a perfect situation until fake starts to feel real. Despite the fact that the two men could not be more different, they just might be the perfect Ying and Yang. This LGBTQ book is one of the enemies-to-lovers books that helped to take my mind off reality and it made me smile throughout the whole book. This is also a great fake dating book. I am always shocked by how many books are enemies to lovers and fake dating…who knew?

Faux Engagement Books

Say Youll Be Mine

Say You’ll Be Mine by Naina Kumar

Meghan is a theatre teacher and aspiring playwright who has just been invited to her best friend/ex-boyfriend/crush’s wedding. To add some salt to the fresh wound, he also asks her to be the best man. 

Karthik is allowing his mother to set him up with girls in an attempt to arrange a marriage even though he has absolutely no intention of marrying anyone, ever. 

When Meghan and Karthik allow their parents to introduce them, a fake engagement seems like the perfect solution. He can get his mother to stop bugging him and she will have a date for the wedding. 

Why I Love It: I read this book in a day and loved it. There is character development and an adorable love story that will have you grinning from ear to ear. #gifted

Find This Book In: Fake Dating Books / Best New Romance Books

unhoneymooners

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Olive and Ami are twins. While Ami seems to be lucky in everything, Olive knows that if it can happen, it will happen to her. So when everyone gets food poisoning at Ami’s wedding except Olive and her nemesis Ethan, she can’t decide if her luck has changed. This is the fake dating trope to the extreme- fake marriage.

As the two head out on the free, all-inclusive honeymoon that was supposed to be Ami and her new husband, Olive hopes they can call a truce long enough to enjoy the trip.

Why I Love it: I loved this hilarious romance as soon as I read it. It is the perfect romantic comedy book.

Find this book in Romance Tropes / Rom-Com Books / Fake Dating Books / Grumpy Sunshine Books / Books Like People We Meet on Vacation / Seaside Books

The Paradise Problem

The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren

It’s a fake dating romance from the queens of romance themselves, Christina Lauren! Anna thought that she had divorced West after they graduated from UCLA. Now, three years later, West needs to contact his not-so-ex-wife and convince her to pretend they are still happily married. Why? To receive a huge inheritance of course!

Anna, desperate for the money to pay for her dad’s medical bills, agrees to jet off to a tropical paradise to spend a week with West’s toxic family at his sister’s week-long wedding celebration. The over-the-top shenanigans reminded me of Crazy Rich Asians in the best way!

Why I Loved it: I was cheering Anna on as she took on West’s snooty family with her pink hair and bohemian spirit. The chemistry between them was crackling, but it was how they looked after each other that made my heart swoon.

Find this book in Fake Dating Books / Wedding Novels / Beach Reads 2024 / Romance Seaside Books / New Romance Books 2024

Young Adult Fake Dating Books

10 Things I Hate About Pinky

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon

Samir and Pinky are complete opposites. Pinky is a wild child who is tired of her family thinking the worst of her. Samir is the type of guy that all parents love. When his internship at a law firm falls through and Pinky lies to her family and tells them she has a new boyfriend, a scheme is hatched.

Samir comes to stay with Pinky’s family for the summer at their Cape Cod house and Samir does not have to go home to his over-protective mother. Of course, with the forced proximity, they both start to develop real feelings in their fake relationship.

This fake dating book was a fun read that didn’t quite have the same chemistry as Dimple and Rishi. It may be that I related less because Samir and Pinky are high school students. Did we include this in our list of books with colors in the title? Yes! We love that her name is Pinky.

to all the boys Ive loved before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Imagine if all your past crushes found out you liked them all at once. EEK! That’s what happens to the heroine, Lara Jean Covey when the love letters she wrote get mailed! While this is a romance novel, the series works for our books about sisters post too!

I love Lara Jean – she is quirky, cute, and totally reminds me of me in high school – except she gets to date the most popular boy at school. But their relationship is fake —- or is it? This is a great YA fake dating book and while not necessarily enemies by the strict meaning of the word, we wanted to include this in our enemies-to-lovers books. And you can check out Best YA Romance Books to Indulge in Now for more books like it.

hunger games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This is the first book in the Hunger Games series and it is epic! In the aftermath of what was once North America, there are 12 Districts surrounding the capital.

Each year, each district sends one boy and one girl to fight to the death in a competition called “The Hunger Games”. Katniss Everdeen volunteers as a tribute to save her younger sister from the certain death of the games. This sci-fi book has everything but at its heart, it is a perfect pick for books about sisters. This young adult fantasy book has heart while making you turn the pages!

And while this is not strictly a fake dating book, the pretend relationship between Katniss and Peta is pivotal to this book!

If you love The Hunger Games, check out these 24 books just like it!

Serpent and Dove

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Louise Le Blanche is a witch, Reid Diggory is a witch hunter, but when they are forced to be married Lou has to keep her identity a secret and try not to fall for her handsome husband. Could you ask for anything more from enemies-to-lovers books?

Set in the pre-industrial age in Paris, France, this historical fantasy book is perfect for lovers of YA! It’s got funny, fierce heroines, a steamy love story, and a cast that is actually diverse! I devoured all three witch books in this YA fantasy series of books set in Paris.

ultimate list of romance

Ultimate List of Romances

If you love all things romance, then this is the list for you! This is carefully divided by sub-genres like second-chance romance books, romcoms, and more.

What is your favorite fake dating book?

romance tropes

The Complete List of Romance Tropes: Our 12 Favorites

Looking for more romances categorized by trope? Here are all my favorites.

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