Book Recs By Tropes is a series where I recommend books according to tropes.
Fake relationships is a great trope to play around with because it’s fun watching two people succumb to the inevitability of catching those too real feelings.
From fake boyfriends to fake husbands, here are some books with particularly delicious takes on the trope. I hope you’ll enjoy them too!
Unbreakable – Colette Davison (4 stars)
(contemporary romance, fake boyfriend)
If you’re looking for a fluffy and angsty fake boyfriend romance between an unlikely pair, this Heaven and Hell Club prequel is a solid bet.
This book works perfectly well as a standalone. It stars an aging pole dancer who was asked by a customer who works for a fashion magazine to be his fake boyfriend for a couples-only party. It’s a story of trust, respect and embracing each other’s vulnerabilities. They might seem like the worst possible match so it’s a lot of fun to see the two learn how they fit.
Screwed – K.M. Neuhold (4 stars)
(contemporary romance, humor, fake husband)
If you want to witness a hopeless romantic, who had a string of bad relationships and three failed marriages, have a drunken Vegas wedding with a man, who had boldly declared he is not a relationship kind of guy, and somehow make it work, this book is not screwing around.
The MCs slow-burn their way through months of undeniable chemistry just bursting with sexual tension. Both are acutely aware this is best relationship they ever have and it’s not even real. The romantic development and the pacing are executed very well, giving time to form a real connection. You might be skeptical at first but you’ll be left with no doubts they’re perfect for each other.
This is the 4th book of the Four Bears Construction series. While not a standalone, the other books in the series are worth going through too.
Hostile Takeover – Lucy Lennox (4.5 stars)
(contemporary romance, fake boyfriend)
If you’re investing in a fake boyfriend story with a twist of enemies to lovers, a dash of second chance and a bit of bisexual awakening, you can put money on this fabulous revenge romance between a self-made billionaire and the college crush who ruined his life .
This is a standalone set in the corporate world. The fake relationship comes in when the billionaire needed access to a very elusive, couples-only Hamptons party. There is a secret crush connection in the past that adds extra spice to the plot. This book is tight and intense, with the kind of electric chemistry that crackles through the pages. The fake boyfriend plus bisexual awakening made the USTs even more explosive.
Say You’ll Be Nine – Lucy Lennox (4.5 stars)
(contemporary romance, humor, fake boyfriend)
If you’re all about a man who wields a hammer like Thor and has the heart of Captain America, Nine’s the guy for you.
This standalone got almost every trope there is. The fake boyfriend aspecct is especially fun because how NOT to fall for the very attractive lumberjack+fake boyfriend you were kinda crushing on since when you were a kid? The same lumberjack+fake boyfriend who’s the younger brother of your best friend and, by all accounts, straight?
Things are getting real really fast!
Prime Time: Inside Affair – Ella Frank (4.5 stars)
(contemporary romance, mystery, fake boyfriend)
If you want a blow by blow account of a squee-tastic romance between two people who knew each other all their lives but hadn’t really looked, this fake affair between a news anchor and a detective turned bodyguard got you covered.
This Prime Time series opener has two MCs who barely tolerated each other. They are forced to pretend to be fake boyfriends when the news anchor hired the detective to be his bodyguard because of a stalker. The detective is also his best friend’s brother. The banter between them are pretty funny. They say all kinds of annoying shit, trying to get a rise out of the other. Sometimes, they hit a particularly sensitive nerve and things get ugly.
Then… they started noticing each other.
Surprise Groom – D.J. Jamison (4.5 stars)
(contemporary romance, fake fiance)
If you’re interested in a fun and delightful take on a fake relationship romance between two best friends who fell apart, this book is fabulously groomed to give you just that.
This is the series opener of Marital Bliss, a series exploring diferent marriage tropes. This one is about marriage of convenience. The two reunited friends had to pretend to be married to save the island resort one of them owned.
The slow-burn build-up is fantastic! Their chemistry is palpable from the start. The two men try to resist their rekindled attractions. One knows the other is straight. The other tries to wrap his head around the revelation he is attracted to a man. The inner conflicts are depicted so well. The way the lines keep blurring is super delicious!
Play Dirty – Onley James & Neve Wilder (5 stars)
(dark, action/suspense, fake husband)
If you’re into a a super intense rivalry between bitter enemy assassins pretending to be husbands so that they could one up each other, this book plays it perfectly.
What makes this a highly recommended 5-star book is how CRAZY GOOD the MCs are together. They are fire and gasoline! They’re just that spectacularly explosive. The way their connection formed and deepened is a brilliant execution of the enemies-to-lovers trope. That they play fake husbands only up the ante. Murder Husbands for the win!!!!!
This is the second book of Wages of Sin, a series about a found family of assassins. It’s best read with the rest of the series.