#28 TRENDING IN Books & Writing 🔥

Fake Dating Romance Books That Will Leave You Wanting for More

Books & Writing

April 13, 2023

The Fake Dating trope has overtaken almost every young romance reader's heart. The tension, the forced proximity, and the occasional presence of a single bed are all too thrilling. The unwanted jealousy, the heart-throbbing leads, and the buildup add the needed spice to parts of the most squeal-worthy, constantly-making-me-feel-single books.

Fake dates are the way to go, whether it's a matter of persuading a best friend or staging a romance on an unexpected vacation. Even though not everyone can go on a fake date, there are always more novels to read to live vicariously through these blessed characters. Personally, I still cannot get enough of this trope and here are 5 of the recommendations that left me longing.

1. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Summary: The book follows Olive Smith, a PhD student who accidentally kisses a stranger to prove to her best friend she is ready for dating. The stranger turns out to be Adam Carlsen, a young professor (who's known to be an [censored]). Olive and Adam reach an alliance of sorts and pretend to date, both to prove something to someone.

Their tiny experiment feels awfully close to a catastrophic eruption when a major research conference goes horribly wrong and Adam shocks her once more with his love and support (and his abs). Olive soon learns that examining her own heart is the one thing that is harder than a thesis on love.

Why should you read this? This book was a solid 4.5/5. Olive was a strong female lead with an awkward bubbly personality you can't not love and Adam's broody, sarcastic, "lopsided smile" character melted my heart.

Their chemistry, especially in the coffee shop and conference scenes, was actually off the charts and I was smiling like a fool reading this book. The book also has amazing side characters that shine so well on their own.

Throughout the book, you understand why Olive is a little rough around the edges, and how Adam is actually just a golden retriever built like a Greek god. It was a quick read with a whole smut chapter that was honestly, pretty good. It was so refreshing how easy it was to love Olive, Adam and their chemistry. I definitely recommend this book because, trust me, you will want to reread it almost as soon as you hit the end page.

2. Better Than The Movies By Lynn Painter

Summary: Wes Bennett was never going to be Liz Buxbaum's type of guy. You'd think that her next-door neighbour would fulfil her rom-com aspirations, but ever since they were young, Wes has only shown himself to be a royal pain in the butt. Liz needs Wes' help during her senior year, which is supposed to be full of scenes fit for any big screen.

See, Wes is getting along with Michael, who has been Liz's lifelong crush and recently came back to the area. In other words, Liz needs Wes if she wants Michael to start paying attention to her and, ideally, ask her to prom. And yet, Liz is surprised to see that she truly enjoys being with Wes as they plot to give Liz her ideal prom moment. As they become closer, she has to reconsider all she believed she knew about love and reconsider her idea of what Happily Ever After really means.

Why should you read this? This book was definitely one of the cutest I have read. It had the perfect balance of banter, non-clinginess, and the cheesiest, most swoonful quotes. Wes and Liz are definitely one of my favourite frenemies to lovers that I will not be getting over anytime soon.

It was a relatively short read that was lighthearted and adorable. If you don't have a lot of time to read right now and just want something fun to read that will still make your heart throb, I highly recommend this book. Its bonus scene is so wholesome too, you wish you got to see their love story unfolding like a movie too. A sureshot 4.5/5, I enjoyed Wes and Liz's characters, who won my heart instantly, and rereading it will make me never want them to give it back.

3. Twisted Lies By Ana Huang

Summary: 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.

(From GoodReads: Twisted Lies )

Why should you read this? Though this book is a little on the dark side, (trigger warning: anxiety, death/graphic violence, kidnapping & mention of suicide) the "boy obsessed" Christian Harper hits differently compared to the other men in the Twisted Series. A lot of [censored] and mixed feelings are brought about by this book, but after I was done, I realised just how much I had enjoyed it and was glad I had read it.

The slow burn and plot were actually interesting to keep following, and I was so pleased with the forced proximity. Although this book can come off as heavy, if you want a book just for the smut, or just to read a "'boy-obsessed" trope to feel more single than usual, I would definitely recommend this 3.5/5er.

4. The Unhoneymooners By Christina Lauren

Summary: Olive has always had rotten luck - in her work, in her romances, in, yeah, almost everything. The worst thing right now is that Olive must spend the day with Ethan, her sworn nemesis who also happens to be the best man at her sister's wedding. Olive and Ethan are the only ones spared when food poisoning attacks the whole wedding party.

And now, a free honeymoon is up for grabs. Olive and Ethan choose to go to paradise despite their hatred for one another, since they're getting a free vacation. When they interact, Olive tells her future employer a tiny white lie which risks growing even more.

She and Ethan now have to act like a happily married couple, and her luck seems to keep getting worse. But what's unusual is that she enjoys pretending. She really feels quite lucky.

Why should you read this? This book leaves you wishing you were stranded with your nemesis in paradise on earth, seriously. It just reminded me how much I love cute, fun and light romances. I was so happy that Lauren could portray the way Ethan and Olive were not just in love, but also the best of friends.

Their jokes are amazing and I was silently giggling at 3 AM reading this book. The book is criticised for its "representation," which I do agree with, but I did truly enjoy the romance present. This book would make a good beachy chick flick.

I can envision it clearly. A tiny spoiler ahead though, Ethan not believing Olive at the end was so disappointing. A 3/5 for me.

5. The Spanish Love Deception By Elena Armas

Summary: Catalina Martín desperately needs a date for 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 realise he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.

(From GoodReads: The Spanish Love Deception)

Why should you read this? Even if you read it just for the characters, you will enjoy it thoroughly because they are just that amazing. I adored their chemistry and everything he did for her so, so much. It was the perfect setting and the perfect pace.

You can enjoy every aspect well. The smut was strictly okay, though. Aaron was a great book boy, to be honest.

It was a fun read and even though it wasn't sort of, I still loved it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone because Lina and Aaron were so amazing to me. Not just that, the book handles topics of grief, loss, and sexism in workplaces extremely well. I'll give Aaronlina a 4/5.

I know these books are common, but from the ones I've read, these definitely stood out to me the most. Reading about these fake dating to real love couples stole my heart instantly. I loved every single moment of reading these tropes.

There are many fake dating books available that are guaranteed to leave you wanting more, whether you're searching for a fast, light-hearted read or a deeper exploration of the human condition of love. These books are a wonderful addition to any reader's bookshelves because of their endearing characters, hilarious language, and fulfilling happy-ever-afters. So why not give them a shot and enjoy the thrill of finding love with a wonderful fake dating book?

Aarohi Godha
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Writer since Feb, 2023 · 4 published articles

Aarohi is an 11th grade IBDP student from India. She enjoys ballet, reading, writing and is a cat lover. Aarohi is intrigued by anything about high fashion, academia, books, pop culture, music and love.