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These Fake Dating Books Will Make You Believe Love Is Real

Just because the dates are fake doesn’t mean the feelings are. 

fake dating books

Fake dating is one of the most well-known tropes in the romance world. Some of the more recent examples are Daphne and Simon from Bridgerton, Lara Jean and Peter from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Beforeand Bianca and Wesley from The Duff. Fake dating is quite literally what it sounds like: two characters, for one reason or another, decide that the best way to deal with the situation at hand is to pretend to be in a relationship, and it usually results in them actually falling in love. 

It’s easy to understand the obsession with the fake dating trope; there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as falling in love when you least expect it and then desperately hoping you’re not the only one. It also provides a great trial run for the rest of the potential relationship, which those with commitment issues must really appreciate (I’m looking at you, Simon and Daphne, and all the couples like you). But it’s also easy to make this trope extremely frustrating—though sometimes, a little frustration is completely necessary. 

But ultimately, the fake dating trope often leads to more vulnerable connections between the parties involved, resulting in a very deep love, however unexpected. You just have to get over the three-fourths of the book that’s heavy on the will-they-won’t-they. 

Here are 10 examples of fake dating books that have an even balance of frustration and love that are sure to make you swoon. 

vivi holt make believe series book covers 1-3

Make Believe Series

By Vivi Holt

This six-book series by Vivi Holt feature a different story and different characters in each book, but they all include the fake dating trope. There are fake proposals, fake engagements, fake weddings, fake honeymoons, and fake vows—but the feelings are real!

From a woman who fakes a proposal to save face in front of her ex, to a Romeo-and-Juliet-esque plan to bring feuding families together, to friends who decide to follow through on a marriage pact, each one of these books is hilarious, heartwarming, and just crazy enough to work.

Not for Sale

Not for Sale

By Sandra Marton

Lucas Vieira needs to do two things: close this high-stakes business deal, and get his colleague’s overeager wife off his back. So naturally, he hires a translator that will also pose as his girlfriend. Easy as pie. 

Linguist Caroline Hamilton is thrilled about the hefty paycheck. But when she actually meets Lucas, she worries that this may be going over her head; he seems to be interested in more than just what he’s paying her for…could the powerful Brazilian actually be interested in her, or is it all an act? And if he is…what price will she have to pay for his attention?



By B. J. Daniels

A contemporary Western mystery-romance, the title Hitched! serves as a double meaning. Jack Winchester, looking to solve a decades-old mystery that appears to be leading to his family ranch, needs a cover. And gorgeous redhead Josey Smith would be the perfect option, if she would agree to pose as his wife for a week. 

Josey, fleeing from a killer, had no choice but to accept Jack’s offer. Everyone else she knows could be dangerous, but Jack is the only one who makes her feel safe. But they quickly realize that not only are their feelings for each other real, but so is the danger they’re in…

The Accidental Bride

The Accidental Bride

By Christina Skye

Jilly O’Hara has spent lots of energy going from your average chef to a celebrity chef–and it worked, but her friends have ordered her to take a vacation. The mountains are really not her idea of a relaxing vacation though, especially after getting snowed in at the resort. 

And even more unexpected, the lavish television wedding being filmed at the resort is down a bride due to the snowstorm, and Jilly has been recruited to fill in. But everything starts looking up when the incredibly handsome TV groom arrives. Walker Hale has been a loner since returning from active-duty, but just like Jilly, found himself participating in this fake wedding by accident. 

Just because he’s a loner doesn’t mean he can resist Jilly’s charms though. He’ll have to decide how real his feelings are for her when she leaves to go back home. 

Surrender to the Earl

Surrender to the Earl

By Gayle Callen

Audrey Blake has been blind since childhood, following a childhood fever, causing her family to exclude her. But Audrey wants to take ownership of her rightful property, and she needs help to do it. Robert Henslow, Earl of Knightsbridge, has offered to help–but his plan involves a fake engagement, which was not what Audrey had in mind. 

Audrey knows that Robert agreed to help her as a sense of duty, but she’s not sure why he’s insisting on a marriage proposal to do it. Perhaps it’s guilt. But either way, their counterfeit union started out as a favor for Audrey, and has now turned into Robert trying desperately to convince her that they’re meant to be together—for real.

One Week with the Best Man

One Week with the Best Man

By Andrea Laurence

Gretchen McAlister is a fantastic wedding planner—not a wedding date. But famous bachelor Julian Cooper has recently suffered another celebrity breakup and he needs a PR ploy; a ploy that Gretchen just so happens to fit the bill for. 

Julian is against the whole plan at first, but as soon as he meets freshly made up, honest, and beautiful Gretchen, his bachelor days may be numbered. 

Engaged with the Boss

Engaged with the Boss

By Elle James

Jolie has secretly been in love with her boss Devin for six long years, so she was more than willing to rush to his aid when he asked her to pretend to be his fiancee, even if that meant her unrequited love grew stronger. 

Devin knew that his family couldn’t suffer any more scandals, especially with the Christmas murders still unsolved. But he was caught in a scandalous moment with his executive assistant, and figured that if he could convince the tabloids of their fake engagement, they would leave his family alone, leaving him space to investigate the murders on his own. But dangerously for the both of them, the fake engagement has made Jolie the next target. 

When We Meet Again

When We Meet Again

By Victoria Alexander

Prince Alexei of Avalonia is no stranger to the art of seduction—but a mysterious woman at a masked ball who unexpectedly spends the night in his bed may give him a run for his money. In fact, he can’t get her out of his head. 

But Miss Pamela Effington regrets the whole thing, and couldn’t be more glad to never see him again. At least he wouldn’t be able to recognize her; unless she was wearing her mask, of course. But to the surprise of them both, Alexei shows up claiming to be the winter tenant of the townhouse Pamela recently inherited, leading to a feigned relationship that causes the mystery and temptation to begin all over again.  

Temporary to Tempted

Temporary to Tempted

By Jessica Lemmon

Hot shot consultant Andrea Payne is desperate to find a date to her sister’s wedding; desperate enough that she pays a man she just met at the bar to accompany her. But when she walks on to her new job site to find that her date is also her new boss, things get weird. But Gage Fleming is just as amused as he is desperate for Andy’s help, so he agrees to both employ her and accompany her. 

But the trouble begins when they discover there’s a real passion behind their fake date. Ending up in bed together just makes the work days harder for Andy and her heart, and she can’t help but hope that her wedding will be next. But first she has to determine whether the feeling is mutual. 

Here Comes the Bride

Here Comes the Bride

By Pamela Morsi

Augusta Mudd, factory owner in a small town, has been waiting years for her reluctant yet gentlemanly Amos Dewey to propose to her. But it’s time to take matters into her own hands—and she enlists the help of her attractive friend Rome Akers to make Amos jealous enough to propose to her. 

Their counterfeit union has made Rome realize two things: one, he likes being Augusta’s business partner; and two, he is hopelessly in love with her. He would do anything to help Augusta become a bride like she wants—but the catch is, he has to be the groom. 

Featured image: Nikola Bikar / Unsplash