The best fake relationship romcom books

Who am I?

I’m an Irish author of romantic comedy and I’m passionate about the genre. I love smart, intelligent romcoms that are full of fun, with witty dialogue, sharp observations, and a great spark between the main characters. One of my favourite romance tropes is the fake relationship, because I’m not a fan of instalove and pretending to be in a relationship gives the characters a reason to spend a lot of time together until they gradually realise they’re perfect for each other. It also offers so much scope for comedy, with seemingly mismatched characters thrown together in awkward situations. Fun times guaranteed! 

I wrote...

For Love or Money

By Clodagh Murphy,

Book cover of For Love or Money

What is my book about?

On a mission to prove her sleuthing skills, Lesley poses as Al’s girlfriend on a family vacation in Nice to investigate his uncle’s fiancée, Stella. Meanwhile, Stella is on a mission to prove she’s not after the family fortune. Can Lesley sniff out the truth — without getting distracted by the beautiful French Riviera or her growing feelings for Al?

The books I picked & why

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By Sarra Manning,

Book cover of Unsticky

Why this book?

I’m a huge fan of Sarra Manning’s brand of smart, witty romance with a bit of an edge. In Unsticky Grace enters into a "Pretty Woman" type relationship with wealthy art dealer Vaughan, and it has everything you could want in a romance - a relatable heroine, a hot alpha male hero, and great chemistry between the characters. Both characters are flawed and damaged, but they bring out the best in each other and it’s a joy to watch their relationship change from a business transaction to something much more, until, in classic Pretty Woman fashion, they end up rescuing each other. It’s all handled with Sarra’s trademark wit and intelligence, and it’s also very sexy! 

If I Never Met You

By Mhairi McFarlane,

Book cover of If I Never Met You

Why this book?

Mhairi McFarlane is a go-to author for me. I love her witty turn of phrase, and her characters and settings are always so real and relatable. Laurie is a great female protagonist, with a meaningful career and a loyal circle of friends, and I like that she’s shown to have a full, rounded life outside of her romantic relationships. There’s sparky dialogue, emotional depth, a very hot leading man, and fantastic chemistry between the two leads that fizzes off the page. 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By Joanna Bolouri,

Book cover of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Why this book?

Joanna Bolouri is one of my favourite romcom writers because she’s so damn funny! Her books are genuinely hilarious and totally live up to the ‘laugh-out-loud’ tag. I love them all, but this is my favourite. Emily is a great character, and Ethan is so cute and adorable. I’m a sucker for a player with hidden depths, and the fact that he’s younger than Emily too is a refreshing change. Throw in a Christmas break with her eccentric family, and you’re guaranteed oodles of fun. 

The Unhoneymooners

By Christina Lauren,

Book cover of The Unhoneymooners

Why this book?

This was my first Christina Lauren book, but it won’t be my last. The story follows Olive and Ethan, who pose as newlyweds on honeymoon in Hawaii when they’re the only two members of the wedding party not struck down by food poisoning. This leads to lots of forced intimacy and some hilariously awkward situations. It’s full of sexual tension and slow-build romance, and I loved the banter between Olive and Ethan. Olive was a really likable main character, and I especially enjoyed her big extended family who are all so involved in each other’s lives. I’m always up for a bit of vicarious travel, and the dreamy Hawaii setting just added to my enjoyment of this book.

The Kiss Quotient

By Helen Hoang,

Book cover of The Kiss Quotient

Why this book?

Helen Hoang’s debut is a heartwarming slow-burn romance with plenty of angst and a whole heap of sex. What’s not to love? Stella and Michael are sweet, engaging characters, and I loved how kind and caring they were towards each other at every stage of their relationship. I was rooting for them every step of the way as they helped each other overcome their hang-ups and get what they wanted from life. I especially loved Michael’s family - and a hero who can cook will always have a special place in my heart! If you like sweet, angsty romance with lots of sex, this one’s for you.

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