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?

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The books I picked & why


By Sarra Manning,

Book cover of Unsticky

Why did I love 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! 

By Sarra Manning,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unsticky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

High fashion, high art, high expectations -- this is Pretty Woman for the twenty-first century Money makes the world go round -- that's what twenty-something Grace Reeves is learning. Stuck in a grind where everyone's ahead apart from her, she's partied out, disillusioned, and massively in debt. If she's dumped by another rock-band wannabe, squashed by anyone else at her cut-throat fashion job, or chased by any more bailiffs, Grace suspects she'll fall apart...So when older, sexy and above all, wealthy art-dealer Vaughn appears, she's intrigued against her will. Could she handle being a sugar daddy's arm candy? Soon Grace…

If I Never Met You

By Mhairi McFarlane,

Book cover of If I Never Met You

Why did I love 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. 

By Mhairi McFarlane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If I Never Met You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If faking love is this easy... how do you know when it's real?

The brand new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane

Laurie and Jamie have the perfect office romance
(They set the rules via email)

Everyone can see they're head over heels
(They staged the photos)

This must be true love
(They're faking it)

When Laurie is dumped by her partner of eighteen years, she's blindsided. Not only does she feel humiliated, they still have to work together.

So when she gets stuck in the lift with handsome colleague Jamie, they hatch a plan to stage the…

Book cover of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Why did I love 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. 

By Joanna Bolouri,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Most Wonderful Time of the Year as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Emily has it all: a good job, awesome friends, a great boyfriend, and a wonderful flat exactly 411 miles away from her nightmarish family.

But when her boyfriend Robert dumps her mere days before Christmas, Emily's devastated. Knowing there's no way she can face her family alone, Emily enlists the help of her party-boy neighbour Evan. All he needs to do is pretend to be Robert.

The only trouble is Evan's not exactly boyfriend material. He likes flirting, loud music, and louder sex. Can Emily handle Evan and her family, or is she heading straight for…

The Unhoneymooners

By Christina Lauren,

Book cover of The Unhoneymooners

Why did I love 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.

By Christina Lauren,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Unhoneymooners as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews * Publishers Weekly * Library Journal

Named a “Must-Read” by TODAY, Us Weekly, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Goodreads, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, Southern Living, Book Riot, Woman’s Day, The Toronto Star, and more!

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is…

The Kiss Quotient

By Helen Hoang,

Book cover of The Kiss Quotient

Why did I love 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.

By Helen Hoang,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Kiss Quotient as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Goodread's Romance Book of the Year, 2018

A Washington Post Book of the Year, 2018
An AmazonBook of the Year, 2018
Cosmopolitan's 33 Books to Get Excited About in 2018
Elle Best Summer Reads 2018


A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

It's high time for Stella Lane to settle down and find a husband - or so her mother tells her. This is no easy task for a wealthy, successful woman like Stella, who also happens to have Asperger's. Analyzing…

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