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Faking Love, Finding Laughter: Fake Dating Tropes in Rom-Coms

Updated: Jan 14

As an admirer of romance novels, I cherish the moments when laughter intertwines with love, creating a broad mix of emotions. It is through the captivating works of Romantic Comedies (#RomComs) that I find myself gravitate to, where I can dabble in romance while maintaining a lighthearted approach to life. Within these heartwarming (and often comical) narratives, I discover a treasure trove of time-honored tropes that have proven themselves worthy of capturing my undivided attention.

A silhouette of a couple embracing in a tropical location with the sun setting
Rom-Coms - Fake Dating Trope

Among the myriad of tropes that dance across the pages, one holds a special place in my heart—the beloved Fake Dating Trope. Whether it's the charismatic gentleman in need of a date for his prestigious work event or the spirited woman who made a pact to bring a "Plus One" to her family's wedding, these scenarios never fail to deliver an abundance of awkward yet endearing moments, infused with a touch of passion that ignites the pages. Ultimately, these enchanting tales culminate in a blissful Happily Ever After (HEA) for the main characters, leaving me with a sense of warmth and contentment.

Check out these Fake Dating Rom-Coms that are sure to put a smile on your face :)

Fake Dating in Rom Coms

Man and woman writing

Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez is the second book of the "Part of Your World" series, but it could be read as a stand alone (or even out of order).

Brianna is a successful ER doctor that has a lot on her plate. In addition to her divorce that is about to be finalized (where her ex, Nick, cheated on her with her best friend, Kelly), her brother is struggling with medical issues and a failing kidney.

She's a shoo-in for a promotion at work ... until Jacob comes along. She despises him initially, as do the rest of the nurses, and he has a very unlucky first day at the hospital. Their first time meeting is awkward and tense, but then she hears from two very close sources that he is a stand up guy and she should give him a chance.

So she does. She lets him know how to win the department over. And she even agrees to a fake dating situation to help him out with his family. He's got a very tight knit family, though ... can they really pull it off for two months?

Lots of comedic moments included as well as serious discussions with just a few spicy scenes sprinkled in. I felt like I could relate to both Briana (whose history with males threatens to destroy all future potential) and with Jacob (who has a serious case of social anxiety). Side note: Abby has the best names of pets in her books!

Man and woman wearing business attire

The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead is a slow burn romance where the guy falls first. In addition to hitting the Fake Dating trope, it's also an Opposites Attract story.

Alexis has been living a fairly average life, but it's the comments that her ex-boyfriend, Chris, made to her when they broke up that make her feel inadequate. They've been apart for a year when she decides to change things up. She plans to get decked out for a night out and find a one night stand to prove to herself that she's not as boring as Chris claims she is.

At the bar that evening, the outfit and attitude work ... but on the wrong person. She gives an alternate name "Ruby Dangerfield" and tries to let one persistent guy down, but he's just not taking the hint. Enter Logan. Handsome man sitting at the bar, minding his own business has overheard the uncomfortable discussion and he tells the other guy to take a hike. Once that stranger leaves, "Ruby" and Logan get entwined in a serious discussion, moving to a table and drinking and talking the night away.

Needless to say, they are caught in an uncompromising situation and the next day Alexis realizes too late that Logan is running for Governor. His team finds her, and in an effort to save grace with his constituents, they make up an elaborate scheme where Alexis and Logan have been dating for several months.

For the next two months of the campaign, Alexis is Logan's girlfriend.

As far as spice level ... it was all flirting and innocent until 92% in at Chapter 42. That chapter was very spicy, then another scene in 44. Aside from that, the book had a great storyline. So if you don't want spice, it's easy enough to skip and still enjoy the book. OR if that's your cup of tea, it will add to it.

Woman kissing man over ladder

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey is a RomCom with quite a bit of spice.

Georgette (Georgie) has spent her life being the baby of the family and never taken seriously. She's actually learned to make a living out of being funny and working with children planning their birthday parties and arriving as a clown, further sealing the way people look at her.

The children bring her joy, but her love life is non-existent and she wants more.

To be viewed as a grown up, she's going to have to make some changes, and her wardrobe is the first place she starts.

Georgie has had a crush on her older brothers best friend, Travis, since she was a teen. He played ball all throughout high school and then professionally, becoming the heartthrob of ladies everywhere (and with a player mentality soaking up that attention). He's back home with an injury and moping around when she kicks him into gear to start living again. He has a chance at a potential job opportunity, but they need someone with a good image, not a playboy like him. Georgie comes up with the brilliant idea of "Fake Dating" to help both of their causes as she's the most wholesome person around and she'll benefit as people will see her in a new light as well.

But can you ever really fake date someone??

The book has laughter, comradery with a girls only club, and lots of spice (4.5 spice level)

Pregnant woman and male doctor surrounded by lots of boxes

The Temporary Roomie by Sarah Adams is the first book I've read by this author and it had me in stitches! It hits on several common Rom Com tropes including:

*Fake Dating

*Guy Falls First

*Close Proximity

*Enemies to Lovers

Jesse is 8 months pregnant and making it on her own (baby daddy is not in the picture). However, she has to find a new place to live because of an issue in her house and she reluctantly moves in with her best friend (Lucy)'s brother. Andrew is not on Jesse's good side right now because he recently stood her up when she needed a fake boyfriend. But he now needs a fake girlfriend for a work event at his hospital (he's a doctor), so he agrees to let her stay with him and she plans to attend the event.

But she's got no intention of letting him off the hook easy. Lots of little pranks that were all harmless and in good fun. This is a Closed Door romance with a HEA.

Man and woman facing away from each other with flowers in foreground

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center is an excellent contemporary romance that has a bit of a role reversal and a very strong female lead.

Hannah is a bodyguard and she's used to protecting very wealthy people. She's supposed to observe and eliminate any issues, blending with the background. This new assignment is different, though. She was selected to cover Jack Stapleton - THE actor in The Destroyer movie and super famous. And the kicker, she would need to "fake date" him, not just blend into the background!

Lots of laughs with this one! I really liked the innocence of their time on the ranch.

And then 💥BAM💥 out of nowhere there is a massive plot twist. I was LITERALLY FUMING so much that I started texting my book club. BUT, it's the plot twist that brought it from a good book (4 stars) to a DANG-what-did-I-just-read book!

Woman leading man out of wedding chapel

The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa is a book that had me laughing out loud in many spots ... and blushing in others LOL. It's got a cute fake dating storyline that is the meat of the novel, but there are a few scenes that are quite spicy, so be aware.

Solange is helping her cousin out with a big wedding when she accidentally stumbles on a private conversation between the bride and someone other than the groom. When the bride realizes that she's been caught, Solange gives them an out. But Solange's nightmare doesn't stop there - she's sent on a mission by the bride shortly after and now runs into the groom, Dean.

After Solange has done her duties pre-wedding, she's ready to leave but her cousin asks her to stay. As she watches the nuptials, she blurts out that they should not get married. Both the bride and groom are shocked by this outburst, but decide against moving forward with the wedding.

Fast forward and Dean is back at work at his law firm. Everyone knows the wedding was a bust. A critical situation requiring key people at the firm to wine and dine a potential prospect that they want to join the firm but the catch is they want people with significant others. Dean blurts out that he's dating the person that crashed his wedding and he would like to take on the assignment.

Dean gets Solange's phone number from his wedding planner and convinces her to go along with the fake dating scheme. She feels guilt about ruining his wedding, so it's the least she can do. All they have to do is attend a few events together and pretend to be a couple. Easy enough to pull off! Especially when Dean isn't a man of feelings or emotions … until he is!

Woman kissing a man in a lab

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood has my favorite type of female character - incredibly smart (particularly in STEM). Being in a scientific setting with academia the focus, all of the characters are highly intelligent and the fun part is that Ali made a few of them somewhat awkward.

Olive's not one to believe in the magic of romance, but her best friend, Anh sure does. The only problem is that the person whom Olive thinks Anh should date is "off limits" according to girl code. But Olive is convinced that she'll find a way to let them both know that she's ok with them dating.

She puts the wheels in motion by claiming that she's already over the relationship and dating someone else. Of course, Anh runs into Olive at the exact time Olive claimed that she was on a date with her new beau. Olive quickly turns to the first man she sees and asks him to kiss her and he obliges. That man was none other than Dr. Adam Carlsen - a grumpy professor.

Olive and Adam have a fun banter between them. Their characters genuinely have good intentions and care about each other and their friends - it was a refreshing story.

Want more romance novel recommendations?

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