18 gorgeous contemporary marriage of convenience/fake relationship romance books

Written by Silke, updated 08 Jun 2021

No question, one of the greatest pleasures of reading romance books is getting to the bit where the main characters slowly but surely fall in love with each other. Pretend relationship books provide an extra little twist: The rest of the world believes the main characters to be head over heels for each other already...

We have put together our most favourite, most charming, funny and heart warming contemporary romance books in which faked commitment turns to true love. Swoon!

Arranged marriages, unrequited love, friends to lovers, modern day royalty, maybe even a bit of a love triangle - fake relationships definitely provide for all sorts of delicious tropes until the couple gets its happily ever after.

  • #1 Hitched - Pippa Grant,Lili Valente

    Hitched - Pippa Grant,Lili Valente

    funny contemporary enemies to lovers marriage of convenience friends to lovers

    She’s the last woman on earth I’d marry….again.
    Yet here I am.
    Saying my vows. Again.
    To save an alpaca.
    At least, that’s my story.
    But the truth might be a little more complicated.
    I didn’t want to let her go the first time. But now I have a second chance to win over my wife.
    We’re older. Wiser. And hornier.
    This time, I won’t fail.

    Hitched is a red hot, enemies-to-lovers laugh-a-palooza featuring a girl in need of a marriage of convenience and a man in need of a cold shower to keep from falling for his fake wife. They say opposites attract, but with Blake and Hope, they also combust... more

  • #2 A Prince on Paper - Alyssa Cole

    A Prince on Paper - Alyssa Cole

    funny multicultural contemporary bw/wm royalty

    The Reluctant Royals series returns with a good girl searching for the life that’s not too big, and not too small, and the bad boy prince who might be just right for her…

    Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal—in bed—with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.

    For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg, acting as paparazzi bait is a ruse that protects his brother—the heir to the throne—and his own heart. more

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  • #3 Grayson's Vow - Mia Sheridan

    Grayson's Vow - Mia Sheridan

    contemporary new adult arranged/forced marriage friends to lovers enemies to lovers

    Kira Dallaire is desperate. Some challenges in life seem too hard to overcome. With little money, and even fewer options, the quick-witted and vibrant twenty-two-year-old needs to reinvent herself. Known for her generous heart and impulsive personality, she devises a survival plan, possibly her most outrageous idea yet.

    Grayson Hawthorn is losing hope. Some obstacles in life seem too hard to overcome. Betrayal definitely being one of them. With limited capital, and dwindling resources, he is attempting to resurrect his failing family vineyard, a self-imposed vow seemingly destined to fail. more

  • #4 Moonlighter - Sarina Bowen

    Moonlighter - Sarina Bowen

    sports contemporary suspense friends to lovers strong heroine

    Only in my family could a professional hockey player earning seven million dollars a year be considered a slacker.

    I’m at the height of my athletic career. Yet my arrogant brother is always trying to recruit me into the family business: a global security company so secretive that I don’t even know its name.

    Pass, thanks. I don’t need a summer job. But the jerk ambushes me with a damsel in distress. That damsel is Alex, the competitive, sassy girl I knew when we were kids. Now she’s a drop-dead gorgeous woman in deep trouble. more

  • #5 Roomies - Christina Lauren

    Roomies - Christina Lauren

    new adult funny contemporary angst arranged/forced marriage

    Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a bigtime musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

    Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. more

  • #6 The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang

    The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang

    contemporary erotic romance funny multicultural disabilities & scars

    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.

    Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

    It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. more

  • #7 Hot Heir - Pippa Grant

    Hot Heir - Pippa Grant

    funny contemporary marriage of convenience royalty enemies to lovers

    If I had to pick a bride of convenience, my first choice would NOT be Peach Maloney. My fiftieth choice would NOT be Peach. Top spot on my list of occupational hazards? Yes. Royal pain in the crumpets? Yes. A bride of convenience? No.

    But I’ve unexpectedly gone from royal bodyguard to monarch, having inherited a crown that was stolen from my family long before my birth. The kicker of this unexpected royal gift? In order to take the throne I must find a wife.

    Have I mentioned Peach would NOT have been my hundredth choice? But I’ve no other options, and she needs a favor that my new position can fulfill quite nicely. So we’ve agreed to play the doting newlyweds out in public. more

  • #8 The Price Of Scandal - Lucy Score

    The Price Of Scandal - Lucy Score

    funny contemporary enemies to lovers forced proximity

    Emily Stanton’s perfect life just became a disaster. She has a trust fund brother looking for a handout, a father who is more board member than dad, and a mother who thinks she should give up on this whole billionaire CEO thing and meet a man with a pre-nup and a yacht.

    Oh, and then there’s that “misunderstanding” with law enforcement witnessed by Miami’s paparazzi. Now her billion-dollar deal is on the line, and there’s a naked man in her bathtub who claims he’s going to make all her problems disappear.

    Charming—and happy to bend the rules when necessary—Derek Price has made a living polishing the tarnished images of the rich and famous. more

  • #9 America's Geekheart - Pippa Grant

    America's Geekheart - Pippa Grant

    billionaire funny contemporary insta-love enemies to lovers

    America’s Geekheart is a rockin’ fun romantic comedy featuring a billionaire fashion mogul who got his start modeling underwear, the geeky girl next door with a secret the size of California, and more superstitions and secrets than you can shake a baseball bat at. It stands alone with no cheating or cliffhangers.

    Remember that time you accidentally sexted your in-laws?

    Yeah. I just did that. Except worse. Now my million social media followers are reading and sharing the rude, smartass message I meant to send privately to my little sister...and I’m officially public enemy number one.

    I’m Beck Ryder. Former boy bander. Underwear model. Fashion mogul. more

  • #10 The Princess Trap - Talia Hibbert

    The Princess Trap - Talia Hibbert

    multicultural contemporary bisexual bw/wm fake relationship

    He’s reckless, dominant, and deliciously dirty. This prince is no fairytale.

    Prince Ruben of Helgmøre knows exactly what he wants—and his current obsession is Cherry Neita. Everything from her rollercoaster curves to her fearsome attitude commands his attention.

    And best of all? She has no idea who Ruben is.

    Until the paparazzi catch them in a dark alley, her scarlet lipstick smudged, and his hands somewhere naughty…

    All Cherry wanted was a night or two with the hottest man she’d ever seen. Turns out, that man is actually a prince, and now he needs her to play princess. more

  • #11 Marriage of Inconvenience - Penny Reid

    Marriage of Inconvenience - Penny Reid

    funny marriage of convenience friends to lovers contemporary erotic romance

    There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

    Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. more

  • #12 The Bastard's Bargain - Katee Robert

    The Bastard's Bargain - Katee Robert

    suspense contemporary mafia dark romance alpha male

    When Keira O’Malley was a child, she used to picture her perfect wedding. The flowers. The dress. Her husband. But nothing could have prepared her for saying “I do” to Dmitri Romanov—cold, domineering and always one step ahead of everyone else in the ever-shifting power plays of New York City. She agreed to his bargain to secure peace for her family, and she may want the bastard more than she’d ever admit, but she’ll be damned if she’ll make this marriage easy for him.

    Dmitri knows better than to underestimate Keira for one second. Molten desire smolders between them, a dangerous addiction neither can resist. more

  • #13 Natural Born Charmer - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    Natural Born Charmer - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    contemporary alpha male athletes sports sassy heroine

    Funny, sexy, and touching—Natural Born Charmer is the unforgettable love story of a golden boy who might be losing his luster and a spirited woman who's learned never to depend on anyone but herself.

    It wasn't every day a guy saw a headless beaver marching down the side of a road, not even in Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard's larger-than-life world. He slammed on the brakes of his brand-new Aston Martin Vanquish and pulled over in front of her.

    The beaver marched right past, her big, flat tail bouncing in the gravel, and her small, sharp nose stuck up in the air. Way up. The beaver looked highly pissed... more

  • #14 Rock Bottom Girl - Lucy Score

    Rock Bottom Girl - Lucy Score

    sports funny contemporary friends to lovers alpha male

    Downsized, broke, and dumped, 38-year-old Marley sneaks home to her childhood bedroom in the town she couldn’t wait to escape twenty years ago. Not much has changed in Culpepper. The cool kids are still cool. Now they just own car dealerships and live in McMansions next door. Oh, and the whole town is still talking about that Homecoming she ruined her senior year.

    Desperate for a new start, Marley accepts a temporary teaching position. more

  • #15 If I Never Met You - Mhairi McFarlane

    If I Never Met You - Mhairi McFarlane

    funny new adult contemporary friends to lovers forced proximity

    When her partner of over a decade suddenly ends things, Laurie is left reeling—not only because they work at the same law firm and she has to see him every day. Her once perfect life is in shambles and the thought of dating again in the age of Tinder is nothing short of horrifying. When news of her ex’s pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, taking the humiliation lying down is not an option. Then a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility.

    Jamie Carter doesn’t believe in love, but he needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. more

  • #16 So Wrong It's Right - Brill Harper

    So Wrong It's Right - Brill Harper


    What would you do if the boyfriend you totally made up to get your sister off your back showed up at your place of employment?

    Free-spirited Stella Stone has always been the wild child in her family, but even she is surprised at the amount of trouble she's found herself in this time.

    Christopher Lockwood was a random name she chose from the internet. more

  • #17 Marriage for One - Ella Maise

    Marriage for One - Ella Maise

    billionaire funny contemporary strong heroine friends to lovers

    Jack and I, we did everything backward. The day he lured me into his office-which was also the first day we met-he proposed. You'd think a guy who looked like him-a bit cold maybe, but still striking and very unattainable-would only ask the love of his life to marry him, right? You'd think he must be madly in love.

    Nope. It was me he asked. A complete stranger who had never even heard of him. A stranger who had been dumped by her fiancé only weeks before. You'd think I'd laugh in his face, call him insane-and a few other names-then walk away as quickly as possible. Well…I did all those things except the walking away part. more

  • #18 The Deal - Elle Kennedy

    The Deal - Elle Kennedy

    athletes young adult contemporary shy heroine tortured heroine

    Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

    All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. more