Sunday, September 1, 2019

Tropes and Sensibility: Fake Relationships

Welcome to a new feature where we talk about and give romance recommendations based on a much-loved a romance trope.
I love a good fake relationship because it adds a dose of dramatic irony to the story and leaves room for some Three's Company style hijinks! Fake Relationships work best for me when there are real stakes involved with the deception-- which usually means money.  Here are some of my favorite fake relationship books:

 Paid Companion by Nia Forrester
A $10,000 payout to be the fake date for a socialite's family vacation is an opportunity to good for struggling artist Lia to pass up. This is a fun subversion on the fake relationship trope because the man our heroine agrees to be in the fake relationship with isn't the hero--it's his brother!

Mr. Trouble by Nana Malone
Playboy heir Jarred Maloney needs a suitable fiancĂ©e to prove to his father he’s responsible enough for his trust fund. Graduate student Kinsley Wells needs money to buy her apartment that is being turned into a condo. The two decide to play engaged and when Jarred gets his trust fund he'll give Kinsley the down payment for her condo. I thought this one was interesting because Kinsley and Jarred knew of each other but didn't catch feelings until they were really pretending.

Full Throttle by Erin McCarthy
This book probably has a real loose-goosey excuse for a fake marriage but I think the story McCarthy tells is so good. According to her grandfather's will 32-year-old Shawn Hamby can't inherit her family dirt racing track unless she’s married. So she arranges to marry her best friend's 25-year-old brother-in-law. What I really like about this book is that it reckons with the character guilt involved with lying about a fake relationship. Also, mild spoiler alert: At the end of the book her lawyer is just like "lol, you know we can't really enforce that marriage thing."

Let me know some of your favorite fake relationship books below!

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