To explain a little about what this post will be about, I’m taking the intro I did for the last one: In every romance book you read there are tropes or archetypes. You can also see them in shows, movies, plays, etc. Romantic tropes are everywhere, and they are fabulous. I adore them. I adore some of them and I always tend to find my favorite ones in romance books so I can enjoy them more. I decided to do a sort of Trope Tuesday piece where I will be talking about many tropes and recommend you all some of my favorites that fit.
What is a trope? Urban Dictionary explains it best I think: “Despite the erroneous definitions already published here, trope on the interwebs really refers to an often overused plot device. It can also be described as another variation on the same theme. TV shows, movies, comics, games, anime’, & books are full of tropes & many rabid fan-sites now name & track said tropes with a self-explanatory title for each one.” We can name a few: accidental pregnancy, best friends to lovers, sibling’s best friend, marriage of convenience, and so many more for sure. Your favorite couples? They probably got a trope too! It’s always so nice to realize or find out your favorite romance trope and keep searching for books with the same theme.
Today’s trope is fake dating. I’m inspired by the new Netflix movie and adaptation of Jenny Han’s book, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I adore how the fake dating trope developed there. It’s all about the contract first and making people jealous and not letting other people find out about stuff. Then between sweet moments spent together, family gatherings, deep talks at night, they fall in love. This is my favorite thing about the fake dating trope! Suddenly it all becomes too real for these two.
It can be fake dating for a weekend trip, for a wedding or event, for an inheritance, or for family to stop asking you personal questions. It’s magnificent to see the whole thing and how the little moments are the ones that break the fakeness of the relationship. Then one person realizes that this has been real since the start and practically they have been dating the whole time! I love seeing the realization and the inner turmoil that maybe the other person doesn’t feel the same. But as we know, romance books always have a happily ever after.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Hello to one of my favorite reads of this year. Jasmine Guillory’s debut was spectacular. Hollywood needs to make this a movie FOR SURE. What I love about this novel is the relationship and the characters. I love that everything starts with a fake date asked inside an elevator! Then there is a wedding. After that both of them know they live far away from each other. This book has one of the greatest long distance relationship that feels authentic and amazing. Lots of work and talking on the phone, but our favorite characters get their HEA of course!
Grumpy Fake Boyfriend by Jackie Lau
If you haven’t read this one, pick it up as soon as you finish reading this post. A romantic comedy that feels you with those good emotions. Our protagonist, Naomi, is so charming and has that puppy energy in contrast with our grumpy hero. In this book, we get the fake dating when these two go on a weekend trip to spend it with Naomi’s friends but also there? Her ex-boyfriend. With his new girlfriend! Will is asked to act as her boyfriend for this getaway and feeling might appear after, maybe? It’s so sweet and Jackie Lau writes gorgeous romances.
Act Like It by Lucy Parker
It’s no secret my love for Ms. Lucy Parker. My last Trope post had Pretty Face and it’s only perfect to continue with the tradition and mention Act Like It. We have here two actors who hate each other but need to act as a couple because each has something to redeem. Wonderful is short to describe this beautiful romance. Lainie and Richard’s love story is worth seeing it until the end. And even after that, you will want more! I tell you: it’s the little moments between the fake dating that make this trope so powerful! As Lucy Parker novels go, this one is also a slow burn. So it’ll take a while to get there, but don’t worry, both of them will come out winning.
The Queen’s Game by Carla de Guzman
Long may she reign. Who doesn’t love a royalty romance with a slice of fake dating on the side? Let me tell you all about The Queen’s Game. My heart speeds only remembering this amazing romance. Let me present you our wild child princess Nina who is suddenly called back home to take the throne after her father passes away. She reunites with her childhood friend and prince Felipe who lives just next door truly. Her aunt doesn’t think Nina is prepared to be queen so she thinks “why don’t you both fake date” and guess what? They do. This is a sexy, sweet love story between two royals that can lean into one another.
Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa
After the first book in this series, we know all about Julian, a Hollywood agent and best friends with Carter, book one’s hero and a megastar. Suddenly Carter’s sister comes back home but she has nowhere to live so Julian proposes she stays with him. Their living arrangement is so wild because both are lusting after the other one. And to make matters worse (for them!), she has a family event coming up soon and need a fake date so her family stops asking her annoying stuff. Ashley and Julian have the most romantic relationship and there are definitely bumps to pass but both will do their best to get there. I absolutely adore this series and can’t wait enough for the next one to come out.
Before Daylight by Andie J. Christopher
Fake dating is one thing. But imagine a fake marriage? It can happen with a spoonful of “Oops we got married while drunk.” And this is what happens in this glorious romance book. Andie J. Christopher writes some of the best Latinx characters in romance and I highly recommend for everyone to pick this one up. There is a ballerina and a TV producer trying hard not to fall in love. She has no time for him, she wants to go and dance. He wants a family and someone to snuggle with. It’s all really beautiful and I adored this novel!