Favorite books featuring a Marriage-of-Convenience / Fake Relationship Trope!

Posted December 20, 2020 by Kate

hello, loves!

I don’t make any bones about the fact that fake relationship stories are some of my absolute favorites!! Especially when it features a marriage-of-convenience, there’s just something about them that I can’t help but fall in love with. Perhaps it’s because it’s often a mishmash of some of my favorite tropes? Often enemies-to-lovers or friends-to-lovers (or BOTH!!!!!???), plus an angsty roommate situation :)

Anyway! Here are some of my favorite marriage-of-convenience / fake-relationship stories!


Marriage for One by Ella Maise

[ Kindle Unlimited Read ] 

Kindle Unlimited Cover to Cover Book Blog September KU Challenge Kat Snark covertocoverlit Book Blogger Book blog reader reading Office RomancesOne of my favorite reads of the year was Marriage for One by Ella Maise, and I just read it this month! You *KNOW* I love my slow burn romances!! This is one of my favorites ever, I think! Rose and Jack definitely reached that point, where they found a truce and became a TEAM, the two of them against the world. There’s not much that I love more than this journey.

Mariana Zapata may be hailed as the Queen of Slow Burn Romance… but I have to say, with this installment, she has some intense competition :) Marriage for One is a gorgeous, sweet, and passionate love story that I’m already itching to pick up again. I’m so head-over-heels in love with both Rose AND Jack, and the two of them together are enough to make my heart explode out of my chest. Check out my review here for more reasons to pick this one up!


The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

[ Kindle Unlimited Read ] 

One of the books that immediately popped into my head for this list was The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve discovered in 2020, and Aiden Graves could possibly maybe be … one of my fave book boyfriends of the year! For sure ?

This one follows Vanessa, Aiden’s personal assistant to his celebrity football player as she quits her job to focus on her graphic design business, finally able to not have to manage grumpy Aiden, who never even says “hi” to her. But in order to stay in the country, Aiden needs to get married, and grumpy-pants wants Van. This book was heart-breakingly sweet in the way Van and Aiden became besties during their marriage, and I’ve read this one three times this year. Such an epic slow burn!! I love it with my whole heart ? (My Review)


Shortcake by Lucy Watson

[ Kindle Unlimited Read ] 

Shortcake by Lucy Watson – I just finished this one and oh my gosh!! So much fun :) Emmy is the live-in caretaker for a kind old lady, who happens to be one of her best friends. What she didn’t know, was that she was named in the lady’s Will.

Turns out, for Emmy or grandson Ben to get their inheritance, they have to spend a couple of months renovating the house and living in it together. And they despise each other. Really, he despises her, and things get messy quickly when a fake engagement is announced… not to mention… there’s only one bed! These two characters really loved to hate each other, and it was so entertaining!! I love them. I may have to reread this one, honestly!  (My Review)


Sparrow by LJ Shen

[ Kindle Unlimited Read ] 

Sparrow was fraught with angst and suspense, both through the romance and through the dangerous element that lurked in the background of this marriage-of-convenience. It followed Troy, who essentially forces (although she did agree) Sparrow, a girl from his childhood, to marry him. Troy is dangerous, known as “The Fixer” in the city. But this story… damn it was good. It was gritty, real, action-packed, and sizzling hot.

LJ Shen broke some of the barriers in the genre, doing away with the ridiculous insta-lust or insta-love that seems to permeate these kinds of books. Troy and Sparrow’s connection was authentic because it really took them time, and was this incredible slow burn throughout the story. I loved watching(reading?) the panicky feeling they each went through when they realized they no longer hated the person on the other side of the bed. Such an absolute win ? (My Review)


Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley

Lady Luck was my first marriage-of-convenience stories, and remains one of my favorites to this day! Ty’s being released after five years in jail following a wrongful conviction involving a political conspiracy in his town. He’s thirsting for vengeance, but in order to do this, he needs to appear to move on with his life. Hence, him asking a colleague to set him up with a “nice girl” to be fake-married to. Lexi doesn’t know anything about this, only that she’s picking a guy up from jail as a favor she no longer wants to owe.

I absolutely love this book. Grump v. sunshine is in full force with this one!! Ty doesn’t talk much, merely asks her to drive him to Vegas and has to have explanations dragged out of him. But Lexi’s actually excited! That guy she doesn’t want to owe a favor to anymore? This means a new start in life, and she’s going in with a smile. Ty and Lexi are adorable, and they end up becoming partners, a team, in the best way ? (old review)


Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

It’s taken me months to finally pick Serpent and Dove up, and I’m loving the hell out of it! It’s a YA marriage-of-convenience (What? Unheard of, right? So happy Shelby decided to explore this!) between a witch and a witch-hunter.

Our heroine Lou is in enemy territory, but she’s still a delight and causes all kinds of shenanigans. She’s the kind of person who hangs onto life with both hands and bounds after it, and she definitely shook Reid and his fellow “soldiers” up. Plus… there’s only one bed!! This had the extra benefit of Lou and Reid not only severely disliking each other, but also being ~mortal enemies!~ You know I love some forbidden romance with my marriage-of-conveniences ? ?? (My Review)


Work in Progress by Staci Hart

[ Kindle Unlimited Read ] 

Cover to Cover Book Blog Kat snark reviews discussions book blogger book dragon reading reader recommendations five star reads Mid-Year Book Freakout Book Tag Work in Progress by Staci Hart, Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh, Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic, Raven King by Nora Sakavic, All the King's Men by Nora Sakavic, The Boy Who Steals Houses by Cait @ PaperFury and CG Drews, Stay by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, Rumor Has it by Jessica Lemmon, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Ocean Light by Nalini Singh, Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan, Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan, Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews, the Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young, The Cruel Prince by Holly BlackWork in Progress by Staci Hart – I connected so much with the story and especially the main character, Amelia. She was super, anxiously shy, but a huge book nerd, looking to make it big in the publishing world as a publisher. But she was also a book blogger. And she got to work with an author whose books she consistently ripped apart. And not just work with him… but engage in a marriage of convenience. Can you say “YES YES YES???” This checks ALL my boxes!!

It was an adorable friends-to-lovers story, and as a book blogger and book nerd hoping to join the publishing community as a publisher, it struck my heart… although it does require some suspension of belief. (My Review


Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley

I reread this one about once a year, just in time for Halloween! Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley follows Abigail Butler as she’s struggling to pay for the renovations her loving family home (a money pit in disguise) needs. Her friend proposes a crazy scheme to become an escort to an acquaintance of an acquaintance, one of the wealthiest guys in England.

She agrees, not thinking it will work…. and then, she’s fake-dating Cash Fraser to get his money-grabbing family off his back temporarily. This book is so good, especially when Cash stops with the “fake” part and makes Abby his real girlfriend… if only she knew that ?? Cash is very much the alpha-guy. Plus a little there’s-only-one-bed action :) And to spice things up further… there are ghosts and a haunted ancestral home! (My Review)


Other posts you may love!


Do you have a favorite marriage-of-convenience/fake relationship romance? What’s your favorite trope? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

2 responses to “Favorite books featuring a Marriage-of-Convenience / Fake Relationship Trope!

Chat with me!