Trope Thursdays: Fake Relationships [1]

Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.

Thanks for reading!

I’m super excited to finally share this feature with everyone! This was a feature I thought up in the summer of 2017 when I was creating a discussion post about tropes. I’ve been slowly working on bringing it to life ever since. It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to do exactly in the post as well as come up with a banner for the feature. (Don’t ask why I picked an owl, I just think they are cute and I wanted to know if I could create my own in Photoshop. Answer: yes).

As I said in the description above, the idea is to look at common book tropes and dissect them each month. I’m going to pick a variety of tropes–including ones I hate–and dig a little deeper. First, I’ll define what that trope is and then list some common features. Next, I’ll pick some examples of the trope in action and why it works (or doesn’t work) for that particular story. And then finally, I’ll open the floor to you to tell me your thoughts on the trope or recommend some reads to me.

So let’s begin! For my first ever Trope Thursday, I picked a personal favourite:

Fake Relationship Tropes


Relationships that are formed between the leads for some purpose that requires the pair to appear to be in a romantic partnership. This purpose can be mutually beneficial or one-sided but both parties agree to fake romantic feelings to reach the end goal.

Common Features:

  • Fake girlfriend/boyfriend
  • Fake marriages (marriage of convenience)
  • Fake fiances
  • Slow burn romance

What I Love About The Fake Relationship Trope:

If I had to pick one trope to only read forever, it would likely be this one. I just love it so much! The main reason I can’t get enough is the development of the romance. In my romances, I want to see that deeper connection happen between my leads and I find I almost always get that in fake relationship novels. These characters become so ingrained in each other’s everyday life (and often in an accelerated way or during a time of high pressure) and they start to see the other person for who they are as a human being. They pick up on the quirks or the motivation for certain actions and that’s why they start to fall in love.

But don’t forget all the delicious tension of stolen kisses or lingering touches that may mean a little more! Usually the tension is just boiling over and the lines between love, lust, fake and reality begin to blur. I just love those moments where caution is thrown to the wind and the leads get carried away…

What I Dislike About The Fake Relationship Trope:

I generally don’t have any problems with the trope itself, usually it’s the plot or the characters that cause me to rate a fake relationship book lower and not the use of the trope.

Often time these stories can be cliche but I don’t particularly mind.

I do find that sometimes these novels can suffer from the time-frame of the novel depending on the situation and/or character development. Because people often need a fake boyfriend/girlfriend for a couple days or a month, the relationship can be too accelerated if not properly expanded upon with character development or a reasonable set of circumstances.

Books that Use the Fake Relationship Trope Well:

The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1)
The chemistry between these two is off the charts! This is the classic “I’ve known you forever” type of situation with a shared past of hurt.  I adored their connection and how they use their marriage of convenience to grow as people and as partners for each other.

>>Series Review: Marriage to a Billionaire Series



One Week Girlfriend (One Week Girlfriend, #1)

One of my all time favourite New Adult reads. What I loved about this one is that these two don’t know anything about each other. But that quickly changes as they are thrown into a tense situation. Again, these two just got each other and watching them start from nothing to build such a great foundation had me swooning throughout!

>>Series Review: One Week Girlfriend



Others: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me  |  The Matchmaker’s Playbook

Books that Didn’t Use the Fake Relationship Trope Well:

It’s a shame the synopsis is so grossly misleading for this story. Regardless, this one failed to deliver on a few key things. For one, I felt like our hero wasn’t as developed as he could have been. Things also happen at a very quick pace and that stopped me from being a huge fan of the romance.

>>Series Review: A Billionaire Love Story Series



Despite great sexual tension between the leads, this story didn’t work on a lot of levels. For one, both leads were incredibly irritating. It’s hard to root for something more between them when you don’t like either lead. It also suffered from an overly dramatic (and quickly resolved) plotline.

>>Series Review: Billionaire Series


Others: His Hired Girlfriend

Thanks for reading my first ever Trope Thursday monthly feature! I hope you come back next month to see what I have in store!

As this is my first post for this feature, please let me know what you think about its structure/topics be commenting below. I am more than willing to modify it in the coming months!

Do you enjoy the Fake Relationship Trope? Any recommendations?

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