07 June 2017

Bite Sized Books // Where I Indulge In The Fake Relationship Trope

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I am on a continual quest to read all the fake relationship books. This is an absolute favourite trope of mine, I am a sucker for a pretend romance in my books and I am not fully sure where my passion for this trope comes from, but there you have it. I found myself having a few fake relationship books lurking on my Kindle so decided now was the time to read and review them all for your pleasure.

Blacktie OptionalBlack Tie Optional – Ann Marie Walker
Published: 30th May 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fake Relationship
My Rating:
Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips - on the surface he’s pure perfection.

Too bad he's an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.

Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.

So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.

Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.
Is this book perfect? Hell no. Is this book insanely fun and an addictive read? Definitely! When I was emailed about it I was intrigued but hesitant because I always get excited about fake relationship books and I have been disappointed a time or two. I was concerned that I would experience the same thing again. Thankfully, I didn’t.

It was originally proposed as being a book for fans of rom-coms and The Proposal and it is very true. I saw it as a cross between Two Weeks Notice and The Proposal. Two Weeks Notice for the rich man thing who is a bit of a dick but still charming. And then The Proposal as they stage a fake relationship to fool his family and convince them he has gotten married. I just loved the whole fake relationship and the entire relationship they staged as they were such opposites.

Cole and Olivia were so good together, they were opposites, Olivia campaigning for the rights of animals and Coleman not caring about little more than making sure his business is successful and keeping his sister happy. Those are the things which are most important to him and nothing else matters. Together they were so good together and enjoyed reading them moving from attraction to actually caring about one another. I especially loved when they were at her parent's house because he was out of context. He was no longer just the rich guy but also got to relax away from work and expectation and he could be a little silly and fun and that was the time I liked them best. When they weren’t putting on as much of a show for other people.

Basically, this was a fun romance which included a favourite romantic trope of mine. I would recommend for a nice easy summer read. You will enjoy yourself and who doesn’t love that?

23650493
Published: 28th November 2014
Source: Bought
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fake Relationship, New Adult
My Rating:
She needed a place to live. He needed a girlfriend. The rules were clear... until they were broken...

The only thing Ethan Price and Stephanie Kendrick have in common is their screenwriting class at the NYU Film School. Ethan's family is loaded and expectations are high for his stepping into the family business one day, while Stephanie is the class outcast and from the other side of the tracks.

When a project brings this unlikely pair together, Stephanie becomes the fake girlfriend who plays a part similar to that of the character in their screenplay. What Ethan didn't expect was to fall in love with her - but has he fallen for the real her? Or just the version he created...?

Isn't She Lovely is a modern take on Julia Roberts' Pretty Woman and is perfect for fans of Jessica Sorenson and Tammara Webber.
Lauren Layne is a firm favourite of mine when it comes to contemporary romance. She knows how to hook me in with her romance and I love her books. Sadly, this one was a little disappointing. I mean, fake relationships are my favourite romantic trope. It makes no sense, it's a ridiculous trope and I love everything about it. I don’t fully know why this one didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I enjoyed it, but I could easily forget about it.

In this case, I loved that our couple, Ethan and Stephanie, were aware it was a farfetched trope and that it was partially their joint film project which motivated them to start their fake relationship. Sure, Ethan had lied to his parents about having a new relationship but there was no real reason he has to make Stephanie into his fake girlfriend. And the whole makeover thing was partly to make her less 'gothic' but also to mirror the Pygmalion concept of creating the ideal woman and falling in love with your creation. I think that's partly why I struggled to connect because the two were analysing their relationship via the context of their screenplay. It meant you couldn't get fully absorbed in their relationship as they weren't either, there was too much time looking at it through the context of their screenplay and it just didn’t work for me.

I also didn't love Stephanie or Ethan. I mean, I liked Ethan. He was rich and charming but had another layer to him he rarely got the chance to show. And then Stephanie, she had very good reasons for her prickly goth ways but it made me feel quite unsympathetic to her as she continually pushes everyone away. I mean, I get it, I don’t usually mind a prickly personality but for some reason, it just didn’t work for me with Stephanie. I think because I didn’t fully believe she was the goth she made everyone think she was. I don't know, just something about them made me…not dislike them... but not like them either. Even together, I liked them but I didn't fall in love.

I was bound to find a Lauren Layne I didn't love but it was sad all the same. I liked it and finished it but I didn't adore it and when I read romance I kind of want to get caught up in it, you know?

Her Backup Boyfriend
Published: 19th January 2015
Source: Bought (free)
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fake Relationship
My Rating:
One little white lie leads to more than she planned…

Straight-laced lawyer Kate Matthews always plays by the rules. But when her ex gets engaged and a big promotion is on the line at work, she blurts out that she has a new boyfriend. And now that she’s proved she “has a life” outside of work, everything is perfect. Except for one teeny little detail—here is no boyfriend. And now Kate’s liable for her little white lie…

Dominic Sorensen is hot, charming, and very definitely not Kate’s type. But not only does Dominic want to help Kate renovate her home, he’s also willing to play “boyfriend.” All he wants in return is a little pro bono work for his sister. Now instead of Mr. Right, Kate has a delectable Mr. Fix-It-Right—and some unbelievable sexual chemistry. And if falling for Dominic is a breach of contract, Kate is guilty as charged…
Okay, I know I got a bit out of hand with three fake relationship books in under a month, but when you love a trope you love a trope. In fact, the only reason I got this book was the fake relationship aspect and the fact it was free on Kindle (or when I got it it was). I am so glad I did, though. I often find the freebies I get for my Kindle are some of the best reads and I think that’s because I go in with no expectations. Ashlee Mallory has gotten me interested in reading the rest of her books to see if they are just as enjoyable as this one.

Kate and Dominic are these complete opposites who only really meet as Kate moves in next door to Dominic’s aunt. He happens to do some house renovations she happens to need someone to renovate. I mean, that premise alone of her falling for the guy doing up her house whilst he’s being all burly and manly whilst telling herself that’s not what she wants would have worked fine for me. It’s taken a step further when Kate gets caught in a lie at work and ends up needing a fake boyfriend and it’s a case of mistaken identity when someone assumes that boyfriend is Dominic. He decides to take advantage and get a little legal assistance from Kate (she is a lawyer after all) and the fake relationship begins! That’s when it got good with the whole 'opposites attract' fake relationship awesomeness.

I think the reason this book worked better than the Lauren Layne one was simply the fact I liked the characters. I mean, I was annoyed by Kate dithering between her head and her heart within the book but I liked her. She was a good person who had been put down a lot in her life and doubted her wants. And Dominic was a bit of a dick judging Kate based on a past relationship but I loved how he continually tried to reassure Kate she was brilliant no matter what she did and anyone who told her otherwise could get lost. And the entire Sorenson clan was fantastic as well. I love a romance with a strong sense of family and you definitely got that with Dominic’s family. I especially loved how all his siblings and his parents could make fun of one another and tell embarrassing stories but were also there to offer support.

This book just worked for me in every way. If you’re looking for a fun fake relationship with a bit less sexy time and a bit more family time then this is the best book for you. And if you’re lucky you might find it still going free on Kindle.

And there are my mini reviews, have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? And please tell me your favourite fake relationship book, I am on a continual quest to find more.

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