The second-to-last Sapphic Book Bingo post for 2023 features one of the most popular tropes: sapphic fake relationship romance novels. It’s certainly one of my personal favorites, which is why I’ve written four of them.
In a fake relationship romance, the two main characters start out only pretending to be in love or in a relationship. But during the course of their pretend relationship, they begin to realize that their feelings for each other might not be so fake after all.
15 sapphic fake relationship romances
Below, you’ll find 15 recommended sapphic fake relationship romance novels:
Just for Show by Jae
What happens when an overachieving psychologist with OCD tendencies and an impulsive, out-of-work actress start a fake relationship?
Claire Renshaw thought she had it all: a successful career as a couples therapist, a publishing contract for her self-help book, and a happy relationship. But her perfect world falls apart when her fiancée calls off their engagement. Because of that, even her book deal might be off the table. After all, readers don’t want relationship advice from someone who can’t even make her own relationship work.
So Claire sets out to hire herself a fake fiancée.
Lana Henderson, the actress who shows up to audition for the role, is not exactly Claire’s ideal woman. Her frankness and the messes she leaves everywhere drive Claire up the wall. At least she won’t fall in love with someone like Lana.
But soon, Lana starts to win her over with her big heart, tickle fights, and—gasp!—carbs after six. The longer they pretend to be a love-struck couple, the less fake their kisses feel and the more the lines between reality and role begin to blur.
Once the book contract is signed, will they walk away or is their relationship no longer just for show?
Make Her Wish Come True by A. L. Brooks
Abby Baxter’s burning ambition to be a reporter gets a boost when her journalist friend offers her a deal: Fake-date a woman for a story she’s writing on finding love, and she’ll swing Abby a co-writing credit. It’s a dream come true after so long looking for her big break. For years, life and raising her half-sister have gotten in the way.
Erica Goode works two jobs while all her spare energies are focused on her eight-year-old daughter. She would love a social life, but who has time? A deal to be wined and dined if she fakes a relationship sounds fun. Although, it’d help if she wasn’t attracted to her date quite so much. Oh, and if the woman wasn’t averse to children. Really, there’s no way anything can come of it. Right?
Is it possible to get what you wish for, if you’re willing to give it a try?
Take Two by T.B. Markinson & Miranda MacLeod
Gina Mitchells has a problem. The assistant professor is in charge of her college’s Pride festival committee, and the celebrity grand marshal they’d painstakingly recruited has just blown up the internet with a major scandal. Messing up the festival could ruin her chance to be approved for tenure. There’s exactly one famous person Gina knows who could save the day as a last-minute replacement.
The problem? The woman is Gina’s ex-girlfriend, and to say the relationship did not end well is an understatement.
Sophia Rossi has starred in so many squeaky-clean holiday romances since moving to Hollywood that everyone calls her the Queen of Christmas. An important new contract has her filming in a quaint New England town, but there’s a catch. It’s Sophia’s hometown, and surviving a month with her meddling, relationship-obsessed mother and sisters might be too much for Sophia’s sanity to bear.
When Gina reappears in Sophia’s life with a proposition, Sophia has one of her own. It’s a match made in heaven, if only they can get over their past heartbreak long enough to convince everyone they’ve rekindled their old spark. But can this fake relationship lead them to a second chance at love?
Playing With Matches by Georgia Beers
Cori Stratton’s a small-town girl. She loves making candles, and her little gift shop is her pride and joy. But when the shop’s building goes up for sale, she might lose her home and everything that makes her happy. The worst timing of all? Her landlord’s daughter Elizabeth Brennan—popular, smart, and oblivious to Cori’s existence in high school—has breezed back into town.
Life has not gone according to plan for Elizabeth. Laid off from her job in the city, she’s forced back home to help her mom run the family’s B and B during a week-long wedding celebration…for Liz’s ex. Not wanting the groom to know the shambles her life is, she grabs the nearest person—Cori—and tells him how happy they are together.
A chance to live out her high school fantasy of Liz as her girlfriend is unexpected, but it keeps Cori playing along. And helping her one-time crush survive this wedding? Just for the week? She can do that. Besides, there’s no way this fake relationship will turn into the real deal.
The Business of Love by Charley Clarke
Driven, reserved businesswoman Mackenzie Watson has one goal—take over her family company and secure her little sister’s future. The only wrinkle is her late grandmother’s decree that her company’s CEO must be married.
Adding marriage into Mack’s well-ordered life is a recipe for disaster. Her oh-so-logical solution? She’ll just hire a woman to be her wife for a year. Besides, maybe a little chaos is exactly what she needs…
Enter Taylor Sutton, the woman Mack accidentally stood up for a date six months ago. With a mountain of college debt, the barista could seriously use the money that comes with playing Mack’s wife. The big hitch—so to speak—is that her new wife is pretentious and arrogant and Taylor can’t stand even being in the same room with her.
God, Taylor pities anyone who’d fall in love with annoying, gorgeous Mack Watson and her kissable lips.
Just One Night by Chelsea M. Cameron
Paige Roman is out for revenge. Not just any revenge; she’s out to mend her recently shattered heart. Her ex, Wyatt, is going to pay, and the best way to make that happen is to seduce the girl he’s always wanted but has never caught: Esme Bell. To be fair, the dark-haired bartender with the infectious laugh is the girl just about everyone wants, and Wyatt is no exception.
Paige’s plan is simple, and it’s going to work. Go out with Esme, take her home, and then rub her victory in Wyatt’s face for the whole town of Castleton, Maine to see. She does reconnaissance at the bar where Esme works, and soon, the game is ON.
Is Paige just going to head right for the bedroom? No. She’s more subtle than that. Paige has never really seduced anyone like this, but how hard could it be? She’s not completely devoid of sexy skills.
What starts as a plot to get back at her ex turns into something a whole lot more complicated when Paige catches major feelings. Is she ready to give up her mission and put her heart on the line again? Or should she just cut her losses and call the whole thing off?
Not for a Moment by Cheyenne Blue
Andi Barrons has no time for kids or the chaos they bring—certainly not when she runs a high-end decorating business. Mischief and little fingers around expensive materials? No thanks!
But then her gorgeous friend, Sarah Santoro, winds up in a custody battle with Sarah’s former in-laws and now… Well, somehow Andi’s agreed to pretend she’s Sarah’s live-in partner.
She’s still not quite sure how she got stuck playing a role she’s so utterly clueless about and that’s everything she doesn’t want in life. But as long as Sarah and Noa, the world’s cutest seven-year-old, don’t get a hold of her heart, she’ll be fine.
The Honeymoon Mix-Up by Frankie Fyre
When her fiancée leaves her at the altar, Basil Jones’s picture perfect life turns upside down, but nothing can stop her from enjoying her honeymoon—not even the luxurious island resort’s strict “couples only” policy. Basil’s vacation and her six-figure wine deal with the resort’s owners are riding on her finding a fake wife ASAP, and her sights are soon set on tall, dark, and gorgeous Caroline.
If only she knew Caroline had eyes on her first…
Caroline King never stays in one place—or in a woman’s bed—for too long. After risking her career in the past, the emotionally detached private investigator created two rules: always finish a job and never mix business with pleasure.
But when she gets roped into a false marriage with her breathtakingly beautiful target, she finds herself teetering the line of not just one but both rules.
Basil always gets what she wants—but Caroline’s professional reputation is on the line.
As Basil and Caroline’s attraction blazes like the island sun, both women struggle to fight delicious temptation while protecting their secrets—as well as their hearts—on the most romantic honeymoon island in the world.
Truly Enough by J.J. Hale
Robyn Moore is a firefighter by trade and a lesbian lothario by choice. After losing her father and witnessing her mother’s broken heart, Robyn learns that loving someone never ends well. Spending her days trying to honor her father’s legacy isn’t easy, and the best way to blow off steam is by falling into bed with whomever happens to be available.
Lexi Lynch is an artist with a passion for painting. That is, until real life kicked in and bills piled up. To prove to her overprotective father that her chosen profession isn’t a mistake, Lexi takes on commissions that pay well but bore her to tears. Missed deadline after deadline has her career in jeopardy with the only bright spot in her days being her gorgeous friend and roommate, Robyn.
As Lexi leans on Robyn for support, more than just a creative spark flares between them. Their close proximity may ignite a fiery romance or send their friendship up in flames.
Just Might Work by Katia Rose
Dane Marner’s aunt is obsessed with soul mates.
As a self-proclaimed ‘cosmically guided matchmaker,’ she’s played every card in the deck trying to set Dane up with the perfect match she’s found.
The problem? The ‘perfect’ match is Evangeline Hudson.
Dane and Evangeline rent rooms in Dane’s eccentric aunt’s house, but that’s where their similarities end. Dane is a drifter who freewheels from one odd job to the next, and Evangeline is an overachieving undergrad with a ten year plan so detailed it reads like an autobiography.
The two can’t even agree on a laundry schedule without feuding, but when Dane’s aunt reveals new tenants ready to take over the lease, they realize they’ll need to play some cards of their own to keep the beautiful old house they both love.
Their plan is simple: fake falling for each other long enough to get some soul mate sympathy—and a lease renewal.
A few lingering glances, some ‘accidental’ touches, maybe some well-timed tiptoeing into each other’s rooms late at night…
It’s a stretch, but it just might work.
Only said tiptoeing starts to heat the house up faster than they can stop it. As their plan begins peeling back the layers between them to reveal more similarities and way more feelings than either expected to find, Dane and Evangeline are forced to toe the line between real and fake—and decide which side they’re brave enough to stand on.
Her Royal Happiness by Lola Keeley
Keeping a secret isn’t easy when you’re in the most visible family in the world. It’s even harder when you’re a lesbian who has just fallen madly in love. An opposites attract, charming royal romance with a dash of fake dating.
When tabloid darling Princess Alice, the first out member of the British royal family, meets an opinionated single mother, the encounter goes viral. It seems the anti-monarchist education specialist Sara has a view on all things and doesn’t mind sharing.
So when Alice later has to ask Sara to help diagnose her young nephew’s learning difficulties, it’s seriously awkward. At least until they discover how beautifully they click together.
With the press sniffing around them, and Alice desperately wanting to protect her nephew’s privacy, they agree to claim they’re dating.
But as their fake dates start to feel like much more, Sara and Alice must navigate having a real relationship in the public eye. Is that even possible, though, while keeping Sara’s daughter safe and happy, and facing the Queen’s disapproval?
Can they overcome their doubts for love? A love they can no longer hide?
The No Kiss Contract by Nan Campbell
Despite being the youngest partner at her firm, corporate attorney Davy Dugan is gunning for a recently vacant name partnership—it would mean finally having the power to make a real change in her conservative workplace. But eighty-hour workweeks don’t allow any time with her much younger half-sister, Tally, who doesn’t seem to need Davy in her life anyway.
Davy aims to get back into Tally’s good graces by throwing her a big birthday party, but that means dealing with Tally’s other half sister, Anna. To say Davy and Anna don’t get along is putting it mildly.
When a misunderstanding leads to her boss’s assumption that she and Anna are headed to the altar, Davy sees a way to leapfrog over the competition straight into one of the top spots at her firm. She just has to convince Anna to be her faux fiancée in order to do it and keep her growing attraction in check, of course.
Only for the Summer by Shannon O’Connor
Someone should’ve told me pretending to date your best friend only works if you aren’t in love with them.
Kennedy Davis is not in love with her best friend. That’s what she tells every girl she dates anyway, but it always ends up the same.
Sienna Stevens is in love with her best friend, but she’s too afraid to admit it. A hopeless romantic who hopes her best friend might one day see her as more.
When Kennedy must return home for her brother’s wedding it only makes sense to bring her best friend along. But Kennedys fears of returning home give Sienna a chance for Kennedy to see her as more—by being her fake girlfriend.
So when the line between friends and more gets blurred with Sienna, will Kennedy finally see what everyone’s been telling her all along and confess her true feelings? Or will she hide how she feels to keep their friendship?
After all, a fake relationship only for the summer, can’t hurt right?
The Road Trip Agreement by Tiana Warner
A camper van, a camera, and the open road are all laidback Carol Lavoie wants in life—and she’s using her career as a social media video creator to fund her adventures. The problem is, if she can’t work out how to get more followers soon, she’ll have to give it all away.
Minimalist vlogger Ruby Hayashi has over a million followers who watch her meticulously edited takes on cooking, van living, and her cute rescue dog. She exists in a world of perfection that is getting boring and badly needs an injection of fresh energy.
When Coral and Ruby team up for a road trip to boost their audiences, it’s a clash of opposites in what could be the change they both need. As they hit the Oregon coast, what they don’t count on is how their enthralled followers start rooting for their favorite lesbians to get together.
Could faking a relationship for the cameras be the key to going viral and boosting their careers? But even if they make peace with lying to their fans, for how long will their hearts be able to tell the difference between fake flirtation and real love?
The 30-Day Engagement by Waverly Decker
Emory Jordan has been rising through the ranks of the boys’ club at a venture capital firm in New York, where she’s competing for her dream promotion. When Emory’s estranged ex-girlfriend Mari—who broke off their engagement to pursue her acting ambitions—sends her a wedding invitation, it’s the perfect opening for Emory to pitch a business deal to Mari’s new tech mogul fiancé. More importantly, it’s a chance for Emory to prove to Mari that she has moved on from their breakup. The wrench in her plans: she’s been putting work at the top of her to-do list, and there’s nobody she can ask to be her plus-one.
But Emory has a knack for business strategy. Bliss Tully, a struggling florist with a good-vibes-only attitude, accidentally stabs her with a cactus, and Emory sees an opportunity. Bliss is short on trust—her father’s white-collar crimes left her with a deep aversion to the business world—but she’s also short on cash, so she agrees to pose as Emory’s fiancée. The job is only for a month and pretending should be easy money. Right? Mari’s wedding approaches, and Emory and Bliss grow closer, all too aware their engagement is nothing more than a thirty-day sham. As far as kissing the bogus bride, though, they both want to say I do….
2024 Sapphic Book Bingo
The 2024 Sapphic Book Bingo with 37 brand-new exciting categories starts on January 1, when I’ll post the rules and categories and you can download the bingo cards. Make sure you subscribe to my blog to get the bingo posts!