There’s nothing artificial about the popularity of the “fake” trope in romance books. Phony fiancée, temporary wife, stand-in wedding date, boyfriend-for-hire, fake affair. Its popularity isn’t limited to books; how many fake relationship romantic comedies can you name? Here are a few to get you started:
While You Were Sleeping
Can’t Buy Me Love
To All the Boys
The Wedding Date
Earlier this year, I signed up to write in a fake-date themed anthology. Picture me rubbing my hands in glee, and then picture me doing a happy dance when I learned the story also needed to include a holiday angle.
A holiday fake date—two of my favorite tropes. The story was already loaded with potential for fun, but I ramped up the humor and complications by setting my story in a small town filled with nosy neighbors and interfering friends.
Unwrapping Archie is one of 22 stories in Holiday Fake-Out, a 99¢ limited-time anthology headlined by Heather Graham. It’s the story of Archie Caddel and Anabelle Cypress, best friends since kindergarten, who find it convenient to let their family and friends assume there’s more to their relationship than just friendship. However, on their annual trip home for the holidays, their lie spirals out of control until the truth catches up with them. Things are further complicated when the close-knit townsfolk of tiny Joy Ridge, Pennsylvania, decide to give them a nudge in the right direction.
Let me tell you the 5 best things about writing a fake romance. I hope you’ll share what you enjoy most about reading these romances and check out the Holiday Fake-Out box set!
- Forced Proximity – Part of the farce is pretending to be in love, or at least infatuated, with each other, which requires the hero and heroine to act like a couple. That often means sharing the same bed, traveling together, or otherwise being joined at the hip.
- Friends to Lovers – taking a couple who think they’re “just friends” on a journey to romance is so much fun to write because the characters are just as surprised by the turn of events as readers.
- It’s Complicated – While faking a relationship seems like a simple solution to whatever problem the hero and/or heroine is dealing with, the plan is bound to fall apart at some point. Upping the stakes, shifting priorities, discovering what really matters in life can only happen after the (fake) happy couple has dealt with lots and lots of complications.
- Fake It Til You Make It – “Oh, you mean we have to hold hands and kiss and maybe do some other juicy stuff to convince everyone we’re a real couple? Twist my arm, baby. Especially when the hero is sizzling hot and irresistible, and I’ve secretly been fantasizing about him for years!” said every fake romance heroine ever.
- I Didn’t See That Coming – Most fake relationships only require the farce to last for a limited time. Tensions rise as the hero and heroine get closer and closer to the end point, wondering if maybe the romance is real, debating whether they should take a risk and admit they’ve fallen in love, questioning the possibility of a happy ever after instead of a temporary thrill. As an author, driving my characters and the readers to the edge and then wrapping up all the loose ends into a neat little bow is especially satisfying.
About the Author
EmKay Connor is the author of sexy, sassy contemporary romantic fiction infused with quirky humor and engaging characters. Her over-the-top, instalove, escape reads are set in tropical locations, rustic locales, glamorous destinations, and friendly small towns where her heroes and heroines discover passion and fall in love. For more information about EmKay Connor and her books, visit her website at http://sexysassyromance.com/