Last year brought us The Love Hypothesis. And it quickly went viral. It’s not an overreaction to say that this title hit it big and continues to do so even eight months after publication. With endearing tropes and an interesting storyline, it wasn’t a surprise when it became an instant New York Times Best Seller! Even videos featuring it on TikTok have amassed over 202.1 million views and growing by the minute. Ali Hazelwood, you created a work of art, and we’re very thankful you blessed us with it. If you’re looking for romance books like The Love Hypothesis, take a look at this list immediately.
The story follows Olive Smith, a third-year PhD candidate, who kisses the first man she sees in order to make her best friend, Anh, realize that Olive is okay for Anh to go after her ex-fling. Soon after, Olive finds out that she kissed the grumpy hotshot professor, Adam Carlsen. Surprisingly, Adam follows along, and now everyone at school thinks they’re dating… and he’s not saying otherwise.
With a slow-burn romance and some of my favorite tropes — like fake dating — in the mix, it’s easy to fall in love with The Love Hypothesis. Luckily, Hazelwood already has a sequel, Love on the Brain, coming out August 23rd this year.
Until then, here are a few books that’ll satisfy that Love Hypothesis void in your life. I organized this list in a way that you could find books that have not only the same tropes as Hazelwood’s book, but also a similar vibe.
Slow-burn Books Like The Love Hypothesis
The Belle and The Beard by Kate Canterbary
After a life-changing event in her career, Jasper-Anne decides to run away from the city. Instead, she finds herself going to the rustic old cottage her aunt left her. But before she finally catches a breath, her grumpy next-door neighbor appears. Her plans slowly start to crumble when he enters the picture. Because Linden is everywhere and she cannot escape him. Nor does she want to.
A little bit of fake dating, annoyed-at-first-sight encounter, neighbors-to-lovers, and you have one big, exciting love story.
The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
Catalina is in dire need of a fake boyfriend to accompany her to her sister’s wedding in Spain. A little white lie sometimes does create irreversible problems. Lucky for her, her work nemesis, Aaron, lets her know that he’s available to help her out. Catalina, at first, isn’t too sure about this, but beggars cannot be choosers, and Aaron has officially become her fake boyfriend.
This slow-burn romance with a grumpy/sunshine dynamic is a sure favorite read if you enjoyed The Love Hypothesis.
Restore Me by J.L. Seegars
Since they met, Sloane and Dominic have been enemies. Whenever they are in the same room, they either ice each other out or they can’t stop bickering. They never agree on anything and they don’t plan to, ever. But life has other plans.
Now, Sloane and Dominic have to work together at work, creating moments where they have to spend time together. When Dominic saves her one night, their relationship quickly changes into something else. But how are they going to try a relationship when Dominic was her late husband’s best friend?
Gouda Friends by Cathy Yardley
After the worst night of her life, when she found out her boyfriend was cheating on her, Tam does the only thing that feels right at that precise moment: call her estranged best friend, Josh. They haven’t seen each other in years, but when Tam gives him the emergency code word that means she’s in trouble, it’s like no time has passed at all, and their friendship is still intact.
Tam decides to fly to Ponto Beach, where Josh lives, in order to regroup and fix her life immediately. They never thought about a romance between them throughout all those years; their friendship was too important to them. But being in closed quarters after so many years might finally bring their attraction out to the surface.
Grumpy/Sunshine Romance Books
Battle Royal by Lucy Parker
Two opposites attract in this delicious romance that will, for sure, grab your attention — and heart — very quickly.
Battle Royal follows Sylvie and Dominic, two bakers who don’t have much in common. Sylvie does colorful cakes while Dominic creates minimalistic sweets. They just so happen to have neighboring bakeries. Now, they have to work together as judges in this reality TV baking competition and… it’s going to be hard for them both because they kind of don’t get along.
Everything for You by Chloe Liese
Chloe Liese returns with Everything for You, the fifth book in the fabulous Bergman Brothers series. The series follows a Swedish American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their own happily ever afters.
This book stars Oliver Bergman who has been playing soccer at a professional level for years now. He’s a rising star who can clearly see a future in the sport. While Gavin, who happens to be the captain of Oliver’s team, is suffering a downfall. His body hurts constantly, making it impossible to continue to do his best on the field. One day, their coach assigns them to be co-captains, and it couldn’t come at a worse time.
Marriage For One by Ella Maise
Rose just got the surprise of her lifetime: a stranger just asked her to marry him. Obviously, it happens to be a marriage of convenience. Though Rose does not know what he gains from it, she definitely needs his help. That’s how Rose finds herself married to Jack, a grumpy, suit-wearing man.
This book also has a slow-burn romance that will make you swoon so hard! The pining and yearning in the story are unreal, you have never seen anything like this.
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
This title can also be in the fake dating category in this list, so double points! Written in the Stars introduces Darcy and Elle, two women who couldn’t be more opposite. Darcy has been dealing with her matchmaking brother and she’s tired of it, so when the latest blind date goes wrong, she comes up with a plan to fake date Elle. Love is the last thing on her mind, but the gorgeous Elle is easily breaking down her walls.
Fake Dating Books
I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson
When your ex asks for a favor… Well, this happens to Kian Andrews when his ex, Hudson, asks him to meet up at a café. Kian doesn’t know what to think of it, maybe Hudson wants to apologize for how they left things! But no, he has it all wrong.
Hudson wants Kian to be his fake boyfriend while his parents are in town. But after the dinner, things get more complicated when Kian is invited as Hudson’s plus one at a wedding!
Act Like You Mean It by Shae Sanders
You know those times when you see actors, models, or celebrities dating someone who also happens to be a celebrity and you feel like they’re doing it for publicity? Act Like You Mean It is that.
August’s reputation is not looking good. His publicist and team come up with a plan for him to fake date a Black socialite. Xandra knows all about pretend relationships. She does it quite often with other celebrities in order for their image to improve and for them to still be relevant. This time she’s asked to be famous actor August’s girlfriend, and after the contract is signed, their pretend relationship starts!
Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma
Oh, if only you knew how many times my family has asked me when I’m going to get a boyfriend and get married… I understand plenty of what Kareena feels. If only I had a cute fake boyfriend to let my family know I’m alright.
The only thing Kareena wants is to have a relationship like her parents and to be able to fix up her mother’s house. But when her dad announces he’s selling the house, she doesn’t know what to do. Her father, though, makes her a deal: if she can get engaged in four months, he’ll give her the house. Enter Dr. Prem Verma, the man she had a one-night stand with.
Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison
Lovelight Farms is about Stella, who owns a tree farm, but is in dire need of financial help to save it. Luckily for her, an influencer is doing a contest on social media with a pretty impressive cash prize. The thing is… she needs a fake boyfriend to participate.
Luka has been her best friend for years. When he finds out that she needs a pretend partner, he grabs the opportunity to make her see that they make perfect sense together rather than apart. He’s definitely not playing pretend.
I’m just like everyone else when it comes to trying to find my next great read. Sometimes I want books that are very similar to my favorites — like The Love Hypothesis readalikes mentioned here, or even books like Beach Read, The Kiss Quotient, or other romances — and sometimes I want something that’s a little outside my comfort zone. For these kinds of book recommendations and others, Book Riot’s tailored TBR service based on reading taste is perfect. Sign up here!