#Writing Challenge: What’s your take on the Fake Relationship?

This week we had a great Top Ten list on reasons to love the fake relationship romance from Editorial Assistant Megan Broderick. Number ten on her list is “Unique Spin”.

It can be tough coming up with new ways to spin favourite tropes. And that’s your challenge this week!

Show your heroine proposing a fake relationship/engagement/marriage to the hero, in a way that explains the reason for the deception. Can you make it new? Fresh? Something no one has thought of before?

We’re just looking for the setup, so give us your “proposal” in one or two lines, such as, “I need a boyfriend for the weekend! My parents are coming and I told them I’m dating a stockbroker! Oh, and you have a tux, right? Their anniversary party is Saturday.”

Post your proposal in the comments below any time between now and Sunday, March 11, 2018, and we’ll pick our Top Three on Monday!

98 replies on “#Writing Challenge: What’s your take on the Fake Relationship?”

I understand now, with your father’s death happening right after that hookup with my sister, that you didn’t just ditch her, so you’re not a bad guy. But getting past that, your son, the one you just found out you have, needs your help, because my sister has flaked out, and my dad is looking to this kid to become the heir apparent to our business. That pressure has already cracked my brother, so you need to marry me so that I have the right to control what happens to this kid, who’s pretty fantastic, by the way.
(And maybe so it won’t be so terrible when this new venture out company is invested in destroys your family business – but we won’t share that part!)

Heroine: When I applied for the job you posted, you made significant moves on me. I need the job, but if you don’t hire me, I will file a sexual harassment complaint. You really don’t want that publicity. So hire me, and pretend this is on the up and up. I need the money, you need my expertise, win-win. Oh, by the way, I am not really all that cool on this living together part of the job, but, hey, the gig pays well and I have bills to pay…

This is far too fun and I have far too many ideas but here is one to consider. I just might have to write this one for DARE:

“Pretend to be my husband for the conference when I speak to the Male Strippers Union, or you can forget your desired position as CEO of Naughty Toys Inc. and I’ll tell your mother about your secret job. You can explain to her all about what we sell here.”

Tabloid journalist can’t enter the Marbella Annual Spring Dance without a date. She places an online advert for a date and ends up accepting an offer from the dangerously handsome, Antonio Marbella. She has no idea who he is since he has never been photographed by the media.

When thirty-something and hopelessly single Virginia Long searched the web for an excuse to not attend her twenty-year high school reunion, unmarried again, she never expected to land on a group of foreign singles seeking marriages in the states for citizenship, or a budding romance with a sophisticated Italian businessman in need of a wife.

Fake relationship is definitely my fav trope (fun way to toss the hero and heroine together). I’m surprised I haven’t written it into my current WIP. It usually sneaks itself in there. 🙂 Below is my attempt at the challenge:
“Remember how you said you wouldn’t want anything to risk our friendship? I found a way to help you: will you marry me…for like a month? My dad thinks you finally proposed.”

And because I was bored, I wrote a second one for fun:
“Adopting Dorian isn’t going to be easy if it’s just me. But with you… What if you married me? It’d only be for a year, tops. Two at max! Unlike me, his grandparents tolerate you, and your riches.”

Sara, I love both of these. Not that I want to pick between them, but that second one, with the kid, the stakes are so much more higher. I would definitely read, if this became a novel. *hint hint*

My boss has made it known he’s giving preference to a gay man for the promotion to appease diversity concerns. I’m not gay but will you pose as my new boyfriend to help me land it? I promise not to find you irresistible and be tempted by forbidden fruit…

“Sam, I NEED a husband ASAP! I entered a cruise contest but the winner has to be married. I know it wasn’t honest, but I couldn’t help myself; it’s my dream trip… a luxury world cruise. Africa. India. Asia. Australia…. Sam, you’re my best friend. You just gotta marry me ’cause I won. And the ship leaves next week.”

If Sam won’t help, I will. I would LOVE an all-expense paid trip around the world. lol

“I know you’re a criminal but I don’t care. My family has a name but no money. Marry me and keep me in comfort and I’ll be your respectable cover.”

“If the Earl of sees that, he will have you arrested for thievery,” Annaliese’s tone hit the broad back of her target. Sir Nigel Westerwood was the most improvised gentleman at this weekend’s party, if her notes were correct.
“Good evening Lady Duncan, how good of you to call on me.”
Leaning against the doorway, she refocused, “Why were you taking the vase?”
She watched him consider denying it, before shrugging. “The pompous prat doesn’t appreciate his things. What do you want at so late an hour, my lady.”
“A husband.”
“Not exactly in a position to make an offer to a lady of your stature,” he interrupted.
“If you’d let me finish, “Annaliese countered, “I need a husband that will let me lead my life and make few demands on me. A brief engagement, a few months of pretending we are besotted with each other and then we can live separate lives, as do so many of our station.”
Folding his arms Nigel stared at her, “What exactly do I get from this?”
“For tonight, the assurance that I won’t inform our host of your unfortunate penchant for his things.”
Nigel opened his mouth before closing it quickly. “Wonderful. We will inform everyone at dinner tomorrow. Enjoy your evening, Sir Nigel.” Annaliese dipped her head before leaving him alone, her hands clammy that her plan had worked.

Damon, you got to help me! Dorothy just told me that my boss is sending me to Japan in a month, as the new assistant to that creepy son on his. And, I may, in a moment of eh.. inspiration?, kind of told her that I was going to get married in five weeks. With you…

Hope you can ignore my bad grammar, punctuation etc. Working on it as English is my second language

“Listen to me, Zachary. There is a way I can survive this.” She reached through the bars and brushed his arm with her fingertips.

“Oh, yeah? How’s that?”

“Marry me.”


“Please, Zach. We used to be friends once. It’s the only way I can walk out of this alive. Please, for old times’ sake?”

“I need a home and you need a carer, but I won’t do it unless you marry me and provide me with financial security. You didn’t need or want me before the accident and I will never allow another man to make me homeless again.”

I started laughing, about the second line! I believe this happens more than people think.

I apologise if I interpreted it wrong. I read it as she doesn’t love him, but is willing to marry him, upping her status. Does fall in love with him, but they made a packed not to. Sorry.

Now it makes sense. I had no idea what you were talking about at first. She definitely loves him. Always has and always will.

(I couldn’t choose between them, sorry. 🙂 )

“Mateo, I need to ask you the biggest favor. I need you to pretend to be the hot Italian I’ve been dating and convince my grandmother I won’t be all alone when she dies. Please? You’ll get an all-expense paid trip and my undying gratitude!”

“Listen, this wasn’t what I had in mind but sometimes you need to be flexible, right? We’re both in tight spots and I don’t see any other way out. So Paul, will you pretend to be my husband so we can get on the plane and get back to civilization?”

“And how am I supposed to make my fans and this “stalker” believe he’s just another member of my entourage?”
“Simple, I’ll pose as your lover.”

Stalkers are so pesky…but in this case somebody gets a fake relationship out of the situation. Maybe a HEA as well?

“Jim, I need a fiancé to get into the private couple’s club and look for stolen art.”
“I’ll do it, Linda, I need evidence to arrest the owner, Frank “Fingers” Smith, for his money laundering ways.”
“By the way, Jim, we’ll need to rent an apartment uptown and, if we don’t get evidence quickly, have our wedding at the club.”

“I need a husband for the weekend, Angelo, not a lover. But if you keep mooning after me instead of sticking to script, Ryan is never going to believe I’m divorcing you.” Neither would she. The white lie she’d told to avoid office complications had passed tattletale gray. Slipping into dark smoldering shades the moment the olive-eyed Greek arrived late, snapping a lush purple rose off the balustrade ramblers before joining her under the Marquee. Her own PA was already pleading reconciliation along with every other woman who didn’t want him for herself.

This trope has never been a favorite of mine, though I have seen it done well. I can’t stomach the fact that it involves a lot of lying and the fact is dishonest people make lousy mates. I remember one in which an ‘old man’ pretended to have a boyfriend to defend herself from insults concerning her lack of marital status. Then, a man with the same name and description just happened to show up. She was shocked. He accommodated. But, her conscious got the better of her and she came clean with the truth. That I can respect.

“I need a husband and I need one now or this entire deal goes south. You’re it, so get your tux ready, this wedding happens in an hour.”

Look. I have to come clean with you. This hasn’t been so much a first date as an audition. I told you I was married before, right? Well, I entered the Mrs USA contest, and kinda didn’t read the small print. It turns out that the Mrs needs a Mister.
So what do you think? You’re tall, you’re cute, you make me laugh. One week, all expenses paid, to Vegas. It might be fun.

“Are you travelling alone, miss?”
Becca might’ve been stupid enough to make this train trip on her own, but she wasn’t so stupid as to broadcast her solo female traveller status to the world. The conductor might be all smiles, but she’d read horror stories of things that’d happened to young women travelling on their own in this region of the world. She looked to the seat beside her, empty but for a book belonging to the man who’d been sitting there moments earlier.
She crossed her fingers as she answered. “Ah no, sir. My fiancé should be back shortly.” She gestured to the empty seat and silently prayed this wouldn’t backfire. Apparently, luck wasn’t on her side.
“Right. Oh, here the gentleman is now.” He turned and held out his hand to the extremely handsome man. How had she missed noticing his looks earlier? “Congratulations on your engagement, sir.”
The man looked over the conductor’s shoulder to Becca. Oh no! She lifted her hands together in the universal sign of pleading. An expression she couldn’t quite read crossed the man’s face before he turned back and shook the conductor’s proffered hand. He said nothing, just gave a short nod, then stepped aside and gestured for the conductor to move along before taking his seat beside her.
“Thank you so much for that, I’m Becca,” she gushed.
“Pleasure to meet you Becca. I’m Alec. I understand we’re to be married.”

LOL Fiona! I was going to go with “I’m a writer, not a mathemagician,” but blaming the characters works for me.

I love your story. I’m happy you wrote more than required. I hope you’re turning it into a complete one.

“A bodyguard wouldn’t be enough to deter Steven. He would just wait until my inheritance ran out and I couldn’t afford to pay you. Then he’d find me again. And again. And again… until my world went dark.” She said feeling a flush burning its way up her cheeks. “Those were his words.”
She knew he noticed the hint of purple below her left eye. There was no way he hadn’t. “He needs to believe I’m protected indefinitely.” She said feeling more fragile than she ever had in her life.
“So that when you relocate to this ‘secret place’ you have in mind, he doesn’t come looking ever again.” The tall and unbelievably gorgeous stranger across the table finished for her, shocking herby taking her hands in his as if they were lovers rather than two people making a business deal.
He leaned in so that their faces were inches apart. “So you need a new boyfriend, to fiancé, to husband.” He said looking to her lips and biting his. “Who would take care of you wherever you two run off to in a few months.” He said with a tone so gentle and seductive that it betrayed the very nature of his profession. He was better than good. He was the definition of her dream type.
“Indefinitely.” She whispered losing herself for a moment in his deep brown eyes…
She knew he was acting to show her he was more then capable of the job she was hiring him for, but did he have to be so perfect? Damn.

“Make it a double.”
The slinky yellow dress was all but falling off Belinda as she smooth talked her way into Samuel’s heart. His pulse raised when she slid her hand up and down his leg while they sat at the wood panelled bar in the powerful political town.
“What do you want Belinda?” He enquired.
She answered,“ the ambassador is having a soirée Wednesday evening, but couples only, and I need access to the party to do what I need to do.” She patted the antique 38 special strapped to her thigh.”Would you be my man, and perhaps more?” The words slipped off her tongue like liquid silk and just as sexy. “We’ll discuss the particulars later,” she said as she whispered in his ear.
“You know I can never say no to you. Okay, man it is,” he said maliciously smiling. One of the many smiles that would be happening that weekend.

Carrie arrived late into the coffee shop. Tom sat by the window looking his usual well groomed self. Carrie thought not for the first time why he was even her friend. They were polar opposites. Perfect example black leggings which had been in the dryer once too often for the elastic nature of the material. Long purple poloneck jumper covering whatever shape of body underneath. A pair of Dr. Martins. Her hair pulled back in a ponytail & no make up. A typical example of her look which hadn’t changed since college. Tom by comparison wore a pink pinstripe Abercrombie & Fitch form fitted shirt with black jeans and a black jacket hung from the back of his chair. His hair was a neat short back and sides with just the perfect amount of flop to his fringe. He grinned when he spotted her. Her heart flipped WHY did he have to be gay? She flopped into the chair opposite him. “Hiya sorry I’m late the car had a puncture” she wafted air at her burning cheeks. “Actually I need to wash my hands, back in a tick”. Her chair scrapped noisily on the floor. Once inside the small bathroom she looked in the mirror. Her first mistake. Caroline Duffy what kind of wally are you? There’s NO WAY he’s going to say yes. Look at yourself, but it’s now or never. She washed her hands, pulled out the elastic band from her hair using her fingers to recombing her hair into a tidy ponytail. Taking a deep breath she opened the door and returned to her college friend.
Tom you help me out with something? ” “Sure thing” “I know it’s a HUGE ask but…” she bit her finger nail flinching as she took some of the quick with it. Blood oozed out “Damn it” Tom looked across the coffee shop table to see her with her finger in her mouth. “How many times have I told you to stop biting your nails? They’re a disaster ” he grinned. “I know. Just like everything else about me” Carrie sulked. “”So what’s the big favour? ” “Eh! Be my fiance next weekend? ” The mouthful of coffee he’d just taken sprayed across her face. Coughing and spluttering he gasped out “Sorry ” whilst grabbing the napkin from his lap. Carrie used her own to mop her face & clothes. “What? ” “I know that you are…anyway I have a school reunion next weekend and I can’t go alone” “OK why not bring one of your girlfriends maybe Helen. She’s usually not doing anything at the weekends “. “I need a fiance. I can’t go to this & still be single with no prospective partner. Seriously Tom Harris I’m begging you. I was the unlovable one in school. I was a disaster zone even worse than now. You’re the only guy who I could ask this favor of. We’re mates. PLEASE ” a pleading tone came into her voice. He burst out laughing. ” Darling girl I will on one condition” The look of delightful surprise on her face was priceless. “OMG Tom you are an angel. Name your price” . Tom could not remember ever seeing her so happy. ” You said next weekend correct? ” “Yeah. I’ll pay for the hotel rooms everything no expenses spared”. “No. The condition of my acceptance of your proposal is I get to give you a make over”. “Sure. Take me I’m yours.”

Julien Blackstaff crossed the for of the office, praying for an answer, hoping for a miracle. He sat down on the corner if his assistants desk. ” Cari I’ve decided to start a new project and…” He hesitated before continuing, “After our discussion a few months back, about you wanting more responsibility, I’d like you to be the project manager.”
Cari stared at him dumbfounded. “Are you sure? I mean, I’m definitely up to the task, but I have to ask, why now?”
Julien rubbed a hand over his face. Cari was a firebrand, in the years she’d worked for him he had learnt that she had no tolerance for stupidity, and she called a spade a spade. Those qualities had made her a valuable member of his team and because of this he knew that when he disclosed the details of this project, one of two thing was about to happen. Either she would agree, or she’d quit and he’d be looking for a new PA tomorrow.
This project will be roughly of three months duration. Your salary will be doubled and all expenses taken care of. There will be evening and weekend work included which will be paid as overtime.”
Cari watched him after seven years she could read his body language like a book, and he was nervous.
“So Boss, what’s the project, units, shopping complex?” She raised an sculpted eyebrow.
“Marry me!” He waited for the explosion.
“Are you insane!” Car pushed her chair back and stood up, now they were eye to eye. “Have you lost your ever-loving mind. Did your hamster fall of its wheel?”
Calm down Cari, let me explain.”
She reluctantly resumed her seat her narrow eye glare nailing him to the spot. “Explain, and make it fast, before I ring the employment agency for a replacement.”
Brielle, and I have come to the end of our relationship. She is starting to hint at more than I am prepared to offer, now or ever and I need a way to …”
“You need an escape clause?”
“Something like that.” He nodded.
“Julien, when are you going to put a rod in your spine, and stop letting Mummy set you up with these brainless society ‘bimbos, who’s biggest challenge in life us picking out the pattern for their wedding China.” She sighed in frustration.
“So, will you do it…please. You will be amply compensated, I promise.”
Cari frowned ” You are aware that your mother hates my guts, right?”
Though the thought of making Helena Blackstaff ‘head -spinningly angry’ when she found out, was enough incentive for her to do this.
“Yes, I know my mother’s feelings towards you, but she can’t set me up anymore if I’m married.”
“Okay, I’ll do it, with two conditions. One, I will not marry in some flea-bitten courthouse, like you are ashamed of me. I want a full weddind, AND reception befitting a society marriage. And two, no prenup.” She couldn’t wait to see the ‘witches’ face, when she found out that the ‘uncouth little nobody’ was married to her son without a financial prophylactic.
“Fine by me.” Julien offered his hand to shake on the deal and she took it.

A girl’s gotta do whatever it takes to get the man she loves.

Ellie smiled at the handsome man sitting opposite her in the Satin Knights restaurant and worried at her bottom lip with her teeth.
‘Gideon, I was wondering if you did outside engagements?. I know some of the others do.’ Gideon nodded, and smiled. ‘What do you need milady?’ Sighing with relief Ellie smiled, my firms Christmas party is coming up and every year my boss corners me with his bad breath, and wandering hands. I need a protector, can you be my fiance for the night?’
‘Your wish is my command Lady.’
Before she left for the night, Ellie made the booking for her hired man for the party, wishing he was coming because he wanted to and not because it was his job to.

Sara Craven-King, CEO of Craven-King.com, has announced to the media that she is engaged, but did not say who the man is. After her fiancée dumps her, she needs to find a replacement quickly, to save her reputation and to stop Craven-King.com from going into liquidation.
Jay Lewis Junior has been obsessed with Sara since a drunken night of sex in their late teens and, as well as wanting Craven-King.com, wants Sara in his bed.
Sara proposes a fake engagement to Jay, hoping to arrange a merger with his company. When she has saved face and her company, she intends to call off the engagement. Jay, however, has other plans for both companies as he wants to be sole CEO of the merged businesses. He intends to use Sara as she is using him.

Irena clenched her fists at her sides. If the man couldn’t remember the night they’d spent together, he certainly wasn’t going to believe he was the father of her unborn child.
“I understand you need a cash injection into Morelli Motors. They tell me investors have lost confidence since your accident.” If she had to buy her baby a father, she would. A scandal would destroy her already ailing mother. The rest she could deal with later.
Santo Morelli raised one dark eyebrow. “You wish to invest in my company?”
“Shall we say, a favour for a favour? I need a husband and I have several million dollars looking for a home.”
His molten eyes scanned her figure, resting briefly on her gently rounded stomach. “Am I expected to take responsibility for more than spending your money?”
“You look like a man capable of taking most things in your stride. There will be a bonus, of course.”
“Miss Gianakis, you have a deal.

I love it! I really hope this will be a full story, already curious about the rest 🙂

“The first order of business is to welcome Jessica Lea Day, our newest member. She is the reason we are gathering so soon after our break. Ladies, Jessica or as she likes to be known, Jess, is nearing the end of a two year divorce in which her ex-husband has taken half of her late father’s company. He’s made her public a spectacle by flaunting his…uh relationship with his current partner, while creating the image of a cold unfeeling Jess. A too alpha female to ever be fiery in the bedroom. She’s come to us for help. And we will help our fellow sister! And because her ex-husband is such a donkey of epic proportions I’ve taken the executive decision to choose a candidate from our Black Folder.” The Chairwoman waited for the murmurs to quiet down. “As you know it’s not often that this is done, however I do believe this situation calls for a Black Folder candidate.”

‘You know my Bibi-ji turns 80 next month? She is so longing for me to have a traditional Indian wedding? So let’s do it. Give her a full-on, five day, singing, dancing extravaganza of a wedding. All you need to do is turn up and dance. After that, we can quietly get divorced. What do you say?’

Oh my gosh, I love this. Indian weddings are so exotic and beautiful. This would be perfect for a romance story.

Mave Martin wasn’t too keen on having Jace Christianson as a partner but being fired from Homeland Security was even worst so she sucked it up.
“I don’t like you and you don’t me but we have a job to do.”Mave said as she finished putting on her shoes.
Jace stared at her for a moment wondering who wears tennis shoes under a dress?
“What do you propose we do? Jace asked her.
“I’m keeping my job. That’s more important than anything to me. ” Mave said. She inhales deeply then slowly exhales.
“Anything? Jace said with a raised eyebrow.
Mave ignores him and continues on.
“I propose we pretend to be a prince and princess newly engaged

“What do you mean you took my truck?” Hawke demanded.

“It was the only way to convince Bubba I’m your wife.” Sadie winced when she said that last word. She snuck a sideways look at him. He hadn’t completely lost it yet, maybe it would be okay.

“What does Bubba have to do with stealing my truck?” Exasperation and frustration made his eyes blaze.

“I didn’t steal it, you left the keys in the ashtray, like always. Me driving your baby makes him think we’re still together.”

“That’s ridiculous, Sadie.”

“And…I’m pregnant.”

“What?” His eyes narrowed and his voice dropped to a menacing whisper. “Is Bubba the father?”

“Never mind that. Just go along with my story and I’ll tell you what happened after I took your truck.”

Hawke breathed in deep through his nose and it was obvious he was fighting for calm, and losing the battle.

“It’ll be okay, it’s still in fairly large pieces.”

“I need you to investigate something discretely for me.”

Eric leaned back in his chair intrigued. He’d never seen his boss this upset before. “What is it, Olivia?”

“My parents accounts are missing a large amount of money and I can’t get a straight answer out of them as to why! I think they’re being blackmailed!”

Eric jumped up and poured her a glass of water, before ushering her onto the guest sofa where he sat down beside her concerned. “How much money are we talking here, Olivia?”

“Five hundred million, at least. Maybe more. I haven’t been able to trace all the transfers yet.”

Eric whistled. “And what do you want me to do?” He knew anything that could be traced by electronic means, Olivia would have already accomplished. Her skills at a keyboard were way beyond his. She’d hired him as her private investigator, and sometimes bodyguard, for cases she worked on.

“Their anniversary party is next Saturday. I want you to accompany me home this weekend as … as my fiancé.” She took her time meeting his eyes. “I know it’s a lot to ask but I don’t know where else to turn. Everyone else here at the family law firm was hired by my parents.”

Eric sat back and rubbed his hand against his chin trying to hide his elation. He’d been uncover for months now at Earnest and Associates investigating a tip that had led nowhere…until now. “Why wouldn’t your parents go to the authorities?”

“That’s what I want you to help me find out. I’m sure my parents are paying to protect someone. I just don’t know who.”

Eric covered her hands with his. “When do we leave?”

“I need you to marry me.” Makayla said.
Xavier looked at his ex-wife like she had lost her mind. He crossed his arms over his chest and waited for the punchline.
“I know. I know. We’re divorced. You hate me. I barely tolerate you. But I never told my parents we got divorced.” she paused, “And they’ll be here in three days.”

This is from my novel, Gracie’s Bluff, targeted for HSE.

Gracie stood tall and squared her shoulders. “I’m assuming my father asked you to take care of the Rocky Heights Resort.”
“Yes,” Braden confirmed warily. “It’s a promise I intend to keep.”
“Then let me be clear. I *won’t* sell Painter’s Bluff or my inheritance to you. However,” she thought of blue skies and mountain air as she choked the words out. “I *will* marry you.”

‘So here is the deal, I’ve won this fantastic prize to be on Survivor couples. Please say you will help me out, we might win! By the way, are you any good at spear fishing?’

Sorry more than two lines……..
“I need a fiancé and you’re it,” Carissa declared suddenly out of the blue.
Steady dark eyes glanced across from his desk, lowering down the papers he had been reading. “I hope you are joking.”
Nervously, she turned the engagement ring on her finger, shaking her head. “My parents are arriving at any moment.”
A dark brow arched. “And this concerns me how?”
She chewed on her bottom lip. “Um, because I told them you were my fiancé.”
His brows furrowed down and eyes hardened. “Why would you do such a thing?” His eyes rested on her finger. “Are you even engaged for real?”
Her long, wavy, black hair swished from side to side with her shaking head. “I’m sorry, you have no idea what my parents are like. Only an hour at the most, and will tell them after they leave back to Australia.”
He released a long breath. “Only on the condition you tell them straight away, and no one finds out about this.”
“Thank you,” she raced across and kissed her boss’ cheek. Then went out and brought in her parents, where introductions were made.
“Go on tell her,” Mary looked at her husband.
Jack grinned widely. “We are staying for a month!”
“Oh,” Carissa mouthed, and then smiled brightly. “How lovely, isn’t that so wonderful, Sayyid?” She looked across pleadingly at the man now standing.
“Just delightful,” came out through clenched teeth.

“I need to look like a wholesome family guy to win this election and you need your dad to quit pushing hairy backs over there on you. No, believe me, I’ve seen him at the gym.”

OSS agent Anna Mann and British spy Albert Holt must pose as husband and wife Swiss citizens to escape after their mission to find a British traitor in Germany in 1939 goes horribly wrong.

The rumours were running rife. Hollywood Heart throb Lena Parker has made front page news again as the new lady in her co-star’s life. The only problem is it isn’t true.She knew it would be a bad idea to star in another film with him. Luckily Devin Scott, her socially awkward accountant, has agreed to pose as her fiance at the red carpet premiere of her latest movie in three weeks. As she teaches him the ways of the world she finds out Devin can crunch more than just numbers.

Carrie stopped James with a hand on his arm, as he was about to depart to his own room.
‘It’s lonely at the top, would you would be as a husband to me for just this night?’
Her bodyguard paused and met her eyes, his expression serious.
‘Yes, Madame President .’

An idea.
‘Ben if we’re going to be engaged, no secrets, I’m rich.”
” I can’t wait, marry me now!”
“I’d like you to see my wealth, my treasure.”
“Absolutely, I’d love to see it.”
Walking through the paddock entering the main house, “hey everyone, come down and meet Ben.” Reaching for a picture on the mantle, “this is my wealth, my treasure, my family.”
“Maybe we should continue to date, Kate.”
“Should’ve married me, I’m loaded; I’m adopted. I inherited guilt money and lots of it.”
“Kate, pre-marital jitters I’m fine now.”
“I inherited a horse.”
“Kate I should’ve told you–‘
We’d be set for life, The horseshoes are solid gold dipped in lead.”
“Ah, I should’ve expressed my–”
“A Registered Quarter Horse. I registered it to my hot neighbor. Men like you give assholes a bad name…

“I filmed you making out with your stepmom, and as your father is months away from renouncing his throne to the next king… you’re gonna lose a lot if that video goes viral. So shall you bend on one knee already, and make the girl, that you’d whore- stigmatized, your queen?”

“Unless you’ve been in a cave, you know that after our last movie together, Brad dumped me for his little…starlet.” Marissa’s nationally known girl-next-door smile was conspicuously absent. Six months later, it was still humiliating to have been a tabloid story that was actually true. “As his stunt double, you fake a lot of actions. I’ll make it worth your while to pretend we’re in a relationship while we film this project.”
“Unlike you, Miss McCoy, what I do is pretty real,” Jake’s dark, unreadable gaze slid over her. “How much reality can you handle?”

“Shotgun weddings are something of a tradition in my family, although it’s usually to the father of the child. You just happened to be in the wrong place at a very, very wrong time. But hey, at least nobody died?”

Erika Karlsson is the keynote speaker at a conference on behavioural ethics in the work environment. One of the attendees is a bit too predatory, so she asks a guy at the bar to pose as her boyfriend for the week – only he’s there posing as a boyfriend someone else who needs a fake boyfriend because she’s gay and after a promotion in a conservative firm. The three join forces against the old-school work environment at the conference and decide a temporary fake threesome is the best way get through the week and to make a statement on ethical behaviour in the work place.

“I write a blog — ‘Romanced by Romeo’ — that’s become insanely popular. A major cable network is offering me big bucks to make it into a reality TV series… meaning they want to film me at home with my incredibly attentive, romantic, passionate husband. Problem is, he’s fictional. I need to make him a reality, like, NOW. So… I know you’re terrific actor. How good are you at improvising?”

HER: I’ve been invited to be a panelist at the Lonely Hearts convention.
HIM: Sweet! That will be great exposure for the paper—and your column of course.
HER: Right, but the problem is, I am supposed to bring my adoring husband. The one I often refer to in my column as Doc. They want to see the man who has inspired all my insight into relationships.
HIM: But you’re not married. Not even dating . . . are you?
HER: Nope. The only male in my life is my cat. I thought maybe, since you already know my pen name and my dirty secret of spinsterhood, you might be willing to pose as Doc for me? I’m sure it’ll be nothing. A few meet and greets, a dinner. No biggie.
HIM: Hmm . . .
HER: It’d be great exposure for the paper.
HIM: (reluctantly nods) Yes, it would. Okay, I’m in.

“I need a date.”

“A date?” Hunter’s eyes narrowed and he looked at her as if she had horns sprouting from her head.

“Yes. A date.” Julia propped her hands on her hips. Why was he having such a hard time understanding?

“You need a date for a funeral?”

She shrugged before grabbing her wine from the table and taking a long swallow.. “Well, yeah. You don’t expect me to go alone, do you?”

“To be eligible to be Mrs. Queen Supreme I need a husband. Do me this one favor and I promise I’ll go out on a date with you!”

“If you think you’re broke now, wait until you get the hospital bill. Marry me and my insurance will cover everything.”
“Why? To ease your conscience after my five-year-old took a bullet for you?”
“To keep you from testifying against me in court. “
“You don’t understand; I want to see you in jail. I can’t wait to tell the world what I saw.”
“They’ll shoot you before you get to the witness stand.”
“I’ll take my chances.”
“Will you take Katie’s chances? She’s a witness too. Move in and I can protect you.”
“Law-enforcement will see right through it. Then we’ll both go to jail.”
“Not if you make it look real.”

“Kyle, I have to get Madison out of this state, for her own protection.” Leah wrapped her arms tight around her waist as she paced the room, trying to numb the pain that always came when she thought of her murdered sister. The prime suspect, her sister’s husband, had disappeared, leaving Leah with guardianship of young Madison.
“I’ve found the perfect house to buy, on a remote farm in Nebraska, but they want to sell to a young married couple. ”
“Leah, I agree that you should get Madison to a safe place, but what does any of this have to do with me?” Kyle searched Leah’s troubled eyes, confusion etched on his handsome face. “I thought we agreed to go our separate ways five months ago.”
“I need you to pretend to be my husband, Kyle. At least for a few days, till we get settled.” She locked her gaze on him, pleading with her eyes. She could think of no one else to ask such a favor. “Take a day or two to teach me how to be a farmer, then be on your way.”
“Leah,” Kyle ran his fingers through his dark hair, sighing heavily as he realized he had not yet untangled his heart from Leah, though he had certainly tried. “When do we leave? It’s going to take more than a few days to teach you how to run a farm.”

“Wait. Translate that for me again.”
“The club you started working for tonight is actually, well, for men who like certain special attention from the hostesses.” Matteus Corsino ran an agitated hand through his thick, dark hair.
“What!?!” Jess’ eardrums started pounding a deafening beat.
“The authorities are on their way to arrest you, Jessica Ward, now. Apparently, they want to use you as a warning to other foreign nationals.”
“But they told me I was going to be a waitress!” This was NOT how her fun, extended trip was supposed to go.
“Sorry, Jess, I wish there was something, anything I could do.”
Jess’ brain started whirling faster than a runaway merry-go-round until suddenly she jumped off. “Matteus, there is something you can do. They’re looking for Jessica Ward, not Jessica Corsino. How fast can we get married?”

“You had said you would help anyway you could Aidan,” Tillie started her bizarre request. Her boss had made the comment weeks ago about helping her find a new car! “Can we get engaged? Just for the weekend! My great aunt is visiting from Sicily and somehow mom told her you and I are in love and engaged!”

Aidan thought for a moment and replied with a sly grin, “Does this mean I get to experience the advantages of a fiance?”

“Sir, surely you can’t possibly mean I have to partner up with him. He’s the most obnoxious donkey butt I have ever met!”
Mave Martin could not believe the Chief of Security. Forcing her to work along side federal agent Jace Christianson.
“You either work together or say Can I take your order at Mcdonalds”. Spoke Chief of Security Sam Reynolds. Mave gritted her teeth as Jace Christianson clapped his hands. “Good job agent Martin. I’d like a big mac and a large order of fries.”Jaced joked.
“Shut up”grumbled Mave.
“Don’t believe this. Mave is very disappointed but they have a job to do. She couldn’t risk getting fired because of her dislike for Jace. He’s just annoying and ignorant and a butt head. Once they got to the hotel they were to pretend to be the newly engaged couple Princess Veronoa and Prince Mateo. The Chief of Security felt that Mave and Jace fit the royal duo so they were assigned to be them while the real couple were at a secret location safe from harm.
“You are my fiance now but we are not sharing the same bed.”Mave said.
Jace acted like he was hurt.”You didn’t ask me properly. He said, get down on your knees and ask me to be your husband. ”
Mave rolled her eyes. “Just get changed.
Jace chuckled and grabbed her by the waist planting a kiss on her lips.
“Now its official. He said smacking her butt making her jump startled. Mave looked at him and she could see that she may be the one who needs protection from him.

Hey Paul, last week in my course on negotiation, we posted the most challenging thing to get someone to agree to. I thought it was a joke, but this week, we have to give it a try. Want to share until finals?

“Oh James, I just had a brilliant beyond brilliant idea! We go to the wedding workshop where I can get research for my column and you can figure out whose swindling all these couples out of their money. Just one problem, we have to be engaged.”

Wow, the editors are overwhelmed by the response and all these great entries! Stay tuned for our picks…

Thanks for the “we’re working on it” update Deirdre. I don’t envy your having to choose from so many great entries.

Hi everyone,

Wow, what a response to this challenge! Thank you to all who participated. These were so much fun to read and we had trouble narrowing it down to just three – so, we’ve chosen our top five. Here they are, in no particular order:

Rose: ‘So here is the deal, I’ve won this fantastic prize to be on Survivor couples. Please say you will help me out, we might win! By the way, are you any good at spear fishing?’
 This one is a plausible spin on a classic trope, today when reality TV is still so popular. We loved the premise, which indicates lots of fun, adventure and some shenanigans along the way! (These two could get into some real trouble and will have to rely on each other.)

Laura Garner: “I write a blog — ‘Romanced by Romeo’ — that’s become insanely popular. A major cable network is offering me big bucks to make it into a reality TV series… meaning they want to film me at home with my incredibly attentive, romantic, passionate husband. Problem is, he’s fictional. I need to make him a reality, like, NOW. So… I know you’re terrific actor. How good are you at improvising?
 This one has interesting spin on the celebrity/fake relationship angle, and sounds extra fun because the heroine has gained fame for something that isn’t true! Would be fun to see her getting the real “Romanced by Romeo” experience.

Rebecca Laurence: The rumours were running rife. Hollywood Heart throb Lena Parker has made front page news again as the new lady in her co-star’s life. The only problem is it isn’t true.She knew it would be a bad idea to star in another film with him. Luckily Devin Scott, her socially awkward accountant, has agreed to pose as her fiance at the red carpet premiere of her latest movie in three weeks. As she teaches him the ways of the world she finds out Devin can crunch more than just numbers.
 Another fun celebrity romance (and in the world of celebrities, doesn’t a fake relationship sound entirely plausible?). We liked the twist on the makeover hook, with the awkward accountant getting his transformation!

Clara: ‘You know my Bibi-ji turns 80 next month? She is so longing for me to have a traditional Indian wedding? So let’s do it. Give her a full-on, five day, singing, dancing extravaganza of a wedding. All you need to do is turn up and dance. After that, we can quietly get divorced. What do you say?’
 A marriage to please a dying relative is a simple and sweet premise that’s not wholly new, but tying it to Indian traditions makes it fresh and fun!

Gro Karin Gifstad: Damon, you got to help me! Dorothy just told me that my boss is sending me to Japan in a month, as the new assistant to that creepy son on his. And, I may, in a moment of eh.. inspiration?, kind of told her that I was going to get married in five weeks. With you…
 There’s a plausible reason for this fake relationship and getting married to avoid a creepy boss for an overseas job indicates fun times and perhaps some drama ahead!

Thanks again to you all, for sending your ideas – we truly enjoyed reading all of them!

I second that! CONGRATS to: Rose, Laura, Rebecca, Clara, and GroKarin! Way to go, ladies! Great job. Thank you editors for reading through them all. 🙂

I’ve written two of fake relationships for Harlequin’s Escape Publishing. My favourite of the two is the ‘we have to get married as an alibi for the murder we witnessed to prevent you getting jailed for it’

For this challenge, my second DARE series might include a real estate agent who desperately wants his own tv show. But he needs to shed his bad boy image, and look like a family guy to appeal to the prime time slot. Enter fake fiance…

I promised to bring my fiance to dinner. I told he I was engaged to a pro wrestler. So get in shape please.

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