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While you wait While you wait book cover Funny Story book cover Funny Story

While you wait for Funny Story

Funny Story, Emily Henry's latest rom-com, is sure to be engaging. Lots of us fans are already on hold for this May 2024 release.

In Funny Story Daphne's fiancé Peter just realized he is in love with his childhood best friend Petra. This leaves Daphne in Waning Bay, Michigan, without friends or family and in need of a roommate. She decides the best possible roommate and the only one who really understands her situation is Petra's ex Miles.

Scruffy and chaotic, Miles is the opposite of stuffy and stand-offish Daphne. He turns to heatbreak songs for solace. Her co-workers know so little about her, they have a running bet she's an FBI agent or in witness protection. After weeks of avoiding each other, the roommates form a tenuous friendship. They decide to show their exes they are fine by posting fake pictures online of their summer adventures. There's no way this could lead to a real relationship, right?

I've got several fun rom-coms with fake dating or opposites attract plots to keep you happy while you wait for your hold on Funny Story.

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

book cover couple back to back holding phonesThis is one of my favorite fake dating stories by one of my favorite authors. McFarlane writes amazlingly believeable characters in awkward, hilarious and heartwarming situations.

Laurie is distraught when her partner of more than a decade suddenly ends their relationship. Not only does this upend her personal life, but it disrupts her work as well because they are both lawyers at the same firm. Now she needs to figure out dating in the Tinder age and figure out how to keep her cool around her ex at work. This becomes even harder when she and her co-workers discover his new girlfriend is pregnant.

Working late one night, Laurie gets trapped in the elevator with the office playboy, Jamie. He is looking to make partner in the law firm, but the leaders don't think he's partner material becuase of his crazy social life. The two decide they could help each other by pretending to date. Jamie can show he can commit to someone and be stable enough to be partner. Laurie can show her ex she's moved on.

They decide the best way to show off their pretend couplehood is through artfully staged social media pics. Laurie and Jamie pose themselves in lots of romantic settings. Everyone is surprised and fooled by this amazing romance. Is this really all for show or could Laurie and Jamie be a perfect match?

For McFarlane fans (and soon to be fans) I want to share a note about how to pronounce her first name. I had been reading her books for years when I noticed this on the back of one of her books, "Sunday Times bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane was born in Scotland, and her unnecessarily confusing name is pronounced Vah-Ree."

Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson

couple sitting on a giant bookThis is an irresistible story of opposites attract set in one of my favorite worlds – book publishing. Book editor Savannah has been secretly writing a romance novel. She works for a literary publishing company that looks down on commercial fiction, especially romance. So Savannah has pitched to and has interest from a romance imprint.

During a meeting Savannah drops her manuscript and almost exposes her secret to her co-workers and the new publisher William Pennington. She runs off and hides her manuscript in a secret turret room of the old Victorian office. When Savannah returns later to collect her manuscript she is surprised to find someone has added notes in the margins. While her initial reaction is annoyance at these critical notes, she soon realizes they are actually helpful.

This starts an editing process with an unknown editor. Savannah and the mystery editor start to have conversations in the margins. Who is this secret contributor and could this develop into a real-life romance?

This is such a fun read, a clever twist on office romance and an interesting peek into the world of publishing.

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

man and woman talking into a microphoneSolomon has broken new ground in the fake dating trope with fake exes. Shay has been a producer at the Seattle public radio station for almost 10 years. Dominic is new to the station straight from graduate school and he's sure he knows everything.

Shay proposes a new show to help the struggling station – a show where two exes give listeners relationship advice. Her boss loves the idea and thinks she and Dominic should be co-hosts since they already despise each other. They are not excited about working together or pretending to be exes, but they need the show to work. The audience loves it and the show is a hit.

Spending all this time together talking about relationships is actaully bringing Shay and Dominic closer. They discover there are a few things they agree on. Can Shay and Dominic keep up this sham? Will this partnership turn fake exes into a couple? 

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

woman in a head scarf with bright pink listickThis book has some Pride and Prejudice feels with lots of contemporary complications and misunderstandings. It's an entertaining read that also touches on this issues of discrimination and class.

Ayesha is a poet working as a teacher to pay off debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her 100th marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn't want an arranged marriage.

Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to him even though he looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth

high school girl holding books with arms crossedI really wish there were more Ciara Smyth novels to read. She writes young adult novels with stories so strong that readers of any age will be quickly drawn into the book and not want it to end.

Not My Problem is a story about opposites and finding your strengths. High school student Aideen has plenty of problems she can't solve. When she stumbles upon overachiever Meabh having a meltdown, she sees a problem she can fix. Meabh wants to find a way out of all her extracirriculars. Aideen volunteers to help by pushing her down the stairs.

When word spreads that Aideen is a problem slover, she starts getting requests to solve a wide variety of problems for all kinds students. Her solutions and traded favors are creative, hilarious and genius. Love might even be part of the mix. And solving other people's problems gives Aideen the push to solve her own.

I also highly recommend Smyth's other book The Falling in Love Montage.

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