May 5 2015 1:00pm

Will You Fake Marry Me?: 3 Ways You Might Find Yourself in a Fake Engagement

50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade LeeToday we're thrilled to have Jade Lee on the site. Jade's latest book, 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake starts with a fake engagement—but might end with a real one! Jade is here today to talk about the three ways you might find yourself in a fake engagement, and loving it! Thanks, Jade!

In my magical thinking, all engagements–even fake ones–end up with the couple deeply in love and living happily ever after. After many hysterical trials and tribulations, of course. But we all know that engagements often fall apart for one reason or another.

The Old Switcheroo

When I was younger, a pair of identical twins were in my girl scout troop. As much as I tried I couldn’t tell one from the other and they did, occasionally, pretend to be the other. When I was young, I loved reading those twin substitution books especially Georgette Heyer’s False Colors. The prospective groom is away when it comes time to meet the bride’s very important grandmother. So the other twin steps in and the romance is off and running with the wrong twin falling in love with the bride.

While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping is one of my favorite movies. In order to get into a hospital room, Sandra Bullock pretends to be a man’s fiancé. He’s the guy she thinks she wants until she falls in love with his brother. Oops. Great movie, great trope. And Bill Pullman’s pretty cute too. But that doesn’t just happen in movies. Check out Elizabeth Hoyt’s Notorious Pleasures. Just like in the movie, her heroine falls in love with her fiance’s brother. We don’t get to see Bill Pullman’s charming face, but the hero does get introduced in a really funny way. One that includes him getting things thrown at his naked arse.

Intentional Interference

Sometimes someone else just doesn’t want the marriage to happen. Lots of reasons why, but in Mary Wine’s How to Handle a Highlander the motivation is political. The engagement is an arranged marriage to align clans which will be very bad for our hero’s clan. So he gets set up as the bodyguard and does his best to seduce the heroine into marrying him instead. With many adventures in the middle.


What if the fake engagement is only for a Season? In my book 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, Mellie and Trevor get fake engaged. In fact, it goes off without a hitch—from starting the fake courtship to ending it midway through the Season. Too bad they’ve fallen in love with each other along the way.

So what engagements have you adored lately? Broken or otherwise!

Learn more or order a copy of 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade Lee, out now:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

Buy at IndieBound



USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee has been scripting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ball gowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. An author of more than 30 romance novels and winner of dozens of industry awards, she finally gets to play in the best girl-heaven place of all: a Bridal Salon! In her new series, four women find love as they dress the most beautiful brides in England. Lee lives in Champaign, Illinois.

Visit her at jadeleeauthor.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter @JadeLeeAuthor

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1 comment
Helena J
1. Helena J
You brought in the idential twin trope, which is really a whole different thing, I think! I love False Colours too, and also Parent Trap (both old and new versions of the film).

I do like fake engagements, mainly in (Regency) historicals because they give the protagonists a chance to get to know each other better than they would otherwise (engaged couples could spend more time together and alone than otherwise). Another Georgette Heyer comes to mind, one of my favourites: Cotillion (the lovely Freddie Stanton and Kitty Charing). And The Duke and I, by Julia Quinn (Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, who doesn't want to marry anyone ever).

A nice variation is The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie, where Prudence Merridew pretends to be engaged so that she can chaperone her sister. She chooses a recluse as her fiance -- and then he turns up!
Post a comment