12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Just for Show by Jae

Fake/Pretend Relationship from
12 Tropes of 2020

Simply put, two characters who aren’t in a romantic relationship pretend to be.

Taken from TV Tropes

The main purpose of the trope is to throw the characters together in extended proximity and then explore the hidden, or not so hidden, feelings that develop.

Taken from Fanlore

Just for Show
by Jae

What happens when an overachieving psychologist with OCD tendencies and an impulsive, out-of-work actress start a fake relationship?

Claire Renshaw thought she had it all: a successful career as a couples therapist, a publishing contract for her self-help book, and a happy relationship. But her perfect world falls apart when her fiancée calls off their engagement. Because of that, even her book deal might be off the table. After all, readers don’t want relationship advice from someone who can’t even make her own relationship work.

So Claire sets out to hire herself a fake fiancée.

Lana Henderson, the actress who shows up to audition for the role, is not exactly Claire’s ideal woman. Her frankness and the messes she leaves everywhere drive Claire up the wall. At least she won’t fall in love with someone like Lana.

But soon, Lana starts to win her over with her big heart, tickle fights, and—gasp!—carbs after six. The longer they pretend to be a love-struck couple, the less fake their kisses feel and the more the lines between reality and role begin to blur.

Once the book contract is signed, will they walk away or is their relationship no longer just for show?

A lesbian romance where role-playing has never been so irresistible.

Blurb taken from Goodreads

My thoughts

I really enjoyed Just for Show – it is my first book by author Jae and I found it to be very well written and filled with incredibly engaging characters.

I loved the slow burn between the main romantic leads, with Claire and Lana slowly growing on me – much as they grew on each other. I really enjoyed watching these two circle around each other, and the back and forth between them as each lowered their guards, was a delight to read.

I am really happy that Jae defied my expectations in regards to her story line by not having Claire be given the opportunity to get back together with her ex. I was completely expecting and not looking forward to this moment, what with Lana’s backstory of her ex dumping her for her previous partner. So it was very surprising and incredibly refreshing to not have such an obvious plot line take place.

The way in which Claire and Lana get together is much better than I expected (see the above paragraph) and I am definitely going to be reading more of this authors work! From the first chapter I fell in love with Jae’s story-lines, her characters, and her effortless writing style.

The Trope

I have a weakness for Fake/Pretend relationships – I think its because the trope allows you to see what a couple would be like together without getting rid of any of the sexual and romantic tension of an established relationship.

No matter how many times I read something with this trope, I am still moved by the moment when one of the romantic leads wishes it were real. The emotional angst does me in everything. The oblivious pining 😍 Everytime!


6 thoughts on “12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Just for Show by Jae

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