When characters in romance novels find themselves in the predicament of having to share a bed, you know you’re in for an entertaining ride! The “only one bed” trope is a classic for a reason—it creates instant tension for couples, regardless of their previous relationship dynamics. From office rivals forced to share a bed on a work trip to friends who have carefully avoided crossing certain boundaries, this trope tests fake relationships, marriages of convenience, and the dynamics of casual flings. It’s a revealing trope that can be used in numerous fun and delightful ways, which is why romance readers rejoice when they encounter it.
Exploring the Only One Bed Trope
The books on this list each offer their unique take on the only one bed trope. In these stories, there comes a moment when the characters must grapple with how they feel about sharing a bed with their (sometimes unwilling) partner. Whether it’s seen as a blessing or a curse depends on the situation, but these moments reveal something significant about the relationship. Moreover, they provide plenty of entertainment along the way!
From romantic comedies to emotionally charged tales, and from steamy to heartwarming, there’s something for everyone on this list. Whether you enjoy friends-to-lovers, enemies-to-lovers, or strangers-to-lovers stories, you’ll find a couple that captivates you.
Each of these contemporary romance novels has received a stellar 4 or 5-star rating from me. I’ve included brief summaries and links to my reviews, where available, as well as links to easily add the books to your collection on Amazon. Happy reading!
Flawless by Elsie Silver
The rules were simple. Keep my hands off his daughter and stay out of trouble. But now I’m stuck with her. There’s only one bed. And well, rules are made to be broken.
Cade, the face of professional bull riding, needs to clean up his image. Enter Summer, his agent’s ball-busting daughter, who becomes his full-time supervisor. Despite Summer’s insistence that their connection means nothing, Cade is determined to prove her wrong.
Faking Ms. Right by Claire Kingsley
“When I kissed you last night, I wasn’t pretending.”
Everly, a dating disaster, is determined to avoid romantic entanglements. However, when her boss asks her to pose as his live-in girlfriend, she agrees. What could go wrong? As she and Shepherd navigate their fake relationship, their feelings become all too real.
Go Fake Yourself by Elle Maxwell
Help Wanted: Romance author will pay $20k for 60 days of fake dating a stranger. PS – You have to live together (and there’s only one bed)
Audrey, desperate for a job, agrees to fake date a stranger for two months as research for a romance novel. However, living together with Walker, a guy who isn’t her type, proves to be way more challenging than Audrey ever imagined.
Walker, enticed by the idea of starting his own business, agrees to go along with Audrey’s experiment. As they spend time together, they discover that there might be more to their connection than just a fake relationship.
(Recommended for ages 17+ due to explicit content)
The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
A TikTok sensation, this rom-com follows a young woman agreeing to fake date a colleague and bring him to her sister’s wedding.
Catalina needs a date for her sister’s wedding after her lies about having an American boyfriend catch up with her. Aaron, her colleague, surprisingly offers to step in. Although Catalina finds him insufferable, she realizes he might not be as terrible as she initially thought.
Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend by Penny Reid
Two acquaintances pretend to be best friends for millions of online spectators, leading to an unexpected kind of pretend.
Winnie and Byron are distant acquaintances who find each other barely tolerable. However, when their interactions on social media lead to a pretend best friend relationship, lines blur, and sparks fly. Sometimes, public audiences reveal the truth of private feelings, and what you see online might just be true.
So That Happened by Katie Bailey
An embarrassing hotel encounter results in an unexpected reunion between a woman and the man who turns out to be her new boss.
Annie spends a night with a stranger in an airport hotel, only to discover on Monday morning that the stranger is her new boss, Liam Donovan. As they navigate their professional relationship, Annie must suppress her attraction to Liam. But is there more to him than meets the eye?
Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon
A ghostwriter and a struggling actor help each other on the page and in the bedroom in this steamy romantic comedy.
Chandler, a ghostwriter, meets Finn, a C-list actor, when she’s assigned to write his memoir. Chandler’s determined to keep their relationship professional, but when she reveals the truth about their previous encounter, Finn is left distraught. They strike a deal to balance their professional and personal lives, but as they grow closer, they must decide what’s more important—business or pleasure.
Planes, Trains, and All the Feels by Livy Hart
A choreographer and an ex-hockey player endure a road trip together, discovering love in all the perfectly wrong ways.
Stella and Luke find themselves driving across the country together after being stranded due to a snowstorm. What starts as a disastrous encounter soon reveals a strong connection between them. As they navigate their crackling chemistry, they must decide if they’re ready to take the wheel and redefine their dreams.
Taste by Melanie Harlow
Two strangers are stranded together during a snowstorm, discovering a mutual attraction that changes everything.
Gianni Lupo is the last person Emma wants to be stuck with in a motel room. However, circumstances force them together, and soon their initial animosity turns into something more. As they navigate their growing feelings, they must confront their individual fears and make choices that could impact their future.
Out on a Limb by Hannah Bonam-Young
Two best friends fake date, leading to unexpected challenges and discoveries along the way.
Win, an independent woman with a limb difference, has always relied on herself. However, after a one-night stand with her best friend Bo, she questions whether she needs assistance in navigating certain aspects of life. As they embark on a friendship-turned-romance, Win and Bo realize that sometimes relying on someone else can enrich their lives.
The Worst Wedding Date by Pippa Grant
A bridesmaid ends up playing babysitter to the bride’s brother in this enemies-to-lovers rom-com.
Being a bridesmaid suddenly means taking care of the bride’s troublemaking brother, Theo. Although they’ve known each other since childhood, they’ve never gotten along. However, as they’re forced to share a hotel room in Hawaii, their animosity turns into something unexpected. Theo’s antics and irresistible charm challenge everything the bridesmaid thought she knew.
Accidental Attachment by Max Monroe
A successful writer accidentally sends her editor a fan fiction manuscript featuring him as the love interest.
When a successful writer sends her editor a manuscript featuring him as the main character in explicit detail, everything changes. The accidental manuscript sends sparks flying between them. As they navigate their professional and personal relationship, they discover that their attraction might be something worth exploring.
Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan
A former TV star and a woman seeking sanctuary from her troubles find love in a charming and emotional romance.
Emma, a former TV star, finds solace in a California estate called Rosemont. There, she meets Lucian, the owner’s grandson and a former hockey player. Both carrying their own emotional baggage, they connect on a deeper level. As they explore their newfound connection, they redefine their dreams and discover unlikely love along the way.
The Dealmaker by Jessica Peterson
Two rivals compete for a promotion, but their lives take an unexpected turn when they’re forced to share a hotel room.
Theo, a successful trader, and Liv, a determined colleague, clash as they vie for the same promotion. When they’re sent to California together to salvage a client relationship, circumstances force them to share a hotel room. As their animosity turns into something more, they strike a deal that blurs the lines between work and pleasure.
Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison
Two best friends fake date in order to save a Christmas tree farm, leading to unexpected holiday romance.
Stella enters a contest with an Instagram-famous influencer, hoping to save her struggling Christmas tree farm. However, she lied on her application and said she has a boyfriend. Enter her best friend Luka, who agrees to play the part. As they embark on the fake relationship, they discover that love may be closer than they thought.
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