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Over 40 of the Best Forced Proximity Romance Books
Welcome, fellow book lovers, to our exploration of one of my all-time favorite romance tropes: forced proximity! There’s something special about two characters forced together as their feelings for each other gradually deepen. I get especially excited when a story involves an enemies-to-lovers romance. I love to watch as the close proximity of the characters forces them to change their perception of each other.
In this article, we will explore some of the best forced proximity romance books on the market today. This list features a variety of subgenres to keep readers engaged. With scenarios like sharing an apartment, solving mysteries, or going on adventures, these books deliver heartwarming love stories. Additionally, they provide a touch of exciting tension to keep you hooked.
I’ve spent hours researching, reading, and preparing to create this comprehensive list. The result is over 40 incredible books with the forced proximity trope, catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences! Each title was handpicked with care, ensuring you’ll discover well-loved classics and hidden gems that deserve a spot on your TBR list. With diverse characters, captivating storylines, and unique settings, this collection of forced proximity books offers something for everyone.
What is the Forced Proximity Trope?
The forced proximity trope is a popular theme in romance novels that brings two characters suddenly close together. This may be done by having the main character share the same house, the same room, or even be chained together. This sudden closeness allows for strong connections and blossoming romance as the characters navigate their shared situation and overcome personal challenges.
Initially, they might resist or deny their attraction, and there may even be mutual hatred between the main characters. However, their close surroundings, such as sharing office space or a hotel room, create chances for vulnerability and trust to grow. The fine line between love and hate is crossed as sparks fly, and laugh-out-loud banter may ensue. This trope’s appeal lies in highlighting how love can break down barriers and create lasting bonds, even between complete opposites.
In forced proximity romances, characters often find their relationship growing in unlikely circumstances. Examples include being stuck together in a snowstorm, pretending to be a couple, or being stuck in the wilderness. These situations create an environment for love to blossom despite initial appearances, leaving readers wondering what could happen next as the story unfolds.
Fake Dating Forced Proximity Trope Books
This subgenre blends the charm of fake dating, where characters pretend to be romantically involved, with the allure of forced proximity, which brings them physically close for an extended period. Combining these two tropes creates unique and engaging love stories that keep readers hooked.
These books captivate readers with heartwarming and often humorous stories about individuals who surprisingly maintain the facade of a romantic relationship. The characters’ journey from reluctance to genuine connection keeps readers engaged and invested in their story. As the characters proceed with their pretend romance, they inevitably develop genuine feelings for each other. The forced proximity adds another layer of tension and excitement as characters are compelled to spend time together, confront their true emotions, and discover the depth of their connection.
The Wedding Date
by Jasmine Guillory
Alexa Monroe and Drew Nichols meet by chance when they are stuck together in an elevator. Drew is a pediatric surgeon from Los Angeles but is in San Francisco for his ex-girlfriend’s wedding, and he is desperate to find a plus-one. Luckily Alexa, the chief of staff for the mayor of Berkeley, agrees to be his fake girlfriend for the wedding. As they spend the weekend pretending to be a couple, the line between fake and real begins to blur.
The Wedding Date excels in showcasing the characters’ chemistry and the tension that builds between them. Their arrangement starts as a favor, but their mutual attraction and the high-stakes wedding setting create the perfect environment for their relationship to grow. Guillory’s witty writing and diverse cast of characters make this a refreshing and engaging read.
by Elle Kennedy
When Garrett discovers that Hannah has a crush on a guy in their ethics class, he proposes a deal: he’ll help her win her crush’s attention if she agrees to tutor him in class. The two college friends embark on a journey to make Hannah’s crush jealous, but their feelings for each other become more real along the way.
The witty banter and slow-burn romance between Garrett and Hannah create an engaging and relatable story. Meanwhile, the college setting adds an extra layer of nostalgia and charm to the narrative. The Deal brings two seemingly incompatible people together and engages readers in emotional growth resulting from their journey.
The Kiss Quotient
by Helen Hoang
Stella Lane is a brilliant economist with Asperger’s who struggles with social situations and has little experience in romantic relationships. Wanting to improve her skills, she hires Michael Phan, a male escort, to teach her about love and intimacy. As they pretend to be a couple, their connection deepens, and they develop genuine feelings for each other.
The Kiss Quotient offers a unique perspective through its neurodiverse protagonist and the unconventional circumstances that bring Stella and Michael together. The story provides a tender exploration of love, self-acceptance, and vulnerability. As characters navigate complex emotions and personal boundaries, readers become engrossed in their emotional journey.
by Alexis Hall
Luc O’Donnell, the estranged son of a rock star, finds himself in the public eye after a scandal. To repair his image, he decides to find a respectable boyfriend. Enter Oliver Blackwood, a young, successful barrister who agrees to be his fake boyfriend. While navigating their fake relationship, characters discover they have more in common than initially thought. This realization leads them to find that their feelings might be more genuine than expected.
Boyfriend Material offers humor, witty dialogue, and a heartwarming exploration of self-discovery and vulnerability. The chemistry between Luc and Oliver is palpable, and their banter is entertaining and endearing. The novel dives deep into the challenges and complexities of maintaining a fake relationship while balancing personal growth and emotional development.
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
by Mariana Zapata
Vanessa Mazur is the personal assistant to Aiden Graves, a star football player known as “The Wall of Winnipeg.” When Vanessa decides to quit her job, Aiden makes a surprising proposal: he asks her to marry him so he can secure a green card and stay in the country. Vanessa agrees to the arrangement, and the two embark on a fake marriage that slowly evolves into something more.
This book provides a slow-burn romance that allows the characters to develop a deep emotional connection, giving the trope a genuine and heartwarming feel. The novel delves into the challenges of a fake marriage and the gradual transformation of the protagonists’ relationship from convenience to true love. The story is filled with tender moments, emotional depth, and witty banter, making it a compelling and enjoyable read.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown
by Talia Hibbert
When a video of Zaf saving Dani from a workplace emergency goes viral, they find themselves at the center of attention. To capitalize on their newfound fame, they fake a relationship to help Zaf’s charity gain exposure. As they navigate their pretend romance, they soon discover that their feelings for each other are becoming too real.
This novel offers a diverse and engaging cast of characters who challenge stereotypes and societal expectations. Hibbert’s witty and authentic writing brings Dani and Zaf’s relationship to life. Their journey from fake dating to genuine love feels believable and relatable, engaging readers throughout. Take a Hint, Dani Brown showcases how the power of vulnerability and communication can transform a pretend relationship into a beautiful, lasting love.
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating
by Adiba Jaigirdar
When Hani comes out as bisexual and faces accusations of seeking attention, she impulsively claims to be dating a studious girl named Ishu. In exchange for Hani’s help becoming more popular, Ishu agrees to participate in the fake relationship. As they navigate their pretend romance, they learn about themselves and each other. Their feelings grow more genuine than anticipated.
Jaigirdar’s authentic writing brings the characters to life and captures the complexity and vulnerability of their evolving relationship. This book is a heartfelt and engaging read that showcases the potential for love to blossom in unexpected circumstances.
Best Forced Proximity Romance Books With Roommates
These stories focus on characters who share a living space, either by choice or chance. As they face the everyday challenges of living together, they might unexpectedly find love right around the corner.
These books show how sharing a home can create a strong connection between people. Characters might start as strangers, friends, or even enemies. Still, they grow closer as they share their lives, find common ground, and support each other. Their close living situation allows romantic feelings to grow, often leading to heartwarming love stories.
These stories connect with readers who know the ups and downs of living with others and show how love can grow in unexpected places. If you enjoy feel-good, engaging romance, this subgenre offers a comforting escape where love could be waiting outside your bedroom door.
By Christina Lauren
Roomies by Christina Lauren tells the story of Holland Bakker, an aspiring writer living in New York City, who is infatuated with a talented subway musician named Calvin McLoughlin. When Holland’s Broadway producer uncle needs a talented musician, she arranges an audition for Calvin, who turns out to be an undocumented immigrant from Ireland. To help Calvin secure his dream job and stay in the country, Holland proposes a marriage of convenience, and they become roommates as they navigate their new life together.
This roommate romance book explores the complexities of living together while building a relationship based on a shared secret. The novel delves into the challenges and joys of cohabitation as the characters learn to trust and depend on one another. Roomies showcases the potential for romance to bloom between two people thrown together by circumstance.
The American Roommate Experiment
By Zoe Allison
Upon moving to the United States for an exchange program, Emma discovers that her new roommate, the charming and handsome Ben, had anticipated a male roommate. This unexpected situation sets the stage for their evolving relationship. As they adjust to living together, their initial misgivings become a deep connection and a blossoming romance.
The novel captures the slow-burn romance between Emma and Ben as they navigate the complexities of their living situation and their cultural differences. With engaging characters and witty dialogue, this book is a delightful exploration of the roommate romance trope.
By Beth O’Leary
The Flatshare tells the story of Tiffy and Leon, two strangers who become unlikely roommates in an unconventional living arrangement. Tiffy, a quirky and lovable editor, needs a cheap place to live after a painful breakup, while Leon, a kind and introverted night-shift nurse, could use some extra cash. They decide to share a one-bedroom flat, with Leon occupying it during the day and Tiffy at night. As they never cross paths, they communicate solely through handwritten notes left around the apartment.
While they may not physically share the space simultaneously, their intimate arrangement creates a sense of closeness as they share a bed and exchange personal thoughts through their notes. This unconventional setup heightens the anticipation and excitement of their blossoming relationship as readers eagerly await the moment when their paths finally cross.
The Roommate Risk
by Talia Hibbert
Childhood friends Jasmine and Rahul reconnect after a decade apart and become roommates when Rahul moves to Jasmine’s city for work. As they navigate their new living situation, they struggle to maintain the boundaries of their friendship. At the same time, their attraction to each other intensifies. This story offers an intriguing look at what can happen when you move in with a childhood friend and the complexities that may arise.
Hibbert excels in showcasing the emotional journey of two friends rediscovering each other and grappling with the potential risks of pursuing a romantic relationship. The novel highlights the challenges of living together, as Jasmine and Rahul must balance their growing feelings with the need to maintain a harmonious home life.
Under One Roof
by Ali Hazelwood
When a housing shortage forces Mara, an environmental engineer, to share a small apartment with her complete opposite, Roger, a lawyer for big oil companies, their clashing personalities create tension. However, despite their professional rivalry, Mara and Roger work together on a research project in their tight living quarters. As they spend more time together, they begin to realize that their dislike for each other might be hiding a more profound attraction.
Under One Roof is an engaging roommate romance book that offers a unique and captivating take on the trope, featuring STEM-focused protagonists and the added tension of their professional competition as an environmental engineer and a big oil lawyer. With witty banter and a refreshing setting rooted in their opposing professional backgrounds, this book is a captivating exploration of the roommate romance genre.
by Elle Kennedy
After being kicked out of her Ivy League school, fashion student Summer Heyward-Di Laurentis transfers to Briar University, where she unexpectedly ends up rooming with three hockey players. Among her new roommates is the handsome and introverted Fitz, who is considered off-limits due to his moody nature. Despite their differences, they find themselves drawn to each other. Still, Fitz hesitates to act on his feelings due to his friendship with Summer’s older brother.
The Chase brims with clever banter and undeniable chemistry between the main characters, ensuring an engaging and delightful read. Elle Kennedy’s writing encapsulates the ups and downs of college life, making the characters’ journey feel relatable and authentic. If your heart craves a heartwarming and charming roommate romance, this book is a fun read.
Hook, Line, and Sinker
by Tessa Bailey
Hannah Bellinger, a professional organizer, crosses paths with Fox Thornton, a grumpy fishing boat captain, under unusual circumstances. After a string of misfortunes leaves Fox temporarily without a home, Hannah kindly offers him a place to stay in her apartment. As they coexist and work through their differences, the unlikely pair find themselves increasingly drawn to each other, with their feelings transforming from mere friendship to something deeper.
The interplay of the characters’ contrasting personalities makes for a dynamic and engaging story as they learn to compromise and adapt to their new living arrangement. Tessa Bailey’s heartwarming storytelling and unforgettable characters bring to life a delightful and enchanting foray into the roommate romance trope.
Forced Proximity Trope Books with Solving Mysterious Deaths
While I was exploring the different forms of forced proximity that tend to show, I couldn’t help but notice how often characters are brought together to track down a murderer or solve peculiar deaths. Blending this element with the budding sparks of romance creates a truly exhilarating and captivating experience.
As these two characters work closely, finding clues and uncovering secrets, they end up in a high-stakes game that requires trust and teamwork. The forced closeness helps strengthen the emotional connection between the characters, as they depend on each other for support and survival while dealing with their growing romantic feelings.
Including fantasy and some of the best romantic suspense books, this list contains an exciting mix of suspense, adventure, and romance. They keep readers on the edge of their seats with surprising twists and turns, as well as the intense chemistry between the characters. As the mystery unravels and the danger grows, so does the passion between the characters, leading to a thrilling ending and a satisfying conclusion.
by Sarah J. Maas
In a city where humans, fae, angels, and other creatures coexist, readers are introduced to Bryce Quinlan, a half-fae, half-human party girl. When a devastating tragedy strikes, claiming the lives of her closest friends, Bryce finds herself unexpectedly entangled in a dangerous conspiracy that threatens her city. Enter Hunt Athalar, a notorious fallen angel and enslaved assassin, who is assigned to work with Bryce as they attempt to solve the mystery and bring the perpetrator to justice.
Forced to work together despite their initial mistrust and resentment, Bryce and Hunt find themselves drawn to one another as they unearth long-buried secrets and lies. As Bryce and Hunt’s relationship develops, readers will be captivated by the complexity and vulnerability beneath their tough exteriors.
A Curious Beginning
by Deanna Raybourn
Veronica Speedwell, a daring lepidopterist and adventurer, becomes entangled in a dangerous mystery following her aunt’s demise. When a mysterious stranger named Stoker saves her from an abduction, they are thrust into a partnership to unravel the secrets behind a string of murders and confront a hidden past that jeopardizes their lives.
A Curious Beginning excels in weaving a thrilling mystery and an engaging romance between the two protagonists. Raybourn’s writing is sharp and witty, and the chemistry between Veronica and Stoker is palpable as they unravel the dangerous secrets around them. With its gripping plot and unforgettable characters, this novel is an excellent choice for fans of both romance and mystery genres.
Kingdom of the Wicked
by Kerri Maniscalco
Emilia, a young witch, is determined to avenge her twin sister’s murder. Her quest for vengeance leads her to strike a dangerous bargain with Wrath, one of the seven demon princes of Hell, who has a mysterious agenda. Bound together by their mutual goals, Emilia and Wrath are forced to work closely as they navigate the treacherous world of witches, demons, and dark magic. As they uncover sinister plots and deadly secrets, their uneasy alliance gradually becomes more complex.
New York Times bestselling author Kerri Maniscalco weaves a captivating and gothic love story that keeps readers enthralled by the shifting dynamics between Emilia and Wrath. As they confront their demons and learn to trust each other, their blossoming connection and vulnerability create a mesmerizing journey that will leave readers eager for more.
Stalking Jack the Ripper
by Kerri Maniscalco
In the backdrop of Victorian England, Audrey Rose Wadsworth stands as a determined young woman who defies societal norms to pursue her passion for forensic medicine. With Thomas Cresswell by her side, she becomes entwined in the relentless pursuit to unmask the perpetrator behind the notorious Jack the Ripper murders. As their professional and romantic bond strengthens, Audrey Rose and Thomas navigate the grim investigations together, drawing closer with each step in their quest for truth.
As a recommendation for those who enjoy romantic suspense books, Stalking Jack the Ripper combines a chilling historical mystery with a slow-burn romance that captivates the reader. Maniscalco’s atmospheric writing and attention to historical detail create a vivid backdrop for the budding relationship between Audrey Rose and Thomas as they navigate Victorian London’s dark and dangerous world.
These Violent Delights
by Chloe Gong
Juliette Cai, heiress to the powerful Scarlet Gang, and Roma Montagov, heir to the rival White Flowers, find themselves compelled to put aside their long-standing enmity as a wave of mysterious deaths grips their city. United by a common purpose, they embark on a treacherous journey to unravel the mysteries surrounding the lethal contagion. Amidst the perils they face, their mutual attraction blossoms, despite the risks it poses to their families and their own lives.
Gong’s rich and evocative writing brings the setting of 1920s Shanghai to life, creating a tense and atmospheric backdrop for Juliette and Roma’s dangerous partnership. The novel is an engaging retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare
The first book in the Mortal Instruments series follows the story of Clary Fray, a seemingly ordinary teenager who discovers she is a Shadowhunter, a warrior destined to protect the world from demons. When her mother is kidnapped, Clary must team up with fellow Shadowhunters Jace, Alec, and Isabelle, as well as her best friend Simon, to unravel a deadly mystery and save her mother.
City of Bones offers an action-packed urban fantasy setting with a compelling and complex romantic subplot. The novel explores the challenges and tensions that arise as Clary and her companions navigate their new relationships while facing deadly adversaries. Clare’s immersive world-building and engaging characters make this series an excellent choice for romance and fantasy fans.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laini Taylor
Karou, a young art student living in Prague, has been raised by a family of otherworldly creatures. When a series of mysterious black handprints appear on doorways throughout the city, Karou is forced to confront her hidden past and her connection to Akiva, a beautiful and dangerous seraph. As they work together to unravel the truth behind the handprints, they find themselves drawn to one another, despite the ancient conflict that divides their worlds.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone offers a richly imagined world with an intricate and thrilling mystery. Taylor’s lush prose and vivid world-building create an enchanting backdrop for Karou and Akiva’s evolving relationship as they navigate the challenges of their shared past and the secrets that threaten to tear them apart.
Books with Forced Proximity Romance While Working Together
These stories focus on the unexpected love that can blossom between two characters who work closely together, facing the challenges of their careers while also feeling strongly attracted to each other.
In these books, the characters balance their professional and personal lives. They are drawn to each other, even though it could have consequences for their jobs. The forced proximity of working together intensifies the romantic tension as they share a workspace and a common goal. They have to collaborate, communicate, and support each other to succeed.
What makes these books appealing is the relatable and sometimes funny situations that arise from their professional lives. We witness their vulnerability as they navigate their growing feelings for each other. These stories resonate with readers who understand the excitement and challenges of working with someone you’re attracted to. If you enjoy heartwarming and captivating romance, these books will show you that love can surprise you, even amid your daily routine.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown
by Talia Hibbert
Eve, the youngest of the Brown sisters, is a free-spirited, fiercely independent woman struggling to find her place in the world. After another failed attempt at adulting, she stumbles upon a job opening for a chef at a quaint bed and breakfast owned by the brooding Jacob Wayne. Despite his reservations, Jacob has no choice but to hire Eve when a mishap leaves him needing her help.
Forced proximity takes center stage as Eve and Jacob work in close quarters, navigating the challenges of running a successful B&B. Though they initially clash due to their seemingly opposite personalities, the pair soon discovers that their differences only create an undeniable chemistry between them. As they continue to work together, the tension and attraction between them grow, culminating in a heartwarming book that’s equal parts hilarious and tender.
From Lukov with Love
by Mariana Zapata
Jasmine Santos, a fiercely competitive figure skater, finds herself at a crossroads in her career. When her longtime rival, Ivan Lukov, unexpectedly offers her the chance to partner with him for a year, Jasmine is torn between her desire to succeed and her dislike for Ivan.
Reluctantly accepting Ivan’s offer, Jasmine and Ivan embark on an intense training regimen, spending countless hours together on and off the ice. As they work closely to perfect their routines, they are forced to confront the hatred that has long defined their relationship.
The proximity gradually chips away at their preconceptions, allowing them to see each other in a new light. As they learn to trust each other and challenge their previous assumptions, their blossoming connection, and vulnerability create a captivating journey that will leave readers rooting for them every step of the way.
by Emily Henry
Nora Stephens, a driven literary agent, and her pregnant sister Libby embark on a month-long trip to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, to experience the magic of small-town life. While there, Nora unexpectedly keeps running into her professional nemesis, the brooding and bookish editor Charlie Lastra.
As Nora and Charlie’s paths continue to cross, they discover that their rivalry may be masking more profound similarities and undeniable chemistry. As they get to know each other, Nora learns there might be more to Charlie than she initially thought.
Emily Henry skillfully avoids the trap of vilifying small towns or big cities. She allows her characters to explore their dreams and desires wherever they lead. This heartfelt and hilarious novel delves into themes of love, sisterhood, and finding one’s path in life.
Red, White & Royal Blue
by Casey McQuiston
Alex Claremont-Diaz, the charming First Son of the United States, becomes entangled in a fierce rivalry with Prince Henry of Wales. When a photo of their altercation surfaces, causing a diplomatic uproar, their families and advisors devise a plan to mend the strained relations: a staged truce between the two young men. As Alex and Henry reluctantly embark on their faux peace, meant to appease the public, they soon discover that their connection runs deeper than they ever imagined.
Red, White & Royal Blue combines humor, heart, and a captivating love story that defies expectations. The novel showcases the challenges and rewards of building a relationship in the public eye, and the chemistry between Alex and Henry is both believable and endearing. With its engaging characters and compelling exploration of love in the political sphere, this book is an excellent choice for fans of the enemies-to-lovers trope in contemporary books.
by Christina Lauren
When Chloe Mills, an ambitious MBA student, finds herself in a passionate affair with her demanding boss, Bennett Ryan, they face the challenge of managing their blossoming romance alongside their professional obligations. Juggling work responsibilities and the need to keep their relationship concealed from their coworkers, Chloe and Bennett must navigate the complexities of their situation to make their love thrive.
Beautiful Bastard offers a steamy and engaging exploration of the boss-employee romance trope. The novel delves into the challenges of maintaining a relationship in a professional setting as Chloe and Bennett learn to separate their personal lives from their work lives. With its dynamic characters, witty banter, and intense love story, this book is a captivating read for fans of contemporary romance.
The Spanish Love Deception
by Elena Armas
Catalina, a skilled engineer residing in New York, finds herself in a unique predicament when she convinces her exasperating coworker, Aaron, to accompany her as her pretend boyfriend to her sister’s wedding in Spain. As they navigate the intricacies of their charade, Catalina and Aaron must grapple with the weight of familial expectations and the unexpected sparks of attraction that ignite between them.
Blending the dynamic elements of working together and the enticing fake dating trope, The Spanish Love Deception skillfully portrays the intricate dance of building a relationship under false pretenses. As Catalina and Aaron embark on their pretend romance, they embark on a journey of trust, self-discovery, and personal growth, confronting their own insecurities along the way.
The Fine Print
by Lauren Asher
Age rating: 18+
Rowan, a dream-chaser in the realm of creating magical experiences, is offered the chance to renovate Dreamland, his ticket to a fairy tale empire. Meanwhile, after boldly criticizing Dreamland, Zahra lands a dream job working for the demanding boss she can’t resist. But when she uncovers Rowan’s secret, she’s determined to show him that money can’t fix everything, especially their complicated relationship.
The Fine Print offers a compelling and engaging take on the boss-employee romance trope. The novel explores the challenges of navigating a relationship in a professional environment, as Everly and Shepherd must balance their growing feelings with the demands of their careers. With its dynamic characters, steamy romance, and captivating storyline, this book is an excellent choice for fans of contemporary romance.
Forced Proximity Romance Books In The Wilderness
In these books, the main character’s bond deepens amidst nature’s breathtaking beauty and raw power. These tales showcase the resilience of the human spirit as the characters grow and evolve through shared experiences and the strength they find within themselves.
With vivid descriptions of untamed landscapes and heartwarming love stories, these stories capture the transformative power of both love and nature. Whether it’s overcoming obstacles or discovering a newfound passion, these stories offer an escape into a world where adventure and romance intertwine in the most breathtaking settings. For fans of captivating romance and the thrill of the great outdoors, this subgenre promises an unforgettable reading experience.
The Simple Wild
by K.A. Tucker
Calla Fletcher is a city girl who travels to the remote Alaskan wilderness to reconnect with her estranged father. As she adjusts to life in the small town, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Jonah, a rugged and surly bush pilot. Together, they navigate the challenges of the Alaskan wilderness and the complexities of their pasts.
The rugged and unforgiving Alaskan setting is the perfect backdrop for Calla and Jonah’s evolving relationship as they learn to rely on one another in a place where the elements can be as harsh as their personal struggles. With its engaging characters and vivid backdrop, The Simple Wild is an excellent choice for fans of contemporary romance.
Happiness for Beginners
by Katherine Center
Helen Carpenter is a woman in search of self-discovery following her recent divorce. Joining a three-week wilderness survival course, she finds herself in the company of Jake, her younger brother’s best friend and fellow participant. As they confront the challenges of the untamed wilderness together, their initial hatred gives way to a deepening connection and unexpected romance.
The beautiful wilderness setting is the perfect backdrop for Helen and Jake’s transformative journey. Amidst the rugged terrain, they confront their inner struggles, learn to trust one another and discover the power of vulnerability. With its well-drawn characters and relatable personal struggles, Happiness for Beginners offers a compelling narrative that explores the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative nature of unexpected connections.
Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute
by Talia Hibbert
Bradley Graeme and Celine Bangura are two former friends turned rivals. While Brad is the epitome of perfection, excelling in academics and sports, Celine is conspiracy theory-obsessed and has a social media presence. Despite their past differences, they find themselves unexpectedly reunited during a survival course in the wilderness. Forced to work together, they confront their messy history and rediscover the positive aspects of their relationship.
The story takes readers on an adventurous journey through the wild, where the characters are brought together in a challenging and unfamiliar environment. As Brad and Celine navigate the physical and emotional obstacles of the survival course, their initial animosity evolves into a more profound connection filled with shared experiences and mutual understanding. This captivating romance showcases the transformative power of the wilderness, as it brings the characters closer together and ignites a spark of love and possibility.
by Emily Bleeker
Lillian Linden finds herself caught in a web of lies after being rescued from a deserted island. Alongside fellow survivor Dave Hall, they become overnight media sensations, but their public story is far from the truth. As they try to return to their everyday lives and spouses, journalist Genevieve Randall is determined to uncover the story behind the castaways’ ordeal. This gripping tale delves into themes of survival, secrets, and redemption as Lillian and Dave are forced to confront the truth, even if it means risking everything they hold dear.
Set against the backdrop of a remote and unforgiving environment, Lillian and Dave’s forced proximity becomes the catalyst for their evolving relationship. Together, they navigate the challenges of survival and grapple with the aftermath of their harrowing experience. As their connection deepens and a slow-burning romance ignites, readers are captivated by Bleeker’s masterful storytelling, transported to the isolated island where redemption, love, and self-discovery intertwine.
By Ali Hazelwood
In the steamy and empowering novella from the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis, two rival scientists find themselves in the frosty Arctic, where their competitive dynamic takes a heated turn. Hannah, an injured NASA aerospace engineer, is stranded at a remote research station and must rely on the one person she least expects: Ian, her long-standing rival. As they brave the hazardous conditions and face an impending snowstorm, Hannah questions Ian’s unexpected heroism. She finds herself drawn to him in ways she never anticipated.
The remote Arctic research station is the perfect backdrop for the intense chemistry and emotional tension between enemies-to-potential-lovers Hannah and Ian. As they navigate the treacherous environment, their forced proximity heightens the stakes and intensifies their connection. The contrasting dynamics of competition and attraction create a thrilling push-and-pull that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
by Penelope Douglas
Age rating: 18+
Tiernan de Haas is a young woman who moves in with her estranged step-uncle and his two sons in the Colorado mountains after the death of her parents. Amidst the wilderness and seclusion, she finds herself caught between the affections of the two brothers, leading to a complicated and passionate exploration of love and desire.
The isolated cabin and the harsh mountain setting create a compelling backdrop for Tiernan’s evolving relationships with the men as they all navigate the complexities of their newfound connections. With its memorable characters, steamy romance, and captivating storyline, Credence is an excellent choice for fans of contemporary romance looking for a more intense and unconventional romance.
The Mountain Between Us
by Charles Martin
Ben Payne, a skilled surgeon, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer on her way to her wedding, agree to charter a plane together in hopes of returning home. However, tragedy strikes, leaving them stranded in Utah’s remote wilderness during the harsh winter. As they struggle to survive in the rugged, snowy mountains, they form a deep bond that transcends the challenges of their situation.
The Mountain Between Us offers a heart-wrenching and inspiring exploration of love, survival, and the power of human connection. The isolated and treacherous mountain setting is the perfect backdrop for Ben and Ashley’s evolving relationship as they confront their fears and learn to rely on one another in their fight for survival.
Books with Forced Proximity in Unique Settings
These books create inventive, imaginative worlds where characters are brought together by fate, destiny, or coincidence. The unique settings serve as the backdrop for the characters to form strong bonds based on trust, shared experiences, and mutual understanding. When it comes to unique settings, many things could possibly happen.
Through their journeys, the characters experience personal growth and transformation while confronting the undeniable spark of attraction and the thrilling possibility of a love that transcends boundaries. The allure of these books lies in the boundless possibilities of love and human connection and the reader’s immersion into a world where the extraordinary is possible.
Dance of Thieves
by Mary E. Pearson
In this captivating novel, we follow Kazi, a former street thief who now serves as part of the queen’s elite guard, and Jase, the young leader of a formidable outlaw dynasty. As Kazi ventures into Jase’s territory on a mission to investigate their wrongdoings, fate binds them together—quite literally—as they find themselves chained to one another and taken captive.
Forced proximity has never been more intense than with Kazi and Jase shackled together. Inextricably linked, the two must learn to cooperate to survive. As they navigate their dangerous circumstances, the stakes are raised with the duo grappling with upholding their loyalties while resisting their burgeoning feelings for each other. Their passionate and mistrustful encounters make for an electrifying and unpredictable journey that will leave readers on the edge of their seats.
The Bride Test
by Helen Hoang
In The Bride Test, Khai Diep is a young man with autism who processes emotions differently and believes he cannot experience love like others. However, his mother is convinced that the right person can break through his emotional walls. Enter Esme Tran, a young woman from Vietnam whom Khai’s mother selects as his potential bride. Esme, a woman seeking a better life for her family, is brought to the United States to live with Khai for the summer, giving them a chance to get to know each other.
As they navigate the challenges of their new living arrangement, Khai and Esme find themselves in close quarters, allowing the walls between them to crumble gradually. Through shared experiences and tender moments, Khai and Esme begin to understand and accept each other’s unique perspectives on love and life. As their connection deepens, the forced proximity transforms their initial hesitations into a powerful bond.
by Ana Huang
Age rating: 18+
This dark and steamy romance explores the passionate and forbidden love between Alex Volkov, a man with a tragic past, and Ava Chen, a young woman with a broken history. As Alex is entrusted with looking after his best friend’s sister, Ava, the two opposites find themselves in an intense, unexpected relationship that threatens to unleash secrets that could destroy them both. This suspenseful and emotional rollercoaster of a novel takes readers on a heart-pounding journey as Alex and Ava navigate the complexities of love, attraction, and healing.
When Alex moves in next door to Ava to protect her, the close living situation catalyzes their burgeoning relationship, despite their initial animosity. The tension and chemistry between the two characters intensify as they are forced to spend more time together, and their emotional and physical proximity inevitably leads to a passionate and life-changing romance.
The Edge of Never
by J.A. Redmerski
Camryn Bennett is a young woman who decides to embark on a cross-country road trip to escape her mundane life. On the journey, she meets Andrew Parrish, a free-spirited traveler with his own secrets. As they share the adventure of the open road, they form a deep and unexpected bond, challenging each other to confront their fears and embrace the unknown.
The Edge of Never offers a heartfelt and inspiring exploration of self-discovery, adventure, and love. The road trip setting provides a captivating backdrop for Camryn and Andrew’s evolving relationship as they learn to rely on one another and navigate the challenges and surprises that come with life on the road.
by Stacey Marie Brown
Age rating: 18+
Nineteen-year-old Brexley is thrown into Halalhaz, the House of Death, where she must navigate the ruthless hierarchy that places humans at the bottom, forcing her to forge alliances with the fae to survive. Among the dangerous inmates, she encounters the legendary and lethal Warwick Farkas, whose undeniable allure might be the death of her.
Savage Lands centers around Brexley’s confinement within the dreaded prison of Halalhaz. This dangerous and unforgiving environment forces Brexley into close contact with the fearsome Warwick Farkas, who rules the prison with brutal authority. Their forced coexistence heightens the tension between the two characters as the harsh realities of their situation push them together in unexpected ways. The volatile blend of danger, passion, and survival creates a riveting enemies-to-lovers story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
City of Brass
by S.A. Chakraborty
In this sweeping and enthralling fantasy, Nahri, a skilled con woman living in 18th-century Cairo with a mysterious past, unexpectedly summons a formidable djinn warrior named Dara during one of her schemes. Intrigued by Nahri’s powers, Dara divulges that she is the last descendant of a once-prominent family of magical healers. Recognizing the potential danger she faces due to her newfound heritage, Dara takes it upon himself to escort Nahri on a perilous journey to the fabled city of Daevabad, the heart of the magical world.
As Nahri and Dara traverse the difficult path to Daevabad, they find themselves in close quarters, allowing the chemistry between them to simmer. The forced proximity kindles a complex and slow-burning attraction between Nahri and Dara, despite their initial mistrust and differences. As they confront the dangers and intrigues of Daevabad, their relationship evolves, challenging their perceptions of loyalty, duty, and love.
The Charm Offensive
by Alison Cochrun
Dev Deshpande is a producer on a reality dating show, and Charlie Winshaw is a tech billionaire and the show’s newest star. When Charlie struggles to connect with the contestants and the show’s ratings begin to suffer, Dev is tasked with helping him win over the audience. As they work closely together, they find themselves drawn to one another, despite the challenges of their professional relationship and the pressures of the reality TV world.
The behind-the-scenes setting of a dating show provides a fresh and engaging backdrop for Dev and Charlie’s blossoming romance as they navigate the complexities of their work environment and confront their vulnerabilities.
Tropes Often Found Alongside the Forced Proximity Trope
- Enemies to Lovers: Characters initially start off as adversaries or hold a grudge against each other but eventually overcome their differences and fall in love.
- Friends to Lovers: Characters who have been friends for a long time find themselves in a forced proximity situation, which leads them to reevaluate their feelings and ultimately fall in love.
- Fake Dating: To achieve a specific goal or to appease family and friends, the characters pretend to be in a relationship. Their forced proximity in maintaining this facade leads to genuine feelings developing between them.
- Second Chance Romance: Characters who were once romantically involved or had a strong connection in the past are reunited in a forced proximity situation, allowing them to rekindle their romance.
- Only One Bed: Characters are forced to share a single bed or sleeping space due to circumstances such as limited accommodations, inclement weather, or a sudden change in plans. This close physical proximity often leads to emotional intimacy and romantic tension, eventually resulting in the characters developing romantic feelings for each other.