15 Hidden Identity Romance Novels

An underrated trope, hidden identity romance books add tension and conflict to stories. The reader is often in on the secret, or they know that there’s something yet to be revealed, so they anticipate the moment when the other shoe drops. That adds to the bingeable quality of these romances, and makes them more dynamic, interesting reads. Sometimes the secret is a big deal, sometimes a lie of omission snowballs, sometimes they never intended to withhold information (until they do!), but there’s always an unpredictability to how things will play out. It can be a delicate balance of not going too far beyond the limits of what’s acceptable, and the relationships are usually extra chemistry-filled, just to make it hurt a little more when all is revealed.

I actually had a really easy time putting this list together; apparently it’s a trope that works for me, and I never would’ve expected that. I had enough recs to put together a whole other list of characters who are simply keeping secrets (coming soon!), so this list focuses on characters whose identities will potentially change the course of their relationship. There are a couple of twin swaps, a mafia man, secretly wealthy or famous figures, and online friends. There are SO MANY different scenarios when hidden identities come into play, and that makes it an extremely versatile trope – one that is usually pretty memorable!

From light to angsty, sports romance to small town, there’s a couple for everyone on this list – and plenty of tropes at play too. Each of these contemporary romance novels was a 4 or 5-star read for me. I’ve included the blurbs, links to my book reviews when available, and links to Amazon for easy addition to your collection. Happy reading!


Stealing Her by Rachel Van Dyken

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an unexpected love story of family, secrets, and the most intimate of deceptions.

My estranged twin brother, Julian, was always the wonder boy—and was groomed to become CEO of our ruthless father’s corporation. My mother and me? Left behind. Now, years after tearing our family apart, my father dares to ask me for a favor? Pretend to be Julian while he fights to survive a tragic accident. It can save the company. Nobody will be the wiser. It’ll be our secret.

I can play Dad’s favorite. I’ll do it for Julian. And for my mother, who’ll want for nothing.

But this double life comes with a beauty of a hitch: my very real feelings for Julian’s fiancée, Isobel. Not only am I betraying Julian, I’m deceiving a woman I love. She doesn’t suspect a thing. As lies compound, lines are crossed and loyalties tested, all I can ask myself is…What have I done?

Because sooner or later something’s got to give. There’s no way I’m giving up Isobel. But once the truth is exposed, it might not be my choice at all.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/32iNvGu


The Fine Print by Lauren Asher

Rowan
I’m in the business of creating fairy tales.
Theme parks. Production companies. Five-star hotels.
Everything could be all mine if I renovated Dreamland.
My initial idea of hiring Zahra was good in theory, but then I kissed her.
Things spiraled out of control once I texted her using an alias.
By the time I realized where I went wrong, it was too late.
People like me don’t get happy endings.
Not when we’re destined to ruin them.

Zahra
After submitting a drunk proposal criticizing Dreamland’s most expensive ride, I should have been fired.
Instead, Rowan Kane offered me a dream job.
The catch? I had to work for the most difficult boss I’d ever met.
Rowan was rude and completely off-limits, but my heart didn’t care.
At least not until I discovered his secret.
It was time to teach the billionaire that money couldn’t fix everything.
Especially not us.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3GdK33l


A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series comes a romantic comedy about instant attraction, second chances, and not-so-little white lies. 

Sometimes I need an escape from the demands, the puck bunnies, and the notoriety that come with being an NHL team captain. I just want to be a normal guy for a few weeks. So when I leave Chicago for some peace and quiet, the last thing I expect is for a gorgeous woman to literally fall into my lap on a flight to Alaska. Even better, she has absolutely no idea who I am.

Lainey is the perfect escape from my life. My plan for seclusion becomes a monthlong sex fest punctuated with domestic bliss. But it ends just as abruptly as it began. When I’m called away on a family emergency, I realize too late that I have no way to contact Lainey.

A year later, a chance encounter throws Lainey and me together again. But I still have a lie hanging over my head, and Lainey’s keeping secrets of her own. With more than lust at stake, the truth may be our game changer.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3FJ0Nyd


Idol by Kristen Callihan

Libby

I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.

He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away?

Killian

As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles. Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse —and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name. The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mAJf2S


Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

An Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestseller.

From New York Times bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward comes an unexpected love story that started with a boy and girl and heats up when the man and woman reconnect.

I’d never forgotten him—a man I’d yet to meet.

Griffin Quinn was my childhood pen pal, the British boy who couldn’t have been more different from me. Over the years, through hundreds of letters, we became best friends, sharing our deepest, darkest secrets and forming a connection I never thought could break.

Until one day it did.

Then, out of the blue, a new letter arrived. A scathing one—one with eight years of pent-up anger. I had no choice but to finally come clean as to why I stopped writing.

Griffin forgave me, and somehow we were able to rekindle our childhood connection. Only now we were adults, and that connection had grown to a spark. Our letters quickly went from fun to flirty to downright dirty, revealing our wildest fantasies. So it only made sense that we would take our relationship to the next level and see each other in person.

Only Griff didn’t want to meet. He asked that I trust him and said it was for the best. But I wanted more—more Griff, in the flesh—so I took a big chance and went looking for him. People have done crazier things for love.

But what I found could change everything.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3fFbTt3


Desserts for Stressed People by Letizia Lorini

Nothing brings stressed people together like desserts.

Revenge is a dish best served scorching hot. That’s why professionally stressed and dessert loving Heaven Wilson creates a fake profile on the app her cheating boyfriend is using to find hookups.

But when she unexpectedly matches with Shane H, a man who seems as sweet as the baked treats he tempts her with, revenge becomes the least of her problems.

A more pressing issue? Not falling for the man she’s catfishing until she can ditch her unfaithful boyfriend. More pressing still? Shane turns out to be the professionally stressed, intimidating new boss she’s sent to work with.

And he has no idea she’s the girl whose messages leave him craving more every night.

With a boyfriend who could doom her to enormous financial debt, a hot and cold, irresistible boss complicating her work life, and the intricate web of lies she’s designed for herself, this is the perfect recipe for disaster.

When it turns out Heaven isn’t the only one keeping secrets, will the cookie finally crumble?

Desserts for Stressed People is a steamy, slow burn, laugh out loud story about love, friendship, and sweet treats. It features two stressed workaholics who, relying on each other’s strength, find the courage to chase the happily ever after they deserve.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3FA91KW


Faked by Karla Sorensen

Every action has a consequence, and Claire Ward knows it. And yet, even knowing that her decision to swap places with her identical twin sister, Lia, for a night could be disastrous, she still does it.

Why? Because it will give her an evening with the man she’s been crushing on for years, Lia’s best friend, Finn. Miss Straight A Student has thought through all the angles, and knows the risk is worth it. And everything would have been fine, if Finn had been the one to show up at her door. But it wasn’t. 

Bauer Davis— Finn’s half brother and his exact opposite in just about every definable category is the one waiting for her instead. A professional snowboarder, Bauer is covered in ink, full of attitude, and has a chip on his shoulder the size of Mt. Olympus. The kind of bad boy that Claire has never been attracted to before. 

Now the good girl is with the wrong brother for a night, and when the consequence is that they have to pretend to be together for an event, it’s nothing she could have predicted. But maybe, just maybe, what makes Bauer so bad, is exactly what Claire needs.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3hu1ob7


Puck Shy by Teagan Hunter

I’m having the definition of a bad year.

Game Six loss costing my team the Cup? Check.
Getting arrested and ruining my image? Check.
Almost getting run over after my car breaks down? Oh, look—a hat trick.

My contract is up with the Carolina Comets this year, and I need to get it together if I want to stay with the team.

I need relaxation, not a relationship.

But when I’m scrolling on a dating app and stumble across the pretty girl who almost ran me over, I know I can’t let her walk away this time.

Harper is funny, smart, and doesn’t care about hockey.

I’m not supposed to be focusing on anything other than my career, yet I can’t get Harper off my mind.

I know I shouldn’t fall for her…but I think I already have.

PUCK SHY is a standalone hockey romantic comedy. It’s good, low angst fun with some hot hockey players.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3i72Gux


Wild North by JB Salsbury

From New York Times bestselling author, JB Salsbury, comes an angsty new romance with a bossy hero and woman who was born to survive. 

To me, he was Grizzly. 
To the world, I would learn, he’s someone else completely.

I should have died on that mountain. 
But he rescued me.

More animal than man, he’s cold, distant, and fiercely territorial. He seems to hate me for simply breathing, and yet, he brought me back to life. 

After my return to the city, I can’t stop thinking about him. His rough hands, intense glare, and the way he cared for me as if I meant something to him. 

He tells me he’s dangerous. That I’m not safe around him. I would eventually understand why he warned me away. But by then it’s too late. My heart is his.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3FqoDOH


Juniper Bean Resorts to Murder by Gracie Ruth Mitchell

Love, laughter, and a dead body…

Juniper Bean has big plans for her writing career. Swoony kisses, sigh-inducing happily ever afters—she’s going to write them all.

There’s just one problem: she can’t seem to stop killing off her main characters.

After accepting that a genre change is in order, Juniper sets out to do some research. What’s the best way to carry a dead body? How exactly does one pick a lock? Juniper is going to find out—with the unwilling help of her new roommate, Aiden.

But Juniper’s plans go haywire when she stumbles across an actual, real-life dead body—and before she knows it, she and Aiden are thrust into the middle of a murder mystery that seems suspiciously tied to Juniper’s past.

Who killed the girl in the woods? Can Juniper ever get the hang of mystery writing? And, perhaps the biggest question of all: Why the heck does Aiden look so good in a tweed jacket?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/40EFwQm


Doctor Untouchable by J. Saman

The secret I’m keeping from my hot boss is a ticking time bomb. And it’s about to explode… 

Running out on my wedding and throwing myself onto his car to get away from my cheating ex is not how I thought I’d see Kaplan Fritz again. 

Which is probably why I didn’t recognize him until I ran into his mother shortly after. A hell of a morning and a bottle of champagne later and I’m accepting a job I likely shouldn’t—working for his family’s foundation as their new executive assistant.

Now I’m in a new city, living a new life, determined that this will be the start of a new me, while foolishly assuming I’ll never have to see Kaplan again. Wrong. 

Sitting high up on his throne, Doctor Untouchable with his boyishly handsome face, piercing green eyes, and jawline that could sharpen a knife can make a girl blush and her panties melt just by walking past her. Everyone wants a piece of Boston’s last eligible billionaire bachelor. 

I simply want to forget he ever existed to me. 

Especially when it turns out he’s nothing like the man I remember. 

Cold, aggravatingly closed off, and infuriatingly cocky, his sexy smirk grates on my every nerve. The pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon has no time or patience for me, his lowly assistant trying to help him run his family’s foundation that he’s now the CEO of. 

Every encounter we have grows more and more heated. Every fiery exchange a twisted form of foreplay. Which is why I’m determined he never discover the truth about me. 

But what happens when my cover is blown and he realizes that the curvy girl he loves to fight with is the same one from his past? 

DOCTOR UNTOUCHABLE is a 106k word INSANELY steamy, laugh out loud, full on romance with explosive chemistry. It is guaranteed to hit you straight in the feels! One-click this standalone in the bestselling series about Boston’s hottest billionaire doctors and the women they fall head over heels for!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3QE6PFt


The Billionaire’s Wake-up-Call Girl by Annika Martin

When my manager assigns me the task of finding a new wake-up-call service for our CEO, I think, how hard can this be?

Answer: practically impossible. It turns out that no wake-up call company in the world will take him on as a client. They’ve all had enough of his surly personality.

So in an effort not to lose my job, I secretly start making the calls myself, every day at 4:30 am sharp. OMG yes you read that right—four freaking thirty in the morning.

Confession: I’m not the nicest wake-up-call girl at that hour. Hello! Who wakes up before the roosters are even crowing? Luckily he doesn’t seem to mind my get-your-ass-out-of-bed attitude.

Day by day we’re becoming closer, and the calls start turning hot, like pay-by-the-minute hot and oh-so-wild. Snuggled under the covers with the moonlight streaming in the windows, we divulge our secrets to each other, but the one thing that he can never find out is that the sexy vixen who wakes him up every morning is just the lowly assistant who wears frumpy dresses. I can only imagine his disappointment.

Now he wants to take me out on a date and he’s scouring Manhattan to find me.

He’s an overachieving billionaire bent on a mission. How much longer can I keep up this charade?

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3HHVMGN


Sweet Talk by Cara Bastone

It’s officially booty o’clock, I’m alone again in my kitchen choking down a slice of terrible chocolate cake…and I’m pretty sure I just got drunk texted by the man I have a ginormous crush on.

I’ve been daydreaming about Eliot Hoffman’s dimples for two months, and even though I’m sure this was a mistake on his end, it doesn’t mean it’s not an opportunity on mine.

It’s the middle of the night, and I just wanna talk to him. So I text him back.

And then somehow we keep talking . . . ALL NIGHT. We’re both insomniacs, so talking all night soon turns into talking EVERY night. And talking about nothing soon turns into talking about something. And here we go from in-depth analysis of reality TV to my relationship with my family, to his amazing artwork. There’s no topic we don’t cover . . .

Except for who I really am.

It’s the only question of his I won’t answer.

As my crush turns into an avalanche of Eliot, I think of him all the time now. But if he knew who I was, the entire house of cards we’ve built this relationship on would come toppling down.

I want him to be mine, but we might never be more than just a sweet dream . . .

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lzhSm8


Beautifully Cruel by J.T. Geissinger

King (noun):
1) Having the highest rank in a dominance hierarchy
2) The most powerful man in a group
3) Liam Black


He was a stranger to me, a dark and dangerous presence who materialized from the shadows one rainy night to save me from a vicious attack. I didn’t know his name or where he was from. All I knew was that the only place I’d ever felt safe was in his arms.

But safety is an illusion.
And not every savior is a hero.
And—as I’d soon find out—having a king save your life comes with a price.

Liam Black wanted something from me in return.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3A5l9A8


The Companion Project by Chelsea Curto

WANTED: One very fake date to a very real event.

Henry Dawson is many things—successful, charismatic, good-looking… and, most recently, a liar. A stupid fib to his parents about bringing a date to their anniversary party is causing him to scramble, attempting to fix his mistake.

Emma Burns lives a double life. By day, she’s a Civil Rights attorney. By night, she’s the mastermind behind RB’s Companions. When hired, she platonically accompanies men to social events, whether it’s as a girlfriend, friend or business associate. She does her job well.

After receiving an inquiry from a desperate new client, she agrees to be his girlfriend. What she doesn’t account for is the mystery man to be Henry, the notorious playboy, fellow lawyer and coworker she’s known for years. Communicating under aliases to protect their identities, the pair find themselves captivated by one another, and are shocked when they finally meet face-to-face.

The two might be experts in the courtroom, but they’re hardly professionals when it comes to matters of the heart. Pretending to date is easy. When the lines between real and fake blur, getting what they want becomes way more complicated.

The Companion Project is a steamy romantic comedy featuring coworkers-to-lovers, forced proximity and fake dating. Told through dialogue, emails and text message conversations, you can expect plenty of banter, very spicy scenes, an unstoppable woman and a man willing to change for the person he adores. It is a standalone novel.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3EFii4B


Want more romance recommendations? Check out some of my other lists!

15 Sexy Second Chance Romance Books

15 Grumpy Boss Romantic Comedy Books

15 Spicy Sports Romance Books

15 Golden Retriever/Black Cat Energy Romance Books

15 Great Women’s Fiction / Romance Crossover Books

15 Sexy Roommate Romance Novels

15 Marvelous Marriage of Convenience Romance Books

15 Sexy Fake Relationship Romance Books

15 Playboy/Manwhore Tamed Romance Novels

15 Fantastic Forced Proximity Romance Novels

15 Sexy Office Rival Romance Books


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