Degrees of Engagement

The smart and sexy fake engagement rom-com you won't want to put down!

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Pub Date 25 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 25 Apr 2024
Headline | Headline Eternal

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'Fake engagements, nosy friends, and the unfortunate dilemma of falling for that guy in your PhD program - Degrees of Engagement is sexy and heartfelt, about pursuing your passions, and the people who are passionate about you. Be prepared to fall in love with Hennessy's bookish heroine and her brooding modern-day Indiana Jones' ASHLEY POSTON

'Full of sweet heat, banter, and a beautiful, long-anticipated connection, DEGREES OF ENGAGEMENT is an ode to the many paths life can take-and what happens when you let the right person go on the journey with you' GRACE REILLY

'A swoony, horny heartache that Ali Hazelwood fans will be clamouring for. I loved it!' LIZZIE HUXLEY-JONES

A celebration of non-traditional milestones and a book for anyone who's been patiently waiting for their own achievements to be noticed, Degrees of Engagement is the hot new romantic comedy perfect for fans of The Love Hypothesis.

Bianca Dimitriou has attended countless bridal showers, bachelorette weekends and destination weddings for her friends and family. But when they all fail to show up to celebrate her PhD, she realises it just isn't a milestone they value.

Angry, sad and yes, a little drunk, Bianca decides a fake engagement to brooding classmate Xavier Byrne is the perfect revenge. It's only supposed to last long enough to prove her point. But when her loved ones' reaction to her 'engagement' is everything Bianca was afraid of, she's tempted to let it go on just a bit longer. . .

The tension that's always simmered unspoken between them morphs into a very real attraction, but with Xavier's work about to take him halfway around the globe, Bianca can't forget that it's temporary. When the time comes to give up their charade, will they be able to give up their feelings just as easily?

More early praise for Degrees of Engagement:

'Academic rivals-to-lovers is great, but what about two academics who deeply respect each other's intelligence but are completely clueless when it comes to admitting their long-standing feelings? Hell yeah I wanted Bianca and Xavier to get fake engaged and teach everyone a lesson, but more than that I wanted them to finally see how perfect they really were for each other. Jennifer Hennessy's debut adult romance is a real treat!' ALICIA THOMPSON, USA Today bestselling author of Love in the Time of Serial Killers

'Fast-paced and delightful, Degrees of Engagement is packed full of fake-dating fun. A charming romance of finding happiness and defining it for yourself' EMILY WIBBERLEY and AUSTIN SIEGEMUND-BROKA, authors of The Breakup Tour

'Fake engagements, nosy friends, and the unfortunate dilemma of falling for that guy in your PhD program - Degrees of Engagement is sexy and heartfelt, about pursuing your passions, and the people...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781035413225
PRICE £9.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 76 members

Featured Reviews

This book is so cute it made me sick. From the beginning to the end I have been kicking my feet and giggling. I seriously need a hot, sexy, and smart man like Xavier Byrne to be in my life. I find intelligence so attractive and the fact that this book is about two people in graduate school at USC is everything. Jennifer Hennessy I need to shake your hand because this book is so well written and engaging. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF READING THIS BOOK 5/5 STARS!!!!

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Hit all the feels and had me laughing out loud… Will propel you to your happy place. A must read!… Feel-good romance… Truly heart-warming… Such a cute read! I started and finished in one day – what can I say?

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I loved this book! I was immediately drawn into Bianca’s world. I related so deeply to the struggles she was having with the people she loved most. Bianca and Xavier overcame a lot even if I was shouting for them to just FIGURE IT OUT! Great read, definitely recommend.

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yall this book 🥰🔥✨😆!!!!!!

this was so fast-paced and from the start threw you into a whirlwind romance with fake engagement (which yall know is right up my alley) and two lovable characters that you just immediately admire. the plot was definitely different than what i’ve read before and i adored.

i saw a lot of myself in bianca, and i loved her characterization so much. her and xavier were perfection!! and i loved seeing the growth of their relationship and seeing how both of them sort of grew with each other. it was realistic, super sweet, & sooo swoony i was in love 🥰🥰

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I enjoyed this! Bianca and Xavier were great characters, and the way the fake engagement trope was woven into their story of pining for each other as friends for years was crafted excellently. The romance was both sweet and spicy, and I also really appreciated the viewpoint of striving for the kind of love and life that works for you - one that doesn't necessarily live up to the expectations of others.

The only thing that knocked this down personally for me was the writing style being third person present, which just isn't one I vibe with.

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Cute, cute, and cute! I adored the characters and the proposal. Stories like this one melt my heart and make me feel good. I think Jennifer did an awesome job with this book! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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5/5 stars, would recommend for purchase in all libraries to add vibrancy to their romance collection. Recommended for fans of Ali Hazelwood, Tessa Bailey and Emily Henry.

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This was a cute story of colleagues (but really into each other for years) to lovers with a fake engagement. The pretense of the story was a bit silly, but the writing and the chemistry between the two characters make up for it. Definitely a fun, summer read.

I received an ARC from netgalley and the publisher.

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Degrees of Engagement is a lot of fun. And anyone who has ever been in academia will love it. Xavier and Bianca are both phd students at the end of their schooling journey. But when no one, outside her advisor and Xavier, comes to Bianca’s party when she passes her defense, Bianca gets drunk and she and Xavier hatch a bit of petty revenge, pretending to be engaged. I love the way they become fake engaged. I don’t think I have ever said this about any fake relationship book but it made sense to me how that happened. I mean who hasn’t gotten mad drunk and hatched a ridiculous scheme. Every romance novel has a bit of absurdity, I just liked that these two were able to have a realness that every story doesn’t have. Jennifer Hennessy does a great job giving the reader two people that belong together but have to put in some work. The writing is great and the characters are very relatable. Great Read

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Do you wish Ali Hazelwood wrote about librarians instead of scientists? Me too. I loved this book. I loved it more than I love Hazelwood because Hennessy somehow managed to convey sexual tension from the first interaction of the characters. She made me feel the five years that their tension had grown without making me suffer through it and I’m truly in awe. Read this book if you’re into academia, slow burn with spice, or because you agree that it’s truly wild that marriage is seen as a greater accomplishment than a phd. You will be glad you did.

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—Thank you so much to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the chance to review an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was one of my favorite romance books of the year. I think that should be enough.
But to say why, this was the best fake engagement romance i’ve read. Go into it blind and have the most fun.

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I loved this book! Ali Hazelwood gives us the world of STEM and Jennifer Hennessy gives us the world of literature/research and archeology!

Bianca has just achieved the biggest accomplishment of her life, getting her PHD, and the only person to show up to her celebration is Xavier. Feeling hurt and angry, they decide to fake an engagement.

This was such a cozy, good feeling story!

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This is a spicy, romance book which is definitely not suited for younger readers, absolutely loved this book from start to finish, the main characters have it all going on, which made it a fast paced read

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I greatly enjoyed this story! I’m so glad that I stumbled on it - I actually follow the artist that did the character art for the cover! (We were in the same fandom for a while.) When they posted about this book, I was instantly intrigued, and was so happy to find it on NetGalley!! The characters were very fun, and had such great chemistry. This is going in my romance recs, for sure!

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This is such a feel good romance that will have you smiling and laughing and kicking your feet! This is the book for you if you need a palate cleanser because it's just so wonderful and good. I love anything that has the fake dating/fake engagement trope, and this book does it so well. The characters are well developed, the plot is great and moves at a fast pace, and ithe chemistry between Bianca and Xavier is just so palpable. It was both sweet and spicy, and it's so interesting how they navigated a fake engagement since both of them had been pining after each for years. This book is perfect for those who are fans of Ali Hazelwood and Morgan Elizabeth. I did take a way a star for this being in third person POV present, because I desperately wish it was in dual POV first person, but this is overall such a great book and I recommend it highly to others!

Thank you to NetGalley, Jennifer Hennessy, and Headline for the eARC of this book!

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Thank you Headline and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Bianca Dimitriou is the friend who is always there at the drop of a hat for her friends. She flies to different continents to be in weddings or babysits with hardly any notice. She has many close friends who she would do anything for. She is therefore incredibly hurt when none of her friends or family go to her party celebrating the fact that she successfully defended her thesis and is now a PhD. One of the few people who does come is her classmate, Xavier. Xavier was Bianca's only friend in her academic program, but he pulled away upon learning that he would soon be moving to Greece for a fellowship. When Bianca suggests that her family and friends would have dropped everything if she was getting married, Xavier suggests that they should pretend to be engaged. Bianca agrees and well, you probably see where this is going.

Another fake dating book (you know I can't get enough of those) but this time it's a fake engagement! I think this book had a lot of positives and a few negatives that took me out of the story a bit.


I liked how much the Bianca and Xavier respected each other academically. I liked that their friendship was formed from challenging each other. As the story goes on, both characters comment on how brilliant they think the other is and it was nice to see "could be rivals" acknowledge each other's strengths.
Xavier was so supportive of Bianca throughout the book. Is only reason for suggesting/agreeing to the fake engagement is because he was a good friend and was mad at Bianca's other friends for not being there for her. He repeatedly shows that he wants her friends to be supportive of her and defends her when they are not.
I liked that each of Bianca's friends were at a different stage in relationships. It was fun seeing her interact with friends who have reached different milestones.
I enjoyed this book in general. The writing was good and I wanted to keep reading it.


I get annoyed when pretty much the only conflict in a book is that the characters won't communicate. Bianca goes into this fake engagement to teach her friends and family a lesson, but she spends most of the book not even telling them how she feels. All she had to do was say, "It hurt me that you weren't there to celebrate the massive accomplishment that I made." She also continually semi-communicates with Xavier about their feelings for each other, but they never actually say what they mean and always immediately change their minds when they set boundaries.
While the different friends showed up every so often, I felt like I didn't really know any of them. The characters felt like they were in a bubble.

Overall it was a solid read.

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