The Stand-In

Sourcebooks Casablanca. May 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781728242620. pap. $14.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
DEBUT Chu’s debut is the quintessential enemies-to-lovers story, with a heartwarming twist. Gracie Reed hates her job. She needs a change, or something exciting to shake things up. When two of the hottest Chinese actors in the world invite her to do a job for them, it’s just the kind of excitement she needs—the money isn’t bad, either. Wei Fangli needs a body double to give her some time out of the spotlight, and Gracie is practically her twin. The only problem is Fangli’s acting partner, Sam Yao. He clearly distrusts Gracie and wants her gone. But after working closely with Sam, Gracie learns there’s more to him than she ever guessed. Sam and Fangli’s friendship is beautifully written, and it’s clear the two care about and watch out for each other. With Gracie added to the mix, readers are in for a whirlwind of love—some platonic, some not. Gracie’s biracial identity plays a significant role in the story, as does her mental health, making this an original, fun, and moving novel.
VERDICT A first-tier purchase for libraries where contemporary and enemies-to-lovers romances are popular.
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