The Decoy Girlfriend (Paperback)
This book is a super fun, quick little contemporary romance with a trove of delicious, trope-y goodness packed away inside. We have mistaken identities. We have forced proximity. We have fake dating. If you want to fly through a novel and have a good time while doing it, look no further. I want to make sure the reader knows I do mean it when I say The Decoy Girlfriend is fast-paced. If you’re looking for something with sure deeply developed characters, this may not scratch that itch, but what we did get, I loved. If you’re a person who is good at expanding stories and visualizing mentally you’re in luck. Also perfect as a transition from young adult romance to the adult side of the genre. 2 chili peppers for fairly mild spice, but this is not a fade to black.
Available as an eBook— From Arresting August Staff Picks
A laugh-out-loud funny and whip-smart romantic comedy from the author of The Shaadi Set-Up, about a young woman who takes the place of her celebrity doppelgänger, and must fake-date the actress’s sexy costar boyfriend.
Writer Freya Lal has a huge secret: she's a dead ringer for It-girl actress Mandi Roy. Her second novel is due in a month, but inspiration is nowhere to be found. Desperate to shake off her writer's block, Freya leans into her look-alike abilities and indulges in some mistaken identity for simple perks, like scoring a free mimosa or getting into a trendy nightclub.
Actor Taft Bamber appears to have it all: gorgeous, talented, and Mandi's love interest both on- and off-screen. But what nobody knows is that their relationship is a PR stunt, and after years of playing make-believe, he's yearning for something real.
When Freya's latest impersonation of Mandi goes viral thanks to Taft's accidental interference, rumors of a breakup threaten Hollywood's golden couple. To make amends, Freya is forced to give Mandi a little time off: she'll pretend to be the actress for a month, move in with Taft, and squash the rumors by acting completely in love. But as Freya and Taft play house, it becomes impossible to ignore that their instant chemistry isn't just for the cameras. While faking it, they might have just found the real thing.
About the Author
Lillie Vale is the author of The Shaadi Set-Up and the young adult novels Beauty and the Besharam and Small Town Hearts. She writes about secrets and yearning, complicated and ambitious girls who know what they want, the places we call home and people we find our way back to, and the magic we make. Born in Mumbai, she grew up in Mississippi, Texas, and North Dakota, and now lives in an Indiana college town.
PopSugar’s Best New Books of 2022 So Far
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BookBub’s Best Romances of the Second Half of 2022
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“The Decoy Girlfriend is Lillie Vale’s best act yet.” –PopSugar
“A definite must read…[this] cute fake turned real romcom checked all the right boxes.” –Harlequin Junkie
“This is a perfectly engaging, flirty rom-com staged around a couple that any reader will be able to fall for. An irresistible romance.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A contemporary Hollywood spin on The Prince and the Pauper...Vale manages to add some fun new layers to the fake dating trope and delivers plenty of celebrity drama. Rom-com fans will find much to enjoy." –Publishers Weekly
"[The Decoy Girlfriend] is of-the-moment and offers readers a glimpse into the life of modern novelists....Peels back the glamour of celebrity to reveal the romance and beauty of the everyday." –Library Journal
“The fake dating and celebrity tropes are fun and believable in Vale’s entertaining romantic comedy, following The Shaadi Set-Up (2021)…[T]he romance is wholly satisfying. Fans of Hollywood romances will relish this, and readers of royalty romance may also enjoy this genre cousin.” –Booklist
“Fans of fake dating and celebrity culture will love Lillie Vale’s The Decoy Girlfriend.” –BookRiot
“Much like Lillie Vale’s debut, The Decoy Girlfriend is voicy, witty, and fulfilling authentic. Lillie Vale knows exactly how to write relatable characters with sizzling chemistry and mix humor and longing in her stories. The Decoy Girlfriend is the irresistible fake-dating romcom of my heart—an absolute must read!” –Ali Hazelwood, author of The Love Hypothesis
“I loved getting lost in the bubbly escapism of The Decoy Girlfriend. The Princess Switch meets The Lizzie McGuire Movie (with some very grown-up lust and longing) in this celebrity romance, but beneath the zaniness of the fake dating to hide a fake dating scheme is a book about grief and about the challenges of being a creative and sharing your art with the world. A glittery delight of a rom-com with a genuine emotional center.” –Alison Cochrun, author of The Charm Offensive
“The Decoy Girlfriend mixes razor sharp wit with achingly tender romance to create a fake-dating rom-com you won’t soon forget. Vale is a master of snark and sweet, and I’ll read anything she writes.” –Mazey Eddings, author of A Brush with Love
“I INHALED Lillie Vale’s witty, sexy, and irresistible spin on fake dating in Hollywood. Taft and Freya’s electric chemistry hooked me from their first meeting, and I swooned watching it evolve into a genuine, tender, soul-deep connection. A must-read for all fans of celebrity romance, sparkling narrative voice, and complex, lovable characters.” –Ava Wilder, author of How to Fake It in Hollywood
“Smart, sweet, and sexy, The Decoy Girlfriend serves up a swoon-worthy romance, a charming cast of characters and an honest glimpse into the writing life. I devoured it.” –Lauren Kate, author of By Any Other Name