The Stand-In Audible Audiobook – Original recording
How to upend your life:
- Get fired by gross, handsy boss
- Fail to do laundry (again)
- Be mistaken for famous Chinese actress
- Fall head-first into glitzy new world
Gracie Reed is doing just fine. Sure, she was fired by her overly “friendly” boss, and yes, she still hasn’t gotten her mother into the nursing home of their dreams, but she’s healthy, she’s (somewhat) happy, and she’s (mostly) holding it all together.
But when a mysterious SUV pulls up beside her, revealing Chinese cinema's golden couple Wei Fangli and Sam Yao, Gracie’s world is turned on its head. The famous actress has a proposition: Due to their uncanny resemblance, Fangli wants Gracie to be her stand-in. The catch? Gracie will have to be escorted by Sam, the most attractive - and infuriating - man Gracie’s ever met.
If it means getting the money she needs for her mother, Gracie’s in. Soon Gracie moves into a world of luxury she never knew existed. But resisting Sam, and playing the role of an elegant movie star, proves more difficult than she ever imagined - especially when she learns the real reason Fangli so desperately needs her help. In the end, all the lists in the world won’t be able to help Gracie keep up this elaborate ruse without losing herself...and her heart.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 55 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||July 15, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #58,237 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1,051 in Romantic Comedy (Audible Books & Originals)
#4,496 in Contemporary Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
#14,756 in Romantic Comedy (Books)
Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2022
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-Reviewed by Dani, from Date with a Novel Podcast
Didn’t like the depiction of casual sex. So many young writers treat sex casually, when it’s something that should be special between a husband and wife.
It’s a lighthearted and funny, yet heartfelt romcom. I just wish she’d had the main leads get married.
Gracie Reed’s life is a bit of a mess. Between avoiding her skeezy boss, getting her beloved mother into a nicer nursing home, and finding the perfect planner to keep track of the many lists swimming around in her head, she’s struggling to keep her head above water. But an incredible opportunity arises when she is randomly approached by Chinese cinema’s golden girl, Wei Fangli, who pleads with look-alike Gracie to act as her stand-in, pretending to be her at a series of social events while she is working in town. Desperate Fangli offers Gracie an obscene amount of money for the job, and it seems like the answers to all of her problems… except that Fangli’s best friend, fellow actor, rumoured love interest, and sexiest man alive, Sam Yao, hates the idea - and, it seems, Gracie by extension. And he’ll be the one escorting her to glitzy events around town. It’s such a fun set-up, and I was so excited to see how it would all play out!
I love Gracie! She’s flawed, awkward and kinda graceless, and she’s so relatable! Watching her enter the completely foreign world of wealth, privilege and celebrity is so funny. And watching her do it while snarking and bantering with a very standoffish Sam is even better! Their dynamic is so much fun, and the chemistry that very clearly brews between them is awesome to watch.
As Gracie grows more comfortable in her role, she gets to know Fangli, and their friendship is just gorgeous. It soon becomes clear that even though it looks like somebody so beautiful and talented is living a fairytale, the reality is far from that. It’s emotional, and so beautifully written, and I loved the care that was taken with Fangli’s story, and her growing relationship with Gracie.
And, of course, Gracie spends a whole lot of time with Sam. He’s such a great character – again, so very real and his shift in attitude throughout the book is natural and so well written. Their friendship is slower developing, but Gracie’s honesty, wit and openness win him over, and we get this beautifully slow-burning enemies-friends-lovers story that completely swept me up. It’s so sweet, with so much heart, and that sense of fun and snark between Gracie and Sam builds into a fun, banter-filled romance that is an absolute delight to read.
There are multiple storylines running throughout the book, and they all blend together perfectly to create a clever, fun, dramatic, funny and heartfelt story that I couldn’t get enough of. There are twists and turns that kept me on my toes, I laughed out loud so many times, and I loved watching Gracie navigate her new world, new relationships, and all of the subsequent changes in her life.
I listened to this as an audiobook, narrated by Phillipa Soo, and she does an incredible job with it! She brings Gracie to life with so much heart and relatability, and this story was a joy to listen to. Though I’ll have to reread it again once it comes out on kindle, because there were so many times I wish I could highlight what I was reading – the dialogue, and Gracie’s inner monologue, are just gold.