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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2021 Lily Chu (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC.

Interview: Lily Chu Wrote a Rom-Com to Make the World a Better Place

'I want this book to be about people who look like me and who have experiences like me.'
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  • The Stand-In
  • 'I want this book to be about people who look like me and who have experiences like me.'

Audible Questionnaire with Phillipa Soo

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About the Creator

Lily Chu loves ordering the second-cheapest wine, wearing perfume all the time, and staying up far too late with a good book. She writes romantic comedies set in Toronto with strong Asian characters.

About the Performer

Phillipa Soo is best known for originating the role of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton in Broadway’s critically acclaimed Hamilton, garnering her numerous industry awards and a Tony Award nomination. She currently can be seen in the film version of Hamilton on Disney+. Soo is currently voicing a lead role in Netflix’s animated film Over the Moon. She also can be seen in Sony’s The Broken Hearts Gallery and in Disney+’s The One and Only Ivan. She made her feature film debut in Here and Now.
On the small screen, she will next be seen in Hulu’s upcoming drama series Dopesick, based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Beth Macy, and in Spectrum Originals’ upcoming series The Bite, opposite Audra McDonald, Taylor Schilling, and Steven Pasquale. She was previously a series regular on CBS's The Code and featured in NBC's Smash.
Soo co-starred on Broadway in The Parisian Woman, and played the title role in the Broadway musical Amelie. She also originated the role of Natasha Rostova in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School Drama Division.

What listeners say about The Stand-In

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

This story was absolutely fantastic! the characters were fun, there chemistry was insane, and the banter-- OMG! Gracie and Sam were an absolute perfect pair! I went excited to see if this was going to be another prince and the pauper retelling, which it isn't by the way, it's something truly its own. I love retellings, but I'm not at all disappointed that I got this story all wrong. I loved that this book brought forth positive Asian representation, and the fact that people may sometimes say things unwillingly that could be offensive to individuals of dual racial backgrounds. it was addressed in a classy, not aggressive way. I loved how Gracie learned to love herself, and her identity, and then came to realize that she deserved to love too. That Sam may be famous, but he's just like her in many ways. That he's just as lucky to love someone like her. This story is empowering, and fun, and romantic, and hilarious, and cute! The plot is adorable, and heartwarming, and slightly suspenseful. I could not put this story down! This is an absolute must read clean, fresh Romantic comedy, and I would recommend it for any age really. It was truly a delight to experience. I can't wait to ready this story again! Phillipa Soo performed the story well. I was very engaged in her reading, and look forward to more performances by her.

82 people found this helpful

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  • AJ
  • 07-15-21

Wonderfully written and narrated story!

Oh, I love this book! A wonderfully entertaining and deliciously heartwarming romance between a woman plucked from the streets to be a ‘stand-in’ for a famous actress, and the Hollywood heartthrob who reluctantly guides her along the way. It’s smart, witty and fully of heart, and I adored every moment of it!

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.

This is a wonderfully written story that is smart, funny, romantic and full of heart. It’s definitely a fave of 2021.

48 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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entertaining and easy listening

I really enjoyed the story, it was entertaining and definitely had funny moments. I was glad the main character had some sass and back bone and stood up for herself. I like Sam and Gracie as a couple. I thought the narrator did a good job with the pace of the story

32 people found this helpful

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a fantastic audiobook!

I can be picky about audiobooks. It has to be just the right combination of engaging story and a narrator that embodies the characters. Lily Chu and Phillipa Soo knocked it out of the park with The Stand-In!

Gracie has a lot on her plate. She was just fired and is trying to get her mom into a different nursing home. When she meets famous Chinese actress Wei Fangli and actor Sam Yao, her whole life changes. Since they look so much alike the actress asks Gracie to be her stand-in.

Gracie was a relatable character, and I really enjoyed following her adventures and experiences in a world that she's never been part of before. The story is nicely paced with interesting characters, drama, and romance that make it impossible to stop listening. I cannot wait to read more from Lily and to listen to more books narrated by Phillipa!

26 people found this helpful

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yes!!!!

What a great story! This book warmed my heart, made me laugh, shake my head in embarrassment with the characters, and left me feeling happy. I loved that the main character was biracial. While that’s only a part of the story, it also helps carry a theme of being “in between”. Not being fully in one world or another. It’s a theme throughout the story (impersonating an actress vs. being herself, being confident vs. docile, etc etc).

I just really liked this story, and the narrator was perfect!

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

highly annoying main character

Maybe I'm being too harsh but the main character is an idiot. The setup has plot holes you can drive a semi truck through. This woman is apparently a functional adult who cannot make rational decisions. You can be a meek person without being an idiot. It is all first person stream of consciousness so there is no break from her stupidity. I like the premise and can usually slog my way through until it gets good but I gave up at chapter 5. The narrator was good and did her best with what she had to work with.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Cute and funny

This is a cute and funny story with a bit of heavy but definitely, an enjoyable read, and Phillipa Soo did a wonderful job can't wait to see what else she decides to narrate.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KD
  • 06-24-21

Love it

The Stand-In by Lily Chu, narrated by Phillipa Soo, is a stand-alone own voices, rom/com.
Gracie loves her lists, her plans. But life has other plans and now she's out of a job, her mother needs financial help, the list goes on.
When she gets proposed to be the Stand-In for part of a superstar couple, what to do??? Take the job, what else? And that throws her into the world of glitz and glamour.
The storyline is diary style, set in Canada, with a chinese-candian heroine.
A literally unputdownable story where worlds are turned upside-down, enemies become lovers, twists and turns and more, much, much more.
The story is perfectly narrated, a voice fitting for the story and the character I build in my head.
I enjoyed this early listen very much. A great story, unique, lovable.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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So much fun!

The Stand-In was a fantastic debut. Phillipa Soo’a narration was spot-on for the storyline. Quick-whirred writing and an original storyline, The Stand-In was a blast to listen to!

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mistaken Identity and a little bit of life swap

What would you do if you were fed up with what life was offering to you and then when all seemed lost you were mistaken for someone famous? Would you go along with things and allow people to think you were the famous actress you look a little bit like? What would happen when that famous person asks you to help them as they need a break from it all? This is how we get into this story. There is a lot at steak for several people and unexpected things will happen.
I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story. The was always something lurking just beyond that kept you listening a little longer.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • judy stix
  • 07-21-21

clever, entertaining

I really enjoyed this listen. I was looking for something to cheer me up and not too dumb and that wasn't crime. it's a romantic comedy, but touches on deeper themes of simply being a daughter, woman, friend, human being in the world. I did relate alot to her being Chinese American (a "half") as a Chilean Welsh but I don't think that limits it, most people feel different in some way. I binged on this in a couple of days. It was so lovely to be engaged into something different from my usual fare (crime) that still gave my brain a massage.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Micky - bookphenomena
  • 07-13-21

Delightful and fun

Headlines:
Sweet and engaging
Funny moments
Fake relationship

The Stand-In brought such a fresh and sweet romance orientated around a fake relationship but it wasn't as straight forward as that sounds. The three people involved (Gracie, Sam and Fangli) really grew into three characters I felt totally invested in, especially Gracie. This grudging period these three navigated together was mostly light but it did bring some deeper themes of mental illness and physical illness.

Sam really grew on me from the arrogant, judgemental guy to the one willing to listen and be supportive. I loved seeing Gracie challenge his prejudicial views on her mixed cultural heritage. The whole stand-in storyline was fun and delightful.

This audio came with an almighty twist that I didn't see coming. Major writing props for that! It truly finished this story in place where it felt like more than the average contemporary romance.

The narration was single POV and the narration captured all the characters and dialogue well. It brought the story perfectly to life.

Thank you to audible for the early listening copy.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Popelady
  • 08-16-21

A enticing book I couldn't put down

It's 4.30am. I am exhausted from giggling and crying at the story. Fantastic. I literally could not put it down which is why I am going to be very tired at work tomorow

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • J M.
  • 08-08-21

Light and charming

I enjoyed the characters and even though some of them were a bit annoying at times, it was a fun story. I didn’t want anything heavy and this was perfect. It was romantic and cosy without being too saccharinely sweet.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-02-21

Hilarious and entertaining, PG Romantic Comedy

A fast-paced audiobook, that was still almost 11 hours long. The narrator often spoke quickly, which matched perfectly the rather hyperactive lead character. The scenes described were recognizable and the side plots were great. Our leading lady did not need rescuing, she just needed to figure out how to get her life together. And I think we all can understand that. Love, life, creepy boss, friendships, career, moral compass, and everything else that make this a lovely story. It includes enough surprise twists and turns to remain entertaining throughout the 11 hours. I always looked forward to finding more time to listen to this and time not spent listening was instead spent wondering what would likely happen next.

It's a completely PG romantic comedy in audiobook form.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MW
  • 08-21-21

Entertaining light “read”

I was rewarded for taking a gamble and spending my time listening to this light “listen” off the plus catalog.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Graham
  • 08-14-21

So enjoyable.

The story line is great but I especially love the narration by Phillip a Soo. A joy to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • lianne ward
  • 10-09-21

love this book

I love this book. I was kept on my toes with the characters and how they would react. it made me laugh, swoon and cry at times.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-08-21

Very enjoyable listen

The story is fun and engaging, it has you invested in the characters. The narrator does a great job and her voice is so easy to listen too. So glad took a chance on it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-05-21

light hearted and enjoyable. relatable characters

I loved listening to this book. it wasn't the most sophisticated story but it held my attention and was some welcome escapism.

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  • Ian
  • 07-19-21

Great story!

Just what I was looking for. Sadly seems to be the first book on audible from this author. Will keep my eyes out for more!
Brilliant!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bernadette Aitken
  • 07-23-21

Surprising

This was a ‘take a chance’ book. I’m very happy I took that chance. This was a lovely story about lost family ties, developing personal strength and going for your dream. It is full of wonderful characters that are easy to relate too.
I enjoyed the Canadian setting and the descriptions of celebrity lifestyles. The dialogue is free flowing and made me laugh and cry.
Somali Dev and Kevin Kwan, I’d say you’ll like this.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hope M
  • 07-19-21

Really good read

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Great read and different plot. Really enjoyed it.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Klaire Soper
  • 07-26-21

Loved it!

It was was chock full of wit and quippy lines to warm my soul. A must read!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vicki Ladds
  • 08-07-21

Great book

Loved it! Only new to Audible but best book so far. Narrator perfect for story.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nkesi
  • 07-28-21

Narrator is great

Phillipa Soo is talented. Lovely story, a little far fetched but grounded in reality.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-26-21

Fun

A fun story and a very engaging voice actor. Also so serious issues (dealing with anxiety and depression, being kind to yourself) which serve as good reminders that it's okay to not be perfect.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan cook
  • 08-18-21

Don’t waste your time ….

I normally don’t comment here, but this time I felt obliged. There is no character development very little story line and a very uninteresting main character ……. Couldn’t move past chapter two…..

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-21

Cute story. Easy to listen too

Enjoyable. An unrealistic, feel good story to get lost in that will leave you smiling.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bonnie Mikaelson-Bennett
  • 08-06-21

Love and growth

I loved listening to this book, it was such a good story and well read by Phillipa Soo. Long lost sisters, found families, self love and growth, and of course the romance was just as sweet.

1 person found this helpful