The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale Book Review & Moodboard [Blog Tour]

Hey there!!

It’s been a long week. I was ready to start this new month because August felt too long. Not much happened in August and I want to go out a lot in September.

This is my second book by Lillie Vale. After Beauty and the Besharam, I knew I’d be reading anything the author writes. I didn’t think twice before signing up for this blog tour and I’m so giddy to be a host for this tour.

Check out other posts in this tour through this tour schedule.

Now let’s get this tour started!

Book Details

TITLE: The Decoy Girlfriend

BY: Lillie Vale


ON: 6th September 2022

GENRE: Adult Contemporary Romance



PAGES: 335► AGE:16+

RATING: 3.75/5 ★

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.


the decoy girlfriend by lillie vale moodboard

I received an eARC of this book fromPENGUIN GROUP Putnam, courtesy of TBR and Beyond Tours in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

REP: Indian mc and sc; Queer sc

I never understood the rage for fake dating trope, but after this book I understand a little why readers are crazy about it.

Freya has the worst writing slump of her life. Words elude her, leaving her frustrated. Her debut novel was a hit but she was struggling to write her second novel. Her mom was her biggest champion rooting for her stories but with her gone, she felt lost and dispirited.

She moved to California hoping that a new city might get her creative juices flowing but her brain was stuck for good. At least working part-time at her aunt’s bookshop gave her the excuse to put off writing. But seeing her co-workers discuss about her books like she wasn’t in the same room hurt her feelings.

Her day worsened when Hollywood’s Golden Boy, Taft Bamber, stopped by the bookstore and said things to fuels her anger.

Without a muse to inspire her next bestseller and after that not-so-stellar encounter with her celebrity-crush, she has only one option to put the day’s events behind–to pose as Mandini Roy (Mandi ), her look-alike, for one last time to sneak into a club and have a great time with her writer friends.

It’s uncanny how two people can look alike with a bit of makeup and a hairdo. Freya has never been caught playing Mandi before but she does this time by Taft, real Mandi’s boyfriend.

Okay, speaking about real boyfriend, Taft was in a pretend relationship with Mandi because they both have a great on-screen chemistry; the fans dig it and their agencies decided the best way to get more press for their new movie was them being in a fake relationship. Freya’s mishap gave them an idea, which Mandi never pauses to act on.

Freya was asked to fill in for Mandi and be an imposter until the movie’s premiere. She knows she’s stuck because the other option was going to jail, so she accepts their offer to be an imposter.

Though Taft and Freya have a rocky start in faking their fake-relationship, they get to know each other soon after sharing their space and time together.

This works out well for Taft because he sensed a connection between him and Freya after bickering with Freya in the bookstore. He was attracted to her and genuinely wanted to know her, so it was a win for him.

It was only a matter of time before they both realised they weren’t faking their emotions anymore.

This book delivered the fake dating trope better than I expected. Despite Taft and Freya getting off on the wrong foot, they became good friends talking about their lives, loneliness, and fears.

I liked both of them equally. They both had great personalities. Taft in particular was fleshed out well in the novel. His need to be involved in people who mattered to him was an endearing trait. But there were a few who walked over him and blamed him for being the famous-guy-who-had-no-time -for-his- friends but let their accusations slide every time. I was curious to see if he would confront his friends and continue this toxic friendship or not.

The third act put the main characters in a tangled mess, was wondering how they’d come out of it without hindering the progress in their relationship. I can safely say that it was neatly resolved.

What came off as a big surprise was how explicit this book was. After reading the Beauty and the Besharam, I went into this book thinking it was going to be a light Romance, but this book was steamy and graphic with great chemistry between the characters.

Put simply, this book was hot and swoonworthy. I read it in one go. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a new fake-dating romance splashed with good friendships and unspoken side of showbiz.

CW // Please be aware that through the course of the novel, Freya recounts fond memories of her mother, who passed away before the book begins (off-page), and the ways in which that love is intertwined with her writing. Taft stands firm against toxic masculinity and learns to let go of toxic friendships. There is also explicit on-page sex between two consenting adults


Lillie Vale is the author of books for both teens and adults, including The Decoy Girlfriend, Beauty and the Besharam, The Shaadi Set-Up and Small Town Hearts, an American Library Association’s 2020 Rainbow Books List selection. 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.

website | twitter | instagram | goodreads

Let’s Chat:

Have you read this book or is it on your tbr?

“There is no greater magic in all the universes combined than someone who builds a home for you in their heart.”

Lillie Vale, The Decoy Girlfriend


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s