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LOVE & OTHER SCAMS by Philip Ellis


by Philip Ellis

Pub Date: March 14th, 2023
ISBN: 9780593542477
Publisher: Putnam

Two thieves attempt to steal a pricey engagement ring—and maybe each other’s hearts—in this fake-dating rom-com.

Cat Bellamy is at the end of her rope. She’s broke, jobless, and on the verge of being kicked out of her London apartment. The only reason she gets by is because of her slightly morally dubious side gig—picking the pockets of pervy uncles at weddings and bros at the local bar. When her rich college friend Louisa Vincent asks Cat to be her bridesmaid, she feels more panic than joy—how will she ever afford fitting into Louisa’s super fancy lifestyle when she can barely afford dinner? When Louisa brags about her uber-expensive, highly guarded engagement ring, Cat gets an idea—but this will be a bigger job than she’s ever attempted before. Luckily Jake Marlowe, the bartender who’s seen her stealing wallets, has some skills of his own. He’s an even better thief than Cat is, able to slide a Rolex right off a customer’s wrist. If the two of them team up, they can pocket Louisa’s ring and be set for life…but since Jake is Cat’s plus-one, they’ll have to pretend to be a couple. They attend extravagant wedding events (including a bachelor/bachelorette party in Palermo) and hone their skills, fooling the other bridal party members while practicing for the big day. As the line between actual and pretend feelings gets blurry, soon Cat doesn’t know what to believe. Is she just in this for the job, or could her relationship with Jake be something real? In his debut, Ellis combines a heist with a romantic comedy and creates something exciting and vibrant. There’s real depth behind Cat’s tough-girl facade, and her snarky comments are laugh-out-loud hilarious.

A delightful, fast-paced escapade full of snappy dialogue.