I adored Dumplin’ and was very excited that Julie Murphy was going to be releasing an adult romance (not a steamy romance, but one geared towards adult, rather than young adult audiences). Add in the fact that it was a retelling, and I was sure this would be a new favorite. Unfortunately, If the Shoe Fits just fell flat for me.
After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America’s favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion.
Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn’t expect? That she may just find inspiration-and love-in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn’t fit, maybe it’s time to design your own.
I normally love romances set on Bachelor-esque shows (e.g., The Charm Offensive, which I reviewed here, and One to Watch, which I reviewed here) and was so into the premise but this book just fell flat on a whole number of levels for me. I enjoyed the beginning well enough, and it was easy enough to read, but this story felt dissatisfying and left me wanting a lot more in the end.
Henry was great at moments but honestly, he was so aloof and hard to read at others. And I get that that’s the whole premise of the show—he’s dating multiple women—but for a while, it felt like we were supposed to be satisfied with Cindy accepting scraps of his attention, to be satisfied with watching her pine over a guy that, if I didn’t know it would for sure end in a HEA (happily ever after), I wouldn’t have been certain he was the best match for her. I’m still not certain, to be honest, because Murphy didn’t really show us their connection and barely gave us any sort of reunion in the end.
Still, like I said, it was entertaining enough such that I kept going and was curious to see where the story went, even if I didn’t end up being that happy with it. If the Shoe Fits is cute enough that if you’re looking for something low-angst and quick, it’s fine, but ultimately the lack of meaningful development and genuine chemistry left me dissatisfied in the end.
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