A Meant to be Novel, Book 1
From the publisher:
If the shoe doesn’t fit, maybe it’s time to design your own.
Cindy loves shoes. A well-placed bow or a chic stacked heel is her form of self-expression. As a fashion-obsessed plus-size woman, she can never find designer clothes that work on her body, but a special pair of shoes always fits just right.
With a shiny new design degree but no job in sight, Cindy moves back in with her stepmother, Erica Tremaine, the executive producer of the world’s biggest dating reality show. When a contestant on Before Midnight bows out at the last minute, Cindy is thrust into the spotlight. Showcasing her killer shoe collection on network TV seems like a great way to jump-start her career. And, while she’s at it, why not go on a few lavish dates with an eligible suitor?
But being the first and only fat contestant on Before Midnight turns her into a viral sensation—and a body-positivity icon—overnight. Even harder to believe? She can actually see herself falling for this Prince Charming. To make it to the end, despite the fans, the haters, and a house full of fellow contestants she’s not sure she can trust, Cindy will have to take a leap of faith and hope her heels— and her heart—don’t break in the process.
Best-selling author Julie Murphy’s reimagining of a beloved fairy tale is an enchanting story of self-love and believing in the happy ending each and every one of us deserves.
“If the Shoe Fits encompasses everything I love about rom-coms. I laughed, I swooned, I smiled. Another hit for Julie Murphy!”
—Colleen Hoover, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Hopeless
Fairy tales are often fodder for romance novels, and the last ones I remember were the books in the Fairy Tales series by Eloisa James. Those were historical romances and I loved them, so i was happy to try out this contemporary version. This book is very loosely based on Cinderella.
Cindy just graduated from Parson School of Design, and her career choice is to design shoes. But how to break into such a competitive industry is a bit disheartening. Cindy lost her mom when she was young, and her father died while she was in high school. Her stepmother and stepsisters are there for her, though, and she offers to be her stepmother’s nanny for the summer. After her father died, her stepmother had his triplets, and she can use the help.
Cindy isn’t entirely comfortable with her stepfamily, but they try their hardest to make her feel like a member of the family, and she just loves the triplets. Her stepmother is the executive producer of a top dating reality show, and when a couple of the girls drop out at the last minute, she asks her daughters to step in, but not Cindy. Cindy is a plus size girl, and her stepmother is afraid that the Twitterverse will be cruel. But Beck, her second in command, thinks Cindy would be great, and talks her into it by telling her that her shoe designs will get a ton of publicity so Cindy talks her stepmother into letting her onto the show.
Living with a house full of skinny women competing for the same man doesn’t really phase Cindy. And when it turns out the bachelor (or in this series, the “suitor”) is the really nice guy she met on her flight home from school, she is in it to win it. As the competition continues, Cindy moves along and makes it to the final three. The public adores her, and her shoes are a big hit as well. Beck has been giving Cindy some intel about the whole process, and when she finds out that the winner was pretty much determined before they even started shooting, she declines to participate in the finale. Then the suitor disappears too.
This was a really fun read, and I have never even watched “The Bachelor.” But reality TV makes for a good plot, and it works here. We don’t get to know the “suitor” quite as well as Cindy, but I still wanted them to get their happily ever after. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.
8/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
IF THE SHOE FITS by Julie Murphy. Hyperion Avenue (August 3, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593100851. 384 pages.