One of romance’s brightest stars, Rebekah Weatherspoon is thought for her candy and steamy stories. With If the Boot Fits, the second inside the Cowboys of California series, she burnishes that popularity further, delivering a thoroughly modern Cinderella story approximately an aspiring screenwriter hesitantly falling for a sexy, celebrity, cinnamon-roll-candy hero with swagger.
Weatherspoon deftly translates the classic rags to riches fairy tale’s core factors into a 21st-century context. As an overworked and underappreciated assistant, Amanda McQueen is the right contemporary equivalent of a put-upon negative relation—an invisible underling with proximity to the glitter and glam of Hollywood, but no meaningful access. Cinderella’s stepsisters and depraved stepmother have merged right into a unmarried figure, the pampered and punitive starlet Dru Anastasia, who uses Amanda as an emotional sounding board however offers little pay and no appreciate in return. Sam Pleasant, a former cowboy and scion of a venerable Black Hollywood circle of relatives, makes an awesome 21st-century prince, and the Vanity Fair Oscar celebration without problems stands in for a royal ball.
While it’s top notch amusing to look this fantasy transformed, the connection between Amanda and Sam is the beating heart of the tale, and the manner their connection develops is logo new. After all, Cinderella and Prince Charming didn’t hook up after the ball. Also new is Amanda’s irreverence and incredulity the morning after, while she wakes up in a lodge room and can’t help however think, “The night time before have to had been a dream.” Her thoughts boggles as she contemplates the collection of events that led from the Vanity Fair Oscar birthday party to an A-listing after-party, and, eventually, to Sam’s bed. Her conclusion: “There become no manner. . . . There turned into clearly no freaking way she’d run into Samuel Pleasant at each activities, and surely you’d be joking in case you told her that sometime inside the night time she and Sam had absolutely hit it off.”
This is Amanda’s voice all through— lively, skeptical and pretty relatable. Thinking this can’t take place or it’s just one night time is especially freeing, and Amanda may want to use a few freedom from her grind. One moment, she and Sam are having a laugh, and not using a names exchanged and no expectations. The next, he’s asking for her name within the middle of her “enthusiastic rendition of the cha-cha slide.” But she’s nonetheless skeptical, so she plays it cool and maintains it moving. “Sorry, I can’t listen you. I’m dancing,” is Amanda’s reply, and he or she assumes that’s that.
It’s a joy to examine the ones initial scenes and watch Sam and Amanda’s warring instincts warfare it out. Weatherspoon creates vivid, specific characters and offers them first-rate interior lives and tremendous banter. Their romance starts with that one-night time stand, and the initial spark grows through a shared sense of a laugh, commonplace values and tastes. Sam recognizes some thing in Amanda, and he invitations her into his home and his internal circle without hesitation.
It ought to be apparent that they belong together, and yet, no matter the chemistry and all their commonalities, consistent with the conventions of Hollywood, romantic fiction and fairy tales, Sam and Amanda qualify as an “not going couple,” defying fundamental societal norms. Sam comes from a wealthy circle of relatives and has simply won an Academy Award, whereas Amanda is “a D-list actress’s lowly assistant” who's struggling to discover her footing in the amusement enterprise and to simply make her lease each month. And despite the fact that they’re both African American, Amanda is a beautiful, dark-skinned, plus-size Black woman. In a tradition that still holds rapid to narrow definitions of what constitutes beauty, this reduces her reputation and eligibility. To be clear, Amanda has confidence in her talent and her looks. She’s also very aware, however, and from time to time brazenly reminded, that successful Black girls in Hollywood don’t frequently look like her. The evaluation to her boss, Dru, a thin, light-skinned biracial woman, is specifically prominent.
It’s not frequently that distinctions like this are immediately challenged on the page in historically posted romance, and Weatherspoon handles it all with grace, allowing discomfiting truths and subtle social critique to emerge organically from the events of the story. Conflicts round class, shade and size are just part of this romance, however. It’s without a doubt approximately man or woman and circle of relatives. Though If the Boot Fits locations Amanda in a expert context in which she can't absolutely escape toxic standards, plenty of the primary relationship develops on Sam’s ranch, 100 miles faraway from the image-obsessed center of the storm. As a result, their love tale by no means feels didactic and the romance in no way receives weighed down. There’s warmth and lightness during this very contemporary, yet ultimately classically romantic retelling—Amanda thrives on the assist from her own friends and own family, and Sam’s own family may be Black Hollywood royalty, however they’re also grounded, type human beings, who embody her and remind her of home. Readers who need romance to explore a number of the real issues that girls like Amanda face and see her beautifully celebrated and loved will surely adore this book.