I am certainly not a Rebekah Weatherspoon expert, but If the Boot Fits feels like the most comfortable book she has written. I don’t know if it’s the one I’m the most comfortable with, or if she’s comfortably in her authorial stride. Either way, everything about this worked for me. Her Cowboys of Charming series has a lot less steam than her self published books, but she doesn’t skimp on the heat between Amanda and Sam. Best of all, she hasn’t toned down her amazing characters.
We meet Amanda as she is waking up in bed after a one night stand with new Oscar winner Sam Pleasant. She rolls out of bed, grabs the swag bag she managed to get at the swanky Oscar’s after party, and exits without leaving her name or contact information. The night before had been a fairytale, apart from her real life as an assistant to a demanding young TV actress. Yes, this is a Cinderella retelling. Though she has no intention of seeing Sam again, he intends to track her down. Hollywood is a small place and they bump into each other, and then she ends up at a wedding at Sam’s family’s ranch.
Amanda is smart, funny, and comfortable with her own sense of worth, but vulnerable about how other people, beyond a trusted few, will value her. She’s very aware that her ambition, imagination and capabilities are far greater than the opportunities currently available to her. Amanda has tremendous compassion for the young actress she works for, even while she is frustrated by both the trajectory of her career and the humiliations her boss heaps on her. She knows she is getting towards the end of her rope, but doesn’t see a way to get from where she is to where she wants to be. She gives her employer a lot of her time and energy and needs to keep what’s left for herself. She doesn’t have room for Sam, as sexy and in to her as he is.
Sam, having just reached a major high point of his career, is feeling at loose ends and uncertain of his next steps. He wants Amanda in his life, but when she sets a boundary he respects it. He also offers no strings attached help and care. Sam comes from a family of women who know their mind, making rhythm of banter and care that he falls into with Amanda feel like a natural extension of who he is.
One of the secondary characters is Sam’s grandmother and the family matriarch, acting legend Miss Leona Lewis. We don’t spend much time with Miss Leona but her every move reverberates through the family. I love this scene between Miss Leona and Amanda because it shows Miss Leona’s grace, Amanda’s sweetness, and both of their sense of humor.
“She turned toward Amanda and, as if in the most magical slow motion, held open her arms. With a gracious flick of her wrists and careful nod of “get your ass over here,” she beckoned Amanda into her warm embrace.
“This is like being hugged by Jesus,” Amanda whispered. “This is the hug I’ve been dreaming of my whole life.””
I loved that when Amanda ran into trouble, her friends are there and ready to help. Amanda doesn’t need to be a strong woman who can take care of herself because she has people who want to help her take care of herself. None of us can survive without help and community. I would also love for Amanda’s dream tv show were a reality.
I received an arc of If the Boot Fits from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.