Summer of Love Week 8: If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

Posted August 12, 2021 by Lillian in Reviews / 1 Comment

Each week Stephanie, Lenore and I will be featuring a Summer of Love review on our blogs.  If you missed Stephanie’s post from Monday, check it out at Once Upon a Chapter.  If you missed Lenore’s post from Tuesday, check it out at Celebrity Readers.

Happy Thursday y’all! I took an unexpected break last week from the challenge. With homeschool starting back up, I was woefully behind in my reading. Today I chose to feature a new release that I had the pleasure of reading a little early. If you are like me, grew up watching and wanting to be a Disney princess, then this book is for you. If the Shoe Fits is the first in a new series from Disney-Hyperion that puts a contemporary spin on our favorite fairy tales. First up is Cinderella, and I absolutely loved the Bachelor themed elements. Highly recommend it! Check out the rest of our posts from last week and this week:

We will be back tomorrow with our Buddy read of People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. We know we are late and the schedule we made at the beginning of the challenge was more than we could chew. I’ve updated the schedule to reflect the changes 😉


I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Summer of Love Week 8: If the Shoe Fits by Julie MurphyIf the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy
Series: Meant to Be #1
Published by Hyperion Avenue on 2021-08-03
Length: 304 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2021, 2021 New Release Challenge, COYER 2021

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 by Julie Murphy is the first in a new series from Disney-Hyperion called Meant to Be. Each book in the series will feature a contemporary romance about one of our favorite Disney princesses. In the first installment, Murphy tackles the iconic Cinderella and nails it in my opinion. If the Shoe Fits is a modern Cinderella retelling with a Bachelor twist to up the angst and drama. 

Cindy is a newly graduated fashion designer suffering from creative block who returns to her step-mother’s home in the hopes of stirring her muse and finding herself again. I love Cindy. She is spunky, full of sass, and confident in a way most plus-size women (myself included) aren’t. I love that she goes for what she wants when she wants it and doesn’t subscribe to any labels. In short, Cindy is an icon for pleasantly plump women 😉 

Over the last few years though, Cindy’s life has changed drastically. With the sudden passing of her father, she’s an orphan. Her step-mother tries to include her, but Cindy doesn’t feel like she has a family left. Now here is one of the many things Murphy altered from the original tale that I absolutely loved. Cindy’s step family is amazing! I love her step-mother for going out of her way to make sure Cindy knows that she is loved and has family even if they aren’t blood. I love her stepsisters too! They are exactly what I imagine sisters to be. 

After arriving home, Cindy learns that her step-mother is down two contestants on the show she produces, Before Midnight. This is basically the Bachelor. Her step-mother ropes in her sisters and before she knows it, Cindy is also asked to be in the show. This is the last thing Cindy wants, but it is a good way to get her name out there and she can wear some of her own designs. What’s there to lose right? 

Then enters the prince…erhm…Henry MacKenzie. Henry and Cindy met briefly on the plane home, not realizing who the other was. Cindy thinks of him as Prince Charming and turns out he is the bachelor for the show. Falling in love on a reality TV show is not what Cindy planned when she signed up, but who can resist Henry’s charm? I liked Henry as much as Cindy, but like her it’s hard to trust a man that is dating so many other women at the same time 😆 

Overall, I really enjoyed If the Shoe Fits. Cindy is a delight, I love Henry, and the concept of Before Midnight is a fun take on finding your prince. It did make me wonder if Murphy has worked on or been a part of any reality TV as her descriptions seem too accurate to be fiction. I highly recommend this one for fans of contemporary romance.

About Julie Murphy

Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time.

When she’s not writing or reliving her reference desk glory days, she can be found watching made-for-TV movies, hunting for the perfect slice of cheese pizza, and planning her next great travel adventure.

She is also the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels Dumplin (now a film on Netflix), Puddin, Ramona Blue, and Side Effects May Vary. Dear Sweet Pea is her debut middle grade novel.

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