Review of ‘If the Shoe Fits’ by EJ Noyes
Everyone who is a Noyes fan has been waiting for this one, as it is the third and last book in the Fleisher sisters’ story. The book could work as a stand-alone, but don’t do this to yourself, read the other two first as they will enhance this read which is the weak link between all three. Now, in all fairness, the other two books were 5+ stars books that I have read and listened to more than once since their release a couple of years ago.
Jana Fleisher is a lawyer practicing family law in Washington DC. A serial casual dater, she has not been able to find even the desire to date the same man more than a few times. Brooke Donnelly literally bumps into Jana and the pair strike a friendship. They quickly realize there are some romantic sparks that will not only require Jana to consider a woman as a romantic partner, but also her ability to be in a committed relationship. The leap of faith must also come from Brooke as she fights previous relationship ghosts and a disjointed family.
The story picks up after the last book and it is told in first person from Jana’s point of view. I cannot say enough about Noyes’ first-person POV and how it just clicks with me. Her witty thoughts and self-deprecating humor are ever-present and simply brilliant once more.
I couldn’t help but feel protective over Jana, as we have known her as Sabine’s little sister. Like I was screening Brooke and hoping she would be good dating material for Jana or, well, earn my disapproval. The pace of the book was good. It reminded me of ‘Turbulence’ and how the relationship evolves on its own, but perhaps with the need for labels.
The story itself is much lighter and a departure from the previous two, which dealt with some intense topics such as PTSD and war. In that sense, it was a little of a let down since it doesn’t quite fit with the intensity of the other books. However, just when I was thinking the only issue here is one of the mains has not dated a woman before, Noyes manages to inject some other challenges with Brooke’s family dynamics. I’ll be honest, I don’t have a lot of patience for those. To me, the decision is pretty clear when it comes to tolerating homophobic family, you just don’t. I need to also understand that it is not as easy to do for some people. In this case, I became annoyed with both mains with the emphasis on family and how it was affecting them. To be fair, family has always been a central theme for the Fleisher sisters, it’s just this is the first time it has affected the romance in the story directly.
For those of us that have read the two previous novels, this installment will bring closure to the Sabine/Bec relationship. It was great to see those characters again. Sabine was neurotic as usual and Bec, well, she was just perfect (sigh). The continuity of the characters was great. Like Sabine’s hand talking and Jana’s troublesome driving abilities. Yes, new character traits but all within what we already knew and loved about them.
Overall, a good coming out lesbian romance by Noyes that will please her ever-growing fan base. 4.25 stars
ARC generously provided to me by Bella Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.