Review of ‘If the shoe fits’ by EJ Noyes
This is book three of the ‘Ask, tell’ series which started with the book with the same title. The link between the books in this series is more related to the characters involved rather than the genre of each novel. I can’t remember a series with more diversity in their stories. Book one ‘Ask, tell‘ is a military romance, book two ‘Ask me again‘ is an angsty romance that ties loose ends of the previous installment, and ‘If the shoe fits’ is the most typical romance of them all. Even though the books are so different and you can read book three as a stand-alone, I recommend reading them all chronologically because you’ll understand the background of the story much better and they are so worth it.
Jana Fleisher is a divorce lawyer focused on her busy job with little time for dating. Her love life consists of seeing men casually and not for long, being too picky or easily bored. When she literally bumps into Brooke Donelly, their initial confrontation swiftly develops into a friendship. But as both women get to know each other, Jana starts to have romantic feelings towards Brooke which seem to be reciprocated. Will Jana and Brooke take the leap and commit to each other?
I was excited to read this lesbian coming out romance book as we’ve got glimpses of Jana’s character in the first two books of the series in her role as one of the main characters’ little sister. She’s a spitfire, quirky, extrovert, loyal, and drives like a lunatic. It’s a good follow-up of her relationship with both her sister Sabine and her future sister-in-law Rebecca. It’s a very rich relationship of mutual trust, banter, and support, a testament to Ms. Noyes’s great character building. As we’ve seen in the previous books Jana supporting Sabine and Rebecca, now the tables are turned and it’s Jana who looks for and receives relationship advice from them. As a bonus, the reader catches up with their lives and the evolution of Sabine’s PTSD.
As much as I love Jana, Sabine, and Rebecca, I didn’t feel the same connection with Brooke. She’s a well-written character and her actions are logical within her life experience but, I couldn’t identify with her as much as with the others. The chemistry between Jana and Brooke is hot, and Jana’s realisation that she has feelings for Brooke is very well done and credible. However, I couldn’t relate to Brooke’s family conflict and I felt that its resolution was a bit fast and too ideal. It didn’t sound realistic, which is a pity because Sabine and Rebecca’s story is so compelling and powerful that minimises Jana and Brooke’s. Having said that, if you are looking for an entertaining lesbian coming out romance, you surely going to like this one as it’s well written and the chemistry is hot.
Overall, an entertaining and light coming out romance and a very good end to the series. 4.5 stars.
ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.