If the Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale

If the Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale

4.2 59
by Sandra D. Bricker
     
 

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Julianne used to believe in fairy tales; but she‘s never come any closer to finding the perfect man than tripping over her childhood best friend, Will. And now she and Will are attorneys, joined up in private practice.

On her way to court one day, Julianne runs right smack dab into Prince Charming: The Prince‘s toolbox has fallen off the back

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Overview

Julianne used to believe in fairy tales; but she‘s never come any closer to finding the perfect man than tripping over her childhood best friend, Will. And now she and Will are attorneys, joined up in private practice.

On her way to court one day, Julianne runs right smack dab into Prince Charming: The Prince‘s toolbox has fallen off the back of his truck, and one work boot along with it. What better way for God to grab her attention than to show her a glass slipper…errrr, work boot'

Julianne is on a collision course with God‘s perfect plan for her life…if only she could open her eyes and see it before it‘s too late. After all, who finds their Prince Charming on a 10-speed bicycle on the other side of the cul de sac' Well… Julianne does. Only she doesn‘t have a clue.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bricker (Always the Baker, Never the Bride) sticks close to the standard structure of modern chick-lit novels: a 20-something heroine simultaneously chases the holy grail of successful career accomplishments and a Prince Charming in this fairy-tale romance. Julianne Bartlett seems to be ending up with more frogs than princes while overlooking the true hero in her life. Julianne and Will Hanes have been friends since grade school. Now they are partners in their own law firm, which only gives Will a front-row seat to Julianne’s romantic misadventures. It’s a predictable tale, but, as Julianne’s mother explains, “no one reading ever expects a big unexpected plot twist or has a single doubt about who the prince and princess are going to end up with at the end of the story.... The interesting part is how they get there.” Bricker makes the getting there thoroughly enjoyable. She includes many recognizable elements of the classic Cinderella tale (a fairy godmother, Prince Charming... even a bejeweled slipper) and a supporting cast of characters that provides ample doses of drama, romance, and humor. A delightfully breezy read. Agent: Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary Agency. (June)
From the Publisher

". . . Julianne Bartlett seems to be ending up with more frogs than princes while overlooking the true hero in her life. Julianne and Will Hanes have been friends since grade school. Now they are partners in their own law firm, which only gives Will a front-row seat to Julianne’s romantic misadventures. It’s a predictable tale, but, as Julianne’s mother explains, “no one reading [fairy tales] ever expects a big unexpected plot twist or has a single doubt about who the prince and princess are going to end up with at the end of the story.... The interesting part is how they get there.” Bricker makes the getting there thoroughly enjoyable.Bricker includes many recognizable elements of the classic Cinderella tale (a fairy godmother, Prince Charming... even a bejeweled slipper) and a supporting cast of characters that provides ample doses of drama, romance, and humor. A delightfully breezy read. Agent: Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary Agency."~ Publishters Weekly04/22/2013

If the Shoe Fits by Sandra D. Bricker (RiverNorth). Julianne has been looking for Prince Charming all her life — and that doesn't change when she and her best friend, Will, agree to be law partners. When this Cinderella-in-training discovers a work boot, she's determined to track down its handsome owner — and meets handyman Paul. Will the shoe fit, or will he tumble off his princely pedestal'~USA Today, 06/12/2013

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802484031
Publisher:
Moody Publishers
Publication date:
05/15/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
231,740
File size:
3 MB

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Read an Excerpt

If the Shoe Fits


By Sandra D. Bricker, Cheryl Dunlop Molin

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2013 Sandra D. Bricker
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-8403-1


CHAPTER 1

"Hang on!" Julianne shouted at the cell phone already in flight and hurtling toward the empty passenger seat of her white PT Cruiser. "Ooooh, hang on, Will!"

She pumped the brakes frantically, clutching the steering wheel so that her fingers ached, and virtually ignoring the stream of diet Coke running from the overturned paper cup in her lap. Speeding toward the rear bumper of the sport utility in front of her, she squeezed her eyes shut in anticipation of the impact.

When her car jerked to a violent stop, Julianne cautiously opened one eye and then the other.

"Jules? What's going on? Jules? Are you all right?"

Julianne looked down to find the cell phone teetering in the half-filled bowl of water on the floor of the car. A bug-eyed goldfish swam around it in wide, frantic circles.

"I'm sorry, sweetie," she said and cringed, gently lifting the phone from the water and shaking it drip-dry. "I'll bet that was scary for you, huh?"

"Jules? ... Talk to me."

"Oh," she said with a start, crinkling her nose as she held the damp instrument to her ear. "Will. Sorry. Some guy up ahead of me slammed on his brakes and nearly caused a three-car pileup, with me as the caboose!"

"Did anyone get hit?"

"No. It seems like we all narrowly escaped the impa—"

Before she could complete the thought, squealing tires traversed into grinding steel and shattering glass, falling to silence after one final thud! from somewhere behind her.

The monotonous clank of her windshield wipers drew Julianne from her state of shock. She pushed the button to lower her car window and poked her head out into the rain.

"What's going on?" Will's muffled voice called out to her.

Julianne watched the sight before her in gaping silence.

He had to be more than six feet tall, and his shaggy, blondish hair fell past the collar of the long black coat that seemed to float behind him as he stalked toward her, straight down the double yellow line in the center of the road. A day's worth of stubble shadowed his suntanned face, along with an intense form of resolve. The soles of his boots pressed puddles in the road into tiny geysers at each determined step, and he glided through without notice. But the best part: the way he gazed down at the enormous bulge of pale yellow fur in his arms as the large dog tilted its loving, grateful gaze upward.

Before she could fully register the pair as anything more than a momentary vision, they disappeared into the pickup truck in front of the SUV ahead of her.

"No," she found herself squealing right out loud. "No! He's ... leaving."

"Who?"

"Will, he's driving away! How do I stop him!"

"Stop who? Was it a hit-and-run? Can you see a plate?"

"N-no," Julianne stammered, straining out the window for a better look at the driver of the cherry-red Chevy truck.

"It looks like a dog was hit. And God sent an angel to the rescue."

"What are you babbling about, girl? ... Jules, did you hit your head?"

The pickup sped away around the corner, and the four-wheel drive ahead of her followed suit, swerving angrily before screeching through the intersection.

"Hey! Something fell off the angel's truck," she said, distracted. "I'm going to pick it up."

"Pick up ... What?"

Julianne thoughtlessly pitched her cell phone to the seat beside her and flicked on the hazard lights. She heard Will scolding her in the distance as she let herself out of the car into the rain and hurriedly approached the obstruction in the road ahead.

There before her—as oddly out of place as, say, a woman standing in the middle of a busy intersection in the pouring rain—sat a red toolbox with one leather work boot propped innocently against it like a billboard advertisement.

Julianne cocked her head and gaped at it for a moment before the blast of car horns propelled her into action. The muscles in her arm flexed painfully all the way up to her neck as she struggled to lift the box, and she grabbed the boot by the laces and ran, dropping them both into the backseat of her car once she reached it. She'd barely closed the door behind her as she thrust the gearshift into drive, and she squealed away just in time to miss the impact of oncoming traffic by a stone's throw.

"What are you doing now? Jules?"

"His toolbox fell off his truck," she said as she pressed the speaker button on her iPhone.

"Whose truck?"

"And a boot. So I stopped and picked them up out of the road."

"A boot? Jules, what are you talking about?"

"I grew up with two older brothers," she continued as she took the turn onto Ninth. "This kind of toolbox is really expensive. He had the truck bed stacked with all kinds of lumber, and the box fell out when he stopped to save the dog."

"What dog?"

"The dog that was in the road, Will. Pay attention, would you, please?"

His groan of exasperation was mostly lost on Julianne.

"I'm going to have to find him," she thought aloud. "I wish I'd have gotten his plate number."

The idea of finding the dog-saving angel in the red Chevy pickup set her pulse to pounding an octave above the steady beat of windshield wipers that matched her heartbeat.

"Maybe I could call the newspaper and place an ad," she said as she veered onto the shoulder of the road to avoid the traffic blocking her from turning into the city lot. "Tools like these don't come cheap. Oh, and the way they were sitting there in the road, the work boot propped up against the box, it was like ... a sign. God was telling me something, I just know it. He drove away—"

"Who? God?"

"—but I'm supposed to find him."

"Find him?"

"Yes, find him," she declared. "I'm not going to stop searching until—"

"And, by George," he interrupted with dramatic flair, "you'll take that boot to every workshop in the kingdom if you have to! Every man shall try it on until, at last, you find your prince."

Julianne didn't reply. She just grinned and shrugged slightly. It was the germ of a plan, after all.

"Will, I'm due in court. I've got to run."

"I'll see you back at the office when you're through."

Once she found a parking spot, Julianne slipped her phone into her bag as she ran. As she skidded around the corner and through the double glass doors into the courthouse, water sloshed from the fishbowl to the rubber mat lining the floor.

"Oh, phooey!" she cried as she scampered up the stairs to the second floor, shielding the open top of the bowl with her hand in an effort to keep the stunned fish inside it while squeezing her briefcase beneath one free arm.

"Ms. Bartlett," Judge Hillman greeted her the moment she burst through the door to the courtroom. "We were just speculating as to whether you were going to join us this afternoon."

"Oh, Your Honor, I am so sorry. The weather is horrible out there, and the traffic trying to get off Ninth Street is impossible. I apologize for—"

"Ms. Bartlett, is that a fish?" he interrupted.

"Oh, yes, sir. Yes, it is."

"What, pray tell, is it doing in my courtroom?"

"Th-this is Jonah, Your Honor. He's my pet goldfish, sir. And I had him in my car, planning to take him over to our new office before I was due in court. But because of the weather and the traffic, and this really amazing man ... a vision, really ..."

"And the tie-up on Ninth?"

"Yes, sir, because of that, I didn't have time to stop by the office first, and I couldn't just leave him in the car."

"No, you couldn't do that. Why again?"

Julianne set the fishbowl and her briefcase on the table before her, slipping out of her diet Coke–splotched raincoat as she continued. "Begging Your Honor's pardon, I thought I could set him right here on the corner of the table."

"Bailiff? Is there a No Pets rule for my courtroom?" Judge Hillman asked Bridget, and the stocky woman grazed Julianne with a serious eye.

"Yes, Your Honor. But I don't think we've ever found the need to exercise it until now."

"Ms. Bartlett," Hillman said seriously with an arch to his rather bushy gray eyebrow, "you may leave, um ..."

"Jonah. Like the guy inside the whale?"

"Yes. Leave it right there on the table for today. But be advised that there will be no further allowances for pets of any kind in my courtroom. Is that understood?"

"Y-yes, Your Honor. Thank you so much."

Julianne ran her hands through her damp hair and pressed the front of her navy suit.

"Are we ready to proceed then, Ms. Bartlett?"

"Yes, sir. I'm ready." Casting a casual glance toward opposing counsel, she added, "If Mr. Flannigan is ready, that is."

"Oh, I've been ready for quite some time, Your Honor," Flannigan replied.

"All right then. Let's play courtroom, shall we?" he asked them. "I'll be the judge. Is your client present, Ms. Bartlett?"

"Uh, no, sir, he's not."

Flannigan groaned, and Hillman released a sigh from behind the bench.

"Did your client understand that part of the arrangement of being out on bail includes showing up in court?"

"Yes, sir," Julianne answered politely. "But there are extenuating circumstances surrounding this case."

"Your Honor!" Flannigan exclaimed, and he went silent when the judge raised his hand.

"Your client was caught on videotape in Leffler's Jewelry Store stealing a two-carat diamond, Ms. Bartlett."

"Yes, sir."

"A diamond which he swallowed, but which never passed through his intestinal tract, is that correct?"

"Yes, sir."

"And Mr. Bertinni does not contest his guilt in this matter?"

"No, Your Honor. In fact, he is hoping to make full restitution to Leffler's, which is why he's not present in the courtroom today and why we're hoping for a continuance on this matter."

"Can you explain that to me, Ms. Bartlett?"

"Well, sir, Antonio Bertinni is currently a patient at Good Samaritan Hospital."

"The aforementioned diamond?" Hillman asked.

"Yes, sir. It's passing through his system as we speak."

"Continuance granted," the judge declared without expression. "We'll hear the details of this case on the twenty-third at 9:30 a.m."

One firm rap of the gavel punctuated the judgment.

"You are the luckiest broad on earth," Flannigan cracked as he passed her and walked out the door.

Julianne inwardly acknowledged his statement and lifted the fishbowl to carefully inspect its occupant.

"He called me a broad, Jonah. Are you going to let him talk to me like that?"

When the fish did a quick circle around the inside of the glass bowl, she blew him a kiss and hurriedly gathered her things.

* * *

Julianne couldn't get the vision out of her head. He'd looked like something straight out of the movies, his long black coat flowing behind him as he walked purposefully toward her, the misty haze of rain clouding him into a dreamlike apparition, yet still allowing enough clarity to make out the shadow of stubble along the line of his jaw. And the way that dog looked up at him! Appreciation, admiration, and blessed relief.

"Must love animals as much as I do." That was the third point on her ten-point mental checklist for her very own Prince Charming!

The only thing that had been missing from their first almost-meeting was slow-motion movie effects, and maybe a soft dissolve as his truck peeled out of the intersection.

"He was like nothing you've ever seen before, in person."

"Well, congratulations," her best friend and business partner said sourly. "Now can you give me a hand with this?"

Julianne glanced down at the floor where Will peered up at her from beneath the desk, his dark hair rumpled and his brown eyes narrowed as he glared at her. But a spontaneous burst of laughter coughed out of Julianne in retort.

"Go ahead. Laugh it up, Jules," Will said with a frown. "But my computer's already hooked up. I could easily leave you without one."

"No, no, don't do that," she replied, gazing first at the end of a computer cable dangling from Will's extended hand, then at the look of sheer exasperation on his perfect, square-jawed face.

"What do you want me to do with it?" Julianne asked him, taking the cable cautiously into her hand.

"Don't tempt me with questions like that, Jules," he said, miming the wrapping of the cable around her neck.

Julianne mouthed an unamused, "Ha ha ha," and she gently smacked Will's leg with the cable.

"Run it around the length of the desk, and hand it to me through the opening in the back."

Julianne did as she was told and, several minutes later, Will emerged from underneath the desk with a victorious grin.

"What are your plans tonight?" he asked her. "A dinner, silent auction, fundraising effort for dogs, cats, starving armadillos?"

"Very funny. I am completely free tonight. The plight of starving armadillos will have my full attention tomorrow."

"Of course they will," Will answered with a chuckle.

"And the dogs were last week when you graciously dusted off your tuxedo and accompanied me."

Will grimaced. "Whatever. You are now up and running, my friend. Once more connected to the planet via the Worldwide Web." He took Julianne's outstretched hand and groaned as she tugged him from the floor. "It looks like we're official. The Law Offices of Hanes & Bartlett, open for business."

A surge of excitement shot through Julianne. She'd been waiting for this moment since the day she and Will had graduated from law school just five years prior. Today was a banner day, and it deserved some serious celebration.

* * *

Will trailed behind as his father and Julianne headed for the kitchen. Being there in his family home again, so much familiarity between his dad and his best friend, Will half expected his mom to bound through the back door, a sack of groceries in her arms and a beaming neon smile on her pretty, suntanned face.

"You get the ice cream, and I'll get the root beer!" Julianne exclaimed.

Will's father nodded. "Anywhere else in the world, a celebration like this might involve popping champagne corks and glasses of wine raised overhead," he declared. "But here ... root beer floats are the stuff that toasts are made of."

"Don't forget we've ordered Chinese," Julianne reminded him with a grin. "The celebratory meal of champions."

"Where's Amanda?" the elderly man asked as he dipped a scoop of vanilla ice cream into a tall glass.

"Mom's just back from her sculpting class. She's changing into a clean blouse and said she'd be over in two shakes of a lamb's tail."

Will grinned, knowing that was a direct quote. Julianne's mom always said things like that.

"Shall I make her a float, too?"

"Please."

Quick flashes of past root-beer-float celebrations blinked through Will's memory. He and Julianne had become quick best friends when her family moved in next door, both of them ten years old at the time, her with her pigtails and gangly long legs, and him with his scruffy hair and debilitating shyness.

"Remember our first floats?" Julianne asked as if she could hear his thoughts.

"In the backyard," Will replied. "We barbecued chicken on the grill, and your mom brought that horrid potato salad she makes with the green olives in it."

"Shh," Julianne said playfully. "She'll be here any minute."

"That was the day the doctors told my mom she'd beaten her cancer."

"Round one, anyhow," his dad chimed in, and the mist of emotion in his eyes inspired Will to touch his father, Davis, on the shoulder.

"I miss her, too."

"Adele was awesome," Julianne added as she took Davis's hand into hers. "So beautiful, and so kindhearted."

"Yes, she was," the older man agreed with a nod before glancing up at Will. "Your mother would be very proud of you, Son; proud of you both."

"She would have been the first one to the root beer!" Julianne exclaimed, and Will nodded.

"Who might have ever seen this day coming?" his dad asked, returning his attention to crafting four perfect floats. "Those two kids racing their bikes around the cul-de-sac—lawyers now! And starting their own practice."

"Am I too late for the toast?"

Will offered his hand to Julianne's mother, helping her up the last step and through the back door. "Just in time," he told her with a smile.

"We ordered some beef with broccoli just for you, Mandy," his father announced, pouring cold root beer into four tall glasses.

"Oh, thank you. That's my favorite."

Julianne poked straws into each glass as she distributed them. "Okay! Let's toast!"

"Here's to our two kids," Amanda piped up.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from If the Shoe Fits by Sandra D. Bricker, Cheryl Dunlop Molin. Copyright © 2013 Sandra D. Bricker. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

Praise for If the Shoe Fits

Sandra D. Bricker’s oh-so-modern fairy tale—Cinderella without the cinders, an unexpected Charming, and glass slippers flying—is a so- phisticated delight from the first word to the last, with an ending as satisfying as crème brûlée. A story of the richest kind of love, If the Shoe Fits does!

Cynthia Ruchti, author of When the Morning Glory Blooms

Sandra D. Bricker’s Cinderella-esque If the Shoe Fits is a delightful blend of faith, humor, romance, and finding Happily Ever After in unexpected places. Truly, a fun and satisfying read.

Tamara Leigh, Carol Award–winning author 

Any book by Sandra D. Bricker is a bright spot in my day! I’ve been a fan since Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida. Her stories are clever, and she creates characters you can’t help caring about.

Annie Jones,  bestselling author

If the Shoe Fits is a delightful retelling of a classic fairy tale as only Sandra D. Bricker can write it. With her trademark humor, Bricker weaves the laugh-out-loud story of romance gone awry—as they often do—and weaves in the truth that Happily Ever After is often closer than we realized.

Beth K. Vogt, author of Wish You Were Here and Catch a Falling Star 

If the Shoe Fits is a hilarious romp from the first fender-bender to the very end. The characters leapt off the page and into my heart, making me laugh and, at the same time, wondering when they would wise up and fall in love already! When they did, well, it was definitely worth the wait. The shoe' It definitely fit! Do not miss this one!

Kathleen YBarbo, bestselling author of Flora’sWish 

If the Shoe Fits—written by the queen of romantic comedy, Sandra D. Bricker—is a rollicking good tale of a girl who’s looking for her Prince Charming. If you love to laugh, if you sigh over good love stories, then you’ve got a treat waiting for you. Novel Rocket and I give it a high recommendation.

Ane Mulligan, senior editor, Novel Rocket 

If the Shoe Fits turns the story of Cinderella on its head in Sandra D. Bricker’s fun new romantic comedy.  Bricker does a great job of telling a fast-paced story that offers laughs as well as faith, and a whole lotta heart.

Linda S. Clare, novelist (whose alter ego, Miss Writerly Cranky- pants, “gripes so you don’t have to”) 

Romantic, witty, and charming. You’re going to fall in love with If the Shoe Fits ! This modern-day fairy tale will have you laughing, sighing, and dreaming of Happily Ever Afters.

Anita Higman,  award-winning author of thirty-two books 

If the Shoe Fits is the perfect blend of romance, humor, and heart. One heroine who wants the storybook Happily Ever After and one hero who needs the courage to face I Love You, and you have a recipe for love triumphing over a friendship too important to risk. Sprinkle in a de- lightful cast of supporting characters, and you have a romance you’ll delight to read.

Cara Putman, award-winning author 

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