These Boots Were Made for Strutting is a sensual, dynamic, laugh-out-loud collection of novellas by three of today’s hottest romance authors. Each story in the collection features a central theme: a woman who needs to find her inner goddess and a pair of gorgeous shoes purchased from a somewhat mystical shoe site, hiheelia.com. From these common elements, each author creates a story uniquely her own, as different from each other as the authors themselves.
“A Rose By Any Other Name” by Lisa Cach introduces the reader to Kelsey, a quirky, socially inept landscape designer who finds hers inner vixen after donning a pair of fabulous green shoes. Kelsey’s secret fantasy is to find the man of her dreams, someone who understands and appreciates her quirks, who will see through her social ineptness to discover the woman within.
Enter Jack, owner of the house Kelsey is currently contracted to landscape. Jack is oblivious to Kelsey’s charms, hidden beneath a safari hat and a pair of prescription goggles, yet he immediately falls for her alter-ego, Rosa, the sex kitten Kelsey becomes while wearing her hiheelia.com shoes. Reminiscent of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” Kelsey and Jack’s tale is full of twists, turns, friendship, longing and true love revealed.
This is my favorite of the three tales because it offers the reader a well-balanced dose of romance, sexuality and laughter. More than once I found myself erupting with laughter over the dialogue, cheering on the heroine and embracing her quirks, all the while hoping everything would work out just right. The writing is tight, with a well thought-out story line and enough details about the characters’ personalities to make you feel at home with them.
“So I Dated An Axe Murderer” by Gemma Halliday features Kya, a computer geek-turned-model, thanks to her hiheelia shoes. An unexpected modeling contract, a hunky new love interest and visions of murder all play a part in Kya’s tale. Doubts about the new man in her life and the role he might have played in the drowning death of his model girlfriend add a heightened sense of suspense to the story. The story plays out like a Hitchcock tale more than a lighthearted romance because it has more drama and darkness than the other two novellas, but it is a romance at its core. The writing is well done, the characters interesting and the plot a good balance between drama and romance without either being overdone.
“And They Danced” by Melanie Jackson is a cross between Cinderella and The Red Shoes. After finding a pair of magical hihellia.com shoes on her doorstep, the main character, Faith, decides to attend a charity dance competition with hunky dance instructor Avel. As with all fairy tales, there’s a catch: the shoes cannot be worn more than twice or something terrible may happen. Although the premise of the story is intriguing, the main characters lack appeal. Avel’s character comes across as either too gushing or too snobbish. Faith’s character was more likeable, but even she lacks real substance. This is the weakest story in the trio, lacking consistency in the character depictions and emotional depth. The descriptions of the dances performed, though, are great; if it weren’t for those the entire tale would have fallen flat.