I have to admit, not much about this book made sense to me. Unfortunately, since this “I’m not buying it” factor applies to both the way the two major characters act throughout the book and the basic structure of the plot, it’s a big problem.
Jenny Prillaman works as the assistant – the filing and fetching kind – to a designer at an Atlanta shoe company. When the designer lands in rehab at a critical moment in a project, Jenny’s “covering” for him extends to presenting her “doodles” of shoe designs as those of her boss. Of course, the designs are a success, the sexy company VP figures out soon enough that Jenny is the real “designer” and gives her the chance to pinch hit for her boss.
Problem is that Jenny’s boss over-sold her credentials to VP Marc Waterson, adding to her resume both a design school degree and an internship at a rival shoe company. Though not without reservations, ambitious Jenny keeps quiet about her boss’s lies and negotiates a sweet deal with Marc.
But Jenny’s interested in more than her career. The shy plain Jane yearns for something better in her life and decides that an affair with Marc would be just the ticket. In standard romance novel fashion, of course, that involves the obligatory sexy new wardrobe, makeup, and the ditching of her glasses for contact lenses.
See, Jenny’s ambitious. We know that. But Jenny doesn’t give a moment’s thought to what aggressively pursuing an affair with the company VP might mean. She’s horny, baby!
As for Marc, we’re told that he’s on the ruthlessly ambitious side himself, but that doesn’t stop him from engaging in a quickie with Jenny. Okay, okay, so I know most guys think with their nether regions a good chunk of the time, but I just didn’t buy that this uber-focused executive would so throw caution to the winds. The only possible excuse he might have is that – also in standard romance novel fashion – he’s on that oh-so-familiar “wife hunt”, armed with a list of qualifications and a resolution to stay celibate until he meets the chosen one. Would you be surprised if I told you that Jenny doesn’t meet a single one of Marc’s wifely requirements?
Of course, after their tryst, Marc suddenly starts thinking about the problems – gee, Marc, ya think? – that go along with sleeping with an underling. And, Jenny, even after the afterglow is…well, no longer glowing, still persists in pursuing Marc.
As for the plot problems, the whole set-up seemed odd and more than a bit contrived. The reader is supposed to believe that designing wedding shoes for one spoiled heiress would be a major project taking up huge chunks of time for the shoe company’s top designer. Hang that fall line! Forget those buyers from the national chains! This C-List Paris Hilton needs her shoes!!!
And then there’s the fact that Marc seems to be the company VP. Hey, show me a major company that doesn’t have a VP for everything – including Cleaning and Closet Management – and I’ll introduce you to an author who hasn’t quite finished her homework.
Add in one of the newer romance novel staples – the reality show background – and my enjoyment of Feet First lessened even further. Still, I can’t help thinking that even though this one wasn’t for me, other readers might find it enjoyable enough in a “predictable but satisfying” kind of way.
Ultimately, it comes down to this. Feet First isn’t a bad book. It isn’t an offensive book. It simply didn’t pass my smell test.