Review | The Perfect Fit (Love in the Dales # 2), Mary Jayne Baker

40666847The Perfect Fit is a super cute and feel good story about a group of residents in a small town who organize a Christmas pantomime to raise funds to save their beloved theatre. I had expected this to be a romantic comedy, but it’s more a small town comedy than anything else. I love the large and colourful cast of characters — the theatre grand dame who has aged out of leading roles, the grumpy old men best friends who discover their love for the stage, the famous actor who agrees to a cameo on the condition that his beautiful but talentless girlfriend gets a leading role, and the newly discovered acting talent. I also really love the small town feel, and the various relationship threads that connected all the characters with each other.

I’m not too familiar with the tradition of the Christmas pantomime, and admit that some of the humour went over my head. But overall, it was easy enough to catch on, and I love the sheer silliness of the entire spectacle.

Most of the romantic part of the plot — between Becky the costume shop owner who launches the pantomime in the first place, co-writes it and ends up starring in it, and Marcus her co-writer and an actor in a comic relief part —  happens near the end. There are hints of their attraction throughout, but not a lot of heat. There is also a love triangle subplot involving Becky’s fiance, but there’s little heat with either men. We mostly see Becky and Marcus falling in love through cute moments where they’re rehearsing a scene and a moment where their characters’ eyes meet renders them speechless. Their realization of their true feelings for each other is cute, and the climactic Big Romantic Gesture delightfully silly and cheesy, as befits the true pantomime spirit.

Still, the true star of this novel isn’t the romance so much as the pantomime production itself. It was a sheer delight to spend time with the residents in this town, and to see all the hilarious twists on their way to opening night.

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Thank you to Mirror Books for an egalley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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