On the Hustle
On the Hustle is a sexy, vibrant romance set in Texas about two driven people with opposing personalities who manage to find love. It’s not my favorite Herrera book, but it’s still a very entertaining romance.
Architect Alba Duarte works a number of jobs, including acting as a personal assistant to the grumpy Theo Ganas, a real estate heir and Olympic swimmer. Alba and Theo initially get on like oil and water – his demanding ways drive her to distraction – but she needs the extra cash to take care of her grandmother. Alba gets an offer to move from New York to Dallas and launch her career with a temp job when one of her side hustles – creative bedroom makeovers – leads to a career opportunity.
Theo shows up down in Dallas and shocks Alba with his kindness as they team up for a home renovation show which will require them to renovate a children’s library. They’re both harboring mutual crushes but have no idea how to breach the topic. Can they make their home design show a runaway hit? Will personal feelings interfere? Or are they too different?
Those who don’t like boss/employee romances or grumpy/sunshine romances need not apply to On The Hustle. Alive and lively as its forthright characters, it manages to sing and swing in quite the lively way. It’s hard to like Theo, who’s both spoiled sharp-tongued at first, but Alba does not give him quarter and knows how to push back. His kindness ends up coming through in the end, his attitude simply an attempt at putting up a professional front. He becomes a very giving in the end, and good at taking care of Alba where no one has ever bothered to take care of her before. Her responsive and lively creativity is a joy to behold.
The romance is classic caretaker-is-taken-care-of stuff, sweet and pleasant to watch, until an annoying third-act breakup, which might have been skipped for greener narrative pastures.
Both characters sport lively families who tangle themselves amusingly throughout the narrative, and as always, Herrera does a great job of bringing big-city Texas towns to life. On the Hustle is bright and spicy and filled with joy, even though some of its weaker plot points drag it down a hair.
Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop.
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier