Monday, October 10, 2022

REVIEW: On the Hustle by Adriana Herrera



On the Hustle is the 2nd book in the Dating in Dallas series and just like the first book, Here to Stay, I was immediately sucked in and couldn't stop reading. This book follows Julia's best friend, Alba, and her love interest Theo. Theo is Alba's stern, inflexible, frowny boss, at least for the first few chapters. She quits to pursue burgeoning business opportunities in design and it's then that when we discover some hidden truths. Truth #1: Unbeknownst to Alba, Theo has had the hots for since basically day 1. Truth #2: Alba definitely has the hots for him but is in total denial because he was such a dick when he was her boss. Truth #3: He's not really a dick; he just tried to enforce boundaries and be respectful. And Truth 4: Alba has some serious trust and work/life balance issues. One by one these truths are revealed and it all happens in Dallas where Julia and her wonderful and hilarious friends can witness it all go down. 

Alba is fantastically stubborn, which makes watching her resist the Theo so much fun. She really wants to keep him the box that she'd built around him in NYC: a hot, dickish, boring, by the book, by the minute boss. As he charms her and accommodates her and shows her who he really is, she's flummoxed by him and wants to resist him but just can't seem to. It's his move to Dallas to help her (and, honestly, his family's company), his openly friendly demeanor with her friends, his support on their job site and of her passions that are impossible to ignore; and who'd want to?  It's while he's doing everything to show her who he is, and also trying to make a new path for himself that we also get to see how overloaded Alba is. She almost never refuses a job, no matter how busy she is. She rarely sleeps, somehow churns out great work, and is admired by everyone (...except one dickwad--you'll see, and he's such an a-hole). It's in Theo's concern for her running herself ragged that Alba has some very real conversations about privilege and power and why she does and puts up with the things she does. I appreciated Herrera making a point to show those aspects of the hustle life and the choices that Alba made to make her passions her full time job. 

I enjoyed all aspects of this novel: Alba's creative projects, Theo's relationship with his step-mother, Alba's fierceness and ambition, Theo's drive to make the world a better place, every interaction with Julia & Co, the teasing, the hotter than hot sex scenes (so hot!), and I even liked the conflicts and how they were resolved. I am loving this series and hope there are more novels to come. 


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