Book Review: On The Hustle by Adriana Herrera

On The Hustle is Adriana Herrera‘s second book in the “Dating in Dallas” series – though both books can be read as standalones. This follows the story of Alba Duarte, Julia’s bad ass bestie with a million jobs and the weight of the world on her shoulders. We meet Alba when she’s about to start her workday as a personal assistant to Theo Ganas, a former Olympic swimmer and heir to the Ganas real estate empire. She’s on her way to work up the courage to quit her job as Theo’s assistant to pursue entrepreneurship and go into her side hustle full time, and also take a much needed vacation to visit Julia in Dallas. However, given her stoic boss and her single sided love/hate relationship with him, she’s nervous to go through with it.

On her visit to Dallas, she’s presented with a major work opportunity that may help her launch her side hustle full time, so she reluctantly finalizes the end of her professional relationship as Theo’s PA to go on this adventure. Except Theo did not take this lightly as he hoped he’d see her through her last day to finally confess his feelings to her – because of course, he’s been in love with her this whole time. Shenanigans ensue where Theo ends up in Dallas, and he and Alba end up working together again – much to her chagrin.

Alba and Theo’s story revolves around the idea of needing people, though they’re both on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. For Theo, he’s used to having everything done for him and has the privilege of making that happen when needed. This is obviously evident in that Alba was his personal assistant for three years, where she’s recanted even the most minute details of his life were handled by someone other than himself. He’s used to having access to anything he may need at the lift of a finger.

However, for Alba, it’s the opposite. As the oldest child of Dominican immigrant parents, she is used to handling everything for everyone on top of her own responsibilities for herself. Alba carries the weight of everyone’s world on her shoulders and struggles with relinquishing control even if her sanity and health has to pay the price. Throughout the story, Alba begrudgingly learns to lean on her loved ones for help, including warming up to Theo and letting him take the lead. Whereas for Theo, going after Alba gave him the opportunity of finally doing something for someone himself.

Overall, I enjoyed On The Hustle – maybe more than Here to Stay. I identified more with Alba, given her place in her family; though I’m not the eldest child, I get the burden of having to do even the smallest thing for immigrant parents who still have to deal with access and language barriers. This book is another great example of why representation matters, and how much I enjoyed diving into a story made by a Dominican writer that features Dominican characters.

All in all, I give On The Hustle five stars for the story, the banter between Theo and Alba, and of course the many descriptively spicy scenes that appear throughout.

Have you read On The Hustle? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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