REVIEW: Hustle, Sweet Love by Maggie Davis
Dear Ms. Davis:
I bought your book on a whim at a Used Bookstore. I was trying to be brave and explore new authors. I see that your novel (which can be purchased in ebook format) which is a good thing since it was hilarious and it gives others a chance to buy this formerly OOP story.
I hope you meant it to be a send up of the harlequin novels which have romantized the boss/secretary sexually harassing relationship because that is how I read it. (There is even a great scene at the end of the story when the relationship goes south and Lacy doesn’t know what to do to avoid Michael further hurting her but to burn all her bridges and shout that he is harassing her). It is clearly a precursor to the modern chick lit full of brand name apparel and a hapless heroine.
The plot, for those of your readers who are unfamiliar with your works, is thus: Lacy Kingsley is sitting in a bar in Tulsa OK celebrating her last modeling job and her new career as a fashion writer. She is still attired in her provocative runway getup. A group of men mistake her for a hooker and approach her. Lacy attempts to deter this by claiming that she charges $1500.00 per night. The man who propositions her stumbles away, but another man, Michael Echevarria, hears the offer and tells her he’s buying. Of course, Lacy meets up with Michael days later in NY when his conglomerate buys her fashion magazine.
Michael is your standard tall, dark, dangerous and extremely rich hero. Lacy is a gorgeous woman with whom every man falls in love. Instead of being irritating, it is hilarious. Lacy doesn’t want these men in love with her. She wants to be a fashion writer and have a career. Lacy spends most of the book trying to convince Michael she is not a hooker while at the same time falling in love with him. His kisses make her melt and deter her each time from explaining to Michael what really happened and even when she does tell him, he refuses to believe the story. Lacy’s boss continually gets her name wrong: Stacy or Tracy. Lacy has a big heart and she tries very hard to be helpful, be professional and fails miserably. Michael’s interest in her quickly spreads amongst her officemates and Lacy gets a big corner office while the other junior fashion writers are stuck in a tiny room. This, of course, doesn’t make her the most popular woman at Fad.
The book is quite dated with the pages being peppered with brand names and styles popular in the late 80s. There is a reference to Michael’s expensive haircut that must have cost at least $40! It was interesting to read this with an eye toward how the current pulp fiction will be read in 10 or so years.
There is very little insight into Michael’s thoughts as was traditional for books published in that era and many miscommunications between Michael and Lacy but the entire story is such a romp that I wasn’t at all disturbed. This book was originally published in 1988 and I can’t help but wonder if Pretty Woman (1990) was lifted from these pages. In all, it was a fun way to revisit the past and spend a few hours being entertained.
This book can be purchased at Amazon used. There is currently no ebook format.