Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: January 3, 2022
Haven’t read the previous novel, The Player Next Door? Check out my review HERE!
From the international bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Ten Tiny Breaths comes a new stand-alone enemies-to-lovers, small-town romance.
Justine MacDermott is in what she would call a transition period: squatting in her best friend’s house and working in an appliance store in Polson Falls while the man she was supposed to marry starts a new life with someone else.
She’s definitely not thinking about slashing his tires and wishing his vital extremities would fall off.
When newcomer Garrett Harrington strolls into Murphy’s looking to buy a refrigerator, Justine convinces herself she’s found her rebound. Or the next love of her life. Either works. But a chance encounter leads her to discover that Garrett isn’t who he made himself out to be, and he’s more interested in hustling her kindly old boss out of his family business—and using her to do it.
Furious at being fooled by yet another man and itching for retribution, Justine enlists the help of unlikely townsfolk to battle Harrington Group’s big-city development plans for Polson Falls.
It’s all going to plan … until Justine finds herself crossing enemy lines.
The Hustler Next Door misses the mark in that the romance portion of the novel doesn’t start until 50%, the chemistry is lukewarm at best, and Tucker spends too much time with the plot.
The Hustler Next Door follows Justine as she fights for Polson Falls’ history when a big developer, Garrett, wants to demolish buildings and build condos. Justine teams up with the older folks, Granny Gang, to do whatever they can to stop the developer. However, things don’t go as planned when Justine has an intense physical attraction to said developer.
The synopsis above sounds like the perfect enemies-to-lovers, but Tucker spends too much time with the intricacies of the town’s bylaws and the Granny Gangs’s plans. Justine and Garrett banter a lot, but that banter doesn’t translate into something tangible and worthwhile until 50% through the novel. Justine and Garrett’s chemistry starts out lukewarm, but quickly heats up as their attraction to each other is undeniable.
Justine will be a difficult character to like for some readers. She’s brash, sometimes crude, and speaks her mind with no filter. I love these types of characters since they’re not doormats and stand up for themselves. However, I do understand that Justine can be a bit much for some readers.
Overall, The Hustler Next Door was an okay read that took too much time to find its footing by focusing too much on the plot outside the budding relationship between the main characters.
*** I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Will you be reading The Hustler Next Door?