SIDE CHICK NATION
by Aya de León
A Justice Hustlers Novel
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Urban Fiction, Feminist Crime, Standalone
A Justice Hustlers Novel
She’s beautiful, unpredictable–and on the run from dangerous men. But this
ex-side chick is ready to risk everything to help others in trouble . . .
Fed up with her married Miami boyfriend, savvy Dulce has no problem stealing his
drug-dealer stash and fleeing to her family in the Caribbean. But when she gets bored in rural Santo Domingo, she escapes on a sugar daddy adventure to Puerto Rico. Her new life is one endless party, until she’s caught in Hurricane Maria–and witnesses the brutal collision of colonization and climate change, as well as the international vultures who plunder the tragedy for a financial killing, making shady use of relief funds to devastate the island even more. Broke, traumatized, and stranded, Dulce’s only chance to get back to New York may be a sexy, crusading journalist who’s been pursuing her. But is she hustling him or falling for him?
Meanwhile, New York-based mastermind thief Marisol already has her hands full fleecing a ruthless CEO who’s stealing her family’s land in Puerto Rico, while trying to get her relatives out alive after the hurricane. An extra member in her crew could be game-changing, but she’s wary of Dulce’s unpredictability and reputation for drama. Still, Dulce’s determination to get justice draws Marisol in, along with her formidable Lower East Side Women’s Health Clinic’s heist squad. But their race-against-the-clock plan is soon complicated by powerful men who turn deadly when ex-side chicks step out of the shadows and demand to call the shots . . .
Praise for Aya de Leon and her novels
“Staking out space for women of color in the heist-fiction genre, Aya de Leon’s smart, sly writing is a knockout.”
–Andi Zeisler, Bitch magazine
“This well-written and enjoyable installment in de Leon’s unique, feminist, urban crime-fiction series . . . infuses satisfying power in both plot and character.”
—Booklist on The Boss, STARRED review
Several months earlier . . .
Dulce Garcia crept toward the back door of the nightclub’s VIP room on the balls of her stiletto sandals, trying not to wake her boyfriend. He lay, splayed back on the leather couch, in a post-orgasmic half-doze. She spat into an empty beer bottle, and tiptoed to the room’s back door. She tried to push it open with her free hand, but it was too heavy. She needed two hands for this.
She stuck the knot of money down into her cleavage, and pushed with both palms flat. The large metal door creaked against rusty hinges. In the humid Miami climate, cheap metal springs like these always rusted. This back door, required by the Florida fire code as a secondary exit, was rarely used. She tried to close it quietly behind her, but the metal was too heavy, and it tipped her forward in the six-inch gold heels.
The slam of metal on metal woke her boyfriend. As she crept away down the dank, concrete hallway, she heard him call to her. His voice was usually loud, but it sounded faint through the thick slab of steel: “Dulce? Where’d you go, mami?” She tiptoed down the hallway to the outer door that would lead to the back alley.
But the steel could not contain the roar of rage when he realized his money was missing. She had felt a second bulge in his pants when she unzipped his jeans. As she went down on him, she had slipped the wad of bills out of his front pocket, and palmed it after he finished.
Through the metal, she could hear the slam of the VIP room’s other door. He had assumed she’d headed back into the club. She grinned as she pulled the handle for the alley exit, expecting to cut around the corner and hail a cab for a quick getaway. Uber was out of the question. It was his credit card on the account.
But the alley door was locked. She pulled with all her strength, but it wouldn’t budge. Either locked or rusted shut. She looked around frantically, afraid she would be trapped. She couldn’t retrace her steps through the VIP room—in case he came back looking for her. She ran now, not even trying to be quiet. As she sprinted toward the other end of the hallway, there was a second door that led through a storage room. Either way, she’d need to find her way out through the club. The club where her Dominican drug dealer boyfriend would be assembling his crew of boys to find her, the side chick turned “fucking bitch” who’d stolen his take for the night.
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MUSIC PLAYLIST FOR SIDE CHICK NATION
BOOKS IN THE JUSTICE HUSTLERS SERIES
ABOUT AYA DE LEON
Aya de León teaches creative writing in UC Berkeley’s African American Studies Department. Her award-winning Justice Hustlers series has received acclaim in the Washington Post, Jacobin Magazine, and The Establishment. Her work has also appeared in Ebony, Essence, Guernica, Plougshares, The Root, VICE, and on Def Poetry. She is an alumna of Cave Canem and VONA.
Dawn Michelle Hardy
Publicist | Literary Agent | Book Consultant