Of Hustle and Heart is a contemporary coming-of-age romance that takes place in the sultry springtime of Houston, Texas.
Seventeen-year-old Zina Cochrane, whose single mother struggles to support her and her thirteen-year-old twin brothers, has decided to sell bootleg CDs and DVDs to bring in some cash. Intelligent, street smart, and deeply introspective, Zina is determined to hide her jealousy of her classmates’ less difficult lives, especially from the popular, handsome, green-eyed basketball star Shannon Smith.
As high school graduation nears, Zina continues to keep up with her schoolwork and her social life even as she’s found her life in danger. And then twenty-four-year-old restaurant manager Zacarias Moreno, saunters into her life.
Of Hustle and Heart explores romantic relationships along with other issues of modern life in a way that highlights the complexities encountered by many young people today. With chapters alternating between the viewpoints of Zina and Zack, the story keeps you engaged in learning the fate of characters who are striving to reconcile their innermost feelings with their personal ethics and life situations—and facing difficult choices in a world where black and white so often fade to gray.