What do you get when you mix a prostitution ring, marital affairs, family secrets, blackmail, and murder? You get Her Driving Force by Herbert Doris. This author's debut novel had a unique storyline and was refreshing to read. This story is set in New Orleans, which is my hometown, so it kept my interest piqued reading about the various landmarks that I'm familiar with.
Kayla is a woman with hopes and dreams of making it big in the broadcasting industry, but when she loses her job, she's left having to figure things out. While waitressing at Benchwarmers she meets Fisk, who offers to help her while she's in between jobs. "'Hmm.. Broadcasting? Well, you certainly have the look. And hey, we are always looking for talented people at my place. Maybe I can help while you're in between jobs. If you are interested,' I said, offering her my card and indirectly offering her my number." The job that Fisk offers her is a chauffeuring job, which you wouldn't think would be able to get a person in trouble. But when a client propositions her and being persuaded by a co-worker, Kayla decides to hustle by any means necessary. "Exactly, but you do what you gotta to do to hustle and survive. Hustle and survive. And if a nigga flashed some hundreds in my face to go to his room right quick... Shit, that ain't my dream either, but I'd look at it the same way. Doing what I gotta do to hustle and survive. A bitch got bills to pay. You missing your blessing by taking shit personal."
Fisk is a successful man with an unsuccessful marriage. His and Sunni's marriage has run it's course and he's ready to cut his losses. "I drink to forget that after we make love, our minds go elsewhere and we turn our backs on each other. Just using each other's bodies to satisfy a need, then discarding one another like a nicotine addict flicking a cigarette butt out of the window. I drink to forget we have nothing in common anymore. My only value to you is your social standing..." Meeting Kayla only solidifies that but Sunni isn't as reluctant to let go as Fisk thinks. Sunni will stop at nothing to keep her family together.
Once the family secrets and betrayal get in the mix this story takes a turn, but a very interesting one. Overall, I enjoyed this story. I look forward to reading more from this author.