Male for Sale by Florenz Branch. Phoenix Books (1950), 237 pp.
Vicki Pollock, a pretty blonde heiress, is looking for a man to love. Barely in her late twenties, she’s already been married and divorced three times. She’s just figured out that her latest flame, Chris McCabe, the lawyer who handles her estate, has no intention of leaving his wealthy wife. She orders him out of her apartment and out of her life, then goes off for drinks at a small Los Angeles nightclub. Maybe, she tells a friend, she’ll try to hook up with Johnny Townes, the club’s hunky bartender.
Florence Stonebraker, the actual author of the book, adds a final ingredient to the sexual goulash: Johnny’s main sqeeze, beautiful but devious cigarette girl Dolly Flynn. Then the story gets underway in earnest. It moves forward primarily through a series of two-person encounters in which the characters confront issues of love, marriage, sex and money. They speak in Stonebraker’s typically realistic style. They don’t have anything particularly interesting to say because they themselves are not particularly interesting -- or sympathetic, as far as that goes. But the book is an easy read and might still entertain fans of venerable “love novels.”