Get A Life, Chloe Brown
Talia Hibbert, one of contemporary romance’s brightest new stars, delivers a witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who’s tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her experience new things—perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang.
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?
Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.
Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.
But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…
Chloe Brown is a fat black woman with a chronic illness, and I love her. I feel like romance as a genre is growing slowly more diverse, and seeing such intersectionality is SO GREAT. I have my beefs with illustrated covers, but I do feel like they’re serving to sort of nudge open the door to some more diverse voices for characters who, to some marketers’ way of thinking, “won’t look as good” on a more traditional cover. (But don’t even get me started on that whole rant, because it is FILLED WITH RAGE and many words.)
This book is so everything. I absolutely adore Chloe’s dry-as-a-desert wit. And her vast collection of notebooks. Also, I love how she is a fat heroine and the book really has nothing to do with her being fat. I had to look up what 15 stone was in pounds (about 210) and was so happy she’s actually FAT, not just, like, a size 14 and then agonizing about needing to be thinner. Chloe’s weight really doesn’t come up much at all, it’s just one more descriptor about her – and when it does come up, it’s usually Red appreciating her thick thighs or the curve of her belly or some such. Her weight is dealt with so well, as is her disability. Chloe’s story about her diagnosis for her chronic illness is one that I’m sure MANY people with a chronic illness can relate to, and sadly the way her friends and fiance reacted is also entirely too relatable.
Red as a hero is just… *dreamy sigh* He’s suffering from the aftereffects of some pretty severe emotional abuse from a previous girlfriend, and I really appreciate that he tragic backstory doesn’t make him that broody alphahero hero (which one so often does see with a tragic backstory). Instead he is this big, tattooed, ginger marshmallow of a man. I do wish we’d gotten a little more of Red’s relationship with his mum, because I feel like that was a large part of how and why he takes Chloe’s illness so much in stride.
The banter between Chloe and Red is just *Chef kiss* MWAH! Perfection. I love the push and pull as they’re drawn to each other, but also scared (and scarred) from the ways they’ve been burned in the past. Chloe just in general has a hard time breaking down the wall she’s built to protect herself, and Red struggles because Chloe’s posh accent and cold facade remind him of his abusive ex.
I heard a rumor that the next book will be about one of Chloe’s sisters, and I very much look forward to reading it, as well as ALL THE BOOK by Talia Hibbert!