Take a Hint, Dani Brown
Author: Talia Hibbert
Series: The Brown Sisters, book 2
Publisher: Avon (June 23, 2020)
Paperback, 320 pages
Romance, Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance
Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.
When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?
Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.
Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?
Rating: a billion out of 5 stars
I don’t even know where to start with reviewing this book, honestly. It’s just so indescribably good. I want to take both Dani and Zaf and hug them both forever, and also feed them and make sure they have a comfy sleeping pillow. It’s a sort of fake relationship, friends to lovers contemporary romance but really it’s so good it transcends tropes.
Talia Hibbert is brilliant at writing these very REAL characters that are entire people with hopes and dreams and foibles and flaws, and it’s easy to forget they aren’t actually, y’know, real. She’s also a master at breaking your heart into a thousand shattered pieces, then bending down and holding out a roll of tape to help you put it back together. Or, as Dani would say, framing the scar in gold.
I want to be best friends with Dani and Sorcha (even though I’m no where near cool enough to hang out with them.) I love that Dani is a lush, curvy, plus-sized woman and nowhere at all is this book about her needing to change, lose weight, diet… She is a phenomenal woman – she knows it, we know it. She inspires me and I wish I had half of her confidence in my own skin. At the same time she is also so vulnerable and I want to wrap her in bubble warp and feed her marshmallows and give her a thousand soft kisses. (I TOLD YOU, this book broke me, okay?) And then there’s Zaf, who’s big and hot and sweet and reads romance novels (you know I stan a hero who reads romance!) because they give him hope. He’s basically the ultimate cinnamon roll and I want to eat him up.
There is a moment where Zaf is having a panic attack and is trying to explain, and Dani says “You can tell me later. Right now, do what you need to do…. If I can help, let me know. Otherwise, feel free to ignore me. I’ll still be here.” And if that isn’t just the most RIGHT response to someone having a bad spell with their mental illness, I don’t know what is. And a bit later: “No one can be fine all the time. So we’ll sit here while you’re busy being not-fine, and we won’t move until you’re done, and that’s okay.” Reader, I tell you I *sobbed*.
I really don’t know what else to say. Why are you even still reading this review? Go pick up a copy of Take a Hint, Dani Brown and read it for yourself. It’s definitely my favorite read of the year, and is a contender to be my favorite book of all time.
This is the second book in The Brown Sisters series, and can be read as a stand-alone. I loved the first book, Get a Life, Chloe Brown, and can not WAIT for Eve’s book, Act Your Age, Eve Brown, which I assume will be the final one in the series.
Anyway, in conclusion, Talia Hibbert writes amazing books with great disability and mental illness rep, and you should go read all of them RIGHT NOW.