Yes, hello, I’d like Talia Hibbert to write all fictional men from now on, that is all. Thank you. Honestly that could be my entire review for “Take a Hint, Dani Brown”, but I promise to go into more depth. The Brown Sisters books do not have to be read in order, each a delicious little standalone, and Dani’s book was no different. I did start with “Get a Life, Chloe Brown” as my first introduction into this author and the Brown sisters, and I fell HARD for these fierce women, and the author’s fun writing style that still packs a punch when it comes to mental health and recovering from past trauma. We focus on Danika Brown in this book, a dedicated PhD student who has sworn off all romance in favor of friends with benefits and focusing solely on her research. Then, after an emergency drill gone wrong, decides to enter into a fake relationship with the big, sensitive, ex-rugby player turned security guard, Zafir, in order to use the publicity from that failed drill to help his charity, in which he teaches young boys healthy ways to deal with their emotions (I’m already swooning for Zafir at this point). Of course, Dani doesn’t want anything from Zafir other than sexual release, but romance novel addict Zafir struggles the whole time with not falling head over heels for Dani. This book was lovely in all ways, but after reading Chloe’s story, my expectations were set very high for Danika…
While I fell in love with Zafir early on, it took me a little while longer to really love and connect to Dani. I love a sensitive strong man who recognizes his anxiety and actively addresses it, so there was no chance I wasn’t going to adore Zafir and how dedicated he was to his family. He’s supposedly grumpy, but most of the time he’s just a little ray of sarcasm and delicious cinnamon roll-ness. Whereas Dani, early on, was so singularly focused on just finding a good “f”-buddy that it got a little tiresome to constantly hear about. Dani loves good sex, and she’s confident and sexy as hell, she knows she’s a catch and wicked smart and I LOVED that about her, but just the constant focus on her wanting sexual gratification rubbed me (heh) a little wrong. I do understand it’s a coping mechanism of Dani’s, but I think if it had been a little less overt, it wouldn’t have felt so repetitive, and then I wouldn’t have minded or even noticed it as much. Also, this was my first fake-dating-to-lovers trope book, but I don’t think this will be one of those tropes I end up liking much. Granted, it may just be this book because nothing ever seemed “fake” about their relationship (you’ll understand when you read it), but it kept a lot of the tension of “when will they fall?!” out of the story.
Hibbert writes beautiful books with diverse characters so effortlessly that she is in a class all her own. Not only is there a diverse cast with different backgrounds, orientations, religions and beliefs, but also characters with varying different mental health struggles that showcase healthy ways to address trauma or even invisible illnesses. Her writing style is smart and sarcastic and it makes all her books a pleasure to read. I do think Chloe’s book set the bar very high for me, and the repetitiveness of some of the things Dani does meant that this book couldn’t quite live up to the first book in the series, hence the 4 stars. But I truly did love and enjoy this story, and Zafir can princess carry me around any time he pleases!
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