Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert: Hot, Hilarious, and Heartfelt

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert (The Brown Sisters #2)
Published: June 23rd, 2020
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins Canada
Tropes: Friends-to-lovers, fake dating
Heat level: 🔥🔥🔥
My rating: 5 stars
Acquired this book: From the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for honest consideration
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Buy: Amazon Canada || Amazon US || Indigo

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?

Get a Life, Chloe Brown was one of my top favourite books of 2019, making Take a Hant, Dani Brown one of my most anticipated books of 2020. I honestly didn’t even care what it was about, I just knew I was completely enamoured with Talia Hibbert’s writing and I wanted more of the Brown sisters ASAP. I’m obsessed with Hibbert’s bold, sassy, sexy - and honest - writing, and I may just have to devour her backlist while I want for the third Brown Sisters book to come out.

Take a Hint, Dani Brown had me captivated from the first page. It also had me giggling from the first page, which is always a good sign. This book was hilarious, and it had a perfect balance of humour, heart, and hotter-than-hell sexytimes. Talia’s bio says she “writes sexy, diverse romance because she believes that people of marginalized identities need honest and positive representation” and she truly delivers on that. Dani was Black, bisexual, and a witch (I loved that part and wish we saw more witchy women in contemporary books). Our sexy, sweet hero, Zafir, was Pakistani, Muslim, and dealt with mental health issues (namely anxiety, plus he had clinical depression for three years after a tragic event sent him spiraling). As someone who has struggled with mental illness for more years than I can count, I’m always appreciative of sympathetic and compassionate rep in books. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bookish hero with anxiety, and I absolutely loved that aspect of the story and how it played a part in so many of the things Zaf did (as did his grief, which I also appreciated, because it’s something else I’m, unfortunately, well acquainted with). The fact Zaf was also a romantic who read romance novels made me fall head over heels in love with him right alongside Dani.

I loved how intelligent and driven Dani was, and I also loved her confidence and how she owned who she was - her sexuality, her witchiness, her workaholic tendencies. I enjoyed her growth through the course of the novel and watching her open up and allowing herself to be loved and cared for. I loved her depth and how she was so confident and snarky and seemingly self-assured, but because of things that had happened to her in the past, she was lacking self-worth. And I loved watching Zaf slowly, patiently, and gently knocking down her walls and showing her how love could and should be. Plus did I mention the scorching hot sexy times? There were a few times I thought my Kindle was going to catch fire! 🔥

Take a Hint, Dani Brown has cemented Talia Hibbert as a new favourite author. Full of great characters who will alternately make you laugh, tug at your heartstrings, frustrate you, and make you swoon, this book is a must-read for romance fans. I read an eARC thanks to the publisher, and then I preordered it because I knew I had to have it on my Favourites shelf.

Read my review of Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Have you read Take a Hint, Dani Brown? What did you think? Who was the last author that made it to 'favourite author' status for you?

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