I honestly don’t know which book I enjoyed more: Get a Life, Chloe Brown or Take a Hint, Dani Brown. Both of Hibbert’s novels made me laugh so hard and fall madly in love with the characters. Getting to know Chloe’s sister, Dani, was such a grand experience. Dani and Chloe have such VASTLY different personalities, making each book special in their own way.
And for those worried that the stories are carbon copies of one another, think again. Hibbert does a brilliant job of crafting a unique story for each of the two Brown sisters, making the reading experience so much more entertaining!
WARNING: There are MINOR spoilers in this book to Get a Life, Chloe Brown, so make sure you read the first book before reading the sequel. However, the spoilers are NOT in this review.
Title: Take a Hint, Dani Brown
Series: The Brown Sisters, Book Two
Author: Talia Hibbert
Published on June 23rd, 2020 by Avon
Format: Paperback, 361 pages
Synopsis: 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?
I’m a HUGE fan of the friends-to-lovers trope, so this was quite a treat for me! Dani and Zaf’s friendship’s so wholesome! I loved their casual banters and the cute little gestures they do for one another. They’re both also just ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS and lovable characters.; their sarcastic natures had me laughing so hard, especially during their steamy sexual encounters (SUPER SEXY by the way). All of this made the fake-relationship-turned-romance trope more believable as well since it didn’t feel like this awkward insta-love story; they have a foundation that turns into something more.
I think my FAVOURITE element of this novel Hibbert’s strive to rip apart gender stereotypes … WHAT A RELIEF! Dani’s an ambitious woman who doesn’t fully comprehend how to be a “good romantic partner” since she’s so focused on her thesis and other academic achievements. Then we have Zaf, a buff ex-rugby player who loves romantic literature, and has Generalized Anxiety Disorder and depression. Hibbert remarkably presents how women are allowed to be career-driven, and men are allowed to love romance and have mental health struggles.
Speaking of anxiety and depression, I really respect the work Hibbert did in researching these disorders. As someone who has Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I really related to Zaf’s character. Even his reasoning for loving romance literature resonated with me: “… because it was all about hope, about finding sparks of light in a world that could be so fucking dark” (Hibbert p. 236). Watching Zaf learn to work with his anxiety really helped me see that it’s OKAY to have anxiety, and it’s okay to seek help.
As much as I loved the friendship-to-lovers trope, I DID find this book got a little repetitive. Parts of the story felt like a loop of Dani and Zaf being confused about one another but not discussing this since the intimacy (and sex) makes them put that in the background. The setting also got a little too repetitive? I was hoping Dani and Zaf would go explore the town more, such as coffee shops for dates and such. I think altering the setting would’ve helped eliminate the endless loop vibe.
Just like its predecessor, Hibbert’s Take a Hint Dani Brown is the PERFECT cozy romance story, full of comical moments with a number of serious undertones. Once again, Hibbert draws upon a diverse cast, making the story more relatable to the REAL world: racial diversity, spiritual and religious differences, sexual orientation, and biracial couples, to name a few. I can’t get over how much I adore Hibbert’s stories, eagerly waiting to read more!
I recommend this novel if you enjoy: interracial couples, ethnic diversity; racial diversity; strong emphasis on familial love; romantic comedy; happy endings; growth.
The UNFORTUNATE THING is NOW I have to wait until March 2021 for the third book in The Brown Sisters series … and I want it now! But at least it’s something to look forward to! Have you read Take a Hint, Dani Brown? Have you read any other books by Talia Hibbert?