All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

on January 8, 2021

Take A Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2)
Talia Hibbert
Piatkus
2020, 361p
Gifted via Secret Santa exchange

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

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 bought the audio of Get A Life, Chloe Brown on a whim because I’d heard a few really good things about this series and I absolutely loved it, which was rare for me, as generally I prefer listening to audiobooks of things I’ve already read. But the narration was excellent and I loved both Chloe and Red and so when I participated in a Secret Santa bookswap for this Christmas we were recommended to list up to 3 books we’d be happy to receive and so I put this one down as one of my selections. I was really happy that this is the book my SS chose and I ended up reading it the day after it turned up on my doorstep.

Dani Brown is an academic, highly focused on her career and her research and not at all on relationships. Dani is bisexual and has just ended things with a colleague named Jo when Jo wanted to get more serious. Dani doesn’t get serious, ever. She prefers things casual – encounters to release tension and then she’s happy for them to go on their way so she can get back to work. When footage of her security guard friend Zafir Ansari carrying her goes viral, it gives Zafir an opportunity to grow his charity if they lean into it by pretending to be in a relationship. It helps that they already think the other is very attractive – Zafir has been fighting it for a while and Dani is more impressed by each layer of Zafir she uncovers.

This was so fun. I enjoyed it so much. The banter is top quality, which I expected after the first book. I liked the glimpse of Dani in that book and she was so smart and sassy, always working but the ways in which she stops to connect with Zafir are great. And he was adorable – I loved him. A Muslim ex-rugby union player (Dr Rugbae! Clever, haha) who suffered a great loss that triggered depression and ramped up his anxiety, Zafir works security at the university to pay the bills but his real passion is teaching teens how to take charge of their mental health and learn that it’s not taboo to express themselves. His family are amazing – his mother, sister-in-law and niece and he also has a wonderful, long-standing friendship. Also because he’s a former rugby union player, he’s built like a brick $hithouse and Dani is a generously proportioned black woman (Jamaican heritage) and these books have positive representation everywhere. I also love that like in the first one, we get the internal thoughts of both and Zafir really does have quite a lot of thoughts about Dani. It’s always one of my favourite things to get to see the male character’s appreciation and hear their thoughts. Male characters with angst are one of my favourite romance things and Zaf definitely has some angst going on.

I really like how Talia Hibbert balances the humour in the banter and character’s snappy personality with serious issues. Zaf’s anxiety is done really well and he’s this big burly bloke that people don’t expect to have that sort of thing and he’s all about positive portrayal of mental health and smashing through toxic masculinity. Dani is also a feminist researcher and I loved the way she was supportive of Zaf, especially when he has an anxiety attack and also the way that she discovers that Zaf is quite familiar with her work. You can just see them taking positive steps for a healthy relationship, even if Dani is so convinced that she’s not a relationship sort of person.

Super fun, super re-readable, really excited for book #3, especially as this one had a small excerpt in the back and I got the beginning of Eve’s story.

8/10

Book #3 of 2021


One response to “Review: Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

  1. […] to this series, only listening to Get A Life, Chloe Brown in December last year and reading Take A Hint, Dani Brown in January. That was a good way to do it though, because I enjoyed Chloe so much that it was nice […]

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