Talia Hibbert returns (and not too soon) with the second in her Brown Sisters series, this is Dani’s story with
Take a Hint, Dani Brown
Mix together a grumpy, romance-reading security guard with a dose of pain and ever-present anxiety with a formidable PhD student in women’s studies, particularly as it pertains to racism and misogyny in literature, a single-minded focus on task at hand, and a dash of fascination with witchcraft as practiced by her grandmother in Jamaica and you get one of the smartest, funniest and most heartwarming stories I’ve read in ages. See Dani is living the dream, while singularly what the ‘first or few’ women in her area of study do: demanding nothing less than perfection from her work and teaching because she may be the reason another girl who ‘looks like her’ gets (or doesn’t ) a chance. It’s a ton of pressure – and because she’s been so singularly focused for so long, she’s also decided that relationships aren’t for her – because everyone needs her to change, stop working so hard, or even ignoring her work and thoughts, because their needs are important at the moment.
Contrasting that with Zaf who has, almost from first sight, been intrigued with her – even through his ‘grumpy’ exterior, his passion for romance novels (both read and audio) and working to help young men work through their anxiety and emotions with the help of rugby. Always a sensitive soul, his world was shattered when his older brother and father were killed in a car accident – one he heard about as he was leaving the pitch after a game. Unusual in rugby as his ancestry is Pakistani, he also happened to be one of a very few who practiced Islam, even as a mid-level player those elements alone were enough to gain him some press attention.
But after battling depression and working through his anxiety – and being a very ‘take care of people’ sort of man, a malfunctioning elevator during an evacuation drill had both Dani and he the subject of a hashtag and relationship goals. It’s actually perfect timing, giving him time to get to know Dani, promoting his work with teens and Dani sees the moment as the goddess placing a ‘friend with benefits’ in her path. And here is where the story shines: Zaf is wonderfully complex, has found ways to work with his anxiety and depression, and is considerably lightened by Dani’s lack of ‘conventional” social graces – she listens, she hears, and she even understands. More importantly, Zaf’s entire being is interested in Dani: her life, her likes, her work, her dreams – and he repeatedly is sure to tell her she’s beautiful: inside and out. Something that, despite her sharp wit, badass attitude and seeming confidence is sorely lacking. And these two just GET it. There’s a settled and ‘complete’ sense of each of them together, and a very unsettled and ‘less than their best’ sense without – but it’s the heart that brings the story shining through all others. Even to academics (which Zaf is not) Dani’s focus on her work and often the meanings behind the meanings is ponderous. But Zaf is intrigued – he feels ‘smarter’ after reading an article she’s written, he wants to see her happy and fulfilled – and if that means 5 minute phone calls every half hour into the wee hours- he’ll do it. Because she’s given him hope. Mostly. After a series of setbacks and ‘you talk first – no you – No YOU” moments. I loved these two apart and together – with their families, in their stubborn and mulish moments, and when the sparks built to a conflagration. Grab this book – read it – you won’t regret it.
Title: Take A Hint Dani Brown
Author: Talia Hibbert
Series: The Brown Sisters #2
Also in this series: Get a Life Chloe Brown
Genre: British, Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Family Saga, Friendship, Humor elements, Interracial, Mental Health, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain
Published on: 23 June, 2020
Source: Avon Addict, Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 10 Hours
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Talia Hibbert returns with another charming romantic comedy about a young woman who agrees to fake date her friend after a video of him “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral...
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?
A copy of this title was provided via Avon Addict, Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.