Take a Hint, Dani Brown is fun, witty, and romantic as hell

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. Image Courtesy HarperCollins Publishers
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. Image Courtesy HarperCollins Publishers /

Talia Hibbert’s latest book, Take a Hint, Dani Brown, is a must-read

If you’re a romance fan and have not read any Talia Hibbert books, you need to fix that immediately. She is one of my favorite romance authors ever and if I have to shove her books at people to make them aware of her stories, I am more than happy to do so. Her latest book is Take a Hint, Dani Brown. It’s the second book in The Brown Sisters series which began with the brilliant Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

But this time we get to meet Chloe’s sister, Dani. She was in the first book a little bit, but this time we get to really know her and her “friend”, Zafir Ansari. Zafir is a security guard at the university Dani works at, a former rugby player, and a romantic who listens to romance audiobooks at work. *swoon*

At the beginning of the book, Dani and Zafir are already friendly. She brings him coffee, he brings her protein bars so she remembers to eat, and they both scare people with their intense stares (relatable).

But that friendly relationship soon turns into something else when a video of Zafir saving Dani from an elevator and carrying her out of a building hits the internet. The video goes viral and everyone immediately begins thinking Dani and Zafir are a couple.

At first, Zafir is horrified. It was his niece, Fatima, who posted the video, after all.  But when Fatima points out the publicity it could give him for his nonprofit, Zafir starts to get an idea. His nonprofit, Tackle It, has boys play rugby while learning how to deal with their emotions and it isn’t doing great. The publicity could do wonders to keep it up and running.

But the publicity relies on people thinking Dani and him are actually together…There can’t be any harm in them faking a relationship for a little while, right?

If Zafiralso happens to have a huge crush on Dani…whatever. He’s not ridiculous enough to think he can change her commitment-phobic ways.

If Dani also happens to like him back and would like him to be her friend with benefits for a little bit, well…that should be a problem, right?. Besides, Dani knows Zafir is a hopeless romantic and that her need for short-term relationships does not work for him.

And yet! They decide to fake date.

Who doesn’t like this trope?? It is honestly the best. The longing, the “is this real or not” thinking, the “pretend” kissing, and the realization of real feelings. It’s a classic for a reason and Talia Hibbert uses it brilliantly.

Let’s start with talking about the banter because Dani and Zafir’s banter cannot be beat. They’re sarcastic and witty and hilarious and I could read a whole book of just them talking back and forth.

The character development is on par with the brilliance of the dialogue. Zafir has anxiety, lost his brother and father in a car crash, and is dealing with the loss of his rugby career. Tragic backstory is putting it mildly.

He has a couple of panic attacks throughout the book which as a fellow anxiety-haver, felt very real to my experience.  But as the story goes on and he spends more time with Dani and as he works on himself, Zafir is able to deal with some of his issues. His anxiety isn’t magically cured by the end of the book (which I love), but he’s more comfortable with himself and his past.

There is one scene where Dani helps him through a panic attack that is so good I could cry. One of my favorite things in books or movies  is when one person helps another through an anxious/panic moment and this one does not disappoint whatsoever. It’s so good!

Dani’s character development comes in her belief that she can’t have a long-term relationship. She really believes she can only do short-term or that her dedication to her work will always drive someone away. Throughout their fake dating journey, Zafir shows her that it doesn’t have to be this way. When you’re in a relationship with someone who loves and cares for you, it doesn’t have to be a struggle or constant fighting.

Dani is still the snarky workaholic at the end of the book, but she’s more open with her feelings. And it turns out she might like some of the romantic parts of dating more than she’s willing to admit.

These two also have chemistry that is off the charts and not just in their banter. They’re just as compatible in the bedroom. You may or may not need a fan and a bottle of water during these scenes. I’m warning you now!

Take a Hint, Dani Brown lives up to the brilliance of Get a Life Chloe Brown. You will laugh, you will smile at your book multiple times, and you might even cry a little too.

Now I can’t wait for the next book in the series, Act Your Age, Eve Brown, which according to Goodreads, comes out in March 2021.

If you love romance, you need to get your copy ASAP. You will not regret it.

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You can get Take a Hint, Dani Brown in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats