Title: Take a Hint, Dani Brown
Author: Talia Hibbert
Series info: Book 2 of The Brown Sisters but can be read as a standalone.
I quite liked Hibbert’s Get a Life, Chloe Brown and was already quite excited for the next book on Dani. When this book released, SO MANY PEOPLE posted rave reviews and praise online. Several readers whom I follow gushed over it and highly recommended it. If there’s one thing that can keep me away for a while, it’s hype.
I take notice of the hype but I also wait until it goes down significantly before actually picking up the books. It’s usually because I’d rather not have very high expectations and ruin the books for myself.
All that said, this book was very cute!
P. S. this review contains explicit language in places. I generally don’t use it in posts but this review kinda needs it, so bear with me.
Danika doesn’t do relationships. She doesn’t have the time or energy for them, and she will probably ruin the relationship because she doesn’t live up to the “good girlfriend” standards. She is happy working on her academic pursuits and being fabulous.
But what she does need is a fuck buddy. It’s been months since her last no-strings-relationship which tanked because her lover caught feelings while Dani was completely NOT for it. So she does what any girl with connections to a deity would do—pray to her deity (of lust, appropriately) to send the perfect person for her.
When Zafir, the security guard whom Dani has been flirting with for months, rescues her from a jammed elevator and carries her out in his arms, the video of them goes viral with the tag #DrRugBae. Dani decides this is a sign from her deity and decides to seduce Zafir. The only problem? He’s a romantic who believes in the happily ever afters and other such annoying ideals.
When Zafir asks her to fake-date him to help him use this newfound fame for his non-profit, she can’t say no. Dani plans to seduce him, but there is so much more between them.
I “read” this book as an audiobook which was a good and a bad thing. Let me elaborate:
- It took me longer to finish because I definitely read faster than the 2x speed on Storytel. Which kind of reduced the charm for me, because the book went on for about a week.
- The narrator kept saying the male lead’s name as “Zafia” and not “Zafir”. That’s an accent thing, I know. But it doesn’t help that in my head I now call him Zafia (because of the very soft “r”) instead of Zafir. So forgive me if I call him Zafia in this review by mistake. I should just call him Zaf to keep it safe.
- The only good part was Zaf’s accent. It was hilarious, especially during curses. I loved it haha.
Okay now onto opinions about the book itself.
- I. LOVE. DANI.
She is sassy and fierce and fabulous.
First of all, Dani is really good at her work and really enjoys it. Can I recall and specifically tell you what her area of study is? No. It was mentioned once in the book and was quite long and complicated for me to register. But it is something within the study of women field. History and complicated ideals etc. It was fun to listen to her talk about it and passionately study, though.
“Because he knew her well enough to realize she’d rather be holed up in here like Gollum, stroking books and murmuring, “My precious.”
Next, she was hella entertaining and charming. Her responses, her confidence, and her self-assurance came through really well in the book. I loved her.
- Zaf was really cool as well.
He’s a former rugby player who quit after an accident (in which he lost his dad and brother) which was made into a media play. It scarred him about media. Hence, when he is suddenly thrown into the limelight through Twitter along with Dani, he is first apprehensive. It was interesting to see him slowly open up to opportunities and let go of old fears.
Zaf is also a lover of romance books. That was a really cool thing. He genuinely believes in happily ever afters and having the perfect partner who compliments you. He is also not ashamed of it. We love discarding toxic masculinity stereotypes.
“The world wasn’t split into unhappy endings and happily ever afters. There were blessings everywhere and a thousand shades of joy all around him.”
The cherry on the top was that Zaf headed a non-profit organization where he teaches young boys rugby and also teaches them how to deal with insecurities and fears. Can we get a more perfect guy? Don’t think so.
Zaf is also super charming and the perfect counterpart for Dani. Their banter was so fun!
- Zaf also has anxiety because of trauma which is explored in this book.
Media is not all-great. In fact, it’s more often bad than good when people are pushed into the limelight. His experience with media and it started his anxiety is shown, as well as his journey of dealing with anxiety.
“The thing about mental health was, you couldn’t take a course of antibiotics and be magically healed. Some people’s brains just thought too much or felt too much or hurt too much, and you had to stay on top of that.”
Talia Hibbert is not shy with having male leads go through growth and have issues in romance books, and I love that. Generally romance books just have the female leads going through things and their romantic interests are there to support them. But more often than not, both people are flawed and compliment each other, drawing support both ways.
- Minor detail: Dani is bisexual.
It’s not a plot point besides Zaf being unsure if she’ll like him. And we need more of this in books. Where sexuality is off-handedly mentioned and is really normal to not be straight. It’s not questioned or used as a plot point. That was small thing but I appreciated it.
- The chemistry and relationship growth were great.
I was all for Dani and Zaf right from the start. The first interaction of theirs in the book had me firmly cheering on for them.
The banter and chemistry was GREAT and on-point. The characters also slowly learn about each other and grow closer. It’s not as if they completely throw themselves at each other just because of sexual attraction. There is definite relationship growth and I really liked it.
- The book did become repetitive at parts.
Dani’s and Zaf’s monologues about their issues were present multiple times throughout the book. And each time, it was almost the same thing being said. That bored me. A couple times I paused at book at these parts and came back days later because they caused me to lose interest. That was disappointing.
It’s a good book and definitely deserves love but it wasn’t too great for me. It was an enjoyable read. I probably would have enjoyed it more as an ebook or paperback, though.