Take a Hint, Dani Brown
Author: Talia Hibbert
Publication Date: 23 June 2020
Genre: Adult Fiction – Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
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?
Alright, so I listened to Get a Life, Chloe Brown earlier this year, which was a solid four star read for me. I enjoyed the enemies to lovers story love and Chloe and Red’s banter. That being said, Talia with Take a Hint, Dani Brown, Talia Hibbert knocked it out of the park (Note: this book can be read as a standalone!).
27 year old Danika ‘Dani’ Brown is a highly ambitious academic whose sole focus is her career. Both a Black and bisexual female, Dani doesn’t have time for romantic entanglements. She appreciates the orgasms, but everything else takes a backseat to her career goals.
Zafir ‘Zaf’ Ansari is a former professional rugby player who is now a security guard at the University that Dani teaches at. Zaf is your typical standoffish and brooding male who has clipped interactions with Dani…or so we think. Little does Dani know that Zaf is actual a huge romantic who is addicted to romance novels and dreams of happily ever after.
After a social media misunderstanding, Dani and Zaf find themselves at the center of attention. They realize this would be the perfect opportunity to get free publicity for Zaf’s charity, but the caveat is that they actually need to be a couple. That’s cool. They can fake it. But what happens when the sexual tension finally boils over? Can these two just be friends with benefits or will they inevitability catch feelings?
Before I get into straight gushing, I want to comment on both Dani’s and Zaf’s characters. I love that Dani is upfront and honest about her sexuality. She makes no excuses and could care less what anything thinks. Dani also knows the struggles of academia and refuses to let academia beat her down, which happens to females (especially Black females) too often. Zaf. Oh my heart didn’t realize how much I needed a male character like him. He has this rough exterior but he’s anything but. He is a true romantic at heart. He battles with both anxiety and depression, and Hibbert does a phenomenal job of addressing both of those with grace.
In terms of plot, the reason why I connected with this one so much more than Chloe was because there is a level of trust and respect between Dani and Zaf even if it’s not acknowledged at first. Of course there are still jabs and banter, but you can tell how much these two meant to each other just from their work interactions before the whole fake dating even started. I mean come one, Dani brings Zaf coffee every day and Zaf always has a protein bar for her to make sure she eats (if that’s not love I don’t know what is).
Now, y’all already know that there was going to be steam in this book. Hibbert has already proved that to us in Chloe. While I felt like most of the time, Chloe and Red had anger sex due to their initial hatred of one another, Dani and Zaf just felt natural. The sex wasn’t gratuitous. Honestly, I just can’t get enough of those two.
Overall, if you didn’t read any of the above, just pick up this book. It’s incredible, and I promise you it’s worth it.
Thank you to Avon Books for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.