Reviews on The Novel Cauldron are intertwined with spoilers. For spoil free reviews, please find my mini book reviews on Goodreads or Instagram. Thank you for visiting and enjoy this review of Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
4.5 Goodreads Stars
After listening to Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert on audio, I immediately scrambled to my computer to purchase the paperback book copy as well as the sequel, Take a Hint, Dani Brown. Even though I had a well-planned schedule to my reading for the month, the Brown sisters created chaos. Dani hopped the line.
I couldn’t wait to read her book and it did not disappoint.
Danika Brown is a direct woman who knows how to power walk towards whatever she wants. What she wants more than anything is a person capable of delivering multiple toe-curling orgasms. What she doesn’t want is romance because she’s a busy woman with things to do. She asks the Universe for spiritual guidance so she can discover her perfect source of fantastic romance-free orgasms. And as we know, the Universe has a sense of humor.
Zafir Ansari, a gruff and brooding security guard at Dani’s workplace, has a soft spot for Danika Brown. When Dani gets trapped in the elevator during a fire drill gone wrong, he pulls open the elevator doors with his bare hands then proceeds to carry Dani out of the building. He becomes the true embodiment of the heroes in his favorite romance novels.
Yes, he reads romance novels.
Danika takes the dramatic rescue as the Universe’s blessing.
Dani and Zaf’s are in for a shock when footage of the romantic rescue is released, and the chemistry between them breaks the internet. The media attention highlights Zafir’s charity work, but nudges at a tragedy in his past. Zafir knows if he can utilize the media attention, it could help him raise funds for his charity and help kids. The only catch – the media thinks Zaf and Dani are dating.
Dani helps Zafir hatch a scheme: fake a relationship, help the children. Dani thinks she can protect her heart and set down the boundaries she needs to have the bedroom fun that was destined by the Universe. As Dani and Zaf grow close, in spite of their rules, feelings get complicated. Maybe the Universe has bigger plans for Dani, if only she’d take the hint.
Zaf is a gem of a hero. Gruff and tough. Strong but soft. A true gentleman and brave despite his lingering anxiety. He was so earnest and easy to root for and I want to know more about his romance novel collection and large arms.
Danika is abrupt and blunt. Sexy and smoldering with secret softness and non-ironic sass. She’s ready to take on the world by inspiring equal parts awe and terror. Absolute heroine goals.
The language these two characters use at each other is foul in this book and it’s a delight. Not everyone would think so, I’m sure. But it seems to be a series trademark. The language doesn’t pull punches. The banter is dark, dry, and laugh out loud funny. And it’s hot. Very hot.
Let’s Talk About the Romance
Dani Brown doesn’t do romance. So, we shall obtain from discussing the romance. You should read the book to see how that works out for her, in her romance novel.
Wow, wow, wow. Talia Hibbert writes really good sex, friends. That’s all there is to it. The only complaint is there wasn’t enough of it for me in this book. Which brings me to …
Why only four stars, Em?
Fake relationship plots are fun because they force a longing slow burn. Torturing the characters is half the fun of this trope. Everyone is squirming because of the complications. The characters agree to play the game, and the tension lies in the question: how far will the game go? Who will crack first?
The use of the fake relationship felt rather clunky at times because the friends and family were in on the joke. It was a very open secret. The performative relationship only needed to happen while they were at work. But the vast majority of scenes happened during their private time. The tension was fleeting, which made things feel a little unbalanced.
My desire for the characters to work out their sexual tension outweighed my interest in their emotional turmoil, to be blunt. Since the book’s emotional core made their careers a central focus – sometimes the sequences felt long and meandering.
Also, there was a sub-plot involving a secret relationship between Zaf’s brother’s widow and best friend that felt a bit unnecessary.
The lead-in to Dani’s seminar felt so long. However, the payoff was worth it. The seminar scene launched some wild emotions leading to a wonderful dark moment and subsequent grovel. A delicious grovel. One of my all-time favorites.
Sometimes the book fell into the contemporary romance pitfall of becoming a bit too real-life logistics focus. Most readers will not see a problem here.
Overall, my critique boils down to a personal preference and some pacing issues. Still a stellar book and a joy to read.
Readers don’t necessarily need to read Get a Life, Chloe Brown first to enjoy Take a Hint, Dani Brown. Each book stands on its own and would be a satisfying independent read. I feel it’s a more fulfilling experience if you read both. Also, Talia Hibbert is an incredible writer and we should give her all of our money.
So, if for some reason you haven’t read Chloe’s book, go fix that now.
If you enjoy Helen Hoang’s The Bride Bet or Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston you’re going to have a great time reading Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert.
I was thrilled to discover Dani and her best friend were modern witches. It was amazing to see a woman embracing her practice and using it as a bond to her best friend and her ancestors. Warmed my heart.
I loved the epilogue. A truly happy ending unique and wonderful for this particular paring.
When Dani’s sisters and best friend came together to support Dani at the end. It was hilarious and heartfelt.
We have some time before we get Act Your Age, Eve Brown. Start the count down to March 9th, 2021!