I really loved the playful, vibrant writing style in this! It’s my first time reading something from the author, but her reputation and that adorable cover drew me in. I’ll be the first to admit that friends with benefits-style relationships are not my thing, but Hibbert makes it obvious that there’s so much more to this couple than just the physical. And for a book that focuses on a relationship that’s supposed to be sex “without” feelings, it’s actually a pretty solid slow burn. Readers might be taken aback by just how steamy things get – Hibbert’s descriptive writing style translates into some lengthy intimate scenes – but that’s definitely not the focus. I think our hero steals the show here, because every time the heroine’s hangups over commitment started to grate on my nerves, he would do something to reel me right back in.
The story follows Dani and Zafir, two people who see each other at work every day. They’ve been flirting for months, but Dani’s been burned in the past so she has sworn off any kind of relationship. She’d love to burn up the sheets with Zaf, but only if he agrees to keep feelings out of the equation – and something about the stoic security guy strikes Dani as the relationship type. But when they’re caught on video looking like a couple and keeping up the rouse helps Zaf’s charity, these two agree to fake it for awhile. Though Zaf would love to start something real with Dani, he knows that he’ll take her any way that he can get her.
The absolute best part about this book is Zafir. He is such a protective, loving guy; patient and compassionate as he handles Dani’s hangups. She took a lot longer to grow on me, but it’s also easy to see that she cares for Zaf more than she’s willing to admit. The writing is fresh and distinctive, which also makes this a quick, fun read. Though there are shots of angst, the majority of the book is light with plenty of depth. I can’t say that I was 100% onboard with every element of the storyline (Dani practices witchcraft for some reason, she’s resistant to a relationship for the entire book, and they continue to insist that there are no feelings between them), but I was entertained and engaged with the story from start to finish. I’ll definitely check out more of the author’s work in the future, because this made for a dynamic and interesting read. I received an ARC via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review of this fake relationship romance.
One of Oprah Magazine’s 21 Romance Novels That Are Set to Be the Best of 2020, Bustle’s 25 Most Anticipated Books of June, PARADE Magazine’s 30 Beach Reads of 2020, and Buzzfeed’s 28 Romance Novels to Read this Summer!
USA Today bestselling author 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 big, brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and former rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact to him, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Suddenly, 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 is 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.
The easy lay Dani dreamed of is now 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?
Praise for Take a Hint, Dani Brown:
“another superb and emotionally rich romance. Grief and turmoil are expertly balanced with hilarious wit, making the story both complex and immensely readable. The characters are vibrant, and their chemistry is scorching. Remarkable.” —Library Journal ★ STARRED review
“Phenomenal … a perfect balance of sweetness and spice. … Hibbert’s characterizations, especially her careful handling of Zaf’s anxieties, are masterful. Tender, joyous, and hot as all get-out, this is sure to make readers swoon.” — Publishers Weekly ★ STARRED review
“Magical … Dani and Zaf’s ability to finally push past the fear of rejection and cope with depression and anxiety, as well as their devilishly good dialogue, make for engaging and authentic diverse characters. Hibbert is a rising star, and this tale will appeal to all contemporary romance fans, including those who enjoy British romantic comedies.” — Booklist ★ STARRED review
About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Talia Hibbert is a Black British author who lives in a bedroom full of books. Supposedly, there is a world beyond that room, but she has yet to drum up enough interest to investigate. She writes sexy, diverse romance because she believes that people of marginalized identities need honest and positive representation. Her interests include beauty, junk food, and unnecessary sarcasm.