I received the e-ARC of Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert from Netgalley in a giveaway by Avon Books.
I have to start by saying, I love Talia Hibbert. I unabashedly love everything she has written. Her heroines are the most interesting and her heroes are the swooniest. And her HEAs are the happiest and most satisfying. That being said, in this time of pandemic, I’ve mostly been reading paranormal and brief novellas so it took me a few tries to get through this one. But I’m so glad I kept trying.
It was a slow start for me because I couldn’t really identify with the heroine. Danika is confident (in most ways) and driven and a witch, like with crystals and charms and stuff. I’m not super driven and my inner monologue is variations on a theme of what a horrible, ugly person I am. (Working on it in therapy though.) So I can’t say I really “get” Dani. But I admire her for sure.
Then I got to the hero, Zafir, and he is just awesome. He’s tall and burly and has a beard. He reads romance novels and has a crush on Dani. He runs a sports club thing (Rugby, but all the sportsballs run together for me.) that teaches boys how to avoid toxic masculinity and express their emotions in healthy ways. He has anxiety and a history of depression. He gets it. He’s emotionally intelligent. And did I mention tall and burly?
They end up in a fake relationship that becomes friends with benefits that becomes a HEA. It’s funny and smart and just a joy to read. There’s a big romantic gesture and it’s just perfect.
What I loved the most was how Zaf accepted Dani and how she didn’t understand his acceptance because she’d never had anyone apart from her sisters and her BFF accept her before. She didn’t know how to deal with it. But she learned. And Zaf was patient with her.
And as always with Talia Hibbert, there were some great lines and phrases in this book. A couple of my favorites: Zaf to Dani, “I know what a chaos demon you are, and I think it’s great.” And “Maybe, before, you stumbled across people who only wanted bits and pieces of you. Never the whole package. Never enough.” And then there’s the love, “Zaf loved Dani in bold black-and-white, stark and completely unsubtle, no shades of gray to be found. He loved her absolutely and uncompromisingly.” GAH, So Perfect!
I give this book five heart-eye-emoji stars. And I can’t wait for the final Brown sister’s book, but I don’t know if a hero can get swoonier than Zaf or Red (from Get a Life, Chloe Brown). If you are waiting to read this series, get on it!