Take a Hint, Dani Brown (Book Review)

Hey y’all! This review has been in my drafts for the longest because I totally forgot I hadn’t posted it yet. I’ve been thirsting after Zaf since I read it and I really can’t wait for Eve Brown’s story.

StoryGraph Synopsis

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?

Trigger warnings: anxiety, loss of parent and sibling, car accident, panic attacks, explicit sex scenes and mention of sex,

Representation: Black mc, Pakistani and Muslim mc, anxiety rep,

The Good

I really like how there was a content warning at the beginning of the book. It’s really that simple to have that added to books and I hope more authors follow suit.

I love Zaf and Dani as individuals and they’re even cuter when they’re together. Zaf has me questioning whether I should bring my standards up even higher, but then I remember Zaf is fictional so…

One of my favorite parts of the story was how it showed their relationship progression. Fake dating is such a fun trope to play with and I’ve come to realize it’s one I really enjoy.

I love the family dynamics! That’s something I loved in Get a Life, Chloe Brown, too. Talia Hibbert is really good at showing these relationships and I love that so much. Zaf’s family is really important to him and we really see that in this one.

The Not so Good

If you’re not into books with sexually explicit language and scenes, this probably won’t be the book for you.

I didn’t love this quite as much as Get a Life, Chloe Brown. I think I’m just not as into “friends with benefits” even though I do love friends to lovers. I also think I just enjoyed the angst and yearning more in Get a Life, Chloe Brown. But, a lot of people have said they like this one more so it really just depends on the person.

All in All

I had so much fun reading this. There was one point where I stayed up until nearly 4 AM listening to the audiobook. I’d highly recommend it for all my romance lovers, and those on the fence.

4.25/5 Stars

Author: Rachelle Saint Louis

Rachelle Saint Louis is a Haitian-American writer, born and raised in South Florida. She received a 2018 Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for her poem “Red Blood Cell.” She is currently a Psychology and English double major at Florida Atlantic University. Her poetry has been published in Rigorous Magazine. Rachelle has been writing poetry since the 7th grade and you can often find her performing Spoken Word at local open mics.

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