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?
“If something keeps you human when pressure makes you feel like a volcano, hold onto that thing. by whatever means necessary.”Take a Hint, Dani Brown, Talia Hibbert
Words can’t explain how much I love this book! I loved this one so much more than Get a Life, Chloe Brown (though I still enjoyed it), but this journey with Dani and Zaf’s story just spoke to me in a whole different level. I also listened to the audiobook of this, and it was an even more enjoyable experience.
The number one thing I absolutely loved about this book was how I saw myself in Dani Brown. Her “eyes on the prize”, tenacious, goal-oriented persona with little care or difficulty in speaking her problems and emotions just matched my own so perfectly. Hence I was able to immediately slip my shoes into her character, because she just parallels me to a great extent. The struggle of her wanting to be the best in her field but also having problems maintaining non-work relationships was something I couldhighly relate to, and it was a relief to see that there is something else outside this tall protective box she had made for herself. Gah, I just love Dani Brown so much.
On the other hand, I love how Zafir is the total opposite of Dani. I have really come to enjoy rugged, surly male characters who aren’t afraid to show their feelings and vulnerability, and who is making a very conscious effort in abolishing toxic masculinity. I knew I liked Zaf as soon as I read he was listening to a romance audiobook at chapter one. The expounded discussion on Zaf’s depression and anxiety was really well-written, thus providing readers a glimpse on how anxiety works for each person, and how they are able to manage it. Mental health is a really big thing for Zaf, and I loved him even more because of it.
The entire book itself checks a lot of boxes in my preferred romance stories: a fake relationship stunt with a friends with benefits plot, highly amusing and snarky main characters with personal baggage that they needed to sort out together, a lot of cute, funny, and sexy moments, and great family and friendship dynamics. It’s just so well done and executed that I practically devoured the entire thing and spent a lot of late nights just to squeeze in another chapter. It deserves a millions of chef’s kisses – and a whole lot more.
If you haven’t read this book yet, then what are you waiting for?!
About The Author
Talia Hibbert is a USA Today bestselliing 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 marginalised identities need honest and positive representation. Her interests include beauty, junk food, and unnecessary sarcasm. She also rambles intermittently about the romance genre online.
Talia self-publishes via Nixon House and is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary.