I need to preface this review with some pretty integral facts.
The first is that I have never been a regular romance consumer. I have never been attracted to the genre on its own, I prefer my romance to be hashed with a side of adventure. Occasionally, I’ll dip my toe into contemporaries and it reminds me that regular stories about regular people and their feelings can be good and I can enjoy it. Hence, why I decided to pick this up. I’m delighted that I gave Talia Hibbert a chance. Before this, I recently read and got much enjoyment out of Get a Life, Chloe Brown – my review for that is here, if you’re interested. I knew going into this that I already liked Hibbert’s writing style and I didn’t balk at a character driven romance novel.
I simply adored this book. That’s the one line review, the soundbite.
At points it becomes difficult to come to a final decision about a rating for a book that is so character driven, as Take a Hint, Dani Brown is – and ratings aren’t everything. Simply looking at an assigned numerical value of how good a book is doesn’t encapsulate the entire experience. I read both of Hibbert’s books in the space of twenty-four hours, something that is practically unheard of for me over the last few years.
My cheeks hurt from smiling most of the time and when I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about reading it. I think character-led books are often treated as inferior to other literary works. In the case of this book, I had such a good time reading it that practically nothing else mattered. I’m hesitant to try to critique the novel because I don’t want it to take away from the fact that I absolutely recommend this book.
It’s filled to the brim with characters who are larger than life and break the traditional mould of traditional romance leads. Danika Brown is a plus-size, bisexual, Black main character. Zafir Ansari is a Pakistani, Muslim love interest who has anxiety. There is priceless value in seeing parts of yourself represented so fearlessly and it’s something I must commend Hibbert for doing. She includes all this diversity seemingly effortlessly and without the angst trope – the fact that the main character is not a size 6 is never treated by herself or anyone else as anything negative. Zafir’s anxiety, in my opinion, is handled with a great deal of thought and at times, subtlety.
That’s what really cemented this as a fast favourite; how much I personally related to both of the characters. It made the reading experience feel immeasurably better.
Hibbert has through Get a Life, Chloe Brown and now with Take a Hint, Dani Brown nailed a formula for romance with these down-to-earth, funny characters.
It may be predictable but just as Zafir reads romance novels for the happy ending, that’s what Hibbert gives us. It does feel like insta-love, or maybe it’s just because the reader has an expectation of love but it doesn’t take away from the reading experience. Hibbert made me disregard those overly critical parts of myself in favour of just enjoying the book, which is skillful of its own account.
In summary, Take a Hint, Dani Brown is a fun, sexy romance with the perfect amount of depth. It never tries to do too much and in that regard is inherently modest. I can’t understate how much I love this book, to feel seen and accepted in the context of being loved is a task and a half – one which Hibbert knocks out of the park.
I was provided a copy of this book for review by the publisher.