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?
Take a Hint, Dani Brown is a delightful read and I highly recommend it to contemporary romance fans (along with the first book in the series, Get a Life, Chloe Brown, which I reviewed here). For me this book has the perfect balance of issues to resolve but not so angsty I had to set it aside to cry at the low point. Exactly what I needed to read right now! Dani and Zafir are #couplesgoals and #swoony!
I want to dislike fake relationship books but I read and like too many for that to be true. So many of the fake relationship books I read have pining/unrequited love and just the idea of someone knowingly going into a fake relationship with someone they have feelings for, knowing it’s “not real”, is so cringeworthy to me. The second-hand embarrassment, “oh this is going to end badly” is real! Take a Hint, Dani Brown is no different for me. But I got invested like I have before and just wanted to see these two work it out! (This also has the awesome “we just need to bang so I can get you out of system” which spectacularly fails of course!)
Dani is focused on her career and is clear with her hookups (Dani is bisexual) she doesn’t do relationships because she believes she’s not emotionally capable after a bad relationship in college. Zafir is a security guard at the building Dani works at and is grumpy with everyone but has opened up to Dani during their friendly back-and-forth. Then they go viral on social media in what looks like a romantic situation and Zafir asks Dani to help him get some publicity for his non-profit. Meaning a temporary fake relationship (which leads to friends-with-benefits with a deadline).
They’re so supportive of each other which is lovely to read. I enjoyed the humor in this book in the dialogue between Dani and Zafir and their families and friends. I probably had a big silly smile on my face as I was reading most of the story between the humor and banter, the encouragement they gave each other, and how into each other they were.
Talia Hibbert kept the low point blessedly short which I greatly appreciated. The revelatory moments with their families and friends at the end before they reconcile are fantastic. Chloe and Red from Get a Life, Chloe Brown make a couple appearances (but you don’t have to read their book to get what’s happening in Take a Hint, Dani Brown).
I haven’t finished a romance in almost two months and Take a Hint, Dani Brown was so comforting, just what I needed right now. The perfect balance of witty banter and humor and passionate, flawed but still trying characters. I haven’t read all of Talia Hibbert’s backlist (we all should get on that ASAP!) but she is one of my favorite authors right now between this series, Ravenswood series, and Mating the Huntress. I’m excited for Eve’s book next year!
Mind the content warnings in the Author Note at the front of the book.
You can buy a copy here.