One Sentence Synopsis
Dani Brown is a woman focused on academia who doesn’t have time for relationships but, when she asks the universe for the perfect fuck-buddy, she gets more than she bargained for in the university security guard she loves to flirt with, Zafir.
“Major or minor, if something keeps you human when pressure makes you feel like a volcano, hold on to that thing by whatever means necessary.”
As a relative romance newbie, I’m still learning what I like and don’t like when it comes to this genre. Like miscommunication? Miss with me that. Enemies to lovers? Yes, please! And now, thanks to Dani, I’ve learned that fake dating is a thing that I love!
This story follows our titular character, Dani Brown, in her quest to find the perfect fuck-buddy. She’s a Ph.D student who is focused on school and her career and she doesn’t have time for relationships. More to the point, she doesn’t have time nor care for “romance”. So, when she quite literally ends up in the arms of the grumpy security guard she tends to flirt with in the mornings, she thinks it’s a sign from the universe. However, pictures get out of Zafir carrying Dani out of a building after a fire drill gone wrong and now people think they’re actually dating! Dani is okay with going along with the public perception as it’s helping Zafir’s sports-based charity to get off the ground. What she is not okay with is Zafir being a hopeless romantic and the fact that she might be developing feelings that goes beyond friends-with-benefits.
There is something about Talia Hibbert’s writing that clicks with me and that something is the humor! I absolutely adored the sass, the laughs, and the banter. The banter! It’s absolutely top shelf and made me eat this romance up. A romance book will fall flat on it’s face if there’s no chemistry between the love interests but just the banter between Dani and Zafir alone was enough chemistry for twenty romances! They sizzle on the page and I found myself completely invested in the relationship before they even started fake dating 😂 I was sucked into this relationship so quickly and just tore through this book because of that.
I think what really helped me fall in love with this book was the fact that I loved both of the main characters. Dani is me from college, I swear! At least when it comes to her work ethic. Watching her grind herself down because she wants to excel really threw me back to my college years. I didn’t say I identified with her for healthy reasons, heh. I wanted to shake her so many times because I saw her making similar mistakes that I made and just wanted her to be happy, damnit! And Zafir… oooo, Zafir 😍 I adored Zafir, with his romance books and his sports charity and his anxiety. He was such an incredible love interest, which is only what Dani deserves being an incredible main character. I thought the way both their anxiety was depicted was done super well, too. Just… they are both precious and I want them to be happy for forever, is that too much to ask???
I think my one gripe with this story was the third act “break up”. Not because it didn’t make sense. It did, with Dani’s past and her anxieties about relationships. I just smacked me in the face and felt like it came from out of the blue. I mean, I should have been expecting it as I was in the last third of the book, but it caught me off-guard. I probably also hated it because I just wanted them to be together and stupidly in love, okay?
Final thoughts: This was a fun and funny romance that has a lot of steam and a lot of heart. I absolutely adored both of our main characters and was rooting for them from the first time I saw them flirt. I loved the look at anxiety, especially when it comes to academic success, and I really felt for both Dani and Zafir. Though I didn’t love the third act “break up”, I still loved the overall relationship, plot, and the ending was just *chef’s kiss* If you enjoy romances that have excellent banter, lots of steamy action, and characters that you can help but fall for, I think you would love Take a Hint, Dani Brown!