Talia Hibbert

Goodreads Choice Awards Final Round

It’s the final round! We’re at the point of the awards where I just vote for books from authors I like or skip whole categories. The only category I’ve read more than two books is romance. Sadly, Ilona Andrews Emerald Blaze did not make it.

My nominations:

Mystery & ThrillerWhen No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Fantasy The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

Romance Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Sci-FiAxiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis

Food and CookbooksModern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

Graphic Novels & ComicsFangirl, Vol 1: The Manga by Sam Maggs, Rainbow Rowell; Illustrated by Gabi Nam

Middle Grade & Children’sThe Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan

Picture BooksThe Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Dalai Lama XIV; Illustrated by Bao Luu

Alright, so I’ve read three of the above books. The library has the graphic novel Fangirl waiting for me to pick up, so if I’m able to pick that up before the deadline, I could change my vote. Unless I absolutely hate it, I don’t see that happening. All the other books were books from authors I’ve enjoyed in the past.

This is pretty normal for me when it comes to the Goodreads Choice Awards. Usually, I end up finding a lot of books that I hadn’t heard about that I’m interested in, but not this year. I’ve been in a very critical mood lately, and there ended up only being a couple of books that I added to my list.

In my opinion, the Goodreads Choice Awards needs some changes. I was pleased to see more diversity, but I would love to see the categories changed. Why is Biography not in the same category as Memoir and Autobiography? Having one category for romance is ludicrous. Why are books that aren’t even published yet allowed to be included? The Pioneer Woman cookbook doesn’t even come out until tomorrow.

There are so many illustrated covers. I liked the trend, to begin with, in romance, but I’m starting to miss beautiful women in elaborate gowns draped over bare-chested men.

Anyway, there you have it, the conclusion to the Goodreads Choice Awards.

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2)

Take a Hint Dani Brown

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2)

By: Talia Hibbert

Blurb:

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?

Review:

Dani knows what she wants. She has career goals and fuck buddy goals. Having a real relationship is not something she’s remotely interested in. She’s incredibly confident, except when she isn’t, it was very relatable.

Zaf is a cinnamon roll. He’s a big, burly man, with incredible thighs, who has suffered a tragic loss in his past. I love how surly he is and how much he loves his family. Holy shit, his anxiety is soooo relatable. The way his brain reacts when something as simple as his call isn’t picked up when calling a family member is exactly how mine works. Seeing how he thinks was like looking into my brain.

I loved Dani and Zaf on their own, but together they were a whole other level of adorable. Their conversations were the best part of Take a Hint, Dani Brown. The banter back and forth, getting to see their insecurities while that was happening, it was perfect.

4.5/5

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a Life Chloe Brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1)

By: Talia Hibbert

Blurb:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Review:

Chloe has chronic pain and has been abandoned by all but her family. Redford was in an abusive relationship that has left him mentally and physically scarred. She has a dry, sarcastic wit that you need to know her to understand fully, while he is usually nice to everyone and has a smile on his face. It’s not an opposites-attract romance, it’s closer to an instant attraction. Only, they both react poorly to it.

Chloe’s humor reminded me of my own, but it didn’t always come off like I assume the author wanted. A couple of times, the only indication I had that she’d said something hilarious was Red laughing at it. Maybe it was a British thing? Apart from that, I enjoyed her as a character. I don’t know anything about fibromyalgia, so I can’t judge the accuracy there, but it did read like someone who was familiar with the subject.

I liked Red. He was a big hulking redhead with long hair that wore fake leather clothes. He loved his mom and, as previously mentioned, was super nice—basically, the appearance of an alpha male with the personality of a cinnamon roll consumed with lust.

I enjoyed the story, though, I do wish there had been some vengeance in it. There was no confrontation with exes, which was a bit of a letdown for my bloodthirst. However, I didn’t expect there to be. Everyone was very mature, and seeing shrinks and using all the words you use when you’re doing that. Promoting good mental health is good and very underrepresented in romance, while vengeance not so much. I understand the choices made, even if I would have liked something more than brief moments of seething from each of the characters.

3.5/5