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Book Reviews

Book Review: Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert

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DAY 20

Cover of "Damaged Goods" by Talia Hibbert.
Image via Goodreads

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: Ravenswood #1.5
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Second chances shouldn’t be this sinful.

Laura Burne‘s husband is a monster, her diamond ring is a trap, and her pregnancy is the push she needs to finally escape. She runs away seeking safety… and finds Samir Bianchi, her long-lost teenage sweetheart.

With his kind eyes and dirty smile, Samir’s still hot as hell—and he still treats Laura like a goddess, baby bump and all. The wild boy she spent one magical summer with is every inch a man, and he’s more than ready to care for her tiny family.

But Laura’s been keeping a secret Samir might never forgive. When she finally confesses, will he remain by her side? Or is this fairytale ending too good to be true?

 

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This is a heavy story indeed but the mood is balanced well with lighter and steamy moments. You should definitely read the trigger warnings before the story begins (see 24/7 resources below).

Some parts were slower paced than others, but I was still interested. When Laura and Samir reunite it’s like they nearly fall back into place where they left off well decades ago and they clearly still have strong feelings for one another.

So it was just a matter of when Laura would tell Samir about the abusive marriage she escaped and watching as she slowly rebuilds herself after all she’s been through. Samir’s character felt more like the rock of the story to anchor Laura and the reader.

I like how stalwart and patient Samir is with Laura, and enjoyed his happy-go-lucky demeanor. I loved the part where Laura was brainstorming baby names.

The story was alright to me. I like Laura and Samir as a couple and the easy way they interact with each other. Some parts were hard to read and it broke my heart learning about what Laura went through. The ending and epilogue were very sweet though.

I would read the other books in this series because of how well the author writes characters and romance.

CW: descriptions of domestic abuse, intimate partner violence, child abuse, gaslighting


24/7 Support That’s Here For You

Women’s Aid
https://www.womensaid.org.uk
0808 2000 247 (24/7 helpline)

National Domestic Violence Hotline
thehotline.org
espanol.thehotline.org
1-800-799-7233
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Crisis Text Line
www.crisistextline.org
US and Canada – Text HOME to 741741
United Kingdom – Text HOME to 85258
Ireland – Text HOME to 50808

To Write Love On Her Arms
https://twloha.com/


More by Talia Hibbert

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

Categories
Quotes of the Day

Quote of the Day (from Take A Hint, Dani Brown #2)

“I was worried about the mechanics of moving on, but that’s not who I am. Putting gold frames around my scars. That’s who I am.”

 

Like this quote? You can find more here!

As Always, Happy Reading!!!

CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
Quotes of the Day

Quote of the Day (from Take A Hint, Dani Brown)

“But no one can be fine all the time. So we’ll stay here while you’re busy being not-fine, and we won’t move until you’re done, and that’s okay.”

 

Like this quote? You can find more here!

As Always, Happy Reading!!!

CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: The Brown Sisters #2
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quotes: “But no one can be fine all the time. So we’ll stay here while you’re busy being not-fine, and we won’t move until you’re done, and that’s okay.”

“I was worried about the mechanics of moving on, but that’s not who I am. Putting gold frames around my scars. That’s who I am.”

ABOUT: 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?

 

My Review: Take A Hint, Dani Brown was magic and fun and feelings – I loved it! This story felt so real and personal. I was captivated from start to finish.

My heart is overwhelmingly full of love for Dani and Zafr. They felt like authentic people with real problems. I felt connected to them and could see parts of myself in both of them.

Dani is a confident, intelligent black woman ready to conquer the world. She is black, bisexual and aromantic. Romance, relationship and feelings are a big N-O for her. She is a sorry-not-sorry kind of girl who doesn’t care what others think about her. I wish I had a tenth of her confidence and academic prowess. I also liked how comfortable she is in her own skin. I still cannot fathom what her area of study is but I love how intensely passionate she is about it.

Zafir is intuitive, Muslim, enormously kind, has an anxiety disorder, a hopeless romantic, and likes reading romance novels. As a fellow hopeless romantic, I adore everything about him and he must be protected! I love how his nonprofit, Tackle It, provides an open and safe environment for boys to teach boys that it’s okay to have/express feelings and that taking care of their mental health doesn’t make them weak or less masculine.

Dani and Zaf have great chemistry and mesh well together. Their instant connection is undeniable. They’re clearly meant to be, but they both want different things. I liked their witty and hilarious banter whenever they were together. They are both family-oriented people. What I liked most was that neither pushed the other to be something they’re not.

The main characters are diverse, which is awesome! I personally can’t say if the bisexual and aromantic rep was done well. It felt like it was and that it was positive. The anxiety rep was good. I’ve yet to come across a character whose anxiety is at the same stage as Zaf’s, so that was really nice to see.

There’s a lot to love and appreciate in Take A Hint, Dani Brown. The characters grow exponentially as the story progresses. This charming fake dating romance had everything I love about that trope and contemporary romance as a whole. I am extremely happy to have read this book.

Take A Hint, Dani Brown is the first book I’ve read of Talia Hibbert’s. She is such a strong writer. I am now a huge fan and can’t wait to fall head over heels in love with her other books.