Take a Hint, Dani Brown

Talia Hibbert

Take A Hint, Dani Brown takes place in modern day London and follows the relationship between Dani Brown and Zafir Ansari. Dani is a black bisexual junior professor of literature and women’s studies at a university. She’s done the whole romance thing and it stung her. After the one failed relationship, Dani has sworn off of romantic relationships and strictly only has fun hook-ups. She also happens to be a witch. After bumping into her ex-hook-up and now ex-friend, Dani and her bestie, Sorcha, pray to the deity of love, beauty, and abundance, Oshun. Dani asks for a regular hook-up. And she needs Oshun to give her a hint at who the perfect friend with benefits is.

Zaf Ansari is a retired rugby player and the security guard responsible for Dani’s building at the university. On the side, he volunteers for his friend’s non-profit, Tackle It, that helps teenage boys with anxiety and depression and gives them an outlet. Zaf has first hand experience with grief, anxiety and depression, so this is a very personal and passionate project to him. Zaf is the opposite of Dani. He loves romance and that mumbo-jumbo. So much so that he regularly reads romance novels. And he has a not so secret crush on Dani. The two have a cute agreement and running joke that every morning when Dani brings Zaf coffee, Zaf gives Dani a protein bar because he’s worried about her health. 

One morning, as Dani was riding the elevator in the old building, a fire drill began that she was unaware of. The elevator gets stuck between floors and Dani starts to panic and yell for help. Meanwhile, Zaf is outside taking a headcount, but he can’t find the pink haired head belonging to Dani. After he learns that none of the students in her class have seen her, he bolts inside looking for her. He hears her yelling inside the elevators and pries the doors open with his hands. They rush out of the building, Zaf holding Dani bridal style. This heroic act is captured on video and starts the hashtag “#Dr.Ruggbae” and starts the rumor that the two are dating.

From the video, Zaf and Dani both receive a lot of publicity. Zaf’s niece informs him that he should be using this new publicity to help Tackle It get more attention and recognition. This requires the two to continue “dating”. 

Dani takes the rescue as her sign from Oshun and leaps at the idea of potentially sleeping Zaf. Dani just has a couple rules to their arrangements: it’ll only last month, no sleepovers, and most importantly, no feelings. The two then continue their “relationship” for the public. But behind closed doors, Zaf and Dani are heating up. 

I really enjoyed this installment in the Brown Sisters trilogy. Dani was funny and Zaf was sweet. It was also refreshing to read from the POV of a bisexual woman and a man. I loved that Dani wasn’t straight and that she had past relationships with women. It was also really nice to see a man enjoying romance and romance novels. Men can enjoy romance love just as much as women can. 

I give this book a final rating of four out of five stars. This book dealt with the grieving of lost family members so well. Talia Hibbert was sensitive about the subject and didn’t romanticize the grief and grieving process. The part that lost the fifth star was the fact that Dani and Zaf never had to deal with the consequences of their lying. I, of course, love that they weren’t apart for longer than a week, but they also didn’t have to explain themselves and that bothered me. Regardless, I loved the story and it was written so well and the voices of the characters were so distinct and different then the previous two characters in the Brown Sisters trilogy. Not a tear jerker, but still earned its place on my shelf.