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review 2020-02-09 22:26
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Get A Life, Chloe Brown - Talia Hibbert

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Fibromyalgia and chronic pain were invisible afflictions, so they were easy to dismiss.

 

Chloe loves her family but is starting to feel suffocated by them, so she decides to make a list to help her get a life. On top of the list is moving into her own apartment, accomplishing this task also comes with a sexy superintendent.

Red is trying to get his confidence back after leaving an emotionally abusive relationship. His feelings for a new tenant have him more mixed up than ever.

Chloe guards her feelings well and Red gives a little too much but these two might just be perfect for each other.

 

He turned her into a complete disaster, and so, by day, she avoided his company like the bubonic plague. But at night, sometimes, she watched him paint.

 

The first in the Brown Sisters series, Chloe is the first one up for her happily ever after. Chloe has fibromyalgia, which the author did a great job portraying how this not only physically takes a toll but emotionally. The near constant pain makes Chloe a little short tempered and the background on how Chloe's fiance and some friends slowly drifted away because of how serious and consuming such an almost invisible disease is, gives reason to her closed off and grumpier personality. Red, by contrast, is a naturally open and sunshine type of guy, to the point that he ignores his own wants and needs. Our two leads are the often loved grumpy and sunshine trope.

 

Red smiled up at her. It was the kind of sweet and effortlessly handsome smile that heartthrobs deployed in rom-coms, and she didn’t trust it an inch.

 

I really enjoyed Chloe and Red in the beginning, the way they sparked off one another, even when there was some misunderstandings because they didn't know each other well enough to get the nuances underlining what they were saying to one another. I liked how they butted heads until Red gets a peek at Chloe's soft side under her tough shell. Having Red help Chloe with the items on her “Get a Life” list also worked to keep these two together. Chloe trying to help Red set-up a website for his art also worked well to get readers Red's story and what happened in London and why he lost his self-confidence. I thought the story lost some steam in the middle when Red and Chloe start to communicate by email. This worked to have them hash out some feelings and misunderstandings but it stalled their momentum a bit.

 

She saw the precise moment that he realized she was a breathless, horny little demon with a ridiculous crush on him.

 

This author's writing style and prose provided some cute, sexy, and snappy lines and moments. This wasn't as light and fluffy as the cartoon cover lead me to think it was going to be, there are plenty of curse words and open door sexiness. Chloe was the stand-out character for me and I loved her grumpiness and how around people she cared about and trusted, it peeled back to show a funny, sarcastic, and caring woman. I wish the scenes with her grandmother and sisters could have continued as much as we got in the beginning, I felt we lost that great connection after the first half. Red was lacking a certain wholeness for me, I think more scenes with his mom and his friend could have thickened up his character a bit.

 

Whether she admitted it or not, what Chloe really needed was a decent fucking friend. And what Red really wanted, badly enough to surprise himself, was to give her that. To show her every kindness she should take for granted. To make her smile and laugh and feel like herself. The way she did for him.

 

Chloe and Red's love felt somewhat rushed at the end, I wasn't sure the deepness to their love was fully on page for the time length given. There was also a misunderstanding that felt contrived, if a character is proclaiming love the way they were, it feels overly angst to have them immediately think the worst of their partner. Overall, the author managed to tackle issues like chronic illness, emotional abuse, and therapy and have her characters experience and live these in a romance story. The love was seen and felt in how Chloe and Red challenged and helped each other navigate and overcome these moments in life. Chloe's sisters were delightful and I'm anticipating their books.

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text 2020-02-07 22:40
Reading Update: 50%
Get A Life, Chloe Brown - Talia Hibbert

It has been a week, TGIF! Settling in with some popcorn and a new to me author.
The heroine’s toe point on the cover is so delightful :)

 

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert purchase link

 

Harvest Caramel Corn recipe

Extremely rich!

 

 

 

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review 2018-06-15 00:00
Damaged Goods
Damaged Goods - Talia Hibbert Damaged Goods - Talia Hibbert Remember in my prior review (yeah, I doubt it, but I do) when I said that I had that I was feeling awfully grumpy at contemporary and this unknown to me author named Talia Hibbert crumpled up that feeling, threw it in my face then lit it on fire?

That.She is, without a doubt, a fresh (to me) voice in contemporary romance. There's something so true and stripped, yet beautiful about her style. Elegant with a flare of humor, minimalist with a touch of whimsy. As I've read her books I've felt more than with other authors who are low angst that the arc is a little different. It's not the why or despite-all-odds getting together love stories. It's a romance about how two people find each other, stripped bare, and become each other's. It's simple, it deals with the essentially mundane of a couple falling in love and deciding to be together, yet both books I've read of hers feel unique and like nothing I've ever read before. (And great humor!)

In Damaged Goods, we have Laura-wife of Daniel-becoming herself after surviving her marriage to Daniel. Her backstory is intricately woven in the story, but it doesn't detract or consume or add dependency to Samir and Laura's relationship (second chance type), it just is. It's painful, it's real, but it's something the couple deals with as a couple and moves on. Samir is lovely too, and like Evan comes off a bit too perfect. I'm left feeling I know the heroines a touch better than the heroes thus far in her books (we did have his back story it didn't seem to be integral, if that makes sense)...but for me that isn't really a bad thing. That said, though Samir was a bit infallible, you can't help loving him or his smitten, torch-carrying self. Laura and her friendship with Ruth are highlighted, and so is a delicate balance of coming off one relationship into another. This 'rebound' wouldn't always play well with this backstory, but again, here it just is. We also get a glimpse of Hassan, Samir's brother and I have to say I would've loved to meet him and his husband in the story. I loved that interaction, and it added to Samir's character.

Honestly, two more perfect and idealized heroes have never existed in my mind (Ravenswood are her only books I've read), so I guess a kudos for that. I do have a strong desire to see one of her heroes with a really rough edge though, I believe Hibbert is the kind of author who could write me into love with anyone.

Parts of it are quite *ahem* hot, so you won't be disappointed there.

All this said, though Hibbert's Ravenswood series have become a beacon in the sludge of CR I feel like I've been wading through, I'm giving this a 4. It's a novella, though a hefty one, and I can always use a bit more depth. The 4 is also for the perfection of the characters-or at least the heroes. I love the snappy humor and writing style and can't wait to read the backlist & more from this talented author.

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review 2018-04-04 00:00
A Girl Like Her
A Girl Like Her - Talia Hibbert 4.5 I wouldn’t call what I’ve been in a book slump at all. I would say I’m book grumpy. Book grouchy. Contemporary romances have been the number one aim of my discontent. Really, it’s as if Jack Talent invaded my soul (cause we’re soul mates. Yep, fictional character, try to tell me it’s not real)…and I’m all “Piss and shit,” and sometimes even “Piss and shit and buggering, bloody, fucking hell,” on the sub-genre in the past few weeks. The ongoing B-R with the very lovely, very nuanced, very well-crafted Darkest London is probably layering on this irritation…those books make me ache, man. This is also why I REALLY need a nice refreshing CR.

To the rescue are two of my GR friends, who aren’t just particular (I guess many of us are that) they are stingy with their stars so seeing a 3.5 from Gaufre & a 5-a joyful 5-from Renae made me raise my eyebrows. And, oh, look here, I’m on my KU binge. I fully expected to enjoy this book as a result.

So what happened? Enter Talia Hibbert, who I’ve never read-never heard of-before said “Oh, you’re grumpy about books?” She wadded up that feeling, threw it in my face, then picked it up and lit in on fire. Then I think someone slapped me. This #ownvoices romance is fresh. A smart, funny, quick style. Sexy as hell. Authentic. Characters that are real and unapologetic. Strong female relationships, a perfect hero who still makes mistakes but they are so understandable so he still is pretty perfect. And more sexy consent please. A book about patience, forgiveness, and loyalty. Good people. Delicious.

My gripe? I wish it were longer. There was a lack of depth here or there I was hoping for more-some pieces seemed skimmed over a little bit-but these two were so sweet, funny, earnest, and wonderful it didn’t matter The heroine (Ruth) was prickly! Unapologetically. No explanations, no softening, these characters just are…

And look, Chris Evans is like my 9th favorite famous Chris, but Talia Hibbert suddenly made me think, “Oh Evans as Captain America, please and thank you.” She's not wrong about the gif. (which I watched maybe a couple too many times last night?)

(I feel like I had to add this to my review. Because...flavor.)

description

Look, I realize I didn’t really review the book here. My heart boiled over with joy, I say. I had to take some breathers from all that happy. I point you to Renae’s for more details on why.

Feelings weren’t as straight forward and binary as he’d once assumed; around Ruth he could feel fifty things at once.
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