Black Authors Book Reviews Favorites

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert


Eve Brown, sister of Chloe and Dani Brown, still lives with their parents. After feeling like she failed a wedding she planned, she took down her website and decided to scratch the idea of becoming an event planner. Her family has wealth so she doesn’t have to worry about money while she figures out her next venture. Again. Her parents notice the website is taken down and reprimand her. They tell her she needs to get serious about life and her career and are cutting her off until she acts her age. In this case, it’s holding down a job for a year.

Feeling like a failure, she leaves the house, crying, and eventually stumbles upon a bed and breakfast that happens to be hiring for a cook. Jacob, the owner, is impressed by her beauty but unimpressed by the different jobs she had, her unpreparedness in not bringing a resume, and her general casualness. She leaves following Jacob’s wishes. Mont, the temporary cook and Jacob’s friend, reminds Jacob that they’re desperate and says she should at least cook something for them before they decide she is unfit. As Jacob runs after her to tell her, she literally runs him over with her car. Seeing as Jacob has a broken arm and is loopy from the pain medication and Mont needs to tend to his own business, Mont gives Chloe the job. What could possibly happen?

My review with spoilers

I feel like every character Talia has written has been relatable in some way and it is something I genuinely appreciate. Her characters are well thought out even down to their insecurities and trauma and it makes them likable. Like all the books in the series, this book takes a two narrator approach.

This romance takes the enemies to lovers approach. Like with Chloe, they didn’t get along at first. The more time they spend together, the more they appreciate each other, and eventually develop feelings for one another. It’s another slow burn book where they learn things about each other over time. Jacob has autism so it can be hard for him to connect with new people. He feels understood by Eve, who ponders if she is autistic herself. Jacob helps Eve see that she’s not a failure and she learns not to be so hard on herself.

Like with the other books, this contains sexual content. I finished this one like a month ago, so if memory serves there is two scenes in detail and one of those scenes includes a toy.

There’s a typical fight in the last act of the book. This time it’s sort of a I’m gonna end this before you leave me situation on Jacob’s side. In his defense, he is surprised with information about Eve’s intentions career-wise and pushes her away because he is hurt. Eve is also hurt because this intentions were no longer current. She just hasn’t communicated the whole picture yet.

It doesn’t help that the her sisters and their boyfriends, their parents, her grandmother and her grandmother’s girlfriend make a surprise appearance because they’re worried about her safety and how she suddenly went MIA. I also think they’re included to remind you that this is the last of the series. I wonder how I’d view the characters differently if I started with this one first.

In the end, they confess their love for each other and pretty much live happily ever after. It was cute. I loved it. And I can’t rate it lower than the others, so I give it five stars.

Out of all of the books in the series, I like Dani’s the best. However I really enjoyed them all and Talia’s writing style and I related to each of them for different reasons.

Black Authors Book Reviews Favorites

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


Dani Brown, sister of Chloe Brown, is serious about her career in higher education and doesn’t have time for a serious relationship. Every morning on her way to teach she passes hopeless romantic Zafir, Zaf for short, who is a security guard for the university. A video of the two of them go viral when he walks out with her in his arms after saving her from an elevator that shut down during a gas drill. He realizes with the help of his family that he could use the publicity to gain traction for his organization that is centered around boys and men focusing on their mental health. So they decide to fake a relationship to help him soak in as much publicity as he can. What could possibly happen?

My Summary & Review (with spoilers)

Talia Hibbert is consistent with her writing style. It is written with two perspectives- Zafir’s and Dani’s. I have seen people say that this is the best book out of the series. Being in the middle of the third one currently, I think all the books are relatable in different ways because each main character has a different insecurity based on their lives. This one has the most interesting storyline to me, but they all honestly have a special place in my heart.

This storyline follows a friends to lover, fake relationship to real relationship trope. Zafir kind of always knew he had a crush on her whereas Dani always knew she was attracted to him. They both realized overtime there was more to their dynamic than that.

Dani avoids serious relationships, only opting for a friends with benefits situation, while Zaf is a hopeless romantic, so much so that he reads romance novels. During the course of their “fake” relationship, after really having sex, Zafir helps her realize that the issues in her past relationships, especially when it came to her work, were simply because they weren’t compatible. He tells her that the right person will get it, will understand and encourage her career goals. She, in turn, will also learn to balance it all. And she does eventually.

This book, as with Chloe’s does contain sexual content. I finished it a couple weeks ago, so from what I can remember there’s only one or two detailed sex scenes more so towards the end. It does go into detail about their attraction towards each other.

Talia’s books have been hitting too close to home, but they’re all enjoyable and easy reads. The pacing of this one was medium, but i wanted to get through it quickly just to see what would happen. The ending was very cute and it didn’t feel abrupt. Zaf tells her he loves her after they agree to taking baby steps towards a relationship. She obviously freaks out. He’s pissed at himself for doing the opposite of taking baby steps. She realizes she loves him too with the help of her siblings and her friend. Then she gets the help of Zaf’s friend to do one big romantic gesture. It was cute. This happens over a couple of pages.

I highly recommend this book. I can’t rate it lower than Chloe’s so I also give this one a five out of five star review. I love Zaf and Dani and enjoyed seeing their love story play out. Now on to Eve’s.

Food For Thought My Life Self Love and Personal Growth


Why is it hard to rest? Why is it hard for me to just sit still? I’ve been sick with covid for the past week and still feel some of its effects. Covid has exacerbated my auto immune disease by increasing the amount of inflammation in my body. Still, while feeling pain and weak and coughing up my lungs, I felt like I was doing something wrong by lying in bed. I didn’t allow myself to fully rest. I tricked myself into thinking I recovered, only to be drained by going into work prematurely. This led me to take today off to recover once again.

Is it the mom guilt? Is it my resistance to ask for help? I was quarantined to my room and I had to lean on my support system to take care of my daughter and me. I still do because I haven’t fully recovered from either sickness. Is it the need to feel productive? Society is quick to call people lazy before hearing their story. Plus, I’m in bed thinking of all the things I could be doing if I felt differently. Stuck worrying and anxious instead of embracing the time I get to myself which is rarity now that I am a mom.

It makes me think of what my life coach asked me in a different context. What would you tell your friend if they were in your situation? I would obviously tell them to rest. To give themselves some grace and allow their body to recover. So, why have I been treating myself, someone I love, differently? Why are we harder on ourselves? Why are our expectations higher? Why do we force ourselves to prove how strong and capable we are, when we could just not?

I could push through the fatigue and the pain and do the chores I’ve been putting off or do some work. However, in doing that I’m not allowing myself to rest and that prolongs the recovery process. On top of that, when we spend the time we could be resting worried about this, that, and the third, we aren’t truly resting because our mind is going. That takes energy. That is draining, especially if you’re running on caffeine and vibes. If you are in survival mode.

I, we, are deserving of rest without guilt. We are deserving of grace. Especially in this time amongst inflation, the rapid spread of diseases, and social and political unrest. Please note, that you don’t have to be feeling unwell or exhausted to be deserving of rest. By then, the rest is probably overdue.

I need to make a conscious effort to set aside time for myself to truly rest without worries and distractions. Do you?