Written by: Talia Hibbert
Reviewed by: Mary Warren
This is a delightful romance about two people who misjudge each other at first but eventually grow a beautiful relationship built on fondness and respect (and no lack of steamy passion either.) Chloe Brown has made a to-do list to get her life back. She enlists the help of her hunky building super to check off a few things, like a ride on the back of his motorcycle. He thinks she’s stuck up. She thinks he’s irritating. It’s a delightful take on the classic rom-com and written so well I often laughed out loud.
Is the story itself groundbreaking? No. But I do believe this novel and Talia Hibbert to be ground breaking. Hibbert writes inclusive stories, successfully layering representation into her characters in a way that few authors even attempt. Chloe is a plus-sized, chronically ill, woman of color. All of these things could be the plot of a lesser story. They have the makings of a story that deals with the challenges of those identities and hits you over the head with its own virtue. Hibbert writes a romance, and a spicy one at that, about two people falling in love, looking deeply into and through these identities to find the whole person. It is a happily ever after for audiences who do not often see themselves represented in romance. This is why Hibbert is truly one of my favorite writers.
I am also a big supporter of healthy relationships in romance novels. In this story, we see two people, each struggling with their own baggage and trying their best not to cause harm to themselves or each other with that baggage. I love the way Hibbert deals with mental health in this book, especially that the man’s arc addresses treatment for mental health and trauma. It is important to find mental health-positivity, particularly male mental health-positive narratives in a story which carries you away and leaves you truly rooting for these two flawed, fully-human characters.
This book is definitely worth reading and has me reading all of Talia Hibbert’s books.