I am so glad that I know about this author now and that I finally got my hands on this book thanks to my local library. It also felt fitting that I was able to read and review this book especially in the light of the recent and current events with the black lives matter movement.
If you don’t tend to read very diversely and perhaps don’t know many black or bipoc authors, I’d sincerely urge you to widen your reading a little bit and look through the hundreds of black authored book recommendations on BookTube, the blogging community, Bookstagram and Book Twitter. You’d be surprised to find such amazing content and great writing, plus be able to support a minority in publishing whether it’s by buying a book or borrowing a book as I did.
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?
• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.
Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.
But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
I came into this book not knowing a whole lot. I had never heard of this book until I watched a video by Books With Chloe on youtube (might have been a vlog) where she talked about this book. Her recommendation sounded perfect for what I had been looking for recently – a cute, well-written adult romance that was light-hearted and fun with great representation. Her recommendation was not wrong because I really loved this book.
I read it pretty quickly in about 2 days and I fell in love with Talia Hibbert’s writing. It was so easy to read, the conversations and the banter was exactly what I hoped to get and best of all, it highlighted representation I had never read before.
As you might’ve noticed in the blurb above, this book is about Chloe, a young computer geek with fibromyalgia who has to deal with chronic pain and fatigue daily. After a thought provoking moment in her life, she realised that she wanted and needed for herself to ‘get a life’ and feel like she’s getting more out of life despite her disability. In a true organised fashion, she wrote a list ~ and I could immediately relate to that. I love to write lists myself so it was amusing but also serious for me to look at how she was planning this for herself.
Of course, a love interest at her new flat; the superintendent Redford Morgan, becomes an unlikely friend as she tries to fulfil all the items on her list. I have to say that these kinds of romance books that actually go beyond the protagonist but flesh out the love interests’ story and character are SO much better for the book overall.
“You always say such lovely things to me, Red. Do you say them to yourself?”Talia Hibbert
It was so interesting and gave the story so much depth was that neither of these main characters started a romance that became co-dependent. They were both individuals who were learning, growing and moving on from their pasts, prompted by their purpose to be better for each other (and not as a result). While Chloe struggled with self-confidence and stepping out of her comfort zone as she deals with her illness, Redford also struggled from a past abusive relationship and his complicated relationship with his art and his career.
Although that sounds like it was hard-hitting, it was so effortlessly light-hearted and sweet. The hate to love trope really didn’t last long but it felt perfect, the chronic illness and body positivity representation were also great and both characters had such great personalities. It felt so fluffy!
It was also nice to see a glimpse of Chloe’s family, especially since now I know that each Brown sister will get a book. Dani’s book comes out this June and Eve next year. I do have to say that the sex scenes weren’t entirely for me, a bit jarring, but I still gave this a 5-star because it gave me exactly what I expected and recently I just don’t care that much for smut…it’s interesting.
Overall, this was just such a beautifully-written romance book with great character development and a healthy relationship I really adored. I’d highly recommend it and really look forward to Talia’s next release.
Have you read this book or are planning to? What did you think?
Until next time,