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Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Trigger Warnings: PTSD, Chronic illness, Aftermath of abusive relationship (Talia Hibbert does include a content warning at the beginning of her books, bless her.)
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…
I actually read this book for the first time in August or September of 2020, but I wasn’t regularly blogging then. Since it was immediately one of my favorite reads and I had a lot of thoughts on it, I decided to re-read it so I could give you an up-to-date review with my thoughts. It was also one of the first romance books I read that made me think, “Wait… I really like this genre….” I always kind of read and viewed romance books as cheap entertainment before that, which I now realize is an opinion based on my own internalized misogyny.
The re-read was worth it, and the book still lives up to the hype in my opinion. The romance is just as sweet and heartwarming the second time. The sex scenes are still as steamy the second read, but a little less shocking (not a bad thing.). Red and Chloe were just as amazing the second read, and now that I own all of the Brown sister books (I haven’t read the last one yet!), I paid more attention whenever Dani and Eve were featured.
I do want to say this book has WAY steamier sex scenes than I’d thought before reading it. I always read sexy scenes in secret and felt ashamed of it. Yay purity culture (Maybe I’ll talk more on that later.)! I remember reading it at the hotel with my mom and clutching my metaphorical pearls at the explicit language and imagery in the sex scenes. That’s something I liked a little better during my re-read, I was a little less scandalized.
This is also probably one of my most recommended books. I feel like I recommend it to almost everybody. I have a friend who has almost identical taste in books as me (Hi, Michelle!) and I think I’ve recommended it to her like five times?!