I kept hearing about this book last year. It was as if everyone had read a Talia Hibbert novel and loved it, and the one most talked about was this one — Get a Life, Chloe Brown. I hardly read romance novels, but the romance reading bug bit me toward the end of 2020 and its effects carried over into 2021, so I picked up this book in January. Although I didn’t love it as much as everyone else, it made me want to try more of Hibbert’s work.
Brown Sistsers, book 1
Set in the U.K., this is an enemies-to-lovers story featuring an interracial couple.
After almost getting hit by a car, Chloe plans to reinvigorate her life by making a list to help her “Get a Life,” which includes moving out of her family’s mansion. Chloe is a Black woman who is chronically ill with fibromyalgia. She successfully moves into an apartment with the help of her younger sisters, Dani and Eve, who often tease her about the building’s sexy handyman, Redford “Red” Morgan.
Red, whose red hair, green eyes, and strong sex appeal often distracts Chloe (especially when he’s painting in front his window while shirtless), took up the handyman job at his friend’s apartment as he tries to decide what next to do with his life. He is an artist whose popularity was steadily rising, but he bowed out the limelight when the abusive relationship he was in came to an end. Although he is annoyed by his newest tenant, who he thinks is stuck up and obviously from a wealthy background, he can’t help feeling drawn to her.
After an incident involving a tree and a cat called Smudge, Red decides to help Chloe with her “Get a Life” list, and romance begins to blossom. (Goodreads)
It was a delightful and entertaining read, and I liked the humor in it. Although I liked the main characters, Chloe and Red, I wish we got to see more of the side characters, like Chloe’s sisters and grandmother and Red’s mother and best friend, and that they were fleshed out a bit more. They were mostly just dropped in when needed and then quickly disappeared.
Not that I read much romance, but this is the first romance novel I’ve read where the protagonist has a disability. I don’t know much about fibromyalgia, so I don’t know how well it was presented here, but I did learn something new, which is a plus for me. I know that individuals who have this disability suffer from a lot of pain, but I didn’t know of the exhaustion that also comes with it. I liked that Red was understanding when Chloe shared this about herself, and I liked that the story didn’t focus solely on Chloe’s chronic illness.
And it was interesting that in this story it’s the guy who was the abusee and is dealing with the effects of an abusive relationship. In the romance novels I’ve read, it’s typically the woman who deals with this. I appreciated reading about such an experience from a male perspective and seeing Red trying to heal and move on from it.
As for the romance, I sometimes like the enemies-to-lovers trope, and it all depends on how well the author pulls it off. I think it was done well in this one. The characters denying their attraction to each other added to the humor, and I liked when they eventually came together. I even liked the nickname Red gave Chloe — Button. It’s so cute! However, I didn’t like the last fallout they had. I understand that Red was still healing from the effects of the abusive relationship he was in, but I think the story could have worked without that last disagreement. I saw it coming and was hoping the story would prove me wrong, but no. They fell apart and then had to apologize and make up.
It was a quick, fun read, and I look forward to reading the second book, which focuses on Chloe’s sister, Dani. Despite her brief appearances in this book, she really stood out to me.