I was incredibly fortunate to be sent an ARC of Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. This is an adult contemporary romance following Chloe, a woman with fibromyalgia.
Talia Hibbert, one of contemporary romance’s brightest new stars, delivers a witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who’s tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her experience new things—perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang.
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 glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?
Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
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…
Trigger warnings: ableism (challenged), past abusive relationship, explicit sexual content
There are many, many things that I like about Talia Hibbert’s writing. The steamy sex scenes, the diversity of the characters, and the swoony romance all come to mind. But this book….this book took it all to a whole new level!
So one of the main reasons why I was so excited to read this book is because Chloe has fibromyalgia – just like me. I’ve never read a book that featured chronic pain so much, and so accurately. (I believe this is own voices, so that makes sense.) I really appreciated the subtleties of Chloe’s experiences – such as how she always has to be on-alert for her next flareup, and how she is very aware of her physical limits. (Oh, and Chloe is also fat and black, too!)
“It’s very awkward, dating while disabled. People can be quite awful. And you know I don’t have much energy to spare for social nonsense.”
I also very much enjoyed the relationship between Chloe and the love interest, Redford. I can see how in a less capable writer’s hands their relationship could turn a bit paternal, as Red is very concerned about Chloe’s physical and mental wellbeing. But here their relationship is extremely healthy, as Red is always aware of Chloe’s capabilities. Her disability is never turned into an angsty plot point either, which I definitely appreciated.
Disability isn’t the only topic that this book touches upon. It also looks at class and privilege. One thing that I wasn’t expecting was that it went quite in depth about Red’s past emotionally and physically abusive relationship. This was a little bit triggering for me to read about, so please go in with caution if this is something that might trigger you, too. However, I thought it was handled very sensitively, and I was super happy to see a male love interest who was working on himself and was actually in therapy.
And finally, because this is a Talia Hibbert novel after all, I loved this book because the romance is super hot.
“Despite himself, he let his gaze drift to her legs. He could see her calves again today, and her ankles, circled by the leather straps of her shiny shoes. He drank in every detail like some sexually deprived Victorian bloke.”
The erotic scenes were so good, y’all. I’d like to say that I have pretty high standards of steamy scenes (all those years of reading fanfiction, God help me), and these were some of the best that I have ever read.
All in all? I am actually obsessed with this book. I will definitely be purchasing a copy when it is released, as well as Talia’s next book, which is following one of Chloe’s sisters.