Review: Act Your Age, Eve Brown (The Brown Sisters, #3) by Talia Hibbert

Title: Act Your Age, Eve Brown
Series: The Brown Sisters, #3
Author: Talia Hibbert
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: ☕☕☕☕ ☕ (5/5)
Content Warnings: highlight to view {ableism, child neglect (recalled), parental neglect (recalled)}

And so… we’re finally here! Act Your Age, Eve Brown is the final book in Talia Hibbert‘s The Brown Sisters trilogy – which was one of the loveliest things I’ve stumbled upon in the first quarter of 2021. After enjoying the first two books, I was anticipating this like crazy that I stared and devoured it at the same day it was released – and it surprised me in all the good ways.

BLURB

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…
Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.
Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.
(via Goodreads)

THOUGHTS

“You’re not just my sunshine; you’re the sun.”

While I usually don’t really vibe with sunshine characters, it was so hard not to root for Eve. I must admit that I already established that she was not my favorite sister so early on in the trilogy – but, boy oh boy, the way Talia Hibbert fleshed out her character and gave her more context, made me fall in love with her. She’s a mess, yes, but she’s super emphatic, confident in her own skin, and owns her character. She brightens up the scene whenever she’s on-page. In the words of Jacob, she’s literally the sun. The very definition of a cinnamon roll.

“I told you before, that there are different ways to fail. Imperfection is inevitable. That’s life. But it doesn’t sound to me like you failed at all, Eve. It sounds like your dream broke, and you’ve been picking up shattered pieces, and blaming yourself when your hands bleed.”

I loved how the story, from Eve’s perspective, touched on dealing with expectations both from the people around you and yourself. Yes, it holds validity for her family to demand more of Eve, especially with her track record, but it was also heartbreaking to read about her be dealing with this stuff almost constantly. Over the course of her life, she realized that she was not as special as she thought she was in things that she liked – resulting in her consistently aiming low because she was afraid to fail. I loved that, in this story, she was able to find value in her talents and find peace in her choices. To actually be happy with where is she and realize where she excels at. Because, sometimes, we get hurt mainly because we’re not in the place where we’re supposed to be. I’m glad she found her calling and I was glad how Jacob made her realize that.

I was honestly shookt at the very first sexy time in the book because I haven’t read anything like that before (ok, so maybe my romance repertoire is not that extensive, but STILL). I can’t say that Jacob is a unique male character in his own right (at least, not like Zaf is in my books) but reading a grumpy character slowly melt his exterior revealing an understanding and caring (and a little bit clingy) dude is such a surprisingly charming experience. Octoberrhea of Falling for Fiction noted that Jacob is a tsundere and I couldn’t agree more! Reading and understanding Jacob’s complexes and the root of them was also especially affecting.

This was enemy-ish-to-lovers book, and as the thing that this trope always has, the crazy banters is such a joy to read. I just find Eve getting the job to be too good to be true but I guess it could definitely happen, especially because the job is a practical one and that the B&B is in a precarious position. Despite that, I really enjoyed the story. I loved that it was slow-burn. There were also no unnecessary miscommunications, which we all know as a staple in romance books. Talia Hibbert’s books (at least those that I’ve read) are peppered with characters that take matters into their own hands and put their absolute best to clear up any misunderstanding because their affection for each other is more important than anything else. And I really love that. Act Your Age, Eve Brown is no different.

Minor spoilers, I guess, (because it was a surprise for me when I read the book) but please highlight if you want to read: {One more special thing about this book is that it features an autistic romance, wherein both protagonists are autistic. I did search about it while I was reading this because Eve was exhibiting signs of being on the spectrum and when I read this interview, my guess was confirmed. In this interview in Publisher’s Weekly, Talia explained that Eve and Jacob share the same disability but “they have incredibly different perspectives and they’re affected by their autism in different ways.” And I could say that this was definitely explored in detail in this book. This is an ‘own voices’ book both in character rep and, surprisingly, romance rep – so I could understand why this was a very special book for Talia Hibbert to write. And it absolutely is. I don’t think I’ve read an autistic romance book yet before this – because, maybe, it is not explored enough but it should have.}

I still absolutely love Take a Hint, Dani Brown the most out of the three books but I didn’t expect to enjoy Act Your Age, Eve Brown this much. I was honestly so distracted in the two days I’ve listened to this while I’m at my day job (sorry ✌️). I was grinning like crazy and just feeling all the fluff that is this book. As the final book in the trilogy, it really ties up the series in a cute little bow. I absolutely enjoyed the cameos of the other two prominent couples from the first two books and I loved that, in the end, there is still the emphasis on sisterly and familial bond – even with the extended family, c/o Red and Zaf.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown is such a must-read not just when you loved the first two books but also because it is a good contemporary romance in its own right. Can you read it on its own? Certainly! But you’ll miss the charming cameos and these would just mean more if you’ve read the first two books first. Because honestly? It was almost like peeling back all the glitter that Eve was presented in her first outings in the series and finding a more substantial and real human being in there. It was so worth it to read and I enjoyed this book so very much. Definitely recommended! 🤍

Here’re the links for my reviews of the rest of the series:

RATING

QUOTABLE QUOTES

“What if I’d killed somebody?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised, and I would visit you in prison if necessary.”
She gasped, all feigned outrage. “You wouldn’t offer to help me hide the body?”
Jacob’s lips quirked without permission. “You’ve been here quite a while Sunshine, and there’s no police sniffing around, so I imagine you hid it just fine yourself.”

“Your abilities lie in the places people usually overlook, so you’ve been convinced you don’t have any at all. But you’re smart, and you’re capable, and if people struggle to see that, it’s their problem, not yours.”

GET THE BOOK >> Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound

About the Author

Talia Hibbert is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who lives in a bedroom full of books. Supposedly, there is a world beyond that room, but she has yet to drum up enough interest to investigate.

She writes steamy, diverse romance because she believes that people of marginalised identities need honest and positive representation. Her interests include makeup, junk food, and unnecessary sarcasm. Talia and her many books reside in the English Midlands.

Author Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


Find me elsewhere: Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | YouTube

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Auditor by profession and a 'round-the-clock geek 🤓 from the 🇵🇭. I'm a coffee-holic INTJ with an unhealthy obsession with books and stationery. I word-vomit over at Twitter and posts book pics at Instagram: @pagesandcc . I also blog at https://pagesandcoffeecups.com/ .

5 thoughts on “Review: Act Your Age, Eve Brown (The Brown Sisters, #3) by Talia Hibbert

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