Get a Life, Chloe Brown

(by Talia Hibbert)

I’ve been meaning to read this one since it came out in 2019, so I’m glad it was the February pick for the romance book club I’m in. This one’s sweet but also steamy, and I liked it a bunch—aside from the third act conflict, which I found too stressful, even though I know that it’s a common trope. So, right: at the start of the book, we meet Chloe Brown as she’s nearly getting hit by a drunk driver (as she walks down the sidewalk in broad daylight). The experience makes her think about her life and what her eulogy would be like and what regrets she would have, if she did die suddenly. And because she’s the sort of person who makes lists (relatable!) she makes one she ends up calling her “get a life” list.

The first item on which is: she needs to move out of her family’s house. Because while her family is loving (and wealthy, meaning there’s more than enough space for her and her two sisters and her parents and her grandma), Chloe is 31 and wants to live on her own. We jump forward two months, and learn that Chloe has rented an apartment in a building where one Redford Morgan works as the super. They don’t hit it off immediately—and both of them have been burned in past relationships—but there’s definitely immediate attraction on both sides, though neither of them wants to admit it at first. But then when Chloe rescues a cat from a tree and Red ends up having to help her out, and later when Chloe suggests that she could give him a free website consultation (he’s an artist in need of a portfolio/shop for his work) in exchange for him taking her for a ride on his motorbike (another item on her list), they become friends, which quickly leads to more.

I think the book does a good job of handling the reasons each of them is wary of romance—Red’s most recent ex was straight-up abusive, and Chloe has fibromyalgia and was gaslit by the medical establishment about it, as well as by her now-ex-fiancé. Because of their past experiences, they both have trust issues, in different ways, but they’re both self-aware enough to realize when they need to open up and be brave/vulnerable.

This is the second book I’ve read by Talia Hibbert, and I liked it more than The Roommate Risk, partly because the setting in that one felt so generic to me and this one felt more fully evoked, especially in one particular hook-up scene but also when Red and Chloe go on a camping trip (another item on Chloe’s list). I also really liked Red and Chloe’s flirty email exchanges: I’m always here for epistolary romance!






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