Act Your Age, Eve Brown
- Author: Talia Hibbert
- Narrator: Ione Butler
- Genre: Romantic Comedy
- Publication Date: March 9, 2021
- Publisher: Avon
- Series: The Brown Sisters #3
CONTENT WARNING: mention of child neglect, mention of ableism
Thank you to the libro.fm influencer program for providing me with a copy of this audiobook. I am providing my honest opinion voluntarily.
In Act Your Age, Eve Brown the flightiest Brown sister crashes into the life of an uptight B&B owner and has him falling hard—literally.
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.
Seriously? Every time I think that I’ve read the most amazing romance that Talia Hibbert could possibly write, she writes another one and proves me wrong. I love each Brown sister’s story more than the last, and while I thoroughly enjoyed this story, I am also heartbroken that this series has ended.
There’s so many things that I adored about this book, so I’m just going to start at the top: the cover! Each cover in the series is bright and fun, and I love that it makes it clear that Eve is a plus-size/fat character, as well as highlighting the important role that music plays in the story. Since I listened to the audiobook version, I was also treated to the perfect narrator for this story. I’ve only read the previous book in hard copy, so hearing them read to me with a posh British accent only added to my enjoyment.
The representation in this story was absolutely incredible. It’s only recently that I’ve even seen books featuring characters who were plus-size and putting them in a body positive light. Eve specifically mentions at one point in the story about hearing that she was too dark and too big, and choosing not to let it affect her happiness. So when she finds a man who thinks she is absolutely perfect, it made my heart sing. Both main characters are on the autism spectrum, and it was beautiful to see how each of them develop their own protective coping mechanisms, and express themselves so differently. Not every person with autism is the same, and this story really highlights the uniqueness of how it is expressed for different people.
This story makes use of one of my favorite tropes that I definitely don’t read enough of — the sunshine one and the grumpy one. But there’s so much more than meets the eye. Eve is the sunny one, but her sunshine hides her difficulty connecting with people, and her lack of self-confidence as a result of a sense of failing at various ventures over the course of her life:
“She bombed school, every one of her professional dreams had died, none of her friends cared enough to hold her braids back while she threw up, and her last boyfriend had believed vaccines were a front for a government tracking system based around injectable microchips. She quite literally failed at everything, from meaningful employment to sound relationship choices.”
Jacob, on the other hand, comes off as grumpy for his own reasons. He has had his own difficulties and been hurt as well, and this is how he protects himself. In addition, he’s pretty rigid about his life as a means of preventing stress and chaos. Obviously, when Eve blows into his life and literally hits him with her car, this doesn’t get them started on the right foot, since she’s basically chaos personified.
“Jacob wasn’t in the habit of giving a shit about people who weren’t on his pre-approved list.”
The plot had me invested from the very start, and I laughed out loud so many times throughout the story. I love a great rom-com, and Talia Hibbert is one of the best in my opinion. Not just that, she writes an absolutely incredible sex scene. And there’s several in this story that had me practically panting. I loved seeing Eve and Jacob realize that they’re a good match, but even more than that, I loved seeing each of them grow as individuals, not just together. Jacob learned to push himself out of his comfort zone, and so did Eve, as she became more self-confident in her abilities and her strengths and learned to truly “act her age.”
Categories: Book Review