I think my first encounter with Talia Hibbert was when the lovely women on the When in Romance podcast were freaking out about her and her books. And then my second encounter with Talia Hibbert was all my blogging friends freaking out about her and her books. And that’s when I added her books to my TBR. But when I followed Talia on Twitter, that’s when I one-click bought a bunch of her books and I am here to tell you – all those people were right. Talia Hibbert is brilliant.
Her Ravenswood series is set in a town called Ravenswood, that is abundant with nosy, gossipy people, who like to judge, but Talia Hibbert’s heroines could care less really. And they are badass. This series has three books in it, and one novella, and I am gonna go through all of them and tell you a bit about each one. I would just like to stress that all of these are fantastic and incredibly diverse and have all sorts of great stuff in them. On top of that, Talia’s writing is SO AMAZING. Seriously. Also, prepare for half-naked people on covers!
A Girl Like Her is arguably my favorite one in the series (it’s hard to pick favorites) and I really loved everything about it. Plus this was my introduction to Talia’s books, so I have a soft spot for it. This book follows Ruth Kabbah, town pariah, and comic book enthusiast, and her new next-door neighbor, Evan, who is a blacksmith and a sweetheart. I love Ruth to bits. She is on the autism spectrum, as is the author, and I really loved how her character was portrayed. She is so feisty and spunky and just brilliant. I loved Evan, he is just so NICE and their chemistry and relationship developed so naturally and it was just an all around great time.
On top of that, this book has multiple discussions of abusive relationships and they were handled so well. I was so impressed with how much nuance Talia brought to this and it was just an amazing new layer to an already amazing book!
Damaged Goods is a novella, that follows one of the side-characters in the first book, and I think this was SUPERB and it was possibly my second favorite in the series. We follow Laura, who has left her husband and is trying to start her life again, and then she meets her teen sweetheart Samir again.
Listen, I adore Samir. He is by far my favorite hero in the series. I love how Laura and Samir relationship developed and how well-paced it was, given the fact that this is a novella. And I just think Laura is such an amazing character, who grows and develops so much and Samir is just the best. Don’t skip this novella. It’s gorgeous.
Untouchable follows Ruth’s sister Hannah, who gets hired by Nate, to help him with his two children, after he moves back to Ravenswood to help take care of his sick mother. I am being so repetitive, but this was so great. I loved Hannah, who is so prim and proper, but also so feisty when she needs to be. I loved their relationship and how Nate was so mindful of the power imbalance that was there. It was so important to highlight and Talia did such a great job.
And again, so many important discussions about mental health and depression and I am just constantly impressed by how good Talia is at interweaving these topics into a romantic story. Plus, the kids were cute.
I absolutely loved Zach from previous books, and a little glimpse we got of Rae in Untouchable made me confident I’ll love her too. And I did! I think they are both such strong characters that entirely stand on their own, but also have this amazing chemistry.
There was so much good in this book – I love how amazing Zach and Rae’s friendship was, and how mindful they both were of it and each other once they started developing feelings for one another. I also loved the discussion about Zach’s sexuality (he is demisexual) and I think that was so wonderfully interwoven into the story. Also, I loved the discussion around emotional abuse and gas-lighting, since Rae experienced those from both her ex-husband and her mother and I think that was also portrayed really well.
And as always, the relationship itself is so amazingly written, and tense and angsty and just develops so naturally. I love the banter between the characters and just how much they love and respect one another, even before they develop romantic feelings for one another.
This one is out on May 2nd, which is why you should PREORDER IT HERE.
*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, since I am obviously obsessed.
SO to sum up, this is a fantastic series, that you should not miss if you are looking for well-written, smart, diverse romance reads! I think all of these are amazing, and you should check them out IMMEDIATELY!
I would love to hear from you – have you read any Talia Hibbert books? Are you obsessed? Any diverse romance reads recs for me? Let me know!
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