cover image Act Your Age, Eve Brown

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

Talia Hibbert. Avon, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-294127-5

Hibbert serves up all the heat and humor fans expect in her finale to the Brown Sisters series (after Take a Hint, Dani Brown), but the romance itself feels half-baked. At 26, Eve Brown bolts from home after her parents call her a “spoiled brat,” cut off her trust fund, and ask her to stick with a job for a year. She ends up at the storybook-beautiful Castell Cottage Bed-and-Breakfast, where she impulsively interviews for the open chef position—despite not really wanting it. After she hits Castell Cottage owner, Jacob Wayne, with her car, Jacob’s friend Montrose guilts Eve into taking the job and helping to run the B&B while Jacob’s indisposed. Jacob’s understandable qualms about working with someone who broke his arm fade as he and Eve discover they have a lot in common. Autistic Jacob is a charming and worthy hero, but entitled Eve’s refusal to accept the consequences of her actions grows grating and goes unresolved in the otherwise nuanced arc about her coming to realize her own neurodivergence. The idyllic English Lake District setting, steamy sex scenes, and wry humor leaven the otherwise underdeveloped Eve-centric plot, but readers who aren’t won over by the flighty heroine may struggle with this one. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary. (Mar.)