Thank you to Berkley for the gifted copy of The Intimacy Experiment
Last year, The Roommate by Rosie Danan was one of my favorite romance reads – it was cute, chemistry driven and oh-so sexy. Naturally, when I found out that there would be a companion book focusing on the bad ass Naomi, I slammed the request button on Netgalley for The Intimacy Experiment.
Naomi Grant has built her life around going against the grain. After the sex-positive start-up she cofounded becomes an international sensation, she wants to extend her educational platform to live lecturing. Unfortunately, despite her long list of qualifications, higher ed won’t hire her.
Ethan Cohen has recently received two honors: LA Mag named him one of the city’s hottest bachelors and he became rabbi of his own synagogue. Taking a gamble in an effort to attract more millennials to the faith, the executive board hired Ethan because of his nontraditional background. Unfortunately, his shul is low on both funds and congregants. The board gives him three months to turn things around or else they’ll close the doors of his synagogue for good.
Naomi and Ethan join forces to host a buzzy seminar series on Modern Intimacy, the perfect solution to their problems–until they discover a new one–their growing attraction to each other. They’ve built the syllabus for love’s latest experiment, but neither of them expected they’d be the ones putting it to the test.
Naomi was one of my favorite characters from The Roommate – she was a total badass who clearly had hidden depths. She used her tough as nails exterior as a way to shield herself from the judgement of the world. Her character arc throughout this book was phenomenal: I loved getting to see her learn to open up to other people (especially with Clara, I love a good female friendship). I also really loved the storyline about her finding her faith and figuring out how it fit into her life – it was authentic and really poignant.
I think I might like Naomi and Ethan as a couple even more than I loved Clara and Josh. Right off the bat, Naomi and Ethan had sparks flying – well before either one of them had acknowledged their attraction to the other. They complimented each other exceedingly well – Ethan’s soft approach to life (he’s a total cinnamon roll softy) was complimentary to Naomi’s hard as a rock exterior. Their romance was definitely a slow burn, but it was worth it to get to see Ethan finally make his way past Naomi’s walls.
Y’all. The banter. Oh my god. I knew from The Roommate how well Naomi could verbally spar, but I really loved getting to read her banter with Ethan. She tried to fluster him constantly and I was shocked at how well Ethan could volley quips back at her.
The Intimacy Experiment is an excellent follow up to last year’s The Roommate: it maintains the same sex positive attitude and fast pace and impossible-not-to-love characters. Naomi and Ethan are one of my new favorite romance couples – their chemistry was amazing and organic and they were just too cute. If you enjoyed this book, you should also check out The Proposal and The Kiss Quotient. 4/5