The Intimacy Experiment
Author: Rosie Danan
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Naomi and Ethan will test the boundaries of love in this provocative romance from the author of the ground-breaking debut, The Roommate.
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.
I LOVED THIS BOOK!
Is shouty caps and bold text enough to get across how much I loved it? It had the same magic that Rosie Danan’s debut novel The Roommate had. I didn’t want to put it down. The writing was so engaging. I am not a fan of third person and, once again, Danan’s writing had me forgetting it was even written in third.
Naomi’s story was something I wanted while reading The Roommate. When I read the blurb and found out Danan was matching her up with a rabbi, I was only more curious. How would a relationship between an ex-porn star and a rabbi even work? The answer was BEAUTIFULLY. Ethan and Naomi’s relationship was a slow build/burn. There was a lot of time spent with the two of them getting to know each other. Both Ethan and Naomi were closed up to the idea of love at first, and it was fun to see how their conversations opened them up to the possibility of it. Their personalities and world views fit together surprisingly well for people at pretty much opposite ends of the work force. Plus, they had amazing chemistry. I loved them together.
The concept of Naomi’s Modern Intimacy seminar was cool — for the lack of a better word. The talking points around dating were excellent and something that I would want to share with my teenager when she’s older. It truly was real world applicable, being both fun and informative.
I was also impressed with how religion was shared in the story. It didn’t feel preachy. I enjoyed learning about Reformed Judaism through Ethan’s character. I was surprised at just how well the way he related scripture to life melded within this romance.
The last thing I want to talk about was the side characters. The main focus truly was on Naomi and Ethan in The Intimacy Experiment, but there were some other great side characters. It was a pleasure to see Clara and Josh again. Naomi’s friendships with both of them made me love them even more than I already did. I also liked Ethan’s family and parishioners. They added some funny moments to an already entertaining read.
So, yeah. I loved The Intimacy Experiment. It was sweet romance that had me constantly smiling. I am so happy that Rosie Danan’s sophomore novel somehow managed to be even better than her debut. It makes me excited for her books that are still to come.