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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 lon 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.


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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 lon 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.

30 review for The Intimacy Experiment

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    "I thought you were obsessed with winning!" His blood felt too heavy for his body. He could barely think through his still abating panic. She made him feel like he was unraveling. "I am," he yelled back. "But I'm more obsessed with you." You might want to open a window 'cause this book is steeeaaamy! (Why, yes, I did say that). I slept very little last night so please excuse this review, which will basically be me giggling like a horny teenager. The Intimacy Experiment is one of the best romances "I thought you were obsessed with winning!" His blood felt too heavy for his body. He could barely think through his still abating panic. She made him feel like he was unraveling. "I am," he yelled back. "But I'm more obsessed with you." You might want to open a window 'cause this book is steeeaaamy! (Why, yes, I did say that). I slept very little last night so please excuse this review, which will basically be me giggling like a horny teenager. The Intimacy Experiment is one of the best romances I've read in recent years. I'll be the first to admit that I'm super picky when it comes to romance. I just have so many pet peeves, hate so many of the tropes that feature heavily in this genre. But this one balanced sexiness, sweetness, and feminism so well. The MCs are a former porn actress and a rabbi. You heard me right! Naomi and Ethan's chemistry sizzles from their very first meeting until the book's close, and one thing I like about Danan is that she knows when to stop. I have no interest in reading about 80 year old couples getting their flu shots together (yes, okay, I know that never happens. I'm exaggerating.) Ethan is a young ambitious rabbi, but his synagogue is in trouble. If he can't turn things around and get more butts in those seats then his shul will have to close for good. So he teams up with Naomi Grant, whose sex and relationship seminars could possibly attract a younger demographic. I cannot deal with romance novels without a decent plot outside of the romancing, so I really enjoyed reading about the synagogue, its politics, and listening to Naomi's speeches on dating, her sex-positivity, her critiques of slut-shaming... and I LOVE her, is it obvious? There's a lot being said about sex, consent, respect, dating, and breaking up in this book, but its all done very well. I didn't feel like I was being given a sermon on a set of issues, though I guess I kind of was. But Naomi is so charming, so charismatic, so fiery, so sexy, that is was very enjoyable to sit through her seminars. Also, the sex scenes, and that one not-quite-a-sex-scene, were really HOT. I think I just really liked that this book did something a bit different and broke a few of my rules along the way. I'm an atheist, for one, yet I still wasn't turned off by the talk of Judaism. For another thing-- facial hair. Kinda not my thing, sorry. I'm pretty sensitive to texture and that prickle is not for me. Still, hello Ethan, come prickle me you sexy hairy beast! I told you I'm tired, right? Anyway, read this one romance lovers. It's good.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Drip! Drip! Drip! Sweat pouring from my head! It’s getting hotter here than Lut Desert! The chemistry between Naomi and Ethan makes you sweaty, jumpy, yes you need to order more undergarments because your pants will be on fire when you read pages about their blooming intimacy experience and you will cross your fingers for their happy ending because you may have already suffered from broken heart when you’ve watched Fleabag’s last episode (logical but extremely bittersweet ending) and screamed “N Drip! Drip! Drip! Sweat pouring from my head! It’s getting hotter here than Lut Desert! The chemistry between Naomi and Ethan makes you sweaty, jumpy, yes you need to order more undergarments because your pants will be on fire when you read pages about their blooming intimacy experience and you will cross your fingers for their happy ending because you may have already suffered from broken heart when you’ve watched Fleabag’s last episode (logical but extremely bittersweet ending) and screamed “No! No!” , as sexy priest has been slowly walking away from the bus stop and their story reminded you of exactly the same dilemma! This book is about a relationship between man of God and ex porn star/ new sex educator ! Hell yeah, it’s unconventional, juicy, scandalous, forbidden, taming, intriguing combination you want to devour urgently! Thankfully our hero is a rabbi! So there’s nothing hold him back to date or form an ultra tempting relationship! Of course his work at stake when he decides to hire Naomi as a lecturer to his synagogue to speak about intimacy, sex, relations! Of course some of ultra conservative or biased mind will protest this situation! What happens if they come clean about their feelings and decide to date! Oh yes, this means their opposite worlds will collide: but when you love someone you learn to love him/ her completely! You can’t disregard his/ her past, mistakes, misdemeanors. You have to say “yes” to the whole package! Will their love survive against those emotional struggles including displeasure of congregation, judgmental public opinions. I honestly say: I loved both of the MCs a lot! Naomi Grant is one of the badass characters who shielded herself with poisonous bitchy concoction but inside of this shield: there’s tender hearted, delicate Hannah who got hurt by narrow minded people, bullies. She can perfectly fight for own wars and literally kick asses! But when the cracks start to appear on her shield , she realizes she deserves to be loved and cared and she can find that unconditional love at the place she could never imagine and the person she would never think to become close! From the beginning Ethan Cohen steals our heart ( he reminded me of young, blushing Hugh Grant from Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral : beautiful times before he played cheating narcissistic husband at Undoing) He’s sweeter than ten layer chocolate cake (I shouldn’t skip the lunch before I start writing this review) He’s loyal, he’s patient, he’s supportive, he’s a true gentleman! He knows how he feels about Naomi and he’s not ashamed to express them! After reading about so many douchebag alphas, he’s the most adorable book boyfriend we yearned for! I was planning to give four stars to this read but Naomi’s epic speech part at the last third and the author’s way of bold approaching the sensitive subjects such as belief, religion, grief, queerness, sexual awakening made me give extra half stars so I’m rounding up 4.5 to 5 hotter than habanero, steamy, sexy, intimate stars! I couldn’t relate with Clara and Josh at first book but thankfully this book’s characters and their story hooked me up from the start! I loved them so much! Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this amazing arc copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael David

    A former porn star and a rabbi walk into a synagogue... No punchline as this is basically the setup in The Intimacy Experiment, a rom-com with plenty of heat and depth. Naomi Grant is a former porn star who has taken more control over her career. She now owns a business called Shameless, designed to provide sex education/sex positivity to any and all. Although she’s doing quite well for herself, she wants a platform to discuss her sex-positive advice live in front of an audience. Ethan Cohen is a r A former porn star and a rabbi walk into a synagogue... No punchline as this is basically the setup in The Intimacy Experiment, a rom-com with plenty of heat and depth. Naomi Grant is a former porn star who has taken more control over her career. She now owns a business called Shameless, designed to provide sex education/sex positivity to any and all. Although she’s doing quite well for herself, she wants a platform to discuss her sex-positive advice live in front of an audience. Ethan Cohen is a rabbi. Given all that his role requires, he doesn’t have time for love...or sex. His synagogue is seriously lacking in the attendee department, and he wants to do something to increase visitors before the board members close the doors for good. Naomi and Ethan happen to meet, and he offers her the platform she desires: hosting a live lecture at his synagogue called “Modern Intimacy”...a deep look at dating, sexual desires, and more. Ethan thinks this is the perfect and unorthodox solution to increasing attendance at his services. Although there are immediate sparks, neither of them initially realize how much their feelings for each other will (ahem) grow...and how (ahem) messy that might make things. This is an unexpectedly original take on a rom-com, throwing in religion and sex and laughs and depth. I enjoyed getting to know Naomi, who is a badass businesswoman who secretly has a heart of gold, and Ethan, who is not as innocent as he appears. Their chemistry is palpable from the start, but I thought it was innocent enough... ...until it wasn’t. There is serious heat in this one! I’m talking hot, sweaty heat! 🔥 BUT let me be clear that it doesn’t overpower the rest of the book...or the fact that it’s a fun read! Those scenes are few and far between, but the chemistry is consistent. I also really appreciate how author Rosie Danan tackles themes of religion, differing backgrounds, self-hate, and fluid sexuality...but all with the tone of acceptance. On top of that, there are some very poignant and inspiring quotes...one being: “Remember, each new day is another chance to heal your sorry, broken heart.” I recommend this one to the folks that don’t mind blushing while they’re grinning, and want an original rom-com with some emotional punch! I almost shed a tear at one point. I’ll leave it to you to figure out if it was out of happiness or sadness. Thank you to Berkley for sending me a widget for the ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published on: 4/6/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    This was a tad bit long if I'm being honest, but it was still very fun and VERY sexy and I liked it a whole bunch! I definitely enjoyed this one even more than the first book and I'm very excited to read more from Rosie Danan in the future!! This was a tad bit long if I'm being honest, but it was still very fun and VERY sexy and I liked it a whole bunch! I definitely enjoyed this one even more than the first book and I'm very excited to read more from Rosie Danan in the future!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    2019 was a year of #hotpriest, 2021 should be a year of #hotrabbi. I am only kind of joking. Ish. You know, I didn't really expect to be this much into a romance novel. You read the synopsis and tell me what you imagine will happen when a former porn-performer and a rabbi cross paths. Did you imagine it would be a touching story about faith and personal growth and kindness? Well, neither did I. Let me preface this by saying I am an atheist. Religion is pretty much the last thing I want to read ab 2019 was a year of #hotpriest, 2021 should be a year of #hotrabbi. I am only kind of joking. Ish. You know, I didn't really expect to be this much into a romance novel. You read the synopsis and tell me what you imagine will happen when a former porn-performer and a rabbi cross paths. Did you imagine it would be a touching story about faith and personal growth and kindness? Well, neither did I. Let me preface this by saying I am an atheist. Religion is pretty much the last thing I want to read about in a romance, and yet, I might have liked this book even without a hot romance in it. You want to tell me about Judaism? Yes, please. Describe the inner works of a synagogue? I'm there. Present some lectures on modern intimacy? Tell me more. Insert some story about a Hebrew prayer into a date conversation? I am even down to have a little cry over it. Evidently. Who am I? I just though Naomi's and Ethan's relationship was developed super well. Naomi is tough and jaded. Ethan - empathetic and kind. Also hot. Half of the book is them circling each other, ogling and growing respect for one another. At the half point, sexy things start to happen. Yeah, I was into it too. I haven't been this much invested in a couple in a romance novel since The Kiss Quotient. This story is tender, thoughtful, sexy and often intellectually stimulating. Oo-er. P.S. Probably would have been 5 stars if it had a couple more smut scenes and a crisper ending. Breakups before the final resolution are a hard thing to pull off.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    no joke as i was reading The Roommate, I thought to myself if Naomi doesn't get her own book, i will revolt so good news for the world a revolt is not necessary sidenote - idk if Berkley has a title for this series but i think "Shameless" would be perfect | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram no joke as i was reading The Roommate, I thought to myself if Naomi doesn't get her own book, i will revolt so good news for the world a revolt is not necessary sidenote - idk if Berkley has a title for this series but i think "Shameless" would be perfect | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    I was unprepared for this! My fault since I didn't read the blurb. The couple is an unlikely pair: A rabbi and an ex-porn actress. Ethan Cohen is the rabbi of a new congregation. Unfortunately, his census is very low and in order to keep the synagogue open, he needs to find a way to attract young people to it. He decides to hire a professional to do a seminar in intimacy. Naomi Grant is a successful businesswoman. Her company is doing extremely well. Yet, she feels like she could do more. She kno I was unprepared for this! My fault since I didn't read the blurb. The couple is an unlikely pair: A rabbi and an ex-porn actress. Ethan Cohen is the rabbi of a new congregation. Unfortunately, his census is very low and in order to keep the synagogue open, he needs to find a way to attract young people to it. He decides to hire a professional to do a seminar in intimacy. Naomi Grant is a successful businesswoman. Her company is doing extremely well. Yet, she feels like she could do more. She knows about sex and she wants to be able to help couples. When Ethan offers her a chance to do live lectures, she wants to say no at first but her interest is piqued, and not only for the seminar but because of the rabbi too. This was such an original romance. I didn't read the Roommate so I had no clue about Naomi. I ended up loving her and of course, who wouldn't love Ethan. They complemented each other so well. I love when a novel keeps on making me smile and this one did the trick. The steam was just enough too. I will find time and read the first book in this series. I think Josh and Clara sound awesome too. Cliffhanger: No 4/5 Fangs A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lacey (laceybooklovers)

    We stan Naomi in this house

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    As soon as I finished reading Rosie Danan's debut The Roommate, I was like, "So help me GOD if Naomi doesn't get her own book..." And not only did Rosie Danan bless us with this novel, but she made impenetrable (and apparently Jewish!) Naomi's love interest an adorable and sexy cinnamon roll rabbi. L'chaim indeed. The Intimacy Experiment keeps up much of the tension we saw in The Roommate but with a more introspective and spiritual twist. Even if you're not Jewish or remotely religious, Danan does As soon as I finished reading Rosie Danan's debut The Roommate, I was like, "So help me GOD if Naomi doesn't get her own book..." And not only did Rosie Danan bless us with this novel, but she made impenetrable (and apparently Jewish!) Naomi's love interest an adorable and sexy cinnamon roll rabbi. L'chaim indeed. The Intimacy Experiment keeps up much of the tension we saw in The Roommate but with a more introspective and spiritual twist. Even if you're not Jewish or remotely religious, Danan does an excellent job walking the fine line of being thoughtful with the Jewish interludes but not preachy. There were a couple of sections where I wanted a little more of Ethan family, and the ending may seem a tad rushed for some people who don't love rom-com hijinks, but I really, really enjoyed this one. I have no choice but to stan. And we need more Jewish protagonists and love interests all up in this genre! Content warning: Mentions of death of a parent, misogyny, anti-sex work sentiments

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey

    Are you ready for something new and different? Here is the story of how the former porn star now turned sex education expert met the Rabbi! No typos here. That’s the premise! And as zany as that sounds...it was brilliantly done! Naomi Grant former porn star, now co-CEO of a sex education start up, has been invited to hold a seminar series on modern intimacy. Well sure, that makes sense. She is an expert after all.💁🏻‍♀️. But maybe it’s the setting for this seminar that has Naomi off kilter. The in Are you ready for something new and different? Here is the story of how the former porn star now turned sex education expert met the Rabbi! No typos here. That’s the premise! And as zany as that sounds...it was brilliantly done! Naomi Grant former porn star, now co-CEO of a sex education start up, has been invited to hold a seminar series on modern intimacy. Well sure, that makes sense. She is an expert after all.💁🏻‍♀️. But maybe it’s the setting for this seminar that has Naomi off kilter. The invitation to speak is from none other than Rabbi Ethan Cohen of the local Los Angeles reform synagogue. Ok, well I don’t think any of us were expecting that!? Rabbi Cohen is young, single, good looking, sexy (am I allowed to say that🤭?) and I’ll repeat...single! Naomi who is tough as nails and protects her heart may be in for more than she bargained for with our dear Rabbi when she agreed to hold the seminars. Rosie Danan continuously pushes the boundaries in coming up with the most original rom coms. In her previous novel The Roommate she introduced us to Clara and Josh. The young naive socialite who falls heavy for the porn star. That was about as original a storyline that I’ve read in a long time. Until now... In this latest release, we have her supporting character from The Roommate, Naomi Grant, taking the spotlight as she mingles with the local Rabbi. Bravo Ms. Danan for always thinking outside the box! I love the originality and am looking forward to where you take these characters next. I can’t even imagine!🙈 But I know it’s going to be shocking and spectacular! And I will be the first in line🙋🏻‍♀️. Posted to : https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for the ARC to read and review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    JenReadsRomance

    I loved The Roommate, but the truth is, I loved it because even thought it wasn't a perfect book, it was a book that was *trying* something and I think it largely worked in a lot of ways. But in general, if I was to name what I thought was the underlying problem with that book, I'd say this: plot was in the driver's seat, not the characters. I promise this will be relevant to my comments about The Intimacy Experiment-- but one of my concerns with The Roommate was that Clara and Josh were put int I loved The Roommate, but the truth is, I loved it because even thought it wasn't a perfect book, it was a book that was *trying* something and I think it largely worked in a lot of ways. But in general, if I was to name what I thought was the underlying problem with that book, I'd say this: plot was in the driver's seat, not the characters. I promise this will be relevant to my comments about The Intimacy Experiment-- but one of my concerns with The Roommate was that Clara and Josh were put into situations that didn't make a whole lot of sense (let's be honest, almost everything having to do with the car, from learning to drive it to when she crashes it), but I was willing to overlook it because it was a debut and sometimes the things that don't work are just...rookie mistakes. Before I talk about the things that didn't work for me in the Intimacy Experiment, I will say I think the book will likely appeal to readers who are interested in a book that successfully marries faith and romance together. Personally, I'm completely disinterested in religion in almost every capacity, but I will say that the question of faith and finding your way back to religion was the best done part of this book. I did find myself wondering if maybe I was more interested in questions of religion and faith and family...maybe I would have had a little more to hang on to? Hard to say, but I do think anyone even remotely interested in these questions should at least check this book out. Back to what didn't work for me. My fear that a similar set of "plot first, characters second" choices that plagued The Roommate would happen again not only came to pass, but did so in a way that made this a slog to read. The entire premise of the book honestly makes no sense. Naomi and Clara and the co-CEOs of one of the most wildly popular sex education websites, but what Naomi wants is to do in-person instruction, but because she's an ex-sex worker, no institution wants to hire her. I think the text makes it pretty clear that she doesn't crave the credentials of the academy, instead she really wants to help people in person. So why ON EARTH wouldn't she just rent out conference rooms and have open enrollment from her sex education website? Instead, she is frustrated and annoyed and stomps around, and ends up meeting Ethan who is trying to save his shul by cultivating a younger, hipper membership. He invites her to give a lecture series called Modern Intimacy, and it's a win-win for both of them. From there, the plot of the novel is that the progress of their relationship maps onto the topics of the Modern Intimacy lectures. The pacing of which is glacial, and is an example of the plot and structure of the novel driving the romance rather than the characters themselves. Nothing about it works, because the artificial constraint of *they can't have sex until she lectures about sex* felt unnatural and was ill-suited to them as people. About halfway through, it struck me that my experience of reading the book is a little like being stuck behind a driver who is riding their brakes. Perhaps it is an unkind thing to say, but it felt like the author was afraid of her own premise-- By which I mean, the narrative and structure of the book seemed designed, almost at every level, to slow down and control and contain the romance rather than letting the characters be themselves. (I'm sad to report that this feeling was only intensified when I read a recent short scene the author released that was a threesome between Josh and Clara and Naomi, and which contained way more heat and life than the entirety of this book.) In the end, we know they love each other because they each get a chance to tell the lecture series how they feel, but..gosh, I don't know, I never understood why they didn't just talk to *each other* given that the whole lecture series is supposed to be about intimacy. What's intimate about standing up in front of hundreds of people and saying how you feel to them rather than talking directly, openly, and honestly to your loved one? There was also a cringe-inducing scene where Naomi flies cross-country to talk at her old high-school (I cannot even get into the backstory that drove her to porn, because it's such a cliche and so upsetting) that makes no sense at a plot or character level, and I don't even understand how it made it into the final draft of the book. As I was reading it, I kept trying to imagine how it would play out in the book....but no, it was just her pouring out her heart to a bunch of kids? The irony of her anger that no one gave her the opportunity to teach, but then when she was finally given the opportunity to speak to students....she just made it all about her own feelings rather than what she ostensibly was invited to talk about? Honestly? It was a lot.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    This was a delightful surprise of a contemporary romance. I thought this was so smart, so fresh, so sex positive - and I loved how it incorporated questions of how faith plays into today's world and as a relevant element of two people figuring out how to come together. The only thing that didn't totally hit for me in this was that the dialogue, while sharp, didn't feel very lived in to me. It read more like a script or a monologue that, while funny or touching, often took me out of the flow of t This was a delightful surprise of a contemporary romance. I thought this was so smart, so fresh, so sex positive - and I loved how it incorporated questions of how faith plays into today's world and as a relevant element of two people figuring out how to come together. The only thing that didn't totally hit for me in this was that the dialogue, while sharp, didn't feel very lived in to me. It read more like a script or a monologue that, while funny or touching, often took me out of the flow of the book. Still, I loved this book's point of view and I want to read more from this author 100%

  13. 5 out of 5

    nick (the infinite limits of love)

    4.5/5 I wasn't sure it would be possible to like The Intimacy Experiment more than The Roommate but Rosie Danan proved me wrong. Naomi was my favorite secondary character in The Roommate and I couldn't wait to see Rosie Danan give her a happily ever after. I was even more intrigued when it was announced that her love interest would be a rabbi. In a lot of ways, this book was different than what I was anticipating based on the first book, but in a completely pleasant way. The character arcs and th 4.5/5 I wasn't sure it would be possible to like The Intimacy Experiment more than The Roommate but Rosie Danan proved me wrong. Naomi was my favorite secondary character in The Roommate and I couldn't wait to see Rosie Danan give her a happily ever after. I was even more intrigued when it was announced that her love interest would be a rabbi. In a lot of ways, this book was different than what I was anticipating based on the first book, but in a completely pleasant way. The character arcs and the love story that emerge were inspiring and lovely. Truly, this was a complete joy to read. As I said, I went in loving Naomi. She's very guarded with her feelings, but she is fierce and unapologetic. Though this is very much a romance novel, The Intimacy Experiment feels like the story of Naomi, post her career in porn. She's built a successful sex-positive business and is now interested in teaching a series of seminars focusing on sex and intimacy (which BTW sounded incredible). In The Intimacy Experiment, she goes on an emotional journey, discovering more about herself and learning to work on her own vulnerabilities, all the while also reconnecting with her faith. Now, I'm usually not one for religious themes of any kind in my books but the way that Judaism is interwoven in this book is so beautiful. It's actually quite touching to see Naomi grapple with it and it got me to reflect upon my own relationship with faith. I know sometimes it's a concern that books with religion can come across as preachy, but this is far from it. It's just a natural part of Naomi's character and her development. One thing I really appreciate about Naomi and the way she is characterized is that she is never ashamed of her sex worker background even if she has chosen to no longer be in the field. The book does a good job at empowering a sex worker without ever shaming the character, something that I personally think is very much needed in romance. In a lot of ways, Ethan is the perfect companion to Naomi in her happily-ever-after. I knew I was going to crush on the guy hard, but oof, he snuck into my heart and just settled there from the very beginning. Naomi is a Scorpio like myself so I guess it makes sense that our tastes in men would match up. Anyways, Ethan! I could say so much about him, but I'll just highlight some of his best qualities. He is patient and so understanding. Rosie Danan writes him with this gentleness. He makes these small comments here and there in the book that had me swooning into a puddle. He's a pure soft boi and I loved him with all my heart! The romance between the two is equally soft. It's very much of a slow-burn with Naomi and Ethan starting out as friends, but the chemistry continues to simmer in the background with every encounter. Naomi is guarded while Ethan wears his heart on his sleeve, so it takes a while for Naomi to completely give in to their attraction. When it does happen, it's satisfying beyond words! The romance is everything that I asked for and more. Naomi and Ethan have their fair share of obstacles that they have to overcome but they are all realistic and only serve to bring them closer together. As you can tell, I really liked The Intimacy Experiment and it's going to be one of those books that stays with me for a long time. I know a lot of people are eagerly anticipating Naomi's story after liking her in The Roommate and I personally think Rosie Danan did her justice. CWs: anti-semitism, slut-shaming Relationship disclosure: Rosie Danan & I are mutuals on social media.

  14. 5 out of 5

    book bruin

    After reading The Roommate, I was so excited to find out that Naomi would be getting her own book. I knew there was so much more to her than the no nonsense tough exterior, and The Intimacy Experiment did not disappoint! I truly loved this opposites attract, forced proximity, friends to lovers romance from start to finish! Naomi and Ethan couldn't have been more different on paper, but that actually made them so perfect for one another. They complemented each other so well and knew just when to p After reading The Roommate, I was so excited to find out that Naomi would be getting her own book. I knew there was so much more to her than the no nonsense tough exterior, and The Intimacy Experiment did not disappoint! I truly loved this opposites attract, forced proximity, friends to lovers romance from start to finish! Naomi and Ethan couldn't have been more different on paper, but that actually made them so perfect for one another. They complemented each other so well and knew just when to push and when to be a shoulder to lean on. I could honestly fill this entire review with how much I loved and admired each of them. Naomi with her fierceness, drive, and loyalty. Her character arc was one of the best I've read and I was rooting for her from the beginning. Ethan with his compassion, devotion, and optimism. Ethan was every cinnamon roll fantasy come to life and I loved the way that he loved Naomi. They are so wonderfully human and every misstep only endeared me to them more. It's definitely a slow burn between them, but I cannot stress how much the wait was worth it. I really loved the Jewish representation as well as the discussion and introspection about Judaism. It never came across preachy to me and balanced the story very well. I highlighted so many passages and I loved how much this story made me feel and reflect. It was wonderful to see Josh and Clara too and get glimpses of their continued happily ever after. I also have a huge girl crush on Leah (Ethan's sister) and nearly died of laughter when she gave him dating advice and recommended that he avoid using biblical stories or science equations. I'm really hoping that this isn't the last time we see her. The Intimacy Experiment is truly a book not to be missed! CW: revenge porn, slut shaming, antisemitism *I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jacque

    this is really a 2.5⭐️ for me, but I'm rounding up bc the author's voice is engaging & I liked the characters. Also to preface: I'm really sorry but this is hella rant-y, largely bc I was so excited for this book and it really disappointed me. if you want to experience me noodling out exactly why this book bothered me, read on I was pretty hyped for this book, and I’m bummed to say it didn’t live up to expectations. I mean it was cute, & it was funny, but ultimately I had some significant issues. this is really a 2.5⭐️ for me, but I'm rounding up bc the author's voice is engaging & I liked the characters. Also to preface: I'm really sorry but this is hella rant-y, largely bc I was so excited for this book and it really disappointed me. if you want to experience me noodling out exactly why this book bothered me, read on I was pretty hyped for this book, and I’m bummed to say it didn’t live up to expectations. I mean it was cute, & it was funny, but ultimately I had some significant issues. Largely they all boil down to this— the pacing felt really off/forced to me, the characterization of Naomi felt changed from The Roommate to this book, the communication wasn't there, and I was just left wanting more. The plotting/pacing issues are really well articulated by Jen Prokop in her review, so if you want to hear someone talk about it much more eloquently look there lol. For me, I definitly felt like there was an idea for the story & the characters were at the whim of this story, so there was a lot of time spent doing things that felt inessential to the romance? Like if if pressed, I'm not sure how well I could summarize this book bc I don't feel like the scenes were propelling the plot, they just kinda happened. I feel like the thing that was the weirdest to me was how Naomi changed? Like, in book 1 she's Josh's ex girlfriend & partner w/ a lot of work stuff, and she's ~very clearly~ a sexual person based on the way she interacts with literally everyone on page, & also the fact that she has a threesome w/ Clara & Josh between books 1 & 2!! And tbh this is part of what I liked about her in the Roommate—she knew what she wanted, and she wasn't afraid to say it/make it happen. She was brazen, fearless. But then we get to this book, and for someone who was previously a sex worker & now runs a company all about pleasure, she seemed to have lost her mojo— Clara doesn't kiss Ethan until after 50%, and the literal ~only~ time they have sex is like at 70%. Which would totally make sense if there was an on-page reason for this— I mean IRL, if adults are not having sex, theres a very specific reason. Whether its because of religious beliefs, health reasons, if they’re asexual, etc. but in my experience people don’t abstain without reason. So for someone who's life was literally centered around sex and pleasure, she kinda felt sexless? Like Naomi doesn’t even masturbate! Her life is ~centered~ around pleasure, you're telling me she never masturbated while thinking about Ethan??? WHYYY is this not on page. And again, if that was the character she was written to be in book one, thats totally chill! Or even if she said on page that she wanted to take time to focus on rediscovering her faith, I would totally get that. But this sudden & unexplained change in her sexuality felt pretty out of left field, and I was disappointed. Which honestly reminds me of the biggest issue I had with the Roommate lol, bc yet again there was this extremely prudish heroine who was ~physically uncomfortable~ with anything remotely sexual, but theres no reason for that on page?? I also think as a book with the “spiritual leader x sex worker/otherwise less spiritual person” trope, The Intimacy Experiment didn’t quite have the tension I was expecting. I've read this trope a few times before & really loved it, and I think there’s a LOT of tension built into that premise. The books I’ve read that do this (I think I’ve read 3 or 4 now?) usually have things play out in one of two ways. Either 1) These ppl can’t fuck/be together but they ~really~ want to, so there’s this sort of “will they won’t they” tension that kind of feels like edging😂 The other way I’ve seen this trope play out is 2) These people can bang (and they probably do) but something in the past/present proves to be a major obstacle to any sort of long-term partnership, so the tension is “This was supposed to be just physical but now I’m catching feelings for this person that I cant have a future with.” This can get REALLY angsty, and a lot of the turmoil of “how long can i pretend this is just temporary, I really don’t want to end this but I have to” is really delicious. I think a book that does the latter really well is Hot Rabbi by Aviva Blakeman, and there’s a comparable conflict between the rabbi hero and his love interest, who (while not a sex worker) is a bisexual cis woman who has a difficult past and thus hasn’t really been practicing her faith for years. In this book, the pair has ~bananas~ chemistry from the get go, and if I recall correctly they end up getting together fairly early on in the book. However, author **really** clearly outlines the obstacles to their relationship, in a way that genuinely had me questioning how they would end up together. There’s a lot of internal processing & external dialogue that shows the work they go through to combat those obstacles and get that HEA🙌🏻 But in The Intimacy Experiment, I didn’t feel really any tension? The framing/promo/everything I’d heard about this book leading up to it’s release really leaned on the on the “she’s a sex worker & he’s a rabbi, what are the gonna do about their attraction???” so I was expecting there to be a propulsive force pulling them apart despite their intense attraction. But I never felt like there was much keeping them apart, at least in any way that had high stakes for either of them. Besides the Board of Directors being uncomfortable w/ Naomi and her past, everything really fell into place with Ethan & Naomi, albeit ~very~ slowly. I guess what I’m getting at is that I felt almost no actual conflict in this book. Like, they’re both into each other from the get-go, they’re just awkward and don’t know how to talk to each other so it takes them until about 60% to admit they’re into each other & kiss. Even when Ethan steps down from being Rabbi because he loves Naomi, it happened so quickly & was resolved so quickly that we didn’t see him grieving the loss and thus it didn’t feel like a big deal— it was said to be a big deal, but i never felt the weight of it? So the book is just a GIANT slow burn where the only substantial obstacle to their HEA is their inability to communicate & be honest with each other (or even themselves at times) and while that’s fine, it’s really not what the book was marketed as, and I was disappointed by the lack of conflict/tension. It just felt like there wasn’t much happening. And speaking of communication, the way Ethan & Naomi ~barely~ talk honestly & openly to each other about their feelings/their relationship was kind of a bummer. I get it— that’s hard!! But I think in the romance genre, when verbal communication is lacking there’s often communication that happens through the evolution of their physical relationship that adds clarity and drives the narrative. But then that isn’t there either??? So these two just never communicate👀 And to my earlier point about no conflict besides their lack of communication, I think there’s a way you could make that work? Like if it was a deep internal conflict that like ATE at them of like “i really want to be with this person but I can’t, I really wish _____ wasn’t holding me back from being honest, I really want to say _____ but I can’t find the words” etc. But there’s so much page time spent doing other things— usually going over the Modern Intimacy class or adding cute “romcom” style shenanigans— that I never felt like we got DEEP into their heads. I think ultimately it's a case of trying to be too many things at once? Like bc its pitched/framed as a romcom, I don't think we get deep enough into Naomi/Hannah's journey of returning to her faith so that story thread felt unfinished, and ultimately I felt like the lack of committal meant there wasn't significant emotional payoff. But there's still enough of that journey for the book to feel a little too weighty to be a true romcom? And "the spiritual leader falls for the sex worker/less spiritual one" trope really fell through for me bc I never felt like any tension whatsoever, and in literally every other iteration of this trope I've read, that's been a crucial piece (also not to be obnoxious with the qualifiers, but if there was ~any~ other substantial tension: sexual, occupation, emotional, literally anything else that either pulled these two together or forced them apart then it could've worked!! I just never felt any sort of intensity at allll in this book) It was clear the framing of the modern intimacy class was important to the story this author was trying to tell, but while I found that aspect interesting I think it really slowed down the story, and ultimately I felt like it was detrimental to the characters. I really really wanted to like this book, but the more I think about it, the more I'm frustrated by how it fell short. It kinda felt like when you FINALLY bang that ~stunner~ you've been fantasizing about forever only to realize that (despite what i"m sure is their best effort) they're never gonna find your clit. I received an arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Marsh

    Review: Wow. I didn’t think Rosie could make me love these characters any more than I do! This was such a cute, fast, and steamy story! And the way that the characters deal with growth and change have me in my feelings! I just saw this cover and now I’d sell my first born for an ARC of this.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alba and Her Secrets..♥

    4 'Tender' Stars! ARC provided by the the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am thoroughly and happily surprised with Rosie Danan and her second romance novel! While her debut The Roommate was a bit of mix of hit and miss for me, I have to say The Intimacy Experiment was so much better in all aspects. I didn’t have problems with the writing and I really connected with this unique couple. I mean, Rosie certainly went out of the typical romance stories bubble and she did it wonderfully wi 4 'Tender' Stars! ARC provided by the the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am thoroughly and happily surprised with Rosie Danan and her second romance novel! While her debut The Roommate was a bit of mix of hit and miss for me, I have to say The Intimacy Experiment was so much better in all aspects. I didn’t have problems with the writing and I really connected with this unique couple. I mean, Rosie certainly went out of the typical romance stories bubble and she did it wonderfully with Naomi and Ethan’s love story. The Intimacy Experiment is the second (and last?) installment in Rosie’s The Roommate series and it continues the story of the crew we met in the first one. Now it’s time for Naomi to find her happy ending. Naomi Grant is a former porn star turned sex educator who is having a bit of a difficult time finding someone interested in her live lectures. Enter Ethan Cohen, a young rabbi trying to save his synagogue. Their worlds collide when Ethan proposes a seminar series on Modern Intimacy to Naomi. And what starts as intimacy lessons turns into a connection filled with sexual tension and a whole array of emotions. He was like a current. Powerful and fluid in ways that had nothing to do with wanting her but that pulled her in all the same. I am always up for love stories that test boundaries and The Intimacy Experiment really surprised me on that and many other aspects. I was a bit sceptic starting this one because of the mixed feelings I had about The Roommate. However, as I saw myself completely engaged in the story and its couple, I literally could not stop reading! Naomi and Ethan are so different from each other, complete opposites almost but they work so well together. As they get to know each other better, it’s so clear they have a very special connection that cannot be stopped. “Whatever it is, this thing between us, it won’t be easy.” “Whatever it is, this thing between us,” he repeated, “I want it.” Yes, it’s not an easy relationship to start, not when people are criticizing their differences and backgrounds but it’s still unstoppable. The chemistry and connection between these two was to die for. I mean, the sexual tension was fire and when they finally acted on it: double fire! And their feelings for each other… so sweet! I loved these two together and I am so glad they ended up finding their HEA. Ethan wasn’t afraid of love. The problem was that love didn’t seem big enough, wide enough, for the way he felt about her. Therefore, I am rating The Intimacy Experiment with 4 STARS because it was a great reading experience for me. Seeing these two opposites learning to love and get passed the obstacles between them, I was all over it from start to finish! Naomi and Ethan are definitely my favorite couple from Rosie Danan and I am sure many others will love their unique love story. I can’t wait to see what this author brings next! CHECK OUT MY BLOG HERE:

  18. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    Loved it! This was just such an amazing book! I’m just so excited about how refreshing the sex positivity in this story was. We meet Naomi in the previous book in the series, The Roommate. She is a well-known porn star, Josh’s ex-girlfriend, and eventually Claire’s business partner. This story picks up three years later Naomi has retired from the porn industry, she has gone back to school, and the business is a huge success. Naomi wants to teach sex positive sex education, but is having trouble Loved it! This was just such an amazing book! I’m just so excited about how refreshing the sex positivity in this story was. We meet Naomi in the previous book in the series, The Roommate. She is a well-known porn star, Josh’s ex-girlfriend, and eventually Claire’s business partner. This story picks up three years later Naomi has retired from the porn industry, she has gone back to school, and the business is a huge success. Naomi wants to teach sex positive sex education, but is having trouble finding a job. Enter Rabbi Ethan wanting to bring the younger crowd to the synagogue. He hires Naomi to teach a six week course on Modern Intimacy. When the Sparks start flying between Naomi and Ethan they decide to use the class syllabus as a dating blueprint. But not everyone is thrilled with the rabbi dating an ex porn star. First of all how delightfully refreshing is the premise of this story? A rabbi as a lead in a romcom? Who would’ve thought? Love the Jewish representation. And Ethan is a great character. He’s a good guy who means well but he doesn’t always do or say the right thing. I thought Naomi was a great character after reading the previous book, but after reading this book I like her even more. She has so much spunk and spirit, and is so smart and savvy. She can also be very stubborn and that did frustrate me and Ethan at times. The two of them together have off the charts chemistry. There is some definite steam and sizzle in the story! Cannot wait to see what is next from Rosie Danan. *** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

  19. 5 out of 5

    Helen Power

    What happens when a former porn star turned CEO and a rabbi meet at a conference? You get a delightful, insightful, and compulsively readable romance novel. The premise of this novel sounds like a bad joke. But somehow, it works so incredibly well. While I liked the debut novel by Rosie Danan, which features Josh and Clara finding love, this book swept me off my feet. It’s clever and sweet. It deals with themes of faith and love and how the two mesh. This book had me inspired, and there were mult What happens when a former porn star turned CEO and a rabbi meet at a conference? You get a delightful, insightful, and compulsively readable romance novel. The premise of this novel sounds like a bad joke. But somehow, it works so incredibly well. While I liked the debut novel by Rosie Danan, which features Josh and Clara finding love, this book swept me off my feet. It’s clever and sweet. It deals with themes of faith and love and how the two mesh. This book had me inspired, and there were multiple epic speeches given over the course of this novel that were both heartfelt and intelligent. Rabbi Ethan Cohen is a former high school physics teacher turned rabbi. He often talks about religion and his faith, but it never feels over-the-top or preachy. Naomi has a beautiful character arc over the course of the novel. She’s always been hard, because she knows that if she has a tough exterior then people’s opinions of her won’t matter. We’re introduced to what happened in high school to make her this way. As she gets to know Ethan and falls for him, this tough exterior begins to flake away, revealing the woman underneath. There’s a hint of irony to the story, because Naomi is teaching a seminar series about modern intimacy, yet she’s never been in a truly serious relationship. She treated the last person she loved poorly because she was afraid of what “forever” could mean for them. However, Naomi has an advanced degree, and she’s continuing her education, and she addresses the gap between theory and practice in her lectures. Naomi is also rediscovering her faith, but like with Ethan’s plotline, it doesn’t feel preachy. This is something she’s doing for herself, not because it’s something that she feels like she has to do. Once Ethan and Naomi decide to give their burgeoning attraction a chance, the reason why this book is called The Intimacy Experiment becomes apparent. They decide to go through each of Naomi’s lectures themselves as they move forward in their relationship. While the title makes sense, I do think it could have been called something a little different, as the title had given me nutty professor vibes, and from the title alone I expected it to be similar to that series by Helen Hoang (the first book beingThe Kiss Quotient). I think maybe the book should have tied the religious roots of the book into the title, demonstrating right off the bat just how unique this premise is. The romance overall is quite cleverly done, reintroducing plot points from earlier in the story later on, and wrapping everything up perfectly with a little bow on top. The recurring theme of religion and modern love made this book stand out as a unique, fresh, and incredibly deep take on what chick lit can be. *Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for the ebook to review* This review appeared first on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/ Instagram | Blog | Website | Twitter My 2021 Reading Challenge

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenn (The Book Refuge)

    *Thank you to NetGalley and to Berkley for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.* This book was everything I was hoping it would be. It is hard to put into words how good it felt to read it. I don't mean that it was easy or comfortable. There are challenging things and ideas that are looked into and examined in this story. But I was drawn in from chapter one and I enjoyed the ride, even when I wanted to look away. While this book reads even more like Women's Fiction than the first *Thank you to NetGalley and to Berkley for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.* This book was everything I was hoping it would be. It is hard to put into words how good it felt to read it. I don't mean that it was easy or comfortable. There are challenging things and ideas that are looked into and examined in this story. But I was drawn in from chapter one and I enjoyed the ride, even when I wanted to look away. While this book reads even more like Women's Fiction than the first one did, if also felt much more mature. The issues that Naomi is facing and the feelings and vulnerability she is feeling after years of hardening herself to handle other people's insecurities and judgement and slowly being unraveled by the perfect gentleman and partner that is Ethan. Ethan……… Ah, he was so precious. And strong, wise, smart, and KIND. He is complete cinnamon roll but also, he is willing to challenge Naomi and ask her questions she hasn't wanted to look into for a long time. He never felt preachy but was still there to share his thoughts and encourage Naomi to be brave. I didn't completely know what to expect out of a story about a Rabi and a former Porn Star, but this was not it. It was better. This is not a redux of the book Priest by Sierra Simone. Ethan can date if he wants to, but he also isn't looking to just have a fling. Naomi doesn't just want to have a fling either, but there is a lot on the line for both of them if things go wrong. Through teaching Modern Intimacy classes and spending time together these two grow attached and I really was rooting for them. There was such a maturity and beauty in the way they interacted with each other. There were moments of tension, but no one jumped to conclusions and they always talked about things. The only down side to me was the "dark moment" of the book. I knew from the set up of the novel what is was going to be, and while it wasn't as over blown as I was fearing, I was still annoyed that they had such amazing communication for everything… except when it was the most important. Also… the many many many speeches that are made by both Naomi and Ethan in this book… it got a bit frustrating. Finally, there is some good steam in this book, but only one full sex scene and I was REALLY hoping we were going to better with that than in The Roommate… but that's the downside of Women's Fiction. The good stuff gets skipped way too much. And these two had explosive chemistry that just gets left on the table. Don't care if that makes me dirty, that what I'm here for. I would still give this 4.5 stars rounded up to 5.

  21. 4 out of 5

    bee ❤︎

    five stars ♡︎ rosie danan’s writing is on a different Level, my friends. i’m absolutely obsessed with how she writes and the characters she creates. this was as good as i had hoped, and it’s definitely on par with ‘the roommate’, which i absolutely adored and definitely want to reread now. ‘the intimacy experiment’ was all around phenomenal in so many ways, from the characters to the plot to the writing and everything in between. i LOVED ethan and naomi so much, and seeing both of their characte five stars ♡︎ rosie danan’s writing is on a different Level, my friends. i’m absolutely obsessed with how she writes and the characters she creates. this was as good as i had hoped, and it’s definitely on par with ‘the roommate’, which i absolutely adored and definitely want to reread now. ‘the intimacy experiment’ was all around phenomenal in so many ways, from the characters to the plot to the writing and everything in between. i LOVED ethan and naomi so much, and seeing both of their characters grow together was so freakin cute! absolutely adored this, and i can’t wait to read future books by rosie!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf

    ALL THE STARS. Thank you so much to the publisher for the gifted copy! I seriously could not be more in love with this book. This is truly as perfect as a romance novel could get. There is Jewish rep, a ton of sex positivity (which we are absolutely here for), incredible characters, an adorable romance, and a sprinkle of steam... so basically all you could really ask for 🙌🏼 Naomi is one of my favorite characters ever and I wasn’t even done with chapter 1 before I knew this was a new favorite of ALL THE STARS. Thank you so much to the publisher for the gifted copy! I seriously could not be more in love with this book. This is truly as perfect as a romance novel could get. There is Jewish rep, a ton of sex positivity (which we are absolutely here for), incredible characters, an adorable romance, and a sprinkle of steam... so basically all you could really ask for 🙌🏼 Naomi is one of my favorite characters ever and I wasn’t even done with chapter 1 before I knew this was a new favorite of mine. If you’re a romance reader, trust me when I say this NEEDS to be on your TBR! CW: sexual harassment, slut-shaming

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    The Intimacy Experiment By Rosie Danan This is my first Rosie Danan book and I am now a huge fan of her incredibly imaginative writing with characters I love reading about that are unconventional, fun, and simply exciting. Naomi and Ethan are super hot hot hot!! These two are on fire and I just love this funny, sexy and oh so good and amazing romance that is giving me the hot flashes and really giving me life. Try putting a sex educator who was an ex-pornstar and now an amazing businesswoman along The Intimacy Experiment By Rosie Danan This is my first Rosie Danan book and I am now a huge fan of her incredibly imaginative writing with characters I love reading about that are unconventional, fun, and simply exciting. Naomi and Ethan are super hot hot hot!! These two are on fire and I just love this funny, sexy and oh so good and amazing romance that is giving me the hot flashes and really giving me life. Try putting a sex educator who was an ex-pornstar and now an amazing businesswoman alongside a hot young rabbi, and this is what you will get. An amazing story that is scandalous, juicy for sure, and nothing boring here. As an Angeleno and living on the west side by Olympic and Fairfax as a teen brought a lot of great memories for me. Overall, just reading about Los Angeles as a setting made this read even the more fun for me. This is a super fun read and don't miss this one especially for a really nice escape read or when you are feeling like reading something that will make you smile and laugh, do pick this one up. I say this is a great read to get you out of any reading slump. I Loved it! I am picking up the Roommate now coz I don't know how I missed that book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Stop me if you've heard this one. A porn star and a rabbi walk into a bar. Well first they meet at a conference for public educators where the porn star is looking for advice on how to improve her chances of finding work as a sex educator. As for the rabbi, Ethan Cohen, he's working desperately to save his slowly dying synagogue. He's been hired to try to revive the congregation with fresh, new ideas. When he sees Naomi deliver an impassioned speech on the need for the kind of education she provid Stop me if you've heard this one. A porn star and a rabbi walk into a bar. Well first they meet at a conference for public educators where the porn star is looking for advice on how to improve her chances of finding work as a sex educator. As for the rabbi, Ethan Cohen, he's working desperately to save his slowly dying synagogue. He's been hired to try to revive the congregation with fresh, new ideas. When he sees Naomi deliver an impassioned speech on the need for the kind of education she provides he sees possibilities for his congregants and maybe himself. This unlikely duo puts together a "Modern Intimacy" seminar series designed to bring a younger, more vibrant crowd to the synagogue and give Naomi some much needed, boots on the ground, experience as a teacher. At first everything is going to plan. But, this being a contemporary romance, pretty soon both our heroes are pining away for each other. Naomi knows she could never be good enough for Ethan and he's equally sure he'd never stand a chance with anyone as beautiful and confident as her. But even when it seems they'll manage to overcome their personal insecurities and give love a chance other, more unexpected, challenges arise. I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. SO. MUCH. I have never had this kind of experience with a contemporary romance. Never. I was on tenterhooks the entire time wondering if things would work out for this wonderful couple; whether Naomi would be able to find peace with her own, deeply conflicted, history with her Jewish faith, whether Ethan could find a true balance between his longing to serve and his undeniable love for Naomi. I couldn't get over Danan's gorgeous prose. This woman is a true wordsmith. She dives so deep into both these characters, writing astounding internal monologues where they question themselves and what they believe and really delves into how they both feel about love and relationships of all kinds. Everything feels so rich and theatrical and kind of epic. She wants her readers to see these two as clearly as possible. They have such vibrant inner lives and realistic struggles and arcs that propel them from awkward and unhappy beginnings to a truly wonderful conclusion where we see how they've grown and changed. It seems like such an obvious thing for a novel, to have characters change in a believable and organic way, but its so important and so rarely done with this level of perfection. She also devotes incredible amounts of time to the beauty and mysticism of Judaism, which I'm gonna go ahead and admit I know very little about, but she treats both the religion and Jewish heritage as the sacred things they are. I mean there I was in the middle of a sexy romance novel being moved to tears by the wisdom of the Talmud. This is everything we should demand from modern American literature. That's right I said literature. Because that's what this is. True, beautifully written story telling of the absolute highest caliber. Its hiding behind a goofy, cartoony looking cover but its there. Yeah one of its main characters is a sex worker, so what? They get to have big, beautiful romances too you know. Yeah there are incredible, hot sex scenes that will leave you in a sweaty mess. Yeah its funny and silly and jaw droppingly romantic. Its also so well written it stopped my heart and made me almost giddy with excitement that human beings are capable of writing something so lovely. So yeah a comic love story about a porn star and a rabbi is maybe one of the best books I've read in years. Hell of a way to start 2021.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Moon

    i FUCKING LOVED this book!!!!!!!!!! I absolutely loved The Roommate, and I knew I needed to read The Intimacy Experiment the second I could get it. My expectations were so high, and yet, the book managed to surpass them. This book is about Naomi and Ethan. Naomi is definitely one of my favorite heroines ever. She’s such a complex character, and her character development is incredible. She’s a sex worker, and she’s really passionate about sex educating, and just educating people on all things rela i FUCKING LOVED this book!!!!!!!!!! I absolutely loved The Roommate, and I knew I needed to read The Intimacy Experiment the second I could get it. My expectations were so high, and yet, the book managed to surpass them. This book is about Naomi and Ethan. Naomi is definitely one of my favorite heroines ever. She’s such a complex character, and her character development is incredible. She’s a sex worker, and she’s really passionate about sex educating, and just educating people on all things related to relationships, and intimacy. (She's also bisexual!!!!) But due to prejudice against sex workers, no schools want to let her give talks there. Which is where Ethan comes in. He’s a rabbi and his synagogue is really struggling, to the point where it might need to be sold soon. So to get young people’s interest in coming there, Ethan has the idea that Naomi could do a class on modern intimacy at the synagogue. And the rest is history. I felt like both of our main characters were such strong protagonists, and the romance was no different. The connection between them, the banter, the chemistry, and all the emotions, was absolute perfection. The romance is so sweet, steamy, and really caring as well. I adore romances when they stand on their own but I love it even more when the MCs have strong emotional journeys, and that was definitely the case here. Naomi never really let herself fall in love and actually be in a relationship, but it’s clear to her that something about Ethan is different. Seeing her learn to love herself was so fucking wonderful. She also has a Jewish heritage but has had a complicated relationship with faith, and that’s explored a lot too, which I thought was wonderful too. Also, there are so many important messages about intimacy and relationships in this book. We see what Naomi says at the talks she gives, and I absolutely loved every bit of that as well. So I highly recommend this book to everyone. It’s definitely one of my new favorite romances, there is so much substance in it, so much sweetness and goodness, and it’s just really beautiful. If you loved The Roommate, you’re definitely going to love this too. But if you didn’t like The Roommate, I still think you could really love this, because the vibes are really different.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meryl Wilsner

    Naomi Grant is everything to me. And as someone who in general only cares about female characters, I loved Ethan so much I feel like there must be something wrong with me? Somehow this book is actually even better than The Roommate??????

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Rosenblit

    The Roommate was one of my favorite books of 2020, so to say I was excited for The Intimacy Experiment would be a massive understatement! Once I started this book and realized our hero was a Jewish man, a rabbi specifically, and that the amazing Naomi Grant was also Jewish? I was literally jumping with joy - I have been clamoring for more Jewish representation in books FOREVER, so to see this so wonderfully represented in one of my most anticipated reads was more than I could ask for. Once again The Roommate was one of my favorite books of 2020, so to say I was excited for The Intimacy Experiment would be a massive understatement! Once I started this book and realized our hero was a Jewish man, a rabbi specifically, and that the amazing Naomi Grant was also Jewish? I was literally jumping with joy - I have been clamoring for more Jewish representation in books FOREVER, so to see this so wonderfully represented in one of my most anticipated reads was more than I could ask for. Once again, Danan has written an amazing story that will capture your heart and enough steamy scenes to make you blush (less than The Roommate though) - I cannot recommend this one enough. Thank you to Berkley Romance for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    b.andherbooks

    A contemporary romance pairing a rabbi, hot as he may be, with a former porn star now CEO Of a sex education video service is absolutely and utterly compelling and the relationship to root for in 2021. Rosie Danan hits her follow-up to THE ROOMMATE out of the park with this thought provoking and compelling read. Naomi is my true hero, and I'd fall on her exploding dynamite any day of the week. A slow-burn with all the heat and fire that made me desperate to see these two get everything they wante A contemporary romance pairing a rabbi, hot as he may be, with a former porn star now CEO Of a sex education video service is absolutely and utterly compelling and the relationship to root for in 2021. Rosie Danan hits her follow-up to THE ROOMMATE out of the park with this thought provoking and compelling read. Naomi is my true hero, and I'd fall on her exploding dynamite any day of the week. A slow-burn with all the heat and fire that made me desperate to see these two get everything they wanted and more. Loved it. Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the free advanced review copy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica B.

    Coherent words coming when I’m able to process the amount of emotions I have for this book. *early work perk read*

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelly • Kell of a Read

    I’m genuinely surprised I finished this. How can a book about a former porn star and a rabbi be SO boring? I enjoyed Rosie Danan’s debut, The Roommate, so I was looking forward to this book. Naomi was so entertaining in The Roommate but it is almost as though she's a completely different person in The Intimacy Experiment. I understand that Naomi is going through a transitional period and working to discover who she is outside of porn, but it felt like all of her alluring spark and confidence fro I’m genuinely surprised I finished this. How can a book about a former porn star and a rabbi be SO boring? I enjoyed Rosie Danan’s debut, The Roommate, so I was looking forward to this book. Naomi was so entertaining in The Roommate but it is almost as though she's a completely different person in The Intimacy Experiment. I understand that Naomi is going through a transitional period and working to discover who she is outside of porn, but it felt like all of her alluring spark and confidence from the last book were just… missing. She’s understandably vulnerable at times in this story, but it was more than that. The shift in her characterization was disappointing. I did like Ethan’s character and I actually learned quite a bit about Judiasm which was unexpected but not unwelcome. I didn’t necessarily mind the heavy focus on religion but I also didn’t need so many details about absolutely every little thought Ethan had or two entire chapters about a church softball game. At times, this felt like a self-help book due to all the seminar lectures and Ethan’s internal dialogue. While this could have potentially been interesting and informative, the lectures breezed over any helpful dating advice and instead focused on mundane details like whether the podium had wheels or whatever thoughts Naomi had about Ethan's outfit that day. The entire book moved at a glacial pace and nothing exciting really ever happened. I mean, Naomi had some dirty thoughts about the gorgeous rabbi now and then but these two crazy kids don’t even smooch until the second half of the book. It was just an all around snooze fest and I found myself wishing there had been more focus on Naomi’s sex-positive startup or really anything other than daily life at the synagogue. One thing I do appreciate about both The Roommate and The Intimacy Experiment is the sex positive and female pleasure focus. Sadly, I think there were too many missed opportunities with the plot and while the premise is certainly unique this was ultimately a bust.

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