The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
Naomi Grant knows what it’s like to be different. The former porn star, now co-founder of the sex-positive start-up Shameless, next wants to add lecturing to her repertoire. While at a seminar, she meets Ethan Cohen, a young rabbi, desperate to save his struggling synagogue. He decides to hire Naomi to create a non-traditional lecture series on modern intimacy to attract younger members to the faith. Naomi reluctantly agrees. She knows that their arrangement is mutually beneficial, she gets lecturing experience, and Ethan gets a buzzy seminar for his synagogue. But as the two begin working together, they can’t deny their attraction for each other. But not everyone is enthused about Naomi’s presence at Beth Elohim or her role in Ethan’s life.
Told in the third-person, The Intimacy Experiment alternates between focusing on Naomi and Josh’s individual perspectives throughout the chapters. I loved how this book approached modern intimacy in a healthy, different way. Instead of being a deeply taboo topic, The Intimacy Experiment treats the topic of intimacy and relationships as something to be discussed and valued. It frequently dips into the subject of Jewish faith and overall culture, and how modern relationships fit in, and I found that fascinating!
This is definitely not as steamy of a book as The Roommate. The Intimacy Experiment focuses more on the nuisances in relationships, and the importance of building trust and feeling safe. Naomi, having always been seen as a sex symbol, has never been in the kind of relationship where she has been willing to commit to settling down. When she meets Ethan, she comes to inherently trust him.
I highly recommend The Intimacy Experiment to other romance fans!
Thank you to Berkley Romance and Netgalley for the review copy! All opinions are my own.
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
About the Author
Rosie Danan writes steamy, big-hearted books, articles, and tweets about the trials and triumphs of modern love.
The New York Times calls Rosie Danan’s debut novel, THE ROOMMATE “a book about people expanding into their best possible selves…warmly funny and gorgeously sexy.” The rom-com has been optioned for film, and a companion book THE INTIMACY EXPERIMENT is forthcoming April 6, 2021 in both the US and UK.
After participating in the writing mentorship program Pitch Wars as a 2018 mentee, she was thrilled to rejoin the organization as a 2019 and 2020 mentor.
When not writing, Rosie enjoys jogging slowly to fast music, petting other people’s dogs, and competing against herself in rounds of Chopped using the miscellaneous ingredients occupying her fridge.
As an American expat currently living in London, she’s developed an incurable fondness for electric kettles.