The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan

Monday, April 5, 2021

by Rosie Danan
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Publication Date: April 6th 2021
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷1/2

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.

Let's chat!

Have you read any romance books that explore sex work?
Let me know in the comments below!

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