Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
Published by Berkley on April 6, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
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 The Roommate so I decided to continue the Roommate series. The primary character is Naomi Grant who was Josh’s partner when they were porn stars. I could imagine how much more difficult it is to be a female sex performer. I appreciated getting Naomi’s history of how she ended up in the business and all her feelings and life choices. While The Intimacy Experiment is flirty and funny, it also covers deeper topics.
Just as Josh moved on to be a sex therapist, Naomi has developed a website called Shameless. It has a few different subscription levels and provides sex education. With the website very successful, now she wants to move forward with live lectures. Since higher education doesn’t seem very interested, she attends a conference hoping to make some personal connections with them, but she receives a teaching offer from a Jewish synagogue to teach a course. Ethan, the rabbi, is unusual in his youth and good looks.
We get a bit of Ethan’s point of view. The board has given him just three months to revitalize the membership (which doesn’t seem very realistic to me). He doesn’t want to take members from established shuls, but instead to reconnect with younger members who aren’t practicing. So he wants to offer something younger and more modern at the community center.
The Modern Intimacy course is brilliant. It touches on so many great concepts and feelings. I appreciated the idea that while intimacy is naturally part of sex, the intimacy is about trust and connection and does not have to include sex. Of course, the board hates it, because sex and some of them are stuffy. Of course, Ethan and Naomi are attracted. They both have some issues to sort through along with some personal learning and growth. I loved the emotional journey and thought-provoking perspectives.
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