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.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Last week, I was in such a bad reading mood. I had so much going on school-wise and other things to get done on my to-list, and when I did have a free time, I found myself blowing through Sex and the City season 4 for my re-watch. I want to blame it on my mind being in other places, but I wasn’t super into the contemporary and non-fiction books I had picked up for the week. This all being said, I couldn’t wait to dive into a book I KNEW I was going to enjoy on Friday, Rosie Danan’s The Intimacy Experiment. This contemporary romance as the PERFECT pick-me-up I needed and I highly recommend adding it to your must-read romance pile this summer… and yes, I know we still have a few days left in April but once the calendar turns to May this weekend, I’m in full-on summer mode.
The Intimacy Experiment is the second book in The Roommate companion series. As far as my research has led me aka Goodreads and Rosie Danan’s Instagram, The Intimacy Experiment and The Roommate are the only two books planned right now, but The Intimacy Experiment made me crave another – maybe following Molly and one of her love interests from the synagogue’s events?? I read The Roommate towards the end of 2020 after seeing so much love for it and understood what all the hype was about. I’d say I enjoyed The Roommate, but I LOVED The Intimacy Experiment. The Intimacy Experiment follows one of female leads from book #1, Naomi, a former sex worker now turned co-CEO of a popular sex education company and hopeful academic, wanting to share her social psychology and sex expertise. At a conference, Naomi meets Ethan, a young rabbi who is looking to get more young congregants into his synagogue and asks Naomi to run a series on modern intimacy. As the two grow closer while working on the seminar series, they think through their stances on relationships, religion (both Ethan & Naomi identify as Jewish), and their feelings for one another.
The Intimacy Experiment was such a fantastic blend of a relationship and character driven story. The book alternates between Naomi and Ethan’s third person POVS, with maybe a few more chapters from Naomi, but nevertheless, we really got to understand both of their characters. The book’s focus is really on Ethan and Naomi’s efforts to grow their careers, whether its the synagogue or Naomi’s company, and their feelings for another.
After experiencing a family tragedy, Ethan reconnected with his faith and became a rabbi, while Naomi has always had a distant relationship with Judaism and doesn’t know where it fits in with her work. Based on pressure from the synagogue board, Ethan gets a ton of heat for brining Naomi as a speaker, especially when their relationship goes from professional to something more. I loved all the conversations surrounding religion and relationships from both of their perspectives. Naomi’s modern intimacy lectures could be their own book, especially the heart-breaking and honest one she delivers at the end. I wish we got a little bit more about her past and what ultimately led to her career path, but I thought that last lecture was great closure. Based on my memory, I believe The Roommate was steamier than The Intimacy Experiment, but I thought the mood of the former was perfect based on Naomi and Ethan’s relationship desires.
Overall, I loved The Intimacy Experiment because it totally met its synopsis and delved into relationships and self-growth while still maintaining a light & fun tone. Whether or not it’s more books in The Roommate series, I can’t wait to see what Rosie Danan comes out with next!
Have you read The Intimacy Experiment or The Rooommate? What are some of your favorite or most anticipated contemporary romances? Share in the comments!