About the Book:
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.
I’m kvelling! A steamy contemporary romance centering around a young rabbi and a Jewish heroine! I loved everything about this book!
It was a joy to read a book where the main protagonists were Jewish. Not to worry, the author doesn’t hit you over the head with religion but the mentions of the JCC, synagogue and Shabbat dinners were enough to thrill me. Naomi was first introduced in ‘The Roommate’ and while I generally don’t love sequels or spin-offs. ‘The Intimacy Experiment’ absolutely stands on its own and is just as wonderful as the first book.
Ethan and Naomi “meet cute” when he approaches her to lead an intimacy workshop at his synagogue. Of course the young rabbi is going to run afoul of the temple leadership and his congregants, but he is determined to bring new and modern programming to his temple. At this point, the book borrows from the adorable rom-com movie ‘Keeping the Faith’ with the exception that the Jenna Elfman role here is Jewish.
Naomi plans to never get involved in a committed relationship but wow, she is incredibly attracted to Ethan. How can she resist the appeal of a young, smart, dynamic and sexy spiritual leader? She can certainly dish out thoughtful romantic advice, but she has a tough time following her own intimacy playbook.
“Sex was easy. People made it complicated with their expectations and their insecurities. Naomi had never given sex that power.”
Ethan, for his part, assumed being a rabbi with all of that responsibility and the public role he was supposed to play would be a turn-off to someone like Naomi. She was stunning, but with somewhat of a tough veneer. She made it very, very hard for Ethan to get close to her.
“Ethan hadn’t been able to get Naomi Grant out of his head. There was something refreshing about her. Grit wasn’t the right word. Everything about her outward appearance was polished to a high shine. She just seemed . . . tough.”
I loved the normalization of Jewish main characters in this story. The supporting cast was wonderful and I actually laughed out loud at some parts. I applaud Rosie Danan for writing such a refreshing rom-com with out-of-the-box main characters.
“Love, like faith, asks us to be less selfish. Less greedy. Its asks us to trust. To sit with our doubts. To keep coming back to and proving our commitment.”
“The shadow cast by his bearded jawline was ridiculous. She could wait out a summer storm underneath that thing.”
“You’re exactly the person you were born to be, and you’re not even afraid of it. Do you know how hard that is? How rare?”
(Thank you to the publisher for providing an advanced copy in return for an honest review.)