A man and a woman (hands only) sit across from each other at a desk, hands clasped. They each have a coffee, notebooks and charts.

Book Review: The Intimacy Experiment

Since I had The Intimacy Experiment queued up on my Kindle right after finishing The Roommate, I figured I would give this Rosie Danan duology (though really they can be read separately) a go, since I rarely get to read anything back-to-back anymore. Naomi was so intriguing to me in the first book that I am so happy we get to continue her journey. And the book is literally about a porn star turned sex educator and a rabbi working together—and probably falling in love…how could that *not* be entertaining?

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 didn’t think I would like this more than The Roommate, but I was pleasantly surprised that I did. There weren’t as many steamy scenes as in the first one, but these ones hit harder because of everything else going on. It seemed like a more well-rounded book and the characters seemed a little more established (or at least realistic) in this one that it felt more mature.

What didn’t work for me

The pacing: All I really have to say is that the ending seemed a little bit rushed to me. I feel like we could have sat in the events nearing the end a little longer before coming to a conclusion, but that’s all I really have to criticize.

What I liked

The religious aspects: Never thought I’d be writing about this, let alone in a romance novel, but I learned so much about Judaism in this book and I enjoyed that the characters embraced various aspects of their religion without being preachy (and Ethan is literally a preacher/rabbi). Their connection with religion felt smart and well thought out—and it really showed me, a person who is not really religious at all, how someone “modern” can be centered in their faith.

The spice: Though there were fewer sexy scenes here than in The Roommate, these scenes felt hotter and like the characters were more connected.


An illustration of a redheaded woman leaning on a podium with a man looking at her

“He made her tender. Which was… not a word that anyone had ever used to describe her. Tender like petals pressed between pages of a book. Tender like a release of poison from her bloodstream. Tender, a cousin to weak, but with a quiet power she couldn’t deny.” —Rosie Danan, The Intimacy Experiment

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