Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis for Smut (from Goodreads):
What happens when the kink between the pages leads to heat between the sheets?
All Blake Crawford wants is to pass his creative writing course, get his university degree, and take over his dad’s ailing family business. What Amanda Newland wants is to graduate at the top of her class, as well as finally finish her novel and prove to her family that writing is a respectful career.
What Blake and Amanda don’t want is to be paired up with each other for their final project, but that’s exactly what they both get when they’re forced to collaborate on a writing piece. Since Amanda thinks Blake is a pushy asshole (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick up her ass (though it’s a brilliant ass), they fight tooth and nail until they discover they write well together. They also may find each other really attractive, but that’s neither here nor there.
When their writing project turns out to be a success, the two of them decide to start up a secret partnership using a pen name, infiltrating the self-publishing market in the lucrative genre of erotica. Naturally, with so much heat and passion between the pages, it’s not long before their dirty words become a dirty reality. Sure, they still fight a lot, but at least there’s make-up sex now.
But even as they start to fall hard for each other, will their burgeoning relationship survive if their scandalous secret is exposed? Or are happily-ever-afters just a work of fiction?
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Fave New Adult Standalone
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: May 16, 2016
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
Karina Halle is one of those authors that I have a ton of books by, but haven’t read. Ironic too that the first one by her I would read is from the public library and not my own personal collection. But, I was really excited to read this one when I found it on someone’s blog last year (sorry I can’t credit someone!). Thus, it made my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge as a pick for 2016.
I LOVE hate-to-love you relationships and this one sounded perfect! Lots of sexual tension to be had. And like most other book addicts, I have a soft spot for reading about characters who also love literature.
Oh, and the title is just super catchy and intriguing!
The Concept / The World:
I really adored the concept here of these two writing “smut”. Like Porn Star by Laurelin Paige and Sierra Simone, this novel explores a market that is heavily stereotyped and judged: the erotica fiction. The writing is smart and you can tell that Halle has experience and done her research. But the story is also fun when it needs to be and I think fans of the romance genre as a whole will enjoy this concept being brought to life.
As for the setting, it’s on the west coast of Canada (Victoria, British Columbia actually) and as a proud Canadian, I love anything that mentions my home country.
I’m sure a lot of people will read the title and think that this book is only erotica with very little plot–but it isn’t. Actually, this is something the book tries to tackle as a whole (re above paragraph).
The story here is brilliant!
The romance develops at a great pace. There are more than enough comedic scenes that will have you laughing out loud. The characters have solid growth from start to finish. And there is just enough drama to add another layer to the story.
I was worried that I wouldn’t like Amanda because she seemed a little too stereotypical to me. A rich girl who realizes the life her parents have carved out for her isn’t what she wants and she breaks free. But I was happily surprised that she was a very interesting character that has so much depth! I loved watching her grow before my eyes and become confident in who she is.
The same goes for Blake. He’s the typical heart-of-gold player that I love to read about, but he too has a lot of depth.
And the rest of the cast as perfectly, providing humour and wit along the way!
Again, with a title like Smut you might think that the story starts hot and heavy–but that is far from the case! This is such a slow burn romance, but in the best way possible. You really get to see how these characters would work and the tension is so on point you can’t help but root for them to get together! Perfection!
My Rating: 5/5
This is like the ultimate romance novel for romance fans! It has everything you want in a good book: great characters, a sweet romance and just superb writing. You’ll enjoy this for sure!
Read if You Like: contemporary romance, slow burn, stories about writers
Avoid if You: want erotica, want a lighter read
- Play by Piper Lawson
- Tangled by Emma Chase (Tangled Series #1)
- No Pants Required by Kim Karr
- Porn Star by Laurelin Paige & Sierra Simone