#MBreview “Smut” by Karina Halle

smut

Synopsis: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?

My musings… 

4 Star Review

I have read several different series by Karina Halle, and the one thing that I love about her and what sets her apart from some other authors is her ability to write a good story in various romantic sub-genres. “Smut” is her first foray into romantic comedy, and she nailed it by expertly twisting the hilarious antics of the herione and the chemistry between Blake and Amanda.

The story follows the hero and herione as they both pursue careers in writing and are currently in the same writing class at university. There is no love lost between the two, so, when they are put together for a group writing assignment, antics ensue. Both are trying to make their dreams come true by becoming professional writers and dodging the expectations of their parents, and they develop a plan to get there together. Of course sexual tension becomes electric as they write their smut. Additionally, Fluffy, Ana, Kevin, Heath, Blake Lovecox, and beer toting waitresses are just a list of side characters who help bring additional comedy to the page.

One attribute I really enjoyed about this book more than anything is the jokes concerning the romance genre. Karina Halle is a romance writer, and she is able to use cliches and tropes in the romance world for a good laugh. I found myself laughing at the absurdity of theses cliches (half naked men, clenching, bad boy billionaires, etc.), and yet my Kindle is full of books just like the ones Blake and Amanda write. Even though she makes fun of the genre, what I really love is her ultimate message about the romance writers and readers:

“…provide readers with fun and entertainment and an escape from their lives, which is a damn good thing because life is hard and really sucks sometimes. Life isn’t a fairy-tale and not everyone in gets a happily-ever-after, but in our book world they do…I don’t want to be ashamed of it. I’m not. So take it or leave it.”

So why the four ⭐️? I felt like development between the two characters, Amanda and Blake, could have been shown more in depth. They are characterized independently well, and the reader fully understands character motivation. The chemistry between the sheets is great, but non-physical chemistry between the characters is expressed through a lot of telling and not showing. Personally, I would have enjoyed a little more “show” emotionally from the characters when they weren’t in bed. The resolution of the story is another area of the story that I would have liked to see more details. The conflict comes very late in the story and is wrapped up within two chapters. Ultimately the conflict and resolution, although wrapping up their story nicely, just felt too rushed for me.

This book is a definite must read for the hilarity alone!

Amazon: Smut

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