Friday, September 30, 2016

Book Review: Smut

Title: Smut
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: New Adult | Romance | Comedy | Contemporary
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: May 15, 2016
Format: Audiobook 
Source: Hoopla

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 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 an arrogant jerk (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick up her (tight, round) bottom, they fight tooth and nail. That is until they discover they write well together. They also might 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 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 (goodreads)?



Smut was laugh-out-loud funny, sweet, and sexy. I wouldn't argue if Karina Halle decided to release a sequel or companion novel!
Plot: University students Blake and Amanda are paired together to write a piece for their Creative Writing class. Even though they hate each other's guts (Amanda mostly hates Blake for being a womanizing arrogant asshole), they agree that they write well together and make an effort to give this project their best. After receiving an A on their written project, Blake gets the crazy idea of entering the self-publishing world. But not just any category - no, the largest category on Amazon that promises a high reward - erotica. The two quickly go down a slippery slope of sex and accepting their publishing fears. 

I adored this book from the start. It was smartly written and the dual perspectives kept me listening to my audiobook well into the night. I enjoyed that while this book was extremely steamy, it also took some innocent jabs at the book community and addressed author fears of release date jitters and the dreaded one-star reviews. It had it grinning. laughing, and genuinely interested in our two leading characters.

Characters: A lot of New Adult books get a lot of slack for being overly angsty and dramatic. Smut does touch on some more important topics related to family, but it wasn't as heavy of a topic as I had come to expect in New Adult romances. In fact, it is more light-hearted than it was dramatic and that is due mostly to our characters and their adult approach to most situations. Amanda is fiery, but also reserved, but I liked that she doesn't play into the "innocent virgin girl who doesn't know a thing about sex" archetype that is so common; however, Blake is exactly the stereotype I've come to expect in New Adult. They both have some great character growth and their chemistry is nothing less than smexy.  
 
Worldbuilding: I don't know if I missed something during my reading/listening of Smut, but it took me a long while before I realized that this took place in Victoria, Canada. Regardless of its setting, it was a contemporary novel that I thought was lacking in the diversity department.

Narrator Performance: Amanda's narrator, I Lidia Dornet, has become one of my favorite narrators. Her accents were great, oddly enough I preferred her English accent over Shaun Grindell's, Blake's narrator. 

Short N Sweet: Smut is addictive fun that I recommend to the masses!


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