REVIEW – Smut by Karina Halle

May 21, 2016 Adrienne's Reviews 0 ★★★★½

This book may be unsuitable for readers under 17 years of age due to sexual content, drug and alcohol use, suicide, and/or violence.
REVIEW – Smut by Karina Hallefour-half-stars
Smut by Karina Halle
Published by Metal Blonde Books on May 15, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Humor, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 315
ASIN: B01FR92VNM
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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?

Smut 0 days

Adrienne's Review v2

With a catchy title like Smut and a gorgeous cover, how could Karina Halle go wrong?  Well thank goodness she didn’t!!  My cheeks hurt from all the smiling I did while reading.  Everyone wants to know, is Smut smutty?  Absolutely, in the most delicious way possible…humor.  There is nothing better in my book (see what I did there) than a couple who can’t stand each other yet are destined to be together.  Cue the epic sexual tension that is Amanda and Blake.

Smut surprised me on many levels.  Not only is the story fantastic but so are the characters and their depth.  Depth as in layers and layers of complexity.  Karina Halle takes romantic comedy to an all time high with vomit inducing engagements, to beet pancake making roommates, to love to hate you but you give good head so I’ll keep you around writing partners.  Smut has a little something for everyone, especially the hopeless romantic.  It’s all very tongue in cheek and it really really works.  Amanda can’t stand Blake and his manwhoring ways.  Blake can’t stand Amanda because…well he knows she hates him.  It’s a recipe for disaster when they’re paired up as writing partners.

Normally I have mixed feelings about dual pov’s.  I think the story is often repeated and/or the plot gets lost.  However, in Smut, it totally works and in my opinion brings more life to the story.  The push and pull between Amanda and Blake is some of the best I’ve read.  But there’s also this perfect balance of self preservation, angst, and even growth within the story.  It’s like watching a butterfly emerge from it’s cocoon, knowing you’re in for something glorious in the end.  You know it’s coming, you can’t wait for it, and yet you totally don’t want it to end.

Every good story has some pretty epic side characters, this story has them in spades.  Each one bringing levity, humor, even the ever required seriousness when appropriate.  Every scene in Smut is important.  Every sentence lending life to Amanda and Blake’s story.  I found nothing gratuitous, totally appreciating the path Karina Halle wanted me to follow. Smut is one of those stories where you just know that author poured so much of herself in it.  And not in a glaring way, it’s subtle but it’s there within the characters, even lingering in the subtext.

Karina Halle’s writing gets stronger with each book.  I find myself more and more desperate for her stories.

*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

 

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Excerpt v2

She holds my gaze for a moment and something passes over her. Regret, maybe. Then she nods. “Sit down. Let’s work.”
And so we do. And for the first time in a long time, it’s strained. I’m about to suggest maybe we need the Estonian vodka anyway when she lets out an exasperated sigh over something she’s reading.
It happens to be something I wrote.
“What?” I ask, wondering what I did wrong.
She gives me the the ‘are you kidding me?’look. “Okay, I was ignoring it earlier but I think you need to get a grip on some of this shit. This simply does not happen.”
“Explain, please.”
“I just think it’s unrealistic for there to be so much talking, let alone the fact that the first time they do it it’s in a public place.”
“Too much talking?”
“Yeah.” she scans over the document. “You know, give me your cock, oh you feel so good, harder, harder, you’re so big, fuck me harder big boy.”
“Have you even had good sex?” I ask incredulously.
She flinches. “Of course I have. And it’s none of your business.”
“We’re writing about sex. It’s completely my business. I’m not letting you interject your edits based on your personal experiences about sex because believe me, if the sex is good, you’re moaning my name.”
She raises her chin. “Maybe all those girls were faking it.”
Oh, brilliant.
“Excuse me?” I say, hands pressed against the table, nearly getting out of my chair. “You have no idea. I pride myself in giving a girl as many bloody orgasms as she can handle.”
“Bloody orgasms don’t sound like fun,” she jokes softly.
“They can be if you’re into knife play,” I tell her, even though that’s not exactly what I meant. Still, she scrunches up her nose. “Don’t knock it until you try it, but that’s neither here nor there. When you were with Alan, he must have made you come at least a few times.”
If he didn’t, I feel like finding the guy and showing him a thing or two for wasting four years of her life.
“Yeah,” she says flatly.
“And in the middle of that orgasm, didn’t you want to yell a few things?”
“Sometimes.”
“And why didn’t you?”
She looks at her nails as if they’re suddenly fascinating. “It didn’t seem right. It was…too intimate. I would have felt dumb. He didn’t like any of that stuff.”
The plot thickens. “Any of what stuff?”
“Sex that didn’t involve the missionary position or the bed.”
My mouth drops open. My brain and penis can’t compute this. “I feel so sorry for you.”
We must remedy this.
She glares at me. “It’s not like I didn’t want to do it. I did. And he did try it. Most of it. But it always went back to the same old.”
I knew it. She’s a nerd on the streets and a freak in the sheets.
“I don’t mean to brag,” I tell her in all seriousness. “But you do realize that I could give you an orgasm in thirty seconds.”
Her eyes widen. I can’t tell if she’s horrified or intrigued. “I don’t believe you and I don’t want you to try.”
She’s not getting it. I frown, trying to explain. “If you’re having good sex and it’s with someone you’re comfortable with, you won’t worry about holding back. You’ll cry out all the nonsense you want, you’ll make noises like a pig and scream like you’re on fire because you truly can’t have a good orgasm unless you’re letting go on all accounts.” I lean back in my chair and study her, running my fingers along my jaw. “I would venture that every time you came with your ex, you were only experiencing half of what you should have been. How is it with your vibrators?”
I expect her to tell me to fuck off, that I’m getting too personal but to my surprise she gives me a small smile. “It’s better. But I do have a roommate with exceptionally good hearing.” She clears her throat. “Anyway, so I guess I’m wrong. The heroine can make all the noise she wants.”
“And have first time sex in public.”
“I don’t know…”
“Believe me, when you finally get a chance to fuck, you don’t care where it is. That’s why I always have a condom in my pocket. And the more public the sex, the sneakier you have to be, the hotter it is.”
“But in the book you would never get caught.”
“You don’t always get caught in real life too.”
I can see she wants to ask me where I’ve done it but she loses her nerve. “Okay.” She looks back to the document. “I accept defeat.”
But I don’t want her to. I want to prove to her I’m right and not have her take my word.
Is there a non-creepy way to show her just how amazing good sex can feel? I’m thinking not.
Or…maybe there is.

 

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About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is the New York Times bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, The Pact, Love in English, and other wild and romantic reads. A former travel writer and music journalist, she lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails, and devours a lot of books.

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