My Darling Bookworms,
Sorry I ghosted on you last week. The week got away from me, as weeks tend to do. Slippery little suckers. Also didn’t want to rush and publish a slapdash post for this particular set of books, because they’re all wonderful and surprisingly tender. They’re just so heartfelt and lovely that they deserve a more thoughtful post. Well, you know. As thoughtful as I get. It’s not highbrow literary criticism, but if that’s what you were looking for, you wouldn’t have gone to the book blog with the cartoon penguin header. Let’s do this.
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan- This is the follow up to The Roommate (review) and if these books don’t get you to see sex workers as fully formed human beings, I don’t know what will. We initially met Naomi Grant as Josh Darling’s ex girlfriend. They made a name for themselves performing in adult films, but transitioned into being business owners of a sex positive website with Clara’s (heroine of Book #1) help and financial backing. Naomi has intimacy issues unrelated to her adult film career, about which she has zero shame (so refreshing.) Naomi wants to expand her role as a sex and relationship expert to include seminars and public speaking, but she’s generally not taken seriously because of her past. Until, that is, Ethan Cohen shows up. He’s a rabbi interested in attracting a younger crowd to his aging congregation, and while Naomi’s seminar may seem somewhat unorthodox, it turns out to be an excellent fit. Despite Rabbi Cohen’s unfair level of hotness, Naomi thinks that keeping her hands off the clergy is the way to go. Especially since she’s not interested in the whole falling in love thing. Still, the two start to develop a friendship, and feelings happen, and, well. You know. The whole story presents such lovely philosophies on faith and trust and love. It’s just so… Tender.
Float Plan by Trish Doller- Speaking of tenderness, THIS BOOK. Whew. Anna Beck lost her fiance (CW- suicide) a year ago and has been barely going through the motions of life ever since. Then, on Thanksgiving morning, her phone pings with a reminder that it is the day the two were supposed to set off on an epic Caribbean adventure via sailboat. Impulsively, Anna drops everything, grabs some supplies, and sets off on the trip solo. Because grief plus the unforgiving sea are always a great combination. It doesn’t take long before Anna realizes the folly of setting off on her own and decides to hire someone with more experience to help her on the journey. Keane is grappling with his own losses, but is an experienced sailor (with a hot Irish accent to boot) and he’s happy to join Anna on her quest. It doesn’t take long before feelings start to develop, but the two of them each have so much to work through. Honestly, there are points at which reading this book felt like its own sort of therapy. It’s beautifully realized and all about figuring out how to rebuild your life after it all comes crashing down. I loved it. Come for the feelings and stay for the scenery, folks- the descriptions of sailing and the islands and the fascinating cast of characters Keane and Anna meet along the way will stick with you. This is an absolute gem of a book.
The Switch by Beth O’Leary- Let’s round out the warm fuzzies, shall we? The Switch follows a burnt-out Leena Cotton as she’s forced to take a sabbatical from work. Leena is in the throes of grieving for her sister (CW- cancer) and attempted to bury her grief in her work, which resulted in panic attacks. (Don’t ignore your feelings, folks, they WILL come back to bite you one way or another.) Anyhow. Leena decides to spend some of her forced time off in Yorkshire with her grandmother, but once she arrives, she and the elderly Eileen decide to swap lives. You know. Grandma needs an adventure in the big city after her genuinely crappy husband left her for a dance instructor and Leena needs some R&R in a quiet, cozy small town. The two have grand adventures stepping into each others’ shoes, and learn a lot about themselves along the way. In addition to being heartfelt and sweet, this book is really funny. I loved all the colorful characters in each woman’s life and found myself giggling as they navigated through. Eileen and Leena are both forces to be reckoned with.
That’s all for this week, Bookworms. Be safe, get vaccinated, wear a mask, etc, etc.
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