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Smut: A Standalone Romantic Comedy Paperback – 17 May 2016
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Amanda Newland is a big time nerd, she loves fantasy books and is very serious about becoming a writer. Currently studying at the University of Victoria, she is appalled when for her final project, she is paired with the class man-whore and someone who she believes is not serious about anything other than getting laid.
Blake Crawford is a cocky Brit, who hates Amanda for the simple reason that she hates him. When he gets a chance to delve beneath her adorkable and quirky personality, he realises that she has a dirty side that he would love to help release, and what better way to do that than to write erotica together under a pen name.
Blake needs the money to help his father, and Amanda just wants to prove to herself that she can do it, so they embark on a working relationship that gets steamier and steamier the more they spend time together writing dirty books.
I absolutely loved Blake, and even though Amanda was a bit of a judgy pants at times, her character developed so well, and by the time she shed her preconceptions of erotica and romance, she was a fantastic heroine that I would love to call my friend, truly adorkable.
Beneath his cocky bravado, Blake was a perfect match for Amanda. He knew exactly how to bring her out of her shell, and he had her back just when she needed him to be there.
Let's not forget her hilarious Estonian roommate, Ana - with her no-filter mouth and her larger than life personality, she was a brilliant addition. Oh and of course I have to mention Fluffy! Who knew I would find such a hairy and yukky beast so amusing, the scenes which Blakes pet = LOL
Smut was a fun and sexy read that doesn't take itself too seriously, but has an underlying message that a lot of people need to remember - don't be a book snob! This is a fantastic story to make you smile.
Smut is a stand-alone contemporary romance, told in dual POV
Smut starts off with a hilarious, cringe-worthy prologue, setting up one of our characters: Amanda, AKA Sir Pukes-A-Lot. An aspiring author, Amanda works hard to ace her creative writing class. When she’s paired with cocky business student Blake, she thinks her teacher is trying to punish her. But when it turns out the two of them work pretty well together, she agrees to continue writing with him to prove to her family she can make money as an author. Only thing is, they can only make this money by self-publishing erotica, which makes things…messy. (AND HOT.) And when their secret comes out, how will the people they know take it?
I knew Amanda and I would be on the same page from the prologue when she freaked out about marriage and kids. I would, too. I liked how focused she was, even though she did come across as a bit arrogant about her talent as a writer, particularly from Blake’s point of view. But again, I’m sure some people would call me arrogant sometimes. I may have internally cheered at this line because I am a terrible person:
"I’m not socially awkward, but to be honest, most people are total morons, and my tolerance for them isn’t very high. Some have patience. I do not."
To be fair to her, she knew what she was good at…and so did Blake. Both of them had their reasons to be confident, and that came out in different ways that meshed well together. Amanda’s showed through deep focus and seriousness, while Blake was your typical player, sleeping around and thinking he was God’s gift to women.
Their chemistry took a second to get going, but it definitely got going. They spurred each other on, sometimes taking things too far and making the other truly angry, but other times lighting just enough fire to get the other working harder or trying something new. They could be serious together, they could be sexy together and they could be nerdy together. Also, VERY FUNNY. Or maybe I’m biased about the funny because I’m still giggling away about all the scenes with Fluffy. Each of them used their arrogance as a way of hiding another part of themselves, and they broke that down. Amanda helped bring out Blake’s more caring and serious side (although he did already have a secret soft side), while Blake helped Amanda open up and be herself, something she wasn’t allowed to be growing up and in her first relationship.
Looking at the book’s title, you’d probably expect this to be erotica, but it’s not. Yes, there were sex scenes, but they didn’t show up until the second half of the book. The focus of the story wasn’t on sex, but on each character’s development into adults, trying to establish themselves and move on from their past.
“Hey, I’m a twenty-three-year-old recent graduate. I won’t become an adult until I’m forty, if I’m lucky.”
That being said, when the sex showed up, boy did it explode. To make things extra fun for me, I was catching a few pages here and there between performances at a school choir competition I was dragged to by my mother, and the first (almost) sex scene (it was rudely interrupted) appeared as I was sitting there surrounded by parents and students in a school auditorium. It was just a bit of foreplay, but it was hot, and I’m sure I turned bright red because of how spicy it was and how naughty I felt reading it where I was. And they didn’t even take off their clothes. But I kept reading because this book had me hooked. Yes, even with mothers around me between songs about the Lord. (This town is pretty Christian.)
Another thing I loved about this story is that it tackled the subject of writing erotica, something that I’m sure many people read but are too ashamed to admit to reading. Blake and Amanda started writing under a pen name because they were concerned about what their friends and families would say if they knew. Blake’s dad had already made it clear that he thought even just romance was trash and wouldn’t sell it in his bookstore. (Hell, he thought sci-fi and fantasy weren’t serious genres.) Amanda was worried that erotica would ruin her chances of being a “real author”. Her parents weren’t exactly behind writing as a career as it was. Just read this next bit and tell me it doesn’t fill your veins with rage.
“If you had just said yes, you’d be planning your wedding right now. I’d be planning it! Then you’d get married when you graduate, you’d be having children by twenty-five and learning what it’s like to be a mother, a real woman, and then if you still have your flights of fancy, you could dabble in writing on the side. Maybe write children’s books.”
But once they got started, they realised it actually helped them with their individual WIPs. Blake also defended the genre, saying it was successful because people want what they want, and sometimes that’s just to escape reality for a few hours or get off. And who are we to judge each other for what we read and why we read it? The book made me think about this a bit more, and while I was already ok with people reading erotica, I found myself thinking more people should read it and take it seriously at the end. There were also parts that inspired me to write stories, and not just erotica.
Ok, but enough about all the things I loved; let’s note the limitations. It had its stereotypes: cocky player, uptight nerdy girl with red hair and glasses, simultaneous orgasms. (Although, I wonder if this was intentional because Amanda and Blake played on the idea of “formulas” in books.) Erotica features hulking men with big “members”, so of course Blake had a six pack and a huge ----. It also seemed to skim over bits, making it seem too easy at times. Ok, and because it’s me, I noticed typos and a few awkward bits.
Overall, though? Smut made me laugh out loud, cringe, think, feel indignant, blush, cheer and sneakily look around the room while biting my lip because WOW. Steamy. I think this is a perfect book to pick up if you want some New Adult with a fun plot, relatable characters, sweet romance but also HOT sex.
A fun read with lots of pop culture references it takes a tongue-in-cheek look in to the world of romance books - highlighting both indie and traditionally published books and whether you want to call them erotica, or smut it shows that romance writing is a big industry with it's very own community and yes sometimes not everything that happens is good we have our very own dramas.
With 2 main characters who embrace their inner geek they are relatable and funny, the kind of people I totally want to hang out with.
I cannot be positive because this time, I really disliked this book. It was just tedious and I started skipping early on and finally gave up altogether.
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