Book Review – Smut by Karina Halle

by Maryse on May 20, 2016 · 10 comments

in My Book Reviews

Smut: A Standalone Romantic Comedy
Awwwww!!! Sexy sweetness in pure Karina Halle fashion. Oh sure, that title and sexy cover says one thing, and OMG is it ever …. HOT!!!!! But don’t let all that fool ya. It reads like our beloved new adult romance favorites. I mean, come on. We know this author well, and her romance style is fully present, here.

Grace: I really suggest you read Smut first because OMG!!! …I know I’m acting like a crazy person, but I’m being FOR REAL! The start is slow. I mean after the prologue. The PROLOGUE! It’s crazy, but then it slows down. It’s still really good writing because Karina Halle is very talented. It has a few funnies in there, but then she blows the doors off. I’m at 87% right now. ALL of my ranting has been for everything from about 18% on. JUST READ IT!!!! EVERYONE ON HERE SHOULD BE READING THIS!!!!

Grace: It isn’t really Smut! The use of the word is mostly a device to call out the stereotype. …I think it is clear that full on Erotica is about the sex, but since this type is for women there has to more to it then that because we wouldn’t like it otherwise. Smut isn’t proudly wearing the title so much as saying you call it that if you will, but you can only do that if you are ignorant to what good romance is really about. It is every bit as powerful as any other genre and capable of being compelling, moving and life changing. It’s not to be looked down on.

Sharon: I want to be a Smut reader too! Er, I want to read Smut. I meant the Smut book. Never mind, I’ll just start Smut.

Fabi: Give it up Sharon. There’s no polite way of saying it. Just roll with it and enjoy Smut.  ;-)

Maryse: *snort* :P

Grace: And I’m finished SMUTTING! I’m still laughing. Wow! SMH she is such a saucy wench that Karina Halle! …I’ll just say the prologue is not nearly as funny as the roller coaster gets. That was slapstick it’s going to get professional hysterical. I checked out some reviews and apparently I’m not the only one who disturbed their husband to the point of just breaking down and reading whole bunches of the book to him. And the husbands are all cracking up too!

Fabi: Some authors are so skilled and talented that any book of theirs is a great one.“He smiles at me and against my better judgement, I’m smiling too. His smile is infectious. Then again, so was the plague.

Maryse: LOL Fabi!!!!!! I love Karina’s brand of snark. ;)

Jean: Yes Fabi! You are so right! Loving Smut!

Cheryl: Started Smut. What a prologue. Love Karina Halle’s tongue-in-cheek writing.

It’s got a nice dose of dorky-crass yet “feel good” comedy movie, a la Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow (and it really had that smutty-feel-good feel of Role Models <— I LOVED IT. *snort* lol Yessssss… rolleyes I know. LOL!). I love these kinds of movies. The funny dialogue, the witty comebacks and the stuff muttered under-breath. Watch and re-watch, and you always catch more funny stuff that you missed the first time around, and still feel like you just watched a sweet family movie that is totally NOT a family-safe movie. This is one of those (but in book format). And no worries… the book as a whole is not that guy-ish. It’s full-on steamy romance (by a girl… that obviously loves corny guy-humor like I do).

I certainly giggled at the subtle references that I KNOW many of us will appreciate like the various cult TV references to Archer and Sherlock (and other nerdy-fun)!

Cheryl: Bev, there’s a mention about Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch in Smut!

bev: Cheryl, that’s awesome. It’s a sign. ……I hope it was a positive mention.

Fabi: Bev, it was a positive mention. And you should totally read this book in spite of the title.

In fact, the minute she elbowed him and told him something along the lines of “settle down Sterling Archer” I laughed out loud ’cause OMG YES!!! That’s exactly who I was envisioning. Archer is Blake. Or Blake is Archer (but a little more distinguished. ‘Cause you know. He’s British. *swooooon*)

Yep! Blake is a totally goofy sexy-hot player, but that was so down-to-earth, even though he bought his own hype, you can’t help but adore him!

Okay so now that I gave you the feel of this fun-romance read, what’s it about?

Amanda is a studious, endearingly nerdy (and totally into fantasy stuff) straight-A type that is an aspiring (and talented!) writer. Oh… hey! Here’s an example. ;)

“Who here is excited for your final assignment?”

“Me!” I say a little too loudly. I have to supress myself from raising my arm like some kind of keener. Still, I refuse to look sheepish about it. Everyone here knows that about me by now.

Blake is a fellow student in her VERY IMPORTANT writing class that she assumes he’s in for easy credit. A gorgeous but uber-cocky heart-breaker…

there’s the fact that he’s a self-proclaimed sex god that every girl seems to lose their damn head over. It’s like the sight of him causes any vestiges of self-respect to evaporate, and girls practically throw themselves at his feet.

an unabashed player that has even played her best friend. And she doesn’t like him one bit.

I just don’t get it. Surely they can all see it’s an act. Even if he’s good in bed, how the hell does he even get you there?

And from how he reacts to her in class, he’s not so fond of her, either.

When the teacher she so respects pairs the two together to co-write a story for their final, Amanda almost LOSES her mind.

…all I can think is that if this isn’t a joke— and sadly, it doesn’t seem to be— I’m not really sure what I’ve done to deserve it. Has Marie hated me this whole time? Maybe she has. Maybe she thinks I’m untalented, or a hack. Maybe all those As were just pity grades and now her real feelings are coming out. Maybe I’ve done something to her or said something or written something that she’s found offensive, and this is her chance to get back at me. I mean, this is turning something I love into a living hell. I would rather get a bad grade than have to work— f**king write— with Blake.

Does her best to dissuade the teacher, and then him, but forced together, they do the best they can, and it ends up being great. In fact, they totally get along, and she sees him in a new light. Not a “whole new light” mind you (she’s still wary), but they work well together…

I’m not sure if I should be worried that he’s that good of a liar or impressed that he was able to hold back a millions barbs. Then again he did compliment me, which I now realize was layered with a metric sh!t ton of sarcasm.

and then she suddenly finds they PLAY well together, too.

…he puts his hands behind his head, showing off his wide chest, the thickness of his bicep and of course I’m staring at him like I’ve never seen a man before. He knows what he’s doing. What an a$$hole.

*snort*

They get along so well, that Blake (being a business major) discovers a world of smutty indie reads on Amazon, and after detailed research (and reading much of that smut) proposes a money-making project to Amanda, under a totally anonymous pen name. He’s into smut, and she’s into romance, and together, they can create the ultimate sexy-reads that are all the rage right now. And while both are hesitant (knowing what their parents and entourage would think), under a pen name, what’s the harm? Right?

Fabi: Kevin is a little heartbreaking to me. Anyone else feel that?

Grace: Yes Fabi! Such a sweet boy, but it all works out for him in the end. Maybe he’ll grow up and KH can give his story from geek to glory.

Jean: Yes Fabi, poor Kev…heartbreaking.

Fabi: Grace, at**% convo between **** and ****** as they’re walking home *thud thud* goes my heart. This book just went up a star for me. That conversation was awesomesauce

And I’m gonna leave you to discover the rest, ’cause there’s plenty of fun (and even-keeled drama to be had) as they embark on their smutty story-telling together. ;)

Maryse: OMG the tarantula scene was priceless!!!!!!!! :P LOL He can’t stop screaming… naked. I can see it now! “Now I’m holding the magazine at eye level and Fluffy is sitting on it and I’m screaming silently, mouth open and everything. A living nightmare.” OMG HILARIOUS!!!

Grace: I AM SOOOO EXCITED! You all are finally getting to all the bestest parts!!! Tra La La La La! I’m so happy right now!

Maryse: Yeah… I raised a few baby fluffies to full-grown size, once – about 5 babies – (if I recall correctly, they were Mexican pink toe tarantulas – also considered docile, but possibly mine were rose-hairs also like “book-Fluffy”). I did a great job making ‘em big (and then gave them back to their owner once full grown). But I never touched them. HECK no.

And one time, when I was cleaning out their aquariums, they were all easy going but one. All of ‘em would calmly saunter into their new temporary bins with a little butt-push with a full sheet of paper.

But there was one (which I aptly named “Spazz” after this incident) that panicked and starting spinning around and running as fast as he could up and down the aqaurium walls, right into the bin, and then *squirreled* right out of the bin and onto the floor where he proceeded to move just as quickly, and I started SCREAMING!!!

“OMG GET IT!!! GET IT!!!!!! We have a full-size tarantula loose in the house.CATCH IT!!!!!!!”

So I am EXTREMELY familiar with that scene (which is why I laughed extra hard). That whole OMG THAT THING IS LOOSE IN MY HOUSE heart-pounding, adrenaline racing feeling is SO REAL.

P.S. And that was just HIS personality. He acted like that each and every single time, so precautions were put in place when it was his turn. NO MORE LOOSE TARANTULAS!!!

R. Renee: Oh hell no, Maryse. After reading The Exorcist, I don’t like anything that spins…

Grace: No Freaking Way Maryse! In six months of living there, I was aware that horrible beast was in the room with me one time. It crawled around the room while I kept my feet up, then I went right on pretending it chose to go outside. The second time I was in it’s path or as I consider it, I was it’s victim. Thankfully, I was blissfully unaware that night. I cannot imagine what you described! It freaks me out just thinking about it! No. Just No! Oh! And as Kevin would point out in his geeky glory, “It’s a terrarium.” Ha Ha Ha Ha!

Cheryl: Maryse, I’m going to ask the obvious question, WHY were you raising tarantula’s??

Jan130: Mexican pink toe tarantulas??????? You raised them????? WTAH Maryse? I am shocked! They’re SPIDERS!!!!!! Well, at least you never touched them.  I’m shaking right now.

Maryse: LOL!!!!!! Yep! I get a kick out of pink things. Even pink toed, or rose-hair tarantulas. ;) … I had 5 little Terrariums (one in each, or else they’d kill each other). Yikes!!!

Jan130: LOL Maryse. Yep, I love pink too. But…. they’re SPIDERS :-0

Grace: Oh! It gives me heebie jeebies just thinking about them. “Or else they would KILL each other.” ???? Adorable. Nope. I’m with Jan!

Amy: Pink toe tarantulas. Um…I can’t even…*snort* *covers mouth*:| *snorrrrrrrrrt!* My girly-girl friend raised tarantulas with pink toes! LOL!!! LOL!! I’m still trying to picture a bunch of tarantulas amongst your girly stuff and Cabbage Patch dolls. :P

Maryse: I did!!!!! :D But but but!! They had PINK toes!! And that is EXACTLY where my Tarantulas were. In my bedroom, amongst all my frills and twinkly lights, and Cabbage Patch kids, and pink things. …Spazz would lift his two front legs in a defensive posture. He was the only one that hated me. *sigh* It’s pretty creepy, lemme tell you… when they do that. ;)

Jan130: Nooooooooooooooo

bev: He was born a tarantula and found himself with pink toes and surrounded by twinkle lights and dolls. Of course he was pissed.

Fabi: LOL Bev

Grace: Laughing so hard right now! Actual snorting happening because I can’t stop it. “Of course he was pissed.” Life as Satan’s hamster wasn’t what he imagined it should be. The crazy pink girl keeps humiliating him!!!

*snort* Tee hee!!! :P HE LOVED IT!!!!

Okay so it got personal for me, there, but isn’t that what books are about? ;)

Good stuff, my friends. An easy, fun and super-steamy read, that will load you in fuzzy-feels. And… you know. Other things. *snort* I was channeling my inner-Blake. ;)

4 stars!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Grace May 21, 2016 at 3:49 AM

Perfect. I agree with the 4 stars as well, even though I’ve been a raving lunatic over this book. It is fair to say it had some editing glitches that I glossed over in my adoration, and it seemed to really be pushing people’s patience with the epic build up. I do think that they will all discover it was worth the wait when they return from their wanderings. It wasn’t super short, so she really had time to draw it out and she certainly did. The end was very worth it all. Loved it!

Fabi May 21, 2016 at 8:13 AM

Maryse your reviews are the best I’ve ever read. I look forward to every one.

Maryse May 21, 2016 at 9:28 AM

*blush* WOW!!! Thank you SO much Fabi. Holy moly that makes me feel happy, and want to write more. Which means I have to read more. Which means YAY ME!! LOL!!!

*hug*

You made my whole weekend. <3 < — That’s a heart. :P

Maryse May 21, 2016 at 9:29 AM

Grace, it was a great recommendation, and anyone that loves Karina’s style will certainly enjoy this one! :D

Michelle F May 21, 2016 at 11:02 AM

YEAH!!! This is my next read, for sure. Ms. Halle is one of my absolute favorite authors so I’ve been looking forward to reading this one. She is so amazing in her versatility, able to write such varied stories from the Experiment In Terror series to the Artists Trilogy to her more recent contemporary romances. Can’t wait to read Smut. And that’s just fun to say! :-D

Cheryl May 21, 2016 at 5:06 PM

Loved this book! Such a great feel good, laugh out loud read. I also agree about the 4* and editing issues, in particular, using taught instead of taut so many times. It’s a taut butt, not taught. ;)

Fabi May 21, 2016 at 7:26 PM

hahaha Cheryl. IDK – some little boys have taught their butts to play music – so I guess it could be taught

Maryse May 21, 2016 at 8:17 PM

Tee hee. *taut butts* ;)

It’s like I’m a 5 year old. *snort*

Grace May 21, 2016 at 8:31 PM

I like to call them “tight” and just go with that. I guess I’m more than five. (snickering loudly) Prepubescent is more like it going around mentally bouncing quarters off tight butts!

I woke up feeling whacky today. This has me hysterical.

Maryse May 22, 2016 at 5:17 PM

LOL Grace!!! You always are. ;)

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