Smut by Karina Halle

Happy Monday all! Yes, it’s the start of the week, but wouldn’t your week be better if you started off with “Smut”?



Here’s the synopsis:

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?

NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK: Smut has coarse language and many explicit scenes of a sexual nature (sensitive readers be advised). However, the title of Smut is tongue-in-cheek, and this book should not be considering erotica.


Karina was kind enough to send out ARC’s through a contest on her Instagram (@authorhalle) I was so pumped to receive one and read “Smut”, and it was not at all what I expected. I honestly envisioned this cookie-cutter project that Amanda and Blake would work on, write smut and fall in love. It was so, SO, much more than that.


First off, let me say that many times in this book, I found myself laughing, cringing, sighing, and laughing again. This book brought a true, real-life, smile to my face. Many times over, actually.


I really loved Amanda. She has to be one of my favorite characters that I’ve ever read. I felt she was real and I could see a lot of myself in her character. The humiliation she endures right at the very beginning of the story is so painful to see her go through, but I thought it was a great way to introduce readers to Amanda. (Side note: so freaking happy she got rid of Allan) I also don’t know how you can’t love her after watching this just terrible thing happen to her within the first few pages. I was mortified on her behalf.


Blake Crawford…what can one say? He was easily one of the more dynamic male characters I have ever read. I really liked that Karina made him the handsome playboy, but he was so much more than that, and it was not in a stereotypical alpha male, protective way. (Not saying that I  don’t see Blake defending Amanda, it just wasn’t a stereotypical storyline). He can actually write and is intelligent. He’s truly funny and has feelings for both Amanda and his family. I enjoy that throughout the book, we see interactions with both Blake and Amanda’s family, and the always amazing, Fluffy.


Another aspect I loved is that both Amanda and Blake are nerds. They are. No way around it. But I admired that Karina didn’t just make them gamer nerds or anything like that. They really both were into fantasy books and both Amanda and Blake make references throughout to several famous fantasy books and movies. I hate how normally, in pop culture, if a woman is nerd and attractive, she’s seen as doing it to manipulate a nerdy guy. It sounds strange, but I liked that the “nerd” storyline was just a trait, not like something that was exploited in a funky way. It was seamless.


I also enjoyed watching Amanda and Blake’s relationship grow. As readers, we get to see a real relationship progress. Its not an instant love, and get in the sack book. They get to know each other, they let the other in. Even when things heat up, Blake is still paying attention to Amanda, in terms of her actual personality.


I would absolutely recommend this book. One-click this and thank me later. I loved it and it was such a treat to read. I have admired Karina for quite awhile and this book confirms that I was right to admire her as much as I do.

Buy it here: Smut by Karina Halle