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How Not to Fall (The Belhaven Series) by…

How Not to Fall (The Belhaven Series)

by Emily Foster

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I have such mixed feelings about this book, which is a modern romance novel with a contemporary setting. I enjoy and admire the author's work as a human sexuality researcher (writing as Emily Nagoski), so I expected, and enjoyed, the explicit, consensual, and joyful sex scenes in this romance. The main characters are likable and mostly believable.

What disappointed me immensely is the complete disregard for safer sex practices. The author takes the easy way out by having one character be a virgin, but even so I expect that two people having first time sex will use barrier protection--honesty is wonderful, but you should still cover your ass, especially when your health is involved. I also feel that this intelligent and informed author could, better than anyone else, write a hot sex scene incorporating condoms.

I really want to set aside my misgivings about the cavalier attitude toward sexual health because the author deserves to be lauded for a passage like this one:

"I love him because our inner worlds map onto each other. When he shows me more of himself, he is illuminating a new place inside me, and when I give him more of myself, I am showing him a hidden place inside himself." ( )
  librarianarpita | Aug 1, 2017 |
How I feel about this book is perhaps a bit overly complex. On the one hand, it's well written, entertaining, and it got me thinking about things far more deeply than I thought I would. But on the other hand it wasn't what I was expecting. After picking it up and seeing that it was very science based, I wasn't expecting quite so much explicit sex.

Still though, I want to stress that it's still a great and emotionally deep story.

How Not To Fall is the story of Anna, a girl who is about to head off to New York to attend medical school, and Charles, a post-doc in the lab Anna works in. Although their relationship starts as a strictly professional one, as Anna is soon to leave the relationship takes a turn and they realize that they might mean more to one another than they had previously realized.

Or, as they so annoyingly call it, they have "a thing." Sometimes, as if that wasn't annoying enough, they refer to it as "a sexy thing." It's a bit distracting but not awful.

I'll be honest. I was disappointed when I realized this story wasn't what I had hoped. But as I continued to read (I'm weird and have a hard time just quitting on books), I realized that it's depth is actually surprising. Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that if you lived your life as if it were your last day on earth that you might be too freaked out to actually enjoy it? I hadn't but this story is just that. How do you enjoy something when you know that it must eventually end?

What did I think?: I really wasn't expecting to enjoy this book so much, but I actually really did like it. I'm not one for explicit sex usually in terms of my literary choices, but since this one went beyond that I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable I found it to be.

Who should read it?: If you want 50-shades but with more emotional depth, this is a step in the right direction. It's sexy without being terribly vulgar, and it's playful in a way that is oddly endearing. Not to mention it's easy to read and leaves you feeling like things came to a sufficient end.

*I was provided with a copy of this book in order to conduct this honest review.*

  tipsy_writer | Nov 29, 2016 |
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"Data, research, scientific formulae--Annabelle Coffey is completely at ease with all of them. Men, not so much. But that's all going to change after she asks Dr. Charles Douglas, the postdoctoral fellow in her lab, to have sex with her. Charles is not only beautiful, he is also adorably awkward, British, brilliant, and nice. What are the odds he'd turn her down? Very high, as it happens. Something to do with that whole student/teacher/ethics thing. But in a few weeks, Annie will graduate. As soon as she does, the unlikely friendship that's developing between them can turn physical--just until Annie leaves for graduate school. Yet nothing could have prepared either Annie or Charles for chemistry like this, or for what happens when a simple exercise in mutual pleasure turns into something as exhilarating and infernally complicated as love." - Back cover.… (more)

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