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on July 11, 2013
I thought this book started off pretty well. I could really appreciate how well the author wrote the socially awkward hero. He had some really great phrases like "If people are dumb, it's not my job to educate them all the time". I also found the author's geeky phrasing very fun such as "Two arguing geeks were stoppable. Three arguing geeks created an infinite argument vortex of doom that sucked time down like a black hole." It gave the book a lot of promise in my mind. I couldn't wait to see Ivan come out of his shell and figure out how to form relationships and interact with people. I thought Camilla and her friend Agatha would be a good contrast to Ivan's lack of relationships.

Then the sex scenes started. I didn't realize it was going to be so heavily and only BDSM. These were some deep, dark scenes that skirted the border of consent, but never actually crossed it. And Ivan was a completely different person in his BDSM world. I would say the middle half was basically composed entirely of BDSM scenes. Which ended up being a bit too much for me. I'm ok with a little bit of BDSM, but this felt like it happened at the expense of a real relationship for these characters.

I kept waiting for Camilla to grow some backbone and insist that they have some form of relationship outside of the bedroom. I kept hoping that she'd force Ivan out of his comfort zone and let her be an active member of their sexy times. I kept thinking that some of Ivan's secret smiles would actually lead to him wanting something more because he actually liked Camilla. For the whole middle half of the book, we don't get anything about the characters other than what they are to each other in their scenarios.

I ended up not liking either character because they didn't feel like real people. It didn't feel like Ivan even looked at Camilla like an actual person. She was his Sub and he'd never had "his own Sub" before, so this was special to him. Camilla was an empty shell for him to use as he pleased. He liked that and she didn't mind it either, but it felt like she left all forms of her personality behind the farther I read. Her initial goal had been to help him in social situations, which I assumed would mean "forming relationships". But instead he just used his Dom abilities to focus on a couple conversations.

From the parts we see of the book, if I were Camilla's friend, I would have been worried for her that Ivan seems to be isolating her from her friends, not caring about her job, and wants her to only be around him whenever he feels like having a Sub. But reading this book, Camilla wouldn't have taken that advice from her friend anyway because by the end she had no interaction with anyone but Ivan.

Bottom line, I liked a lot of the phrasing in this book. It started out with a lot of promise. I didn't care for the BDSM, but if that's your thing you'll probably like this book. I wouldn't really classify it as a romance though. Read if you like sexy, heavy-duty BDSM, but not if you're looking for a hero and heroine who grow into more complete people because they're together.
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on July 9, 2012
I loved this story and could relate to it for so many reasons. Mostly because like the hero of the story, Ivan, is not unlike my husband brilliant but socially inept. And I like the heroine, Camillia, hung out with the geeks despite not being quite so brilliant.
Camilla lives next door to astrophysicist Ivan. Recently she has discovered that he is something of a hunk underneath all that OCD and social awkwardness. They have been friendly since she moved in and she knows his routine down pat (think Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory). But he knows he is out of his depth when it comes to social conventions and asks Cami to help him prepare for an important fundraiser where he is expected to mingle. (Think Penny). Now stop. This is where it deviates from any BBT analogy you might have. Because of her attraction to Ivan Cami has often wondered about Ivan's sex life. She has never seen him with a date of either sex. Ivan is a detail oriented man and at some point he was introduced to BDSM and it appealed to him because there are rules and it requires upfront communication. After one of their socialization lessons where Cami has been more flirtatious than normal she finds out exactly what being with Ivan entails. The chemistry is nuclear.
This story is funny, quirky, sexy and an outright blast.
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on August 21, 2012
If this book was a kid it's parents would be "The Big Bang Theory" and Fifty Shades of Grey. The characters have witty banter and intelligent conversation as well as steamy love scenes. No one needed therapy or was locked in a cage by their parents as a child. Just two consenting, if socially awkward, adults having fun.
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on August 25, 2012
I've come to realize that I must be pretty picky about my Erotica. Not that I didn't enjoy this book, because there were some highlight worthy moments. I guess it was just kind of...meh...for me. I struggled to get into it, which says a lot if I can't get motivated to read a smexy.

Let's start with a quick run-down. Cami, the female lead, was just ok. I didn't really like her, or dislike her. She has a fascination with her hot scientist neighbor, who is a bit of a mystery. Cami and Ivan bump into each other around the complex, but have never really had much to chat about. But then, Ivan decides he needs Cami's help for a big fundraiser that he will be attending. See...Ivan lacks a bit in his social skills and he feels like Cami is his best bet at helping him break those barriers. The more time they spend together "practicing" his social skills, the more they want to act on their sexual curiosity about each other. Which leads me to the smexy.

It took a while to get to it, but once I WAS pretty hot. Ivan has a bit of a darker, dominating side that he introduces to Cami. She's experienced sexually, but she's never participated in any kind of Dom/Sub scene. I was a bit shocked when the story took this direction and I can't say that I'm all that interested in that lifestyle, but it was sexy and not degrading. Be advised that there is "backdoor" action at play. If you can't handle that kind of thing, this may not be the book for you.

While the sex was hot, I just felt like it was a mediocre read for me. I found the plot lacking and it was slow to start. It's not a very long book, so I was expecting the action to take place a bit sooner. Plus, I felt like Ivan's background was glazed over a bit and I would have liked to have understood him a bit better.

So...would I recommend this book? Yes, if you are looking for a quick sexy read with not much of a plot. I really was expecting a nice blend of story/smexy, but I was left feeling a bit disappointed.
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on August 15, 2012
This was a book recommended by The Romance Man. I wasn't sure about it but gave it a shot.

Imagine my shock to find this true diamond. It's written first-person - not my true preference BUT for this book it's entirely fitting. Characterization is interesting and nothing over the top but true to life. I love how the female character thinks; she is both personable and comical. The male character Ivan is true to form in that he is a genius who hasn't a clue as to how real people relate to one another. He understands the mechanics of how people think but his grasp is purely in that he studies people like science experiments. He's fairly clueless and that's where Camilla comes in.
Camilla teaches Ivan how to interact with others in social situations.
Imagine her surprise when he manages to turn the tables on her and teach her a few things in return. Things she'd never imagined him capable of. She thought she'd had him all figured out and then he blows her away with what she didn't have a clue to.
This is a fine story and quite a tutorial for both Camilla and Ivan. Camilla learns something about herself that she'd never even considered possible and Ivan learns that he's more than he thought he could be in terms of being human.
Together: they learn about love.

The talks that these two have is very thought provoking for the reader. This isn't a romance novel you'll soon forget and it's surely one you'll revisit. It's deep, thoughtful, smart, and glib. It'll make you smile.

Recommended highly. It don't get better than this!
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on July 13, 2012
I realllly loved this book. At first, I thought I was going to be put off by the first person narrative, because I like to "see" the male point of view in my erotic romance, but it was done so well, I found myself completely engaged even without it. Cami is our protaganist and she's got a crush on her neighbor Ivan. Ivan is...what is Ivan? Endearingly clueless. Socially inept. Brilliant but barely functioning in the real world. He's also got a hidden dark side, and that's where things get spicyyy. This was so much fun to read because the characters are flawed in such a genuine way, it's impossible not to connect. Really great read and I can't wait to load up on the author's backlist.
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on January 28, 2014
I was disappointed by the end if this book. The story had no body and was often quite boring. While I could fall in love with the main characters, there was no story beyond a freaky nerd professor and a girl who wanted to break him out of a shell and end up being stunned at what he does in his spare time. There was no love between the characters. After the storm, I thought the story would evolve, but then it just died.
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on July 12, 2012
Loved this book.

First, Ms. Dryden nailed the character of Ivan the nerd-hero. His social awkwardness, how it's draining for him to be in the company of other people, his laser-like focus on things that interest him, and the culture of science geeks in an academic environment, are all true to people I know in real life who are just like him.

Second, the BDSM elements were closer to the RL kink scene--the one that's more likely to be populated by actual nerds than by hunky doms and hawt submissive babes from romance covers--than I'm used to seeing, and refreshingly free of the tropes and clichés of the genre. The Kinky Klub of Kinkiness was referred to, for example, but never actually appeared on camera. For that matter, neither did any secondary characters who identified as members of the kink scene. This was just the hero and heroine exploring kink within the confines of their burgeoning relationship and their day to day, real world lives.

Third, the humor. OMG, the humor! There's a scene in a movie theater just before the big reveal about Ivan's kink that had me in stitches, as did another at the climax where Ivan has to thread his way through the social intricacies of an academic meet and greet. And the payoff in the sexytimes scenes? Hot, hot, hot!

The one thing I would have liked to see more of was Camilla's journey into submission. Ivan the hero undergoes a pretty big arc in this book. The heroine, not so much. She started out lusting after the hot nerd, and the kink came across as something she was willing to go along with as a way of being with him. There were even parts of it that she enjoyed on a physical level. But she never had a big lightbulb moment about the strength a submissive can feel from surrendering control, or the intimacy that can exist within the confines of physically giving everything she has, everything she's capable of, to a lover with nothing held back. You never get a sense that she's become hooked on kink and can no longer settle for just vanilla sex. I would have liked to see more of that.

All in all, minor quibbles aside, a very hot read. I really liked this story, and I highly recommend it. I will definitely be adding other titles by Ms. Dryden to my TBR list.
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on April 7, 2014
My main problem with The Theory of Attraction was that it wasn't what I was expecting and what first 35% of the book lead me on to expect – cute chick lit novel about girl falling for the geeky scientist and getting him to notice her.

As I said, the first half of the book was exactly that. It was light, funny and romantic. Camilla comments about Ivan and geeks in general had me giggling and highlighting all of the time:
“Two arguing geeks were stoppable. Three arguing geeks created an infinite argument vortex of doom that sucked time down like a black hole.”

Additional reason for me to fall in love with The Theory of Attraction was Camilla’s best friend Athena. She reminded me a lot of Samantha from Sex and the City. I always love to read about strong female friendships, especially when a friend is blunt and sexually more opened than the main character. You gotta love the reactions to those outstandish advices!

But then at about 40% into the book The Theory of Attraction turns into erotica novel. The romance and funny moments disappear and instead we get a lot of sex. It was not repetitive since they explore Camilla’s submissive side with spanking, tying up, etc, but still it was boring. I found myself skimming through explicit descriptions and wishing for the magic of the first half of the book to come back.

I hope that Delphine Dryden will write pure chick lit/contemporary romance novel in the future. I will be definitely very interested to read it!

So to whom to recommend this book? Fans of bdsm erotica will be bored with a slow start and chick lit romance novels lovers will be shocked with the explicit sexual marathon aka. second half of the book. But if you like both these genres and are aware what are you getting into, you might enjoy The Theory of Attraction.
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on September 13, 2012
Cami has been crushing on her neighbour for a year but although they have become friends he doesn't seem to notice her as a woman. Ivan may be highly intelligent but he is hopeless in social situations. With his job on the line unless he learns to woo potential investors at a fundraiser he asks Cami to teach him how to act. Cami jumps at the chance of spending time with Ivan and decides to use the situation to her advantage and try to seduce him. What she doesn't expect is that instead of being the teacher she is about to become the student as Ivan shows her how much he likes to take control in the bedroom.

The Theory of Attraction is a short but intensely erotic read and I think it makes a great introduction to the dominant / submissive lifestyle. I know very little about d/s relationships so I found that side of the story a revelation and really interesting. The story also includes some light BDSM with spanking and mild flogging involved.

Ivan is like no other hero I've read about before. He is very much a geek, super intelligent but completely out of his comfort zone when he is forced into social situations. I actually think he has at least a mild case of aspergers because he has absolutely no concept of social boundaries - I have a friend with aspergers and the way Ivan interacts with the people around him really reminded me of her. Although he comes across as rude he is actually a really nice guy, he is just misunderstood because of the way he acts. Ivan is honest to a fault and can be very blunt because he has no idea that what he says might hurt someone's feelings. He likes to be in control and has OCD tendencies that show in his need for routine. That and the fact he demands honesty from those around him explain why being a dominant suits him so well. It is a lifestyle where everything is very upfront, boundaries are agreed in advance and there are safe words in place to make sure he doesn't over step the mark. It helps him avoid confusion because he struggles to read people and it allows him to be in charge of everything that happens. He can make his own rules so that nothing surprises him.

I think it would be fair to say that I developed a bit of a crush on Ivan but I think in reality life with him would probably drive me insane! I don't think I could cope with the way he finds it so hard to show his emotions, not because he doesn't have them but because he doesn't know how to express them. Luckily for him Cami is a lot more understanding than I would have been, she sees the things he doesn't know how to say and they make a really good couple because of that. She may be new to being a submissive but it is obviously a role that suits her well and Ivan introduces her to things gently enough to not scare her away.

Ivan and Cami are definitely compatible in the bedroom and the sex scenes are Hot with a capital H. The story isn't just one long sex scene though and there are some really funny and sweet moments between them. I laughed out loud at the lessons Cami gives Ivan on how to behave in public - she has to point out things that are so obvious to most of us but he is completely clueless about. No one would suspect that under Ivan's geeky exterior lurks a kinky and controlling dominant who knows exactly what he wants both in the bedroom and out of it. I think Cami actually learns more from him than he does from her and she certainly enjoys every one of her lessons. It just goes to show that it's always the quiet ones!
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