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The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Theory of Attraction
The Science of Temptation #1

Delphine Dryden
Contemporary Romance/Erotica (mild BDSM)
Published in 2012

H/h - Ivan Reynolds/Camilla Novak
Setting: Houston, present time.

Read in July, 2012.
My rating:

                                                    [spoiler alert]

When I heard about this book, I was very intrigued. I mean a nerd hero? I’d LOVE to read about one as I generally do. Then I heard he’s into BDSM. OH boy! The theme sounded so good that I couldn’t even wait for it and grabbed a copy as soon as it came out.............

But, all my high hopes were dashed in a short few chapters and I ended up with a very underwhelming book. I was so disappointed that at around 80%, I stopped reading it altogether and moved onto something else. But I’m yet to DNF a book, so I went back and finished it.

Before anything, I’d like to mention that my knowledge is pretty limited where Asperger’s syndrome is concerned. I’ve personally never known anyone having it, and so, whatever I know is through internet and books. Same goes for BDSM. So, when these two things came together, I was kinda overwhelmed by my own reaction, which wasn’t very positive. I’ll try to explain my feelings just I did as I was reading The Theory of Attraction.

Camilla has studied in social anthropology. She’s been living in this area for about 2 yrs now, which is, according to her, a ‘the residence of nerds’. But this place has its conveniences; one, is that it’s closer to her workplace. Gradually, she became somewhat closer to her nerdy neighbors through her cooking and odd gatherings in her apartment. Camilla feels safe in here because of these guys. One of her neighbors is Ivan, who’s in Astrophysics. A rocket scientist to the core, Ivan is a total nerd, with loads of awkwardness, mostly social and sets of strict routines. Camilla, at first, didn’t really see him in a different way. But since Ivan lived closer to her apartments, she began noticing him (and his supposed ‘hunkiness’), along with his routines like a stalker. It might also be the reason that she hasn’t been laid for a long time, since after she moved out from a cheating boyfriend’s house and needed to get laid ASAP. Camilla begins to have hots for Ivan, who is apparently unaware of her as a woman. This frustrates Camilla beyond anything. She knows about Ivan’s Asperger’s streaks, as in his brilliant mind, social awkwardness and very strict routine. She didn’t even know if he’d ever been on a date or ever had a girlfriend. But Camilla wants him anyway. One day, Ivan asks Camilla to train him in social communication, so that he can impress the donors for funding in an upcoming event. Camilla takes it as a way to get to know Ivan better and agrees to coach him.

So far, I was ok with it. The writing was alright. But then, Ivan’s needs for total control comes out in an awkward situation (in his workplace *eye roll*), where Camilla finally gets to learn about his kinky sex life. That takes her by total surprise I tell you. Since Camilla has never been into BDSM, after gaining her assent (I mean, of course, she would do anything to sleep with her hunky neighbor!), Ivan begins teaching her the ways of BDSM, as she tries to coach him through his social awkwardness.

The whole premise should’ve held me enthralled because it had the ingredients. But, as I said, it didn’t. My first trouble was, I didn’t like Camilla’s ‘anything to sleep with my hunky neighbor’ attitude. This kinda made her unappealing to me. And Ivan was a stranger to me all through the book. For me, he was going Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and not in a very sexy way. I felt no connection between Ivan and Camilla, as I myself felt no connection with them. This is very important to me when I read a book. There was decided lack of emotions, maybe it was because of Ivan’s ways, I don’t know but it bored me to tears. Since the narrative was from Camilla’s POV (first person), I never really got to have a glimpse inside Ivan’s head, which would’ve been very interesting.

Love scenes. Oh God, where do I start?! I felt nothing for those as well; uninspiring and decidedly clinical (perineum? ‘goo-covered fingers’????????? Do those sound sexy to you?). Even repetitive at times, and yawn worthy! I totally agree with my GR buddy Natasha’s review, where she said that when a guy is doing all sorts of unspeakable things to my body, he should call me the Queen of Sheba. But Ivan was totally clueless about such relationships and hurts Camilla later. His bondage club activities were a part of his fantasies, something he never played out in his ‘real world’.

My 3 star rating is because there were some parts of it I liked, i.e. some of Ivan’s description to his obsession over Camilla’s certain body parts, things that caused distractions while at his work. But those were decidedly few and far between. He was obsessed alright but mostly with teaching her BDSM. The last two chapters were much improved due to some emotional turmoil between them regarding where this ‘thing’ between them is headed to. I’m still not sure where it’s going.

Overall, a very interesting theme, for which I thank the author but the execution wasn’t satisfactory for me. Would I recommend? I think it’s a matter of preferences and opinions. You’ll probably like the things I didn’t or end up agreeing with me, who knows! 


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