More like 3.5 stars
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A free copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for a review.
Every now and then a book comes along that challenged the expectation and clichés of the genre it has been placed in. The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryer is one of these books. Forget the cover; forget what you think you know about this genre because this book is something else. It is BDSM meets The Big Bang Theory. I wasn’t sure the two together would work yet somehow it did. Dryer has literally taken the erotic romance/BDSM handbook and ripped it up.
I knew things were a little different when I read this:
“He’s very much an acquired taste, and it took me a good year at least to realise I’d acquired it.”
At first I was confused; did that mean the male character was not jaw dropingly, thigh quivering hot? In a way it did, Ivan is not the normal romantic hero. He is a scientist, a nerd and is completely socially inept. I don’t mean he is shy or unconfident, Ivan has real social even borderline mental issues. He also clearly has OCD. It doesn’t sound very romantic does it?...Except that it really, really is. When Ivan is being his nerd self he is beyond adorable. He is charming in his own geeky way and is completely lovable (he reminded me a lot of Reed in Criminal Minds which did not hurt at all.) It was not hard to see why Camilla was so utterly taken with him.
Camilla is another thing that this book does differently. She doesn’t come from a bad or abusive background. She doesn’t have trust issues. She isn’t a push over and neither is she too stubborn for her own good. Camilla is a normal woman like you and me (unless you are a dude.) She is funny, realistic and impossible to dislike. I love the way she interacts with Ivan, the way she understands his awkward nature. I also love the way she obsesses and pines over him, it is really amusing (let’s face it we’ve all been there.) But what she doesn’t know is that Ivan is not just a control freak nerd, he also likes control in the more private and personal areas of his life…like the bedroom. It turns out that despite appearances Ivan is a Domme.
It is with the introduction of kinky sex scenes that this book nose-dived ever so slightly. I think it is hard to write romantic BDSM sex and I felt the romantic spark between Ivan and Camilla diminished when it was introduced. I much preferred the ‘vanilla’ sex between the two. It was a lot more emotional and suited them, as a couple a lot better. I think a lot of it is down to personal preference. I have no problem with BDSM but the heavier it is the less attractive I find it. This book does get heavy at times. There is flogging, chains, anal, plugs, blindfolds and clamps, so it is definitely not for everyone.
The first third of this book is 5 star worth and even after it is worth a high rating. It is not for the faint of heart but it has a lot more to offer than kinky sex. It is cute, funny and different from a lot of other books out there. It comes highly recommended by me.