Delphine Dryden’s The Theory of Attraction

[NSFW and some spoilers, too.]

My short review of this book is: Go buy it.

I’ll get to that right after I go for my 6:30pm run.

[Look at that cover!!!!]

Plot summary from Dryden’s website:

Camilla can set her watch by her hunky rocket-scientist neighbor who jogs past her window each day. She relishes each glimpse of his shirtless abs, and is dying to see more. But it’s hard to connect with a man who doesn’t seem to know she exists…

Ivan feels at home in the lab, not in social situations. When he finally approaches his attractive neighbor, it’s not for a date—he wants tutoring in how to behave at an important fundraiser. But before long their explosive chemistry leads Ivan to propose a few private lessons of his own.

Cami soon discovers Ivan’s schedule isn’t the only thing he likes to be strict about—he needs to be charge in the bedroom as well. She’s shocked at how much she comes to enjoy her submissive side, but wonders if a real relationship is in the equation…

It took me about a quarter of this book to get into it. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to hang in through that first quarter. I believe the frustration for me in this part of the book was that it’s written from the first person perspective of Camilla. I didn’t understand Ivan and there was no insight at all because Cami didn’t really understand him either.

But then. BUT THEN. The car ride. If you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about. It is to this very moment that Dryden had been building up and, in the end, it is worth it.

It turns out that we don’t know much about Ivan because if we knew too much about him that moment in the car when he first asserts who he really is, it would not jump up off the page and pull you right into the story. And it does. It grabbed me like a really snug cuff around my ankle or a clamp on my…no…and I couldn’t have turned away from the page even if I had wanted to.

This book is hot. If I had to pick another word to describe this book it would be…HAWT.

I’m going to hate myself for this next sentence (Dryden may, too, and that’s okay): Dryden does in The Theory of Attraction what everyone wanted James to have done in Fifty Shades. She incorporates the initiation of a new submissive into a BDSM relationship where the dominant does not act abusive, where consent is key, and…yes…the writing is good.

Plus, did I mention this book is HOT?

“Don’t come,” he reminded me. Which was good, because I’d forgotten I wasn’t supposed to, and I was damn close. I wanted him inside me, too, though, almost more than I wanted to come. So I exhaled one, two, three long, deep breaths, and willed my body to be patient. But he kept going, working my clit in a steady, inescapable rhythm that I couldn’t resist for long.

“Please, Ivan,” I finally cried out, desperate for release.

The mouth of the delight wet wonderment went away. “Professor,” he said patiently, and for a moment I thought he was going to start spanking me again.

Instead he positioned his cock at my entrance and pushed halfway in on a single thrust, seating himself fully with the second. A little rough, and faster than I’d expected. And perfect.

I was made for this man to fuck.

Additionally, I love the awkwardness of Ivan that Dryden paints:

“The problem is, you kind of brought the mood down,” I pointed out, a little breathlessly, as he worked on me with a soapy washcloth. “She wanted to talk about her trip, and you made her talk about how she didn’t like it.”

“She wanted to talk about that,” Ivan insisted. “You could tell from her choice of words and the way her mouth moved when she spoke that she hadn’t enjoyed the trip, despite what she was saying. Yet she raised the topic, so obviously she wanted to talk about it.”

It was difficult to explain the concept of a party pooper to somebody who didn’t really get the concept of a party.


This is a deliciously naughty book with a soft center of a story that will make you swoon.

I happily give The Theory of Attraction 4 out of 5 stars and have added it to “My Favorite Romance Novels” list.


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