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The Theory of Attraction

The Theory of Attraction  - Delphine Dryden Hey, I don’t know why exactly, because you can be a jerk sometimes, but I think your heart is in the right place and your jerkiness seems to arouse me. Let’s have sex.The happy couple....Camilla is a computer programmer who uses her training in social anthropology to evaluate her nerdy neighbors – especially the guy who runs shirtless at exactly the same time every day. Ivan is an awkwardly arrogant scientist who has discovered how to deal with his sexual urges in a controlled environment.The setting....A college campus and an apartment complex inhabited by overachieving misfits.The storytelling....This is what kept the story from an A grade for me. The first-person narration made it hard to connect with the heroine – we hardly get to know her because the story is all about Ivan, and I sometimes even forgot her name. The academic drama with his physics department seemed kind of tacked-on as an external conflict.The romance....This is one of the most romantic BDSM books I’ve read. The friends-to-lovers relationship evolved naturally and realistically, in and out of the bedroom. I loved how Camilla was able to use her own scientific training to see past Ivan’s surface rudeness and need for a regimented daily schedule.And like a light bulb going on over my head, I realized both the problem and the solution.“But Ivan, you should probably finish taking care of your tomatoes first. And I need to deadhead a few roses. And then we can go up, okay?"The sheer relief on his face was equally gratifying and worrisome. Gratifying to know I’d gotten it right in one shot. Worrisome to know that he was really that bound by his routine, and by all the compartmentalizing he did to minimize his exposure to the unknown. Almost as though his entire life was one big coping strategy. I really wasn’t quite sure how to feel about that.I also found it refreshing – and more romantic – to have the erotic interludes in a plain-old condo bedroom instead of an intimidating BDSM club or (god help us) Master Ivan’s Private Sex Dungeon In His Gated Mansion.The recommendation....I will never again be able to talk to my nerd guy friends without wondering what they’re hiding under the bed.