The Seduction Hypothesis

Grade : A-
Reviewed by Dabney Grinnan
Grade : A-
Book type : Contemporary Romance
Sensuality : Burning
Review Date : March 21, 2022
Published On : 05/2013

I read The Seduction Hypothesis when it came out and enjoyed it. It was my first quasi BDSM book that sparkled with humor and I did and do love Dryden’s writing–she is another writer I sorely miss. Recently it popped up on Steals and Deals and I decided to give it a reread.

Perhaps the best thing about this story is its hero who is THE BEST. I love a man who makes a stupid mistake and then intelligently makes up for it. In Ben’s case, he stupidly broke up with his now ex-girlfriend Lindsay because he’d panicked, an act he’s since regretted. The two are both going to BeastCon and Ben decides the trip is the opportunity he needs to rewin Lindsey’s heart.

On the way there, Lindsey, a devoted graphic novel fan, is reading a master/sub comic called Balls ‘n Chain, a series Ben had kinda sorta made fun of. However, as he watches Linsey read, he realizes that the whole dom/sub thing is a BIG turn on for her. He further realizes that their relationship would work better for Lindsey if he became the sort of Master she loves reading about and, woah, does that idea turn him on.

Thus, when they arrive at the convention, Ben embarks upon a smart and appropriately dominate seduction of Lindsey. It’s the best campaign to get a girl out of her Slave Leia costume I’ve read since Jackie Ashenden’s Having Her.

The Seduction Hypothesis is lovely. It’s funny, emotionally engaging, and the dialog pops. Ben knows he can’t just come in and boss Lindsey around–even though she wants SOME bossing around. So, as he morphs into Master Ben, he runs everything he’s doing by Lindsey. This book, written in 2013, does consent well in large part because Ben is such a sweetheart. He not only tells Lindsey what he’s going to do–it’s clear she can always say NO–but he tells her why he wants them to do it.

In Dryden’s hands, discussions about butt plugs, paddles, and any number of other kinks are sexy and sweet. Here’s Ben talking to Lindsey about how and why he wants to paddle her.

“I can’t stop thinking about doing all that to you. Not just the spanking, either, a lot more. A lot. If anybody is going to do that stuff to you, I want it to be me. Nobody. Else.”

She was so accustomed to thinking of him as cute, as harmless. The kind of man who would never hurt a fly. Softly focused, with his sandy hair and indeterminate hazel eyes, vacillating about his career. She’d never seen this version of him until last night’s assertive kiss, this razor-sharp Ben who knew what he wanted and seemed potentially ruthless about getting it.

But still. “Just because you think that’s what I wanted you to do before?” The music shifted gears, growing louder, and the bass drum throbbed through her bones in a maddening primal beat.

Ben shook his head and leaned closer, until their lips were almost touching. “No. Because the thought of putting you over my knee and smacking your perfect butt until it looks like my handprint’s tattooed on there makes me so hard I can barely walk. It made me hard before, too, but I was a fucking idiot and thought I had to feel guilty about getting turned on by shit like that. I’m willing to work on my guilt issues if you’re willing to let me take you up to that hotel room right now and violate you eight ways from Sunday.”

Oh, oh, oh…

I’m with Lindsey.

Ben and Lindsey, their friends Ivan and Cami–the couple from the first book in Ms. Dryden’s The Science of Temptation series, The Theory of Attraction– and the world of comic cons are all well rendered and very funny. We see both Lindsey’s and Ben’s thoughts and reactions and both are strongly limned and give their characters depth.

This BDSM love story has lots of smoking sex just as one wants in a winning contemporary romance.  As I always wish it were, the passion the leads share is an integral part of the love they have for one another. I recommend The Seduction Hypothesis to anyone who’s looking for love, laughter, lust, and spreader bars. Just don’t blame me if, when you’re done reading it, you’re super sad Ms. Dryden isn’t writing enchanting, witty love stories any more.

Buy it at: Amazon or Audible

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Dabney Grinnan

Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day. Publisher at AAR.
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