I bought this book on the recommendation of my best book gal and aspiring pre-published author, Susan. She is in deep book love with this author, having mentioned her name enough times at the last RT Booklover Convention that it hovers in the back of my mind while I am asleep. Another term that comes up in connection with Delphine Dryden is “nerd romance” or “nerd kink,” and you better believe that both are present in this first book of the series. Set in Houston, Texas, the characters in this 120-ish page novella are very real and…a little bit on the nerdy side.
Camilla is the somewhat more down to earth and less obsessive compulsive neighbor to the hunky rocket scientist Ivan. When Ivan comes to her after two years of acquaintance-friendship and asks her to groom him for an upcoming social event at the college where he works, things start to heat up between the two neighbors. Ivan and Camilla start to see each other in a much different light, and the revelations that Camilla experiences about Ivan are a huge surprise. The peeling back of Ivan’s character is a revelation to the reader, too, and an introduction for both Camilla and reader into the world of bondage, discipline/dominance, submission/sadism and masochism (BDSM).
As an introduction to BDSM romance, it does not come more clean and sweet than this type of work. The relationship between the two main characters has a few rough spots, and I can honestly say that I am not sure if I could have reacted the way that either of the characters did, but I did enjoy reading and watching the evolution of the relationship. Delphine was able to capture that moment when two people come together in a smash of lust and anticipation while highlighting the finer aspects of nerd personality/socialization issues. The sex was steamy and well written, and the story was started and finished within a few hours. I feel that fans of BDSM, or people who are kind of on the fence about BDSM, fans of nerd love, and contemporary romance fans would enjoy this book.
I am not surprised that Delphine Dryden has contributed a section titled “So You Think You Can Kink” which deals with writing BDSM to the How to Write Hot Sex compilation created by many steamy romance authors. She really is just that good. What does surprise me is that she has a steampunk collection, which is a genre that I do not think sees as many published novels in comparison with the other romance subgenres. I will definitely be looking into more works by this author.