My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
The Seduction Hypothesis is the second book of Delphine Dryden’s The Science of Temptation series. TBH, it was fun and I mostly enjoyed it.
This book was definitely much better than the first installment, The Theory of Attraction, as I was not fond of that one. I was disappointed largely because the premise was promising but IMO, the delivery wasn’t. I didn’t think there’d be a series. When I started reading, I remembered from book 1 that Lindsey and Ben were having some trouble in their relationship. It was hinted at but not explored.
Lindsey is Cami’s friend. Cami or Camilla is the h of book 1. We get glimpse of her and Ivan, the rocket scientist with Asperger’s syndrome, who surprised Cami by introducing her into BDSM. No one would’ve guessed that he’s actually in such things! Cami was fascinated by Ivan since the beginning. Then through him, she also discovers her hidden sub persona.
Lindsey seemed to me like one of those Goth chicks with piercings in places that-shall-not-be-named and hair colored bright red, but she’s also a ‘nerd’. Ben too, on the nerd part, which is why they thought they’re such a match for each-other. But sadly, things didn’t work out well. Suddenly, Ben broke up with Lindsey. It seemed like Ivan was one of the reasons behind it, though Ben never acknowledged that. There is something about Ivan or specifically his ‘hypnotic cobra stare’ (Lmao) that got to Lindsey, and Ben couldn’t take it. Lindsey’s secret attraction for BDSM lifestyle was another reason. I mean he has never thought of ‘that kinda’ thing, now suddenly his girlfriend is hinting at stuff he knows nothing about. It freaked him, so misunderstandings were inevitable.
Ben and Lindsey both hurt each-other, avoided each-other for the better part of the year. But now they’re going to the BeastCon, together with some other friends, including Ivan and Cami. Ben is not happy about Ivan accompanying them. But he still didn’t know that some things would certainly change for them in that journey. As the story progressed, Ben and Lindsey learn that Ivan and Cami are into BDSM (which surprises them a lot). Then, there was Ben’s own discoveries concerning BDSM, and Lindsay’s ultimate place in his life. Lindsey also had to come to a decision; can she trust Ben again with her heart?
One of the funny scenes of the book was Ben’s first day at a BDSM shop. A really, really gauche pink BDSM shop to be precise. But he was also very determined to get Lindsey back, and for that he shops to his heart’s content. He also does researches on various nuances of BDSM. Soon enough, they get to experiment it too. Something about Ben’s confident, Master-like attitude seduces Lindsey. It was like an all-new Ben, and she’s still in love with him. So they can’t help but ‘try out’ the stuff Ben’s been researching about (yes, there were... erm, activities involved while Ben researched, which told him that he’s going to enjoy doing ‘stuff’ to Lindsey!). *snickers*
Lindsey had this obsession over a BDSM comic book called ‘Balls’n’Chain’. Ben didn’t like her reading it at the beginning of their relationship. In BeastCon, Lindsey has planned to dress up as one of her favorite characters in it, called Sub Red, mainly for the costume competition. She looks much like the character (with her small body and dyed red hair that was purposely done for this). To top it all off, Lindsey gets the opportunity to work with the group behind this comic book. They were staging shows for people with scenes from the book and ask her to be the replacement Sub Red.
Now here were some stuff I didn’t like. I knew what Lindsey is going to get since the comic book is all about BDSM and sex, so spanking would’ve been involved. Even then I didn’t find it interesting of Lindsey getting spanked by someone in that group, in front of the public and enjoying it too. Well, she did try to imagine Ben at his place... *eyeroll* Then there was the Sub Red costume itself; airy, and... airy .. with strategically placed straps and nothing else. I couldn’t imagine how Lindsey went to eat out with Ben, Cami and Ivan in that dress after her day with the comic group! Even if it was a costume!! Seriously??? She clearly felt very bad when some guy propositioned her. Ben does his best to save her from the man (she dubs it as ‘Ben feeling like the bigger gorilla’, huh? The guy was just trying to help you!). IMO, don’t mean to sound preachy but it’s always better not to give people the opening to act that way, rather than regretting it later.
Throughout the story, what I really liked was the dialogues because those had plenty of funny innuendoes, mostly coming from Ben (clue: hypnotic cobra stare... I still can’t get over it lol). Sex scenes were also much improved, another plus point. Though, in the end, I was debating whether or not Ben is going to stick to his new-found Dom persona (he just never felt like the type to me), the story ended on a positive note. Overall, a light and quick read. 3.5 stars.
I received a review copy from Carina Press in exchange of an honest review.