Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Publication Day: June 5th, 2018
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.
It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position.
Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic
Booktimistic Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
It is so rare to come across a romance novel these days with an authentic refreshing story line that is also sweet without being cheesy and sexy without getting overdone. The Kiss Quotient is that unique find, that perfect romance which is both sweet and sizzling and leaves you with a warm happy feeling.
Stella Lane is a thirty year old successful econometrician. She loves her job and is pretty satisfied with her life. The only one thing lacking in Stella’s life is a relationship. However, she is not very keen about being in one either, because her last handful of experiences weren’t good and also because Stella has Aspergers Syndrome – a high functioning form of Autism, which makes her slightly socially awkward.
Since her mother keeps insisting that she needs to find a partner and start a family, Stella is determined to make her happy. But finding a partner and starting a family would require sex, and Stella thinks she’s not good at it, or rather really bad when it comes to any form of touching. So, she thinks the problem analytically and figures the only solution is to practice, get good at sex and being in a relationship before actually being in one. So, she hires an escort, Michael Pham and proposes that he teach her everything required in a happy successful relationship. She even has a proper lesson plan made.
Michael Pham is a totally gorgeous, half Swedish half Vietnamese (think Daniel Henney, only hotter) part time escort, who is forced to be in this line of work in order to deal with severe financial and family issues. When Michael meets Stella, he is stunned that she would think about needing an escort to learn the nuances of a relationship. To him, she appears perfect, but after Stella manages to convince him that she really needs help, he agrees to guide her step-by-step.
Michael and Stella are both amazingly crafted characters. Their interaction was a perfect blend of funny and sweet and their chemistry just oh so steamy. It was a delight reading about how they both developed as characters, defeating their fears, overcoming their limitations and facing all of life’s challenges and falling for each other.
The Kiss Quotient is easily one of my favorite reads of this year. It is sweet, sexy, diverse, and also smartly voices an essential subject aka autism that people need to be aware about. It is difficult to believe this is a debut. I’ll happily read whatever Helen Hoang writes in the future. In fact, I cannot wait for her next book to come out! All of you romance readers, be ready to swoon!
Here’s a cute fun book trailer that I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: An e-ARC provided by Berkley via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.