Thursday, May 24, 2018

Review—The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Publisher: Berkley Romance 
Published: June 5, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4.5 Stars 

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

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...

The Kiss Quotient first had me when I heard about how adorably awkward the heroine, Stella was. I’ve now read and finished the book, only to realize that while she may be adorably awkward, she’s so much more than that. Stella is the type of character that has you wishing she were your best friend because she’s so completely honest and kind. It’s hard not to fall in love with her charm and naivety. 

Stella is need of some loving—more like she needs help perfecting the act of intimacy. So she does what any intelligent and wealthy woman would do and hires an escort. Enter Michael—said escort. One of the coolest (and best) things about the book is the fact that all the roles were reversed. Instead of a wealthy man picking up an escort; it’s the woman. Think Pretty Woman in reverse! Stella has the status and the money, even if she doesn’t quite fit the mold of how an insanely rich person would act. 

Michael is just trying to survive and help out his family the only way he knows how—by selling his body for money. When he and Stella meet for the first time, she treats him as an equal, not someone that she’s paying for
intimacy. The thing is, Stella starts wanting his expertise in more than just sex. Michael doesn’t do repeat clients for many reasons though. So why can’t he stop thinking of her?

I loved, adored, and cried such happy tears while reading this book. It’s one that’s completely unique to the genre, in my humble opinion. I loved the fact that the hero is Vietnamese (well part anyways) and the heroine has Aspergers. Huang brings us something completely fresh and in the process will hopefully help open the eyes of those who don’t understand autism as well. I feel like this is a changing point for the autistic community (and those with other forms of disabilities) as a whole. You aren’t alone. 

Diverse books are absolutely something we need more of—and this one will most certainly not disappoint. It’s smart and sexy—a lethal combination! Seriously, if you’re in need of something sexy yet romantic, and a hero that genuinely cares about those around him, including the heroine, pick this up. You won’t regret it! These characters will stay with you long after you finish reading. 

About the Author:
Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since. In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT. She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.

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