The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang
Release date: 30 May 2018
Book Depository link
The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1) blurb:
Stella Lane thinks mathematics 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 far 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. Gorgeous and conflicted, Michael 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 of the other things he’s making her feel. 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…
This story was so cute. I loved the characters, the situations and the writing. Definitely a highlight of the year, and one I am glad that I eventually picked up!!
So, meet Stella. She’s obsessive about data and the way that it works, but she doesn’t really get people. But that’s ok because they tend not to get her either. Until she finds one that just might get her after all.
I must say, for a romance novel, I found this one a bit twisty with the plot – or maybe it was that the characters were far more than the usual two-dimensional ones that I normally read about. Both Stella and Michael had DEPTH. Like, Pacific Ocean DEPTH. There were reasons and motivations, and sometimes they had the most surprising pieces of their character that I was not expecting at all.
I also really liked how their families played big parts in the story, and not just as pressure points. Both main characters had really supportive and loving families. They may not see eye to eye on everything, but you got the sense that if they made a final decision, it would be backed by those closest to them.
The romance itself was a bit hot and heavy, but also gentle. It was the slowest of slow-burn, as Michael introduced new concepts to Stella, to ensure he was checking items off her list of course! But it was also sweet and not at all uncomfortable or forced.
There were a couple of sections where Michael contemplates some things around having an influence over Stella, which I did baulk at, but I think the point was for the reader to also think about this type of situation – not that he would necessarily do this.
I believe the author, Helen Hoang is an #ownvoices Autism writer, and the way Stella’s Asperger’s was handled felt considerate and careful to me, although I only have limited experience with the Autism spectrum. Once when I had a research role, I had a boss with Asperger’s and he used to come and ask me the randomest questions (once about the mating habits of pandas, which has ZERO relevance to my job), but Stella reminded me so much of him in very little ways, like not being aware that something they said was quite funny, and the single-minded determination. I thought it was handled quite well.
Overall, the book was a solid 5 stars for me. And, I’m very much looking forward to reading The Bride Test this month!
Sofii @ A Book. A Thought.
Amazing Review! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I was going to read this one for the Smutathon, but I didn’t get to do it, maybe now I read it anyway ?✨?
It’s really sweet!! I hope you like it!!
Beware Of The Reader
I love your review Meeghan and you are right about Helen Hoang being autist too.
I just finished The Bride Test about 5 minutes ago. I want to rerate The Kiss Quotient lower because I loved The Bride Test way more… do you think it’s too late?? ?
Yes!!!! I loved the Kiss Quotient when I read it and it makes me so happy that you did too. ?
I did!! I actually just finished The Bride Test last night, and I think I liked it better!! (And now I want to rate TKQ lower?! Halp me!!)
OMG nooooo why?
Not because I love it any less, just because I want to rate The Bride Test higher!!!! ?
Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical
I’m so damn happy you loved this, Meeghan!! It was one of my top favorites last year, while The Bride Test is one of my favorites this year, so I’m definitely curious how you’ll like that. 🙂 Fully agree about the characters having depth – I found them really well-rounded and complex. Fantastic review. 🙂
OMG I LOVED The Bride Test even more!! I was writing my review last night, and just CRYING the whole time. I get Khai. Basically, everything Helen Hoang writes is magic and I relate on so many levels!!
Yeah this was surprisingly twisty!! I liked how the family played a big part too. And it was such a cute story- glad you enjoyed it! Excellent review!
Thanks!! Yeah, I wish we had seen a bit more of Stella and Michael’s family in The Kiss Quotient. And also more Khai!! I want him in everything.