*I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
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…
Review: This book is basically a gender swapped Pretty Woman but it’s written with a half Asian love interest and it’s #ownvoices with an autistic protagonist. It’s honestly been one of the best contemporary romances that I have ever read! This story will make you laugh, cry, and fall so deeply for the characters that you don’t want it to end. It’s such an authentic take on modern-day romance and it completely defies logic at every turn.
Stella Lane has always preferred numbers over people. She never dates, has zero social life, and follows the same routine every day. Stella has always been bothered by the fact that her autism seems to separate her from everyone else and she never tells anyone because she doesn’t want looks of pity. It’s after her mom tells her that she needs to start dating that makes her wonder if there is a way to get over her own awkwardness with men. The only problem is that Stella hates sex. She loathes the feeling of kissing and hates when people touch her. The few times she has had sex were unpleasant, to say the least, and she wants to find someone who can teach her to be better at it.
Michael only escorts because he desperately needs the money. His mountain of debt isn’t going anywhere soon and he believes that selling his body is the perfect solution. He knows how to rock a woman’s world, but for one night only. Michael has learned the hard way not to see a client twice. He is expecting Stella to be some older woman who saw his picture and wanted his body. Michael never expected to see a beautiful young woman who claims to be terrible at sex. Her proposal breaks his number one rule, but he can’t resist wanting to help Stella. Besides, she’s offering enough money to pay off his bills.
As the lessons in sex progress, Stella realizes that she needs more than just a physical connection with a man and asks Michael to pretend to date her. They try to keep their relationship professional, but they fall for each other anyway. The only thing keeping them apart is the fact that they both have secrets that could scare the other away.
I was honestly so moved by this book because Stella was so quirky and charming and she says whatever is on her mind. Her strength was astounding and I love that she was able to overcome her insecurities throughout the course of the book and just be proud of who she is. I can’t say personally whether or not the depiction of autism was good or not, but I love the awareness that this book promotes.
I will definitely say that Michael’s family is my favourite! His grandma totally reminded me of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid for some reason and I love it! It was also amazing that Michael already knew how to cope with Stella’s autism (even when he didn’t know she had it) because his cousin is also autistic.
This book seriously melted my heart and made me swoon! I can’t wait for more Helen Hoang! She is definitely a romance author to watch out for. My heart honestly feels so full and i can’t remember the last time I became so emotionally invested in a book.
P.S. For all you K-drama fans, Michael supposedly resembles Daniel Henney!