Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Series: The Kiss Quotient #1
Publish Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Berkley

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...

This book had me grinning ear to ear when I was reading some of the scenes. I was immediately hooked from the start because it depicted a situation that was so unique but also relatable (for someone who has had little experience with dating as well). 

Stella is an accomplished and high-functioning econometrician who also happens to be autistic. Her mother has been pressuring her to pursue a relationship but none of the men in the past have been right for her in the past as she struggles to be physically intimate with people. She believes that she has relationship problems so she hires Michael, a half Vietnamese half Caucasian escort, to teach her and give her lessons on how to be physically intimate and be her 'practice boyfriend'. However, Michael has a rule with his clients--no repeat sessions. When Stella makes him an offer to be her practice boyfriend, Michael continues to see her and their relationship starts blossoming into something real.

This was such a breezy read and I loved the dynamic between Michael and Stella. It was so cute seeing their interactions and their relationship was very precious and their chemistry was off the page. The depiction of Stella's autism was realistic and definitely added to her characterization. There were plenty of steamy moments and their interactions were very endearing. I loved how Michael helped Stella get over her fears of physical intimacy and made her feel comfortable like a decent man should. He was deeply respectful of Stella and made sure that she was 100% comfortable before proceeding. This made the sex scenes so much more enjoyable and provided a good depiction of what sex should be like in real life.

This book deeply touches on the subject of consent which is a very important aspect of relationships and dating. It also portrays the idea of loving someone entirely despite their quirks and differences, which Michael does so perfectly and respectably. Michael was very kind, thoughtful, patient; he truly respects her and puts her pleasure and enjoyment first before his own. There was nothing forced about their relationship and it all unfolded so naturally as they slowly realize their feelings for one another.

I liked how refreshing and well developed the characters were, especially Stella's quirks and how Michael was so perfect for her in every regard. The autism factor was quite unique. It taught me a bit about autism and how those with Aspergers experience the world, from needing routines to overstimulation and awkwardness in social situations, it gave a glimpse into how people with autism form relationships. It was a refreshing premise and story that was compelling, sweet, and fun. If you are looking for a great romance novel with good characterization, sweet and steamy scenes, and two characters that you can fall in love with, then this book is a must-read!

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