Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient
by Helen Hoang

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... 

(cover image and synopsis lifted from Goodreads)

Series: The Kiss Quotient #1
Publisher: Berkley
Expected Publication date: June 5th 2018
Source/Format: eARC/Netgalley
Pre-order links: Amazon | iBooks | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Book Depository
My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts:
Ohhh yes! Read that “oh yes” in your most steamy and sexy bedroom voice because I think that embodies how I feel about “The Kiss Quotient”. It’s a book that I never knew I wanted. I get tired of formulaic romance plots sometimes but this one is just something I really enjoyed. If you must know, I am squealing and squiggling with swoon writing this review over here.

The book is pretty much a gender-swapped “Pretty Woman”. Stella’s job as an econometrician pays well but she needs help in dating. So she seeks help from Michael, an escort, who is swamped with piled up bills to pay. The book is in alternating third person limited PoV between the two of them. So we both know that they are perfect for each other since the beginning but they both insist on keeping the facade of their relationship all business-like. At one point, Stella finds kissing Michael too addicting and she thinks it will endanger their “strictly” professional relationship, so she imposed a wink-to-Pretty-Woman-no-kissing-on-the-mouth rule. But don’t let the thirsty romance reader in you worry because that rule gets easily broken eventually, and there were lots of “practice” kissing and more than “practice” kissing involved.

Stella and Michael based on the author's inspiration board.

Stella and Michael are both lovable characters. I like them as a couple and I like them as individuals. As individuals, they both have their struggles to overcome. Stella is having a hard time in embracing that being autistic is part of who she is a person. Aside from financial troubles, Michael is struggling being his shady father’s son. Each of them were given ample pages to accept themselves and discover themselves on their own but in the end, they also get to rescue each other. As a couple, not only is their chemistry off the charts but more importantly, they make mutual consent sexy. The highlight of mutual consent in sex is what made it an appealing and refreshing romance book for me.

Goodreads says that this is the first book of a series but it can be read as it is. The book’s ending is tied up in a beautiful HEA bow. I think the sequel/s will deal with the romance of the side characters introduced in this book. I already have another favorite character in mind that I want to fantasize read about. Hello Hellen Hoang, can you please make the next book about Michael’s cousin, Quan? Just a request, thank you.

Diversity Watch:
Stella is diagnosed with autism. Michael is half-Vietnamese, half-Swedish. #ownvoices on autism
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