Published by Berkley Books on June 5, 2018
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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 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...
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
How do you write a coherent review for a book that was endlessly more delightful than you could ever have hoped? The Kiss Quotient is an example of a book that perfectly delivers on an excellent premise (and an amazing cover, let’s be honest).
The characters are what make this romance stand out. Stella, our heroine, is an econometrician who hires a male escort, Michael, to teach her the ins and outs of dating. I always love romances with STEM heroines! Stella unashamedly loves math, mathematical puzzles, and her job– I love that she’s unapologetic in the things she’s passionate about. Plus, Stella is autistic, and this representation is #ownvoices. I loved reading from the perspective of a neurodivergent main character. Our hero, Michael, is mixed-race: half Vietnamese and half Swedish. I think what makes him so swoony is that, underneath it all, he has such a heart of gold. Everything he does, he does to help out his family, and he doesn’t expect anything in return.
It’s told through dual POVs, and both Michael and Stella’s voices shone through beautifully. I never once questioned which character’s perspective I was reading– the author did a great job of differentiating between them. I think dual POV worked well for The Kiss Quotient because we got clear insight into the characters’ feelings and what was going on inside their heads.
I mean, obviously, we have to discuss the romance itself. It was PERFECT. The tension, the swooniness, the steamy scenes (of which there are many, please be advised), the vulnerability… Helen Hoang described it all in such delicious detail. I genuinely had butterflies while reading this book. The characters make mistakes, but they own up to them, and they are patient with one another. Idk, it was refreshing to read such a healthy relationship, honestly. Plus, like, it was really, really hot.
Overall, The Kiss Quotient ticked all the boxes for me. Standout main characters, excellent representation, and a perfectly-written romantic relationship. If you’re looking for your next romance read, look no further!
Have you read The Kiss Quotient? If so, let’s fangirl together in the comments! If not, did I convince you to add it to your TBR yet?