The Kiss Quotient

Helen Hoang
The Kiss Quotient
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Publisher
Berkley
Release Date
June 2018
ISBN
0451490800
Series
Book 1 of The Kiss Quotient
Genre
Chick-lit, Contemporary Romance

SUMMARY
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...

Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
May 11, 2018   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
7 people found the following review helpful
The well-heeled but socially-awkward person hiring an escort for schooling in seduction with the transaction soon turning personal isn't a new one, but Helen Hoang puts a spin in this reverse Pretty-Woman tale that had me glued to the pages from start to end.

There's much I like about Ms. Hoang's debut book: the racial diversity and how some cultural norms can seem so foreign and the sensitive portrayal of people with disabilities, to start with. But I also needed to mention how much the writing shone.

It was Stella Lane however, who stood out so sharply like a diamond in the dust. A true-to-the-core heroine who deals with autism and the need for structure, the difficulty with processing emotions. And the list goes on until a fantastically-rounded character along the autism spectrum emerges: quirky, artless with no games played, truly clueless about handling people, yet really wanting to learn all she could--I loved Stella from the start, felt and hurt for her, wished things had worked out better for her without her need for an escort's services.

But where would the story be otherwise? I found it harder to care about Michael, the professional escort who put the word 'professional' in escorting because it was simply more profitable to turn what he'd already been doing for years into a job that also helped to pay the bills. But that's me--my intense dislike for manwhores, professional or not, bogged down by daddy-issues or not--and I hadn't gotten a big enough sense that Michael wanted to break out of his escorting work despite feeling it like a noose around his neck. That he was perceptive enough to know that he was trying hard to become what his father wasn't and ironically became the man who'd fallen just as far unfortunately didn't do it for me at all.

In many ways, THE KISS QUOTIENT was more of Stella's book for me despite the obvious romance written into it. It was her story that shone, her struggles and her growth that appealed. So I cheered a heroine I loved, and found myself shrugging at a hero who seemed lacklustre in comparison. With the HEA that was almost inconsequential for me, her eventual acceptance of herself felt like the ultimate triumph that I always wanted for her.
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June 23, 2018 06:10 PM ( EST )