The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang Book Review
The lowdown from Goodreads
Publication Date June 5, 2018
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…
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang Book Review
This book is a game changer for me. Okay, maybe I’ve said that before by this time I FOR SURE mean it. I’ve already changed since reading it. Let me tell you how.
A Reluctant Romance Reader
Okay, now I’ve dabbled a bit in Chick Lit. Jennifer Weiner’s Good In Bed is one of my favorites. But let me make this clear, I do not read romance. I grew up surrounded by PILES of Harlequin romance novels. My mom read them non-stop. We even had a pink wine glass collection she was gifted after ordering so many books. I remember the ridiculous covers & rolling my eyes when I became bored enough to read them. My momma was & is Really Into Romance, but not me.
In Comes Helen Hoang
The Kiss Quotient is ALL OVER Instagram. The cover looks cute enough & I love the idea of a reverse Pretty Woman style novel. What I love even more is a heroine who happens to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I bought the book & thought, I’ll read it soon. Then, I read this article with Helen discussing how writing The Kiss Quotient helped her process her own ASD diagnosis. I read this book the very next day.
Someone I love very deeply is diagnosed with ASD. Helen clearly states in the foreword that this is a representation of Stella & that every person diagnosed with ASD is completely different. I just wanted to scream that from the rooftops & yell, “YESSSS!” I believe Helen does a wonderful job of integrating Stella’s ASD into the story in a way that is respectful, clear & insightful. Basically, I am HERE for it.
Maybe I Love Romance After All
A few reviewers described The Kiss Quotient as “steamy” & “racy”. I thought, sure there will be SOME sex.
Let’s be REAL. The Kiss Quotient is rated R. There’s sex, foreplay, oral sex, intimacy, cuddling, touching, stroking & I FREAKING LOVED IT. I would read a part, look around, blink my eyes a few times & go back for more. While I’ll admit this old prude was taken aback, I loved every minute of this book.
ASD, Love & Sex
Stella hires Michael, who is a male escort. This means he has sex with people for money. Why I was expecting a cute cuddly chick lit tale is beyond me. Stella wants to learn to cultivate a sexual bond & relationship. With Stella’s ASD comes the difficulty of living in the gray area of dating, flirting & establishing a healthy romantic relationship.
Helen captures Stella’s desire & need to learn sex & intimacy from a more black & white & clearcut learning style. This to me is THE story. Michael is patient, kind & understanding with Stella which allows her to feel safe & experience true intimacy. He adapts to her & that’s what we all want, need & deserve in a partner.
Damn, I am REALLY Into This book! It’s funny, sweet, touching, memorable, sexy & I love the characters!
Because of Helen Hoang & The Kiss Quotient, I’ve added more romance to my TBR. While reading The Kiss Quotient, I realized I would not have picked it up had I known there was such a large romance component. This made me feel like shit. I realized I would have missed out on an amazing book because of a preconceived notion about romance novels. So, my friends- send me your romance recommendations! I’m all in!
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Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since.
In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT, which comes out in June 2018 with Berkley.
She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.
Helen is represented by Kim Lionetti of BookEnds Literary Agency.