BOOK REVIEW⎜The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

MY RATING

✓Male Escort
✓Autistic heroine
✓Pretend relationship

Do I even need to say more?

Book Infos

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…

Author : Helen Hoang
Title : The Kiss Quotient
Series : The Kiss Quotient #1

Number of pages : 336
Publisher : Berkley Romance
Release Date :  June 6th 2018
Genre : Contemporary.

My Review

I. AM. OBSESSED.
From the moment I’ve read the blurb for The Kiss Quotient , I knew—I KNEW— it was going to be my 2018 treat.
And do you know what I do with my treats? I make them last. I draw the pleasure out. I savour them.
That’s exactly what I’ve been doing with Helen Hoang‘s remarkable debut.

And you know I was pretty much sold with the book knowing these few facts :
-heroine has Asperger.
-hero is an escort (I have a real thing for Escorts in romance, don’t ask, it’s just hot and mysterious).
-pretend relationship.

But even knowing the heroine hires an escort, I don’t know why—maybe the cover, or the shy smile’s on the author official picture— I thought The Kiss Quotient would be a whole lot sweet, a little awkward, and plenty swoony.


What I hadn’t expected was the level of STEAM, hot sex and angsty feels! Guys, my heart hurt, my heart swooned, my heartbeat quickened, and my feels were all over the place. The Kiss Quotient was sex focused, yes, but the heroine’s issues to become intimate weren’t glossed over.

Helen Hoang kept me on the edge of my seat (ok I was lying in bed all night, so what. Details) and had me entirely too obsessed in seeing through Stella and Michael’s HEA.
Her “not so perfect for in our society” characters turned out to be pretty much an ideal. I’m daring you not to root for these two to stop pretending and become a real couple!
Stella altough perfectly aware of her social skills defect, was determined to live her life regardless. Even if it meant trying to overcome issues she has very little control over. Some scenes where she finds herself unable to understand social “etiquette” were truly heartbreaking.

Stella’s shortcomings didn’t make her weak, I was glad to discover a driven and strong heroine, no self-inflicted pity party for Stella. She was in constant adaptive mode, collecting new data, processing and moving on.
I adored Michael’s gentle and caring nature, the patience he relentlessly demonstrated toward Stella made of him a real hero with a golden heart.

As much as I tried to make my treat last, I ended devouring The Kiss Quotient. It’s impossible not to fall in love with Stella and her daily struggles to fit in, impossible not to wish for a Michael, impossible not to share shy smiles with Me, Ngoài, and laugh at Michael’s sisters bickering.

Even if I was a tiny bit disappointed with the way Michael’s secret profession blew over near the end (predictable and unimaginative), I spent an amazing time and was left wanting more.

I’m in love with this book and a little obsessed with this author.

-I do not look like Daniel Henney.
-No, you look better.

EXCERPT
“The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang. ©

Excerpt “The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang  ©

“You’ve watched Pretty Woman too many times. Kissing doesn’t mean anything, and it’s always best if you’re not thinking too much in bed. Trust me,” he said.

Her mouth thinned into a stubborn line. “This is too important for me not to think. I’d rather not kiss anymore if you don’t mind.”

Michael’s irritation redoubled, and he forced his hands to relax before he popped all his blood vessels. How the hell had he gotten himself into this? Ah yes, he’d been worried about his escort colleagues taking advantage of her. Stupid of him. His life was complicated enough without worrying about his clients. This was exactly why he had the one-session policy.

He would have backed out—it was tempting—but he’d promised. He always carried through on his promises. It was his way of balancing out the universe. His dad had broken enough promises for the both of them.

“All right,” he made himself say. “No kissing.”

“Do the other plans look okay?” she asked.

He forced himself to read them and found them pretty similar, only she’d moved from hand jobs to blowjobs and changed the sexual positions.

Amused despite himself, he said, “I’m surprised you used the terms ‘doggy style’ and ‘cow girl.’”

Her cheeks went bright red, and she adjusted her glasses. “I’m inexperienced, not clueless.”

“Your plans are missing something important.” He held his hand out, and she placed the pen in his palm with wary motions.

She tilted her head to the side as she watched him write FOREPLAY at the top of all the plans in capital letters. As an afterthought, he drew a box in front of each iteration with hard stabs of the pen.

“But why? I was under the impression men don’t need it.”

“You do,” he said flatly.

She wrinkled her nose and shook her head. “You don’t have to bother with me.”

He narrowed his eyes. “It’s not a bother. Most men like foreplay. I do. Getting a woman hot is satisfying as hell.” Besides, he was not having sex with her if she wasn’t ready. No fucking way.

Swallowing, she stared down at the menu. “So you’re saying I don’t have a chance to improve.”

“What? No.” His mind scrambled to figure out why she might say that and came up with nothing.

“You saw how I reacted. It was one button.”

“And then you slept with me all night. You were basically naked, and you cling.”

“Are you two ready to order?” the waitress interjected. Judging by the amused glimmer in her eyes, she’d caught the last part of their conversation.

Stella perused the dinner options, her nails picking at the fabric edging of the menu.

“We’ll have the special,” Michael said.

“Wise choice. I’ll leave you to it.” The waitress winked, gathered the menus, and disappeared.

“What’s the special?” Stella asked.

“I have no idea. Let’s hope it’s not woolly.”

A troubled frown bracketed her mouth, and she leaned forward hesitantly, meeting his eyes for the briefest second. “What exactly do you mean by ‘cling?’”

Michael grinned. “It means you like to cuddle when you’re asleep.”

“Oh.”

She looked so horrified Michael couldn’t help laughing. “I confess to liking it.” Which was the truth, and unlike him. Cuddling was an obligatory thing he did for his clients because he understood they needed it. He usually spent the time counting the seconds until he could leave and go home to shower. Holding Stella had been nothing like that. They hadn’t had sex, so there’d been nothing to wash away, and the trusting way she’d curled into him had made him feel things he didn’t want to think about.

Camille's Review

This review is brought to you by Camille, a.k.a “The Angry Reader“.
We seem to share a common taste for awesome books and blunt reviews. Check out her blog at The Angry Reader  where the motto is “Painfully Honest Book Reviews“!

The Angry Reader Review

RATING

If you’re looking for a contemporary that’s smart, different and thoughtful this is your book.

Two real characters in a somewhat unrealistic story. Michael, an escort, is hired by Stella, an econometrician with high functioning autism. I. Loved. Them. Stella had so many layers and about 100000 idiosyncrasies with which I could sympathize. She made for an inserting, compelling and compassionate heroine without a simper or a snipe. I cannot stress to you how real Stella feels to me. Michael made for a good hero – worried, thoughtful, kind, steamy and struggling. He was perfect for Stella.

One of the draws, I think, of paranormals or historicals is how they let the reader completely separate from reality. I don’t know how a werewolf or a duke dates. I’m not bound by the rules when I read something from 1890 or something that involves a character that feeds on blood. Even a lot of contemporaries are so action-heavy as to be comfortably ridiculous. That buys the author a lot of freedom. However, modern dating is something I know. (Despite being out of the game for 10 years.) I think it’s challenging to craft a story that feels realistic yet keeps the reader’s attention. So I’m not holding that much against this book.

Girls like me intimidate boyfriends away. Girls like me have never been asked out by a single boy. Girls like me have to find their own way, make their own luck. I’ve had to fight for every success in my life, and I’m going to fight for this.

If you’re looking for a contemporary that’s smart, different and thoughtful this is your book.

Author Bio & Links

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.

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