The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1) by Helen Hoang
Publication Date: June 5th, 2018 by Berkley
Rating: 5 Stars
Genre: Contemporary, Adult, Romance
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
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…
Since its debut, The Kiss Quotient has been lauded by readers for it’s original and heartwarming romance. Contemporary romance novels are often seen as “lesser” books in the snobbery that can, unfortunately, be found in the reader community. However, romance novels treat readers to those feel-good moments that spark joy at a time we need it the most. The beauty of romance novels is in the journey. It’s in the path two souls take to reach one another. It’s in the journey in embracing one’s self and carving out an identity as individuals and as a couple. It’s in the support, the comfort, and the inspiration they find in themselves and each other. Romance novels should never be the butt of the joke in literature and The Kiss Quotient is proof of that.
There are many things to love about The Kiss Quotient, and it’s safe to say that this book is defined by its characters. Stella Lane is an accomplished econometrist. She’s strong, independent, and passionate. She is also autistic. The Kiss Quotient is the perfect example of a book that does not define a character by their diagnosis. Stella often finds herself in situations that challenge her, and she does so to improve her skills, but never with the intention of changing herself and her values. She is passionate and proud of her work as an econometrician. Stella Lane is one of the most endearing characters you will ever encounter.
That brings us to Michael. The biracial Vietnamese man who has well and truly set the standards for the rest of the male populations. He is selfless, compassionate, thoughtful, and vulnerable. He’s a character that gives so much to others yet fails to see the best in himself. You may baulk at his occupation as an escort, but the motivation behind it will melt and break your heart. His dedication to his family and loved ones is inspiring, and the tender way he cares for Stella is stunning.
The attraction between Michael and Stella is instantaneous, but the beauty of their relationship lies in the way they support and encourage one another. Neither believes they’re good enough for the other, but as we witness the tender moments that display their vulnerability, the more we see how one completes the other. The emotional and physical chemistry between them is a testament to the depth and intensity of their connection. Their romance is a breathtaking journey of two souls learning to embrace themselves and accept the love from someone that sees the beauty in what they perceive as flaws. Neither Stella nor Michael are forced to change for one another, and together they learn to open their hearts to a love they never believed to deserve.
The Kiss Quotient sets the bar high for contemporary romances. It’s authentic and original as we explore the tender passion of two vulnerable souls that find love and strength in themselves and each other on this gorgeous journey.