The Kiss Quotient
By: Helen Hoang
Published June 5, 2018
Stella Lane 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 or that french kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by a pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional–which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. With the looks of a K-drama star and the martial arts moves to match, the Vietnamese-Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer. And when she comes up with a lesson plan, he proves willing to help her check off all the boxes–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position.
Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to 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…
This book is pretty hot. If you can imagine a Fifty Shades of Grey without all the BDSM and you reverse the roles so that it’s the woman with all of the money, you have The Kiss Quotient. To its credit, The Kiss Quotient has a more realistic storyline and is better written. Even the sex scenes (Yes, there are a lot. Yes, they are detailed quite vividly. Enjoy haha) seem more natural, more realistic (as realistic as a woman hiring a male escort to teach her how to be good at sex can be), and less cringy. So in my opinion, this book is much better than Fifty Shades.
So why 3.5 stars? Well, when you take away the sexy stuff, there’s not much to the story. You have a guy and a girl who like each other but who are equally convinced they aren’t the best for the other person. They both feel that they have flaws that make them not worthy of the other person. This continues for 300 pages. The character development is there, but it’s predictable. But, I guess the reason why one might want to read this book is not really for the riveting storyline. However, if your reading experience is like mine in any way, you’ll finish the book in less than 8 hours. It’s that good.
So, if you’re looking for a sexy beach read, a feel-good romance, or just something light and easy to read, look no further. The Kiss Quotient will warm your heart and make you feel good. This is a book you’ll want to circulate among your girlfriends.
Something I appreciated I really liked how Hoang demystified and normalized romance for people on the autism spectrum. As someone who also was diagnosed with Asperger’s, Hoang provides one story while also emphasizing how there is no “standard” or “stereotypical” story for people on the spectrum. Everyone is different and how someone with autism or Asperger’s interacts with the world cannot be boiled down to a stringent set of symptoms and sensitivities. In a society in which most romance movies or books center around “normal” men and women, Hoang’s book is a breath of fresh air. Hopefully, there will be a girl out there who reads this book and feels a sense of relief when she realizes that she is not alone.
“When I wrote The Kiss Quotient, I became myself, and I’ve been unapologetically myself ever since. Sometimes instead of confining you, a label can set you free.”