My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: Loved it!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
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…
MY THOUGHTS (SPOILER-FREE):
“I don’t want just a night or a week or a month with you. I want you all the time. I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.”
It’s hard to miss all the hype surrounding The Kiss Quotient. For the past few months, it’s been highlighted by many reviewers as THE romance book of the year, as an amazing #ownvoices book, and as a perfect read if you want to bust a nasty reading slump. So with all that hype, naturally I was super intrigued… and didn’t pick it up for months. Until I finally did and, as often is the case, I regret not picking it up any sooner because the hype is real y’all! Let me reiterate all the reasons why in case you hadn’t heard them yet:
It’s a gender-swapped Pretty Woman storyline. Stella wants to learn how to date and thinks she’s bad at sex so she decides to hire an escort, Michael Phan, to teach her …well… everything. They agree on a lesson plan, strictly business, but of course it soon becomes more than business. If you have any love for the fake dating trope, this book is for you!
It’s an #ownvoices novel featuring an Autistic main character. Stella is autistic. She loves math, but has trouble with relationships and being touched. I love how the story explores this aspect to Stella, without ever reducing her to a diagnosis. She’s an amazing, well-written and well-fleshed out character who is a sweet, smart, funny and succesful career woman, who also happens to be autistic.
It’ll provide you with a great new fictional boyfriend. Michael Phan is the biracial Viet-Swedish escort-tailor you need in your life. As an escort, naturally he’s hot, but he’s also an awesome son and brother, a great tailor and a martial artist. The full package, right? He’s the sweetest and his interactions with Stella only made him seem more lovable and perfect, while still feeling like a real and flawed character.
It’s the perfect mix of sweet and steamy with a nice focus on consent. Since Stella has trouble with being touched, the story focuses a lot on consent, which I thought was amazing! Michael takes it slow and sweet with Stella, which was heartwarming, but there is no shortage of steamy scenes either. For me personally, I could have done with a little more sweetness and a little less steam near the end, but that’s just my own preference.
It’s the perfect slump buster. The Kiss Quotient is one of those books that will catch your interest from page one and keep you so intrigued you’ll be turning page after page until you surprisingly reach the end in one sitting. That’s what happened to me and from what I hear, many other readers as well. If you’re looking for a short, sweet, feel-good romance to bust a particularly nasty reading slump, this is it!
Overall, I adore this book and can only join the hype train. Though it has a few small flaws, like predictability, the painfulness of miscommunication prolonging the drama and maybe one too many steamy scenes for this girl but hey, I can easily overlook those because the good outweighs the bad by far! In fact, I’m already eagerly awaiting the release of The Bride Test, Helen Hoang’s second novel, and in the meantime, I can definitely see a re-read of The Kiss Quotient happening.
“This crusade to fix herself was ending right now. She wasn’t broken. She saw and interacted with the world in a different way, but that was her. She could change her actions, change her words, change her appearance, but she couldn’t change the root of herself. At her core, she would always be autistic. People called it a disorder, but it didn’t feel like one. To her, it was simply the way she was.”
“If you can’t stand being with a woman who’s more successful than you, then leave her alone. She’s better off without you. If you actually love her, then know the value of that love and make it a promise. That is the only thing she needs from you.”
“All the things that make you different make you perfect.”
“How did one not obsess over something wonderful? How did one like something a reasonable amount?”