adult · book · contemporany · review · romance

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang [OPINION]

Hello readers,

I read the Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang last year and again last month. Can you believe that I didn’t know it was a series? I just found out and now I have to run and buy the second book (it is called ‘The Bride Test’, in case you don’t know).

I read this book before all the buzz and I had zero expectations, needless to say that it blown me away. It is sexy, very quente (hot in Portuguese), funny but it also talks about serious problems, like autism. Helen Hoang was very bold by writing about a syndrome that’s not normal in a romance with a balance of respect and the gravity it deserves.

‘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 that 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…’.

This book provides the right amount of feelings. Let me resume – Stella Lane is a thirty-year-old successful econometrician, but she’s lacking in one area of her life – romantic relationships. After her mother pressuring her to settle down and meet someone, Stella decides to give it a try by hiring an escort to ‘teach’ her how to navigate throw the awkward of sex and relationships.

This is where Michael enters, he’s an escort, but also a fashion designer and a son whose mother has lung cancer in IV stage. He only escorts on Friday nights as a way to help his family financially. He feels he has no choice, he needs the money and has a good body ‘his father legacy’, like he calls it.

Michael is portrayed in the book as being very similar to actor Daniel Henney.

When he meets Stella he is stunned on how someone like her would need to hire an escort, but he’s kind to her, patient and understanding. Soon he discovers that she has Aspergers, a high-functioning form of Autism, that makes her awkward in social situations. She starts to liking him and this is where it gets complicated.

Michael and Stella start to develop a friendship and then a relationship that develops to love.

This is a extremely streamy book, it has romance but also a lot of sex. But inside of all the scenes there is a beautiful romance and a lot of positive messages – there is no shame in Michael for being an escort, and no shame in Stella for being on the autism spectrum.

I loved to get a little more about autism – the overstimulation with lights, sounds and even smells. The importance of schedules, lists and the preferred clothing. Stella also struggles with being touched and the importance of consent is an important message that this book talks about. I also liked how Stella didn’t change for anyone!

Michael turn out to be a terrific hero and I might have developed a tinny little crush on him.

I found Stella a really relatable character, even through she’s very different of me on some aspects, on others we are more close than I thought, maybe because I’m a little introvert.

Seeing as a lot of people are undiagnosed, this book can offer some validation. I really liked and hope to read more books like this, with characters out of the box. In my opinion, this book deserves a good 4.5 stars!


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