The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient

by Helen Hoang

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From the author of The Bride Test comes a romance novel hailed as one of The Washington Post’s 50 Notable Works of Fiction in 2018 and one of Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2018!

“This is such a fun read and it's also quite original and sexy and sensitive.”—Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author

Hoang's writing bursts from the page.”—Buzzfeed

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 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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451490810
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 3,639
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

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. She currently lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.

Read an Excerpt

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof*** Copyright © 2018 Helen Hoang

Chapter 1

“I know you hate surprises, Stella. In the interests of communicating our expectations and providing you a reasonable timeline, you should know we’re ready for grandchildren.”

Stella Lane’s gaze jumped from her breakfast up to her mother’s gracefully aging face. A subtle application of makeup drew attention to battle-ready, coffee-colored eyes. That boded ill for Stella. When her mother got something into her mind, she was like a honey badger with a vendetta—pugnacious and tenacious, but without the snarling and fur.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Stella said.

Shock gave way to rapid-fire, panic-scrambled thoughts. Grandchildren meant babies. And diapers. Mountains of diapers. Exploding diapers. And babies cried, soul-grating banshee wails that even the best sound-canceling headphones couldn’t buffer. How did they cry so long and hard when they were so little? Plus, babies meant husbands. Husbands meant boyfriends. Boyfriends meant dating. Dating meant sex. She shuddered.

“You’re thirty, Stella dear. We’re concerned that you’re still single. Have you tried Tinder?”

She grabbed her water and gulped down a mouthful, accidentally swallowing an ice cube. After clearing her throat, she said, “No. I haven’t tried it.”

The very thought of Tinder—and the corresponding dating it aimed to deliver—caused her to break out in a sweat. She hated everything about dating: the departure from her comfortable routine, the conversation that was by turns inane and baffling, and again, the sex . . .

“I’ve been offered a promotion,” she said, hoping it would distract her mother.

“Another one?” her father asked, lowering his copy of the Wall Street Journal so his wire-framed glasses were visible. “You were just promoted two quarters ago. That’s phenomenal.”

Stella perked up and scooted to the edge of her seat. “Our newest client—a large online vendor who shall remain nameless—provided the most amazing datasets, and I get to play with them all day. I designed an algorithm to help with some of their purchase suggestions. Apparently, it’s working better than expected.”

“When is the new promotion effective?” her father asked.

“Well . . .” The hollandaise and egg yolk from her crabcakes Benedict had run together, and she attempted to separate the yellow liquids with the tip of her fork. “I didn’t accept the promotion. It was a principal econometrician position that would have had five direct reports beneath me and require much more client interaction. I just want to work on the data.”

Her mother batted that statement away with a negligent wave of her hand. “You’re getting complacent, Stella. If you stop challenging yourself, you’re not going to make any more improvement with your social skills. That reminds me, are there any coworkers at your company who you’d like to date?”

Her father set his newspaper down and folded his hands over his rounded belly. “Yes, what about that one fellow, Philip James? When we met him at your last company get-together, he seemed nice enough.”

Her mother’s hands fluttered to her mouth like pigeons homing in on bread crumbs. “Oh, why didn’t I think of him? He was so polite. And easy on the eyes, too.”

“He’s okay, I guess.” Stella ran her fingertips over the condensation on her water glass. To be honest, she’d considered Philip. He was conceited and abrasive, but he was a direct speaker. She really liked that in people. “I think he has several personality disorders.”

Her mother patted Stella’s hand. Instead of putting it back in her lap when she was done, she rested it over Stella’s knuckles. “Maybe he’ll be a good match for you, then, dear. With issues of his own to overcome, he might be more understanding of your Asperger’s.”

Though the words were spoken in a matter-of-fact tone, they sounded unnatural and loud to Stella’s ears. A quick glance at the neighboring tables in the restaurant’s canopied outdoor dining area reassured her that no one had heard, and she stared down at the hand on top of hers, consciously refraining from yanking it away. Uninvited touches irritated her, and her mother knew it. She did it to “acclimate” her. Mostly, it drove Stella crazy. Was it possible Philip could understand that?

“I’ll think about him,” Stella said, and meant it. She hated lying and prevaricating even more than she hated sex. And, at the end of the day, she wanted to make her mother proud and happy. No matter what Stella did, she was always a few steps short of being successful in her mother’s eyes and therefore her own, too. A boyfriend would do that, she knew. The problem was she couldn’t keep a man for the life of her.

Her mother beamed. “Excellent. The next benefit dinner I’m arranging is in a couple months, and I want you to bring a date this time. I’d love to see Mr. James attending with you, but if that doesn’t work out, I’ll find someone.”

Stella thinned her lips. Her latest sexual experience had been with one of her mother’s blind dates. He’d been good-looking—she had to give him that—but his sense of humor had confused her. With him being a venture capitalist and her being an economist, they should have had a lot in common, but he hadn’t wanted to talk about his actual work. Instead, he’d preferred to discuss office politics and manipulation tactics, leaving her so lost she’d been certain the date was a failure.

When he’d straight-out asked her if she wanted to have sex with him, she’d been caught completely off guard. Because she hated to say no, she’d said yes. There’d been kissing, which she didn’t enjoy. He’d tasted like the lamb he’d had for dinner. She didn’t like lamb. His cologne had nauseated her, and he’d touched her all over. As it always did in intimate situations, her body had locked down. Before she knew it, he’d finished. He’d discarded his used condom in the trash can next to the hotel room’s desk—that had bothered her; surely he should know things like that went in the bathroom?—told her she needed to loosen up, and left. She could only imagine how disappointed her mother would be if she knew what a disaster her daughter was with men.

And now her mother wanted babies, too.

Stella got to her feet and gathered her purse. “I need to go to work now.” While she was ahead on all her deadlines, need was still the right word for it. Work fascinated her, channeled the furious craving in her brain. It was also therapeutic.

“That’s my girl,” her father said, standing up and brushing off his silk Hawaiian shirt before hugging her. “You’re going to own that place before long.”

As she gave him a quick hug—she didn’t mind touching when she initiated it or had time to mentally prepare for it—she breathed in the familiar scent of his aftershave. Why couldn’t all men be just like her father? He thought she was beautiful and brilliant, and his smell didn’t make her sick.

“You know her work is an unhealthy obsession, Edward. Don’t encourage her,” her mother said before she switched her attention to Stella and heaved a maternal sigh. “You should be out with people on the weekend. If you met more men, I know you’d find the right one.”

Her father pressed a cool kiss to her temple and whispered, “I wish I were working, too.”

Stella shook her head at him as her mother embraced her. The ropes of her mother’s ever-present pearls pressed into Stella’s sternum, and Chanel No. 5 swirled around her. She tolerated the cloying scent for three long seconds before stepping back.

“I’ll see you both next weekend. I love you. Bye.”

She waved at her parents before exiting the ritzy downtown Palo Alto restaurant and walked down sidewalks lined with trees and upscale shops. After three sunny blocks, she reached a low-rise office building that housed her favorite place in the world: her office. The left corner window on the third floor belonged to her.

The lock on the front door clicked open when she held her purse up to the sensor, and she strode into the empty building, enjoying the solitary echo of her high heels on the marble as she passed the vacant reception desk and stepped into the elevator.

Inside her office, she initiated her most beloved routine. First, she powered on her computer and entered her password into the prompt screen. As all the software booted up, she plopped her purse in her desk drawer and went to fill her cup with water from the kitchen. Her shoes came off, and she placed them in their regular spot under her desk. She sat.

Power, password, purse, water, shoes, sit. Always this order.

Statistics Analysis System, otherwise known as SAS, automatically loaded, and the three monitors on her desk filled with streams of data. Purchases, clicks, log-in times, payment types—simple things, really. But they told her more about people than people themselves ever did. She stretched out her fingers and set them on the black ergonomic keyboard, eager to lose herself in her work.

“Oh hi, Stella, I thought it might be you.”

She looked over her shoulder and was jarred by the unwelcome view of Philip James peering around the door frame. The severe cut of his tawny hair emphasized his square jaw, and his polo shirt was tight across his chest. He looked fresh, sophisticated, and smart—precisely the kind of man her parents wanted for her. And he’d caught her working for pleasure on the weekend.

Her face heated, and she pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. “What are you doing here?”

“I had to pick up something that I forgot yesterday.” He extracted a box from a shopping bag and waved it at her. Stella caught sight of the word TROJAN in giant capital letters. “Have a nice weekend. I know I will.”

Breakfast with her parents raced through her mind. Grandchildren, Philip, the prospect of more blind dates, being successful. She licked her lips and hurried to say something, anything. “Did you really need an economy-sized box of those?”

As soon as the words left her mouth, she winced.

He smirked his assholest smirk, but its annoyingness was softened by a show of strong white teeth. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to need half of these tonight since the boss’s new intern asked me out.”

Stella was impressed despite herself. The new girl looked so shy. Who would have thought she was so gutsy? “For dinner?”

“And more, I think,” he said with a twinkle in his hazel eyes.

“Why did you wait for her to ask you out? Why didn’t you ask her first?” She’d gotten the impression men liked to be initiators in matters like these. Was she wrong?

With impatient motions, Philip stuffed an entire militia of Trojans back in his shopping bag. “She’s fresh out of undergrad. I didn’t want to get accused of cradle robbing. Besides, I like girls who know what they want and go for it . . . especially in bed.” He swept an appraising gaze from her feet to her face, smiling like he could see through her clothes, and she stiffened with self-consciousness. “Tell me, are you still a virgin, Stella?”

She turned back to her computer screens, but the data refused to make sense. The cursor on the programming screen blinked. “It’s none of your business, but no, I’m not a virgin.”

He walked into her office, leaned a hip against her desk, and considered her in a skeptical manner. She adjusted her glasses even though they didn’t need it. “So our star econometrician has ‘done it’ before. How many times? Three?”

No way was she going to tell him he’d guessed correctly. “None of your business, Philip.”

“I bet you just lie there and run linear recursions in your head while a man does his business. Am I right, Ms. Lane?”

Stella would totally do that if she could figure out how to input gigabytes of data into her brain, but she’d rather die than admit it.

“A word of advice from a man who’s been around the block a few times: Get some practice. When you’re good at it, you like it better, and when you like it better, men like you better.” He pushed away from the desk and headed for the door, his bag of condoms swinging jauntily at his side. “Enjoy your endless week.”

As soon as he left, Stella stood up and shoved her door shut, using more force than was necessary. The door slammed with a hard, vibrating bang, and her heart stuttered. She smoothed damp hands over her pencil skirt as she brought her breathing back under control. When she sat down at her desk, she was too jittery to do more than stare at the blinking cursor.

Was Philip right? Did she dislike sex because she was bad at it? Would practice really make perfect? What a beguiling concept. Maybe sex was just another interpersonal thing she needed to exert extra efforts on—like casual conversation, eye contact, and etiquette.

But how exactly did you practice sex? It wasn’t like men were throwing themselves at her like women apparently did to Philip. When she did manage to sleep with a man, he was so put off by the lackluster experience that once was more than enough for both of them.

Also, this was Silicon Valley, the kingdom of tech geniuses and scientists. The single men available were probably as hopeless in bed as she was. With her luck, she’d sleep with a statistically significant population of them and have nothing to show for it but crotch burn and STDs.

No, what Stella needed was a professional.

Not only were they certified disease-free, but they had proven track records. At least, she assumed so. That was how she’d run things if she were in that business. Regular men were incentivized by things like personality, humor, and hot sex—things she didn’t have. Professionals were incentivized by money. Stella happened to have a lot of money.

Instead of working on her shiny new dataset, Stella opened up her browser and Googled “California Bay Area male escort service.”

Reading Group Guide

1. Prior to reading this book, how would you have imagined an autistic woman? How does Stella compare to this vision?
2. Stella was surprised when she heard her coworker Philip James had been asked out by their new intern. When it comes to heterosexual relationships, do you think men should be the initiators? What does it say about a woman if she asks out a man?
3. Does it surprise you to see an autistic person exploring a sexual relationship? If so, why?
4. With regards to autism, people are divided between using person-first language (i.e. “person with autism”) and identity-first language (i.e. “autistic person”). One of the main arguments for person-first language is that it separates a person from their mental disorders. Many autistic people, on the other hand, prefer identity-first language because they believe autism is an intrinsic part of who they are and have no wish for a “cure.” Which do you think is right? Do you think it can depend on each person’s individual circumstances and preferences? How did you feel when Stella tried to make herself fresh and fantastic? Why did you feel that way?
5. What do you think of a man with Michael’s Friday night profession? How does that compare to your impression of a woman with that profession? If gender makes a difference, why is that?
6. How does Michael’s daytime profession affect his attractiveness?
7. Throughout the book, Michael worries he’s inherited his father’s “badness,” that it was passed down in his blood. Do you think this is illogical? Are you able to empathize with him? If so, how?
8. Is love alone enough? Can people with different cultures, education levels, and wealth be together in the long run? How can they make it work?

Customer Reviews

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The Kiss Quotient 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 116 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really didn't know what to expect , but I'm so glad I read the book . Yes I loved the characters and the story line was perfect . It opens ones mind about people who are different . The best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fun summer read. Quick pace. Characters were enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun and sexy read -- not high literature, but captured my attention and I read it one sitting! The premise made me giggle and the characters were very sweet; I rooted for them all the way. Looking forward to more from the author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh Stella, the smart quirky girl who's not good with social interactions and would much rather do math equations than socialize...some days I hear ya, girl. At the age of 30, mom is breathing down her neck for boyfriends, husband, babies, the whole 9 yards. Stella doesn't like sex and when an arrogant male coworker suggests that maybe she needs more practice she jumps on this like a homework assignment for the model student she used to be. Enter Michael, the escort. Michael is immediately drawn to Stella because she's not like his typical clients. And her intelligence is a major turn on for him. The two seemingly hit it off well and Stella offers him a proposal...she wants him to teach her how to be better at sex...I can't wait to see where how this turns out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed all the characters in this book especially the secondary ones. The rich family relationships added so much.
Kari_BooksForTheLiving More than 1 year ago
I have been looking forward to this book since I first heard about it last year. If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time you’ll know I love romance. It is definitely my favorite genre. I love love stories. I love reading about characters who learn from their mistakes and grow in order to open themselves up to love. THE KISS QUOTIENT is a perfect example of everything I love about romance. The story centers around Stella and Michael (it’s dual POV!). Stella is an econometrician who happens to have autism. She is being evermore persistently pressured by her mother to get married and give her grandchildren. One of the things Stella deals with because of her autism is an aversion to touch. She doesn’t love it. She tolerates it when necessary; like when her mother hugs her with her overwhelming Chanel perfume or holds her hand for too long. Stella doesn’t know how she’ll give her mother grandkids when she can hardly stand being touched by another person. A passing comment from a jerk of a co-worker leads her to hire an escort to teach her how to be good at sex and relationships. Enter Michael. A Swedish-Vietnamese escort who has issues of his own. Although we don’t know exactly what those issues are until later. Right away the reader knows Michael doesn’t love being an escort. He does it because he needs the money due to the fact that he has a never-ending pile of bills coming every week. Something about Stella strikes Michael right away. She’s different. She’s interesting and sweet, and he’s drawn to her immediately. Their arrangement slowly morphs from Michael teaching Stella how to be good at sex to Michael being Stella’s practice boyfriend… and I think I’ll leave it there so you can find out the rest of it for yourself. :) I loved these characters. Although I don’t have autism, I feel like I could relate to Stella and some of her insecurities. Stella’s such a caring and sweet soul, and you want her to have everything she’s ever wanted. Which soon becomes Michael. I don’t think there are enough good words to use to describe Michael. Caring, thoughtful, attentive, gorgeous, loving, funny, tender, creative, smart… you get the idea. He definitely has things he has to work through though. He has issues with his father and has to learn that just because his father is a terrible human, doesn’t automatically make Michael one as well. He is his own person and won’t become his father —> but Michael has to learn that on his own. Both Stella’s and Michael’s individual character growth was lovely to read. Seeing how these characters navigated new situations, unexpected feelings, and stepping out of their comfort zone, was one of the reasons why this was just an enjoyable and unputdownable story. I loved how Stella and Michael were as a couple, even if it was just ‘practice.’ They were so sweet together and you could tell as a reader that this wasn’t as much as a practice relationship as it was a real one. A big part of the story is consent, but it's done in a way that shows that it doesn't hinder the romantic aspect of consensual sex. It actually makes the scenes that much hotter in my opinion. Michael uses consent as a way to figure out what Stella is comfortable with and to get her comfortable with being intimate. He never does anything she isn't okay with and instead of trying to convince her, he consistently tells her to let him know if she's uncomfortable and that they can move onto something else. He listens and pays a
Pamela Rasmussen 9 days ago
I laughed and cried reading this book, i loved all her charactors and theirs quirks. Great read.
Anonymous 10 days ago
I really enjoyed this book, especially in the first half. Over time I did find the intimate scenes to be a bit repetitive, but I really appreciated the romantic focus on someone who has such a unique perspective. The romance is strong and it's fun to hear each perspective as well. It makes it easier to see where both Stella and Michael get their wires crossed. Stella has autism, which makes for a really different type of story and perspective and it's really enjoyable to spend time with the way she processes information. I will say over time the constant focus on sex got a bit old for me and I would have liked a little less about that overall. I think this book is a solid 3.5 stars for me.
readingwhale 13 days ago
I loved this book so much. I don't understand why it took me so long to read it! This book has an amazing romance, but it also gets steamy real quick. Stella realizes that she has a bit of a dating problem because of her Asperger's, and after enough failed experiments, she hires an escort to teach her the ways of love once and for all. Enter Michael, the Most Dreamy Man. In a reverse Pretty Woman, Stella falls for the man she hired and it gets real cute (and as forementioned, steamy). You can't go wrong with reading this book,it's just that amazing. I really liked that Helen Hoang made her female protagonist autistic -- I feel like in all literature, but romance especially, women on the spectrum aren't well represented while men are. Stella and Michael both work through some of their anxieties, we see into their families and meet amazing secondary characters. The Kiss Quotient is an easy, fast read. It is fun, fresh and so bright and welcoming. I think you would like this book even if you don't usually read romance. And it needs to be made into a movie -- preferably now.
aevans8 3 months ago
The best part of being a reader is finding new authors. I started this book with zero expectations and was completely blown away. Hoang has a writing style that makes it very difficult to put down the book once you have started. This book was sexy, funny, it made me laugh and also created an in-depth relationship that didn't leave you wanting answers. I LOVED Stella's character. She is a wildly intelligent econometrician who is killing it in her career but coming up short in her personal life. I thought it was new and interesting to use a character with Asperger's in such a positive live. Stella hired an escort to help teach her how to navigate a dating life. This is where Michael shows up. Yes he is an escort but he also is dealing with some baggage in his own personal life. He wants to help his family and making money through escorting is the only way he can do so. This relationship was built on friendship and a unique connection. I think my favorite part about this book is how Hoang created Stella. Typically when you have a character with any type of disability or disorder they get spun in a negative light. This was not the case in The Kiss Quotient. Stella was witty, charming and very lovable. This was one of my favorite romances of the year. I am anxiously awaiting more from Helen Hoang. Her writing style is unique, intelligent and refreshing. I am looking forward to hearing what others have to say about this great story!
jaatagi 3 months ago
A very enjoyable read. Characters you can really feel strongly about. I didn't want it to end. Please write a sequel. I can see a series about the family, sisters and cousins.
Sonja121187 3 months ago
I really wanted to love this one. I read more than half of it and felt bad that I wasn't loving it, but ultimately I DNFed it. I loved Stella. I loved Michael. I did not love their story. I found them to be unbelievably boring. I couldn't stand their inability to talk to one another. I felt like this story could easily have been 150 pages if one of them just decided to have a little discussion. Of course, that can be said for lots of books, but this one just could not hold my attention. However, I have a hard time with adults that can't communicate, and these two just couldn't. It wasn't even like they were hiding big things from one another! Overall I just couldn't get into this one and maybe these types of love stories aren't for me.
Bookyogi 6 months ago
This was a delightful surprise and I don’t know why I didn’t read it sooner. I actually read her second book, The Bride Test first and liked it so much I went back and read The Kiss Quotient, and I am so glad I did. Fortunately, these can easily be read out of order as they follow three different intersecting stories with the third The Heart Principle to be released in 2021, too long from now if you ask me. The Kiss Quotient follows Stella, who has Asperges (which is now defined as a Autism Spectrum Disorder) and thinks of kissing as a “shark getting its teeth cleaned by a pilot fish.” She hires Michael (who is adorable and handsome and sweet and all that is good) to teach her about sex so that she can find love but along the way, they both fall in love, with each other. I really liked this book, and The Bride Test and I am sure I will like The Heart Principle too!
ChandaReads 8 months ago
A fun read that was surprisingly more dirty than I was expecting. As someone who is not on the autism spectrum I cannot speak from first hand experience of the accuracy in representation. However, from a bystander's perspective I think Stella Lane was very well written and Hoang shows the struggles Stella deal with related to autism while not diminishing all the great things about Stella as well. Stella is a very strong character and possesses an admirable sense of strength and resilience. She has become one of my favorite contemporary romance heroines due to the traits mentioned above that is coupled perfectly with her deep sense of vulnerability. Michael is not as strong of a character, but still likable nonetheless. I love that instead of trying to change Stella he embraces her ASD and encourages her to as well. Carly Robins did a fantastic job with the narration. Both her male and female voices were enjoyable to listen to and she was able to give each character a distinctive voice.
heidifk 10 months ago
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is a book I listened to on audiobook. The narrator was great - especially the pacing and expression. The story has diverse characters. Stella feels pressured by her mom to find a relationship, but she really doesn't like (or know how) to be intimate with people - even hugs are too much for her. She decides to hire a male escort to teach her how to be better at intimacy... ANYway... this is a steamy and fun romance that I think many romance readers will like. There were times in the story when sex kind of took the place of opportunity for a little deeper character development - this is just my opinion. I still enjoyed it a lot and read the follow-up The Bride Test when that was published as well.
Anonymous 11 months ago
MyAlterEgoIsFiction 11 months ago
This book was easily in my top 5 favorite books of the year. Maybe even ever. Definitely ever. It was so swoon-worthy. Stella was amazing. Michael was phenomenal. This book took me on an emotional roller coaster that I loved every second of. I think I may have even yelled a couple times. At Stella and Michael. Especially Michael. I'm already ordering the second book because Helen Hoang has become an auto-buy author for me after reading this. I read this in one day because it kept my attention THAT much! I refused to put it down because I needed to know what they did. Dinner? What was that? I don't know because I was reading about Stella's sweet potato. Don't ask. Just read this book, ok? Beautiful behind the scenes of a character with autism. Truly beautiful.
Kasey_Baril More than 1 year ago
*BOTM selection June 2018* So, this book really made me appreciate the romance genre. I had chosen The Kiss Quotient since the other options during that Book of the Month choice did not pique my interest, though, I'm so glad that it did! I really didn't expect to like the book, but I turned out loving it. Hoang's novel is an #ownvoices story, as the main character, Stella Lane, has Asperger's Syndrome. The story gave me perspective on other people with this experience, but also helped me understand myself, as well. There is the "fake relationship" trope, which I love, and then that turns into something more serious. The sex scenes are graphic, but well done. I didn't really feel there was insta-love between Stella and Michael, but other reviewers will disagree. You'll just have to make that conclusion yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love romance, but I tend to gravitate towards historical or paranormal romance. I think it is because I like to be transported to the impossible. With all the hype surrounding this book, though, I had to try it and I was not disappointed. From the moment these two characters met it is like there souls just reached out to each other. I felt the chemistry from the moment Michael first tried touching Stella. While, I do love a good bad boy, Michael, is all that is good. He has put his dreams on hold to help take care of his mother and is generally does whatever he can for those he loves. He was patient and knew how precious Stella was and knew what she needed. I love Helen's writing. It is descriptive, but not over done. She is able to draw you in from the first page until the very end and I can't wait to read what she writes next.
AmandaLeeC More than 1 year ago
I'm Unimpressed 1.5 stars. I am not impressed and don't understand the hype this book got. I felt like it dragged on too long, the constant struggle with their feelings got old. I didn't feel the romance at all so I had nothing to hold on to and root for. I kept hoping it would get better but it didn't. I did love Stella's passion for her work and how smart and independent she was. Secondary character, Quan might have been my favourite. I didn't care for Michael. The men she knew before were terrible and set the bar really low for him and he still couldn't make it over that bar. His sex talk was nauseating and had me rolling my eyes. I was looking forward to the main character being autistic, but it seemed to focus on the belief that autism is a flaw and something to overcome. Any signs of her autism seemingly disappeared when he was around and I wondered where her support system was. I wish it addressed the fact that neither of them had anything to be ashamed of - not autism, lack of education, parents. I absolutely hated the 'i'll seduce her out of her anxiety' part. Their relationship was too obsessive to be healthy.
Mbhills More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book! Stella was not your typical character and I loved her story. She really was a likeable character and I was never quite sure how she would react. Stella needs help with her love life so she hires an escort named Michael. Again, Michael is a great character. He comes from an interesting family. He is determined to be nothing like his father. He is the perfect counterpoint for Stella. This novel is obviously fiction along the same lines as Pretty Woman because I don't imagine a story like this could ever happen in real life. Warning, the book does get steamy. I found the book funny and just a very enjoyable read. I thought the characters were well thought out as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Kiss Quotient was my first contemporary romance I picked up. Helen Hoang’s book was my Book of the Month month’s ago, and I finally decided to pick it up and “get it over with”. Looking back now, I’m so sad I finished it so fast. It was the beginning of my love affair with the genre of contemporary romance. The heroine, Stella, is not your typical girl. She has Aspergerer’s Syndrome (similar to the author herself) and hires Michael (an escort) to help her practice how to kiss. Their arrangement quickly becomes a practice relationship, which both fear will end when they don’t want it. Hoang’s development of Stella, her little quirks, and the little details that make her so lovable as a character are what really drew me into this novel. Hoang’s ability to incorporate sexiness and seriousness and compassion into scene after scene was one of the highlights of the novel for me. I cannot stop recommending this one to friend after friend. Everything about it was just amazing. Obviously, The Kiss Quotient is getting 5 out of 5 stars from me. I cannot wait to read The Bride Test and book #3 in the series when it finally comes out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book, was funny at times, loved the characters. It was a good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago