The Kiss Quotient was written by Helen Hoang. I’d heard a lot of buzz about this book, so I was very excited when I found it on the new release shelf at my town library. To make a long story short, I enjoyed this book so much that I purchased my own copy- and I added the Audible edition as well.
Stella Lane is a young woman on the autism spectrum. She has a long list of academic and professional accomplishments, but she has not had very much success with romance. Stella decides that she needs to change this by hiring an escort to teach her to be better at the physical aspects of a relationship- from kissing to intercourse, and everything in between. Stella’s first encounter with Michael Phan is fairly benign, and Michael agrees to work with her exclusively- eschewing all other clients. Instead of being irritated by her eccentricities, Michael is patient, and willing to work with her. He finds himself feeling genuine attraction instead of faking it like he usually does with clients. But is there any possibility of a future together with such different backgrounds?
This book was adorable. As the parent of two girls on the spectrum, I found it easy to relate to Stella. She approaches everything in life with methodical precision, and craves routine and stability. Why should a romantic relationship be any different? Michael is so much more than the stereotype of an escort; he’s fiercely devoted to his large family, and he has career aspirations and dreams of his own. I loved the way that Michael paid attention to both verbal and nonverbal consent in his interactions with Stella. If I had one complaint, it would be that there was one minor revelation that seemed to be a little too twee.
I would absolutely recommend The Kiss Quotient to fans of contemporary romance. This book is so sweet, and it’s just so wonderful to see a romance novel with a character on the spectrum- the heroine, no less- and not the hero’s quirky friend or another secondary character. Stella and Michael had great chemistry together, mostly because he took his time with her and waited until she was ready. If that’s not hot, I don’t know what is. I am looking forward to reading more from Hoang in the future.