The Kiss Quotient // I Loved It… You Need It

05 July 2018

Published: 5th July 2018 (UK Paperback)
Source: Purchased/Readers First
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
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...
I had no doubts that I would love this book but I hadn't realised how much I would adore it. Stella and Michael are my absolute favourites and I need to write a full review to explain why. I mean, I loved this book so much that when I saw the opportunity to get a physical copy on Readers First I knew I needed to give it a shot because I needed a copy to hold in my hands (and lend to all of my friends).

I knew very little about this book going in. To be honest, the most I knew is that Nick couldn't get enough of it and that it had an autistic protagonist which was more than enough for me. From that  alone, I knew I needed this book so I went and preordered. I began reading it as soon as it arrived on my Kindle.

Stella has an amazing job and is happy with her work obsession... until her mom tells her she wants to have grandchildren and suggests maybe Stella needs to start dating. For most this wouldn't be a major problem, but Stella is on the autistic spectrum and she does not so well with others. She can care for herself and function in the world, she has taught herself how to not stand out, but she isn't comfortable with unexpected touches, prolonged eye contact, strong smells, and she isn't great at getting along with people. She simply doesn't know what to do, she has had sex and it was extremely uncomfortable but from what she knows of men to have a successful relationship she needs to be good at sex. How is she to do that? Hire an escort obviously. And boy does she hire a good one. I would want Michael too.

Michael is a sweet cinnamon roll and I adored him. He escorts only on Friday nights and never the same woman twice. He isn't doing it to fund a crazy lifestyle and he only does it because he knows he's good at sex and it's the only way he can make the big bucks he needs. He doesn't expect Stella at all. She isn't the type of woman he is used to. She is nice and sweet and so pretty and he doesn't even register there is something different about her until much later. He is so sweet with her. He never pushes and follows her lead. He doesn't push for sex, or even to do anything beyond cuddling if that's what she wishes. And those sweet moments of just being a couple together are the best moments. In fact, it's what leads to the Pretty Woman proposal of them faking being a couple together.

I adored it when they were together. They were the best couple together bringing out the best sides of each other. Stella learnt there was more to life than her job and although her routine makes her feel comfortable it isn't everything. And she learns she is a person and she is more than her autism. She is fun and interesting and lovable. The same happens for Michael. He continually thought he wasn't good enough and didn't deserve love because he could offer no one anything but he was the most lovable person. he was kind and caring and would put those he loved first and do anything to stand up for them. He deserved everything he wanted in life. He was beautiful and amazing and I adored him completely.

I have to say, one element of this book I liked the most was the portrayal of Stella and her autism. I have a cousin who is on the spectrum so obviously my idea of someone with autism is very much focused upon him and how he deals with things. He isn’t great at family parties (too much noise) and he has a set routine he hates to drift from. He wouldn’t cope with the day to day as Stella does and I hadn’t realised that much of how she acts and tries to normalise herself to other people’s expectations is very much a female element of being on the spectrum and the amount of research Hoang did to portray Stella as she did was amazing. I mean, the research which she did was the reason Helen Hoang even discovered she herself is on the spectrum. It’s amazing and I definitely want to read some of the books recommended in the author’s note. This book is so interesting simply for the character of Stella and how much I truly adored her. She is an eternal favourite and as much as I loved Michael (everyone loves him) Stella is my girl and I will fight you if you didn’t love her too.

So guys, read this book. It's an eternal favourite and I kind of want to hand it out on the streets for folks to read. Everyone should just read it already!

Please tell me you’ve read this and want to flail with me too. What was the last book you adored to the extreme and wanted everyone to read?
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