The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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“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.”

Wow. This book. I ended up picking up The Kiss Quotient over the weekend on a whim, and ended up with a book that I absolutely loved. We are introduced to Stella, a thirty-year-old econometrician, who works with data all day, and usually everyday because it’s something she loves and finds a great amount of comfort in. She is incredibly successful in her career but not so much in the dating department. A big factor in her struggle with intimacy and relationships is that she has autism, which impacts those interactions. Convinced that she needs lessons on how to be good at sex and relationships, she hires Michael, a male escort. The interesting proposal is something Michael can’t afford to turn down, and the two find themselves in a practice relationship. But something that starts out as a fantasy starts to feel all too real.

“How did one not obsess over something wonderful? How did one like something a reasonable amount?”

The Kiss Quotient is sexy, charming, sweet, and oh so steamy. My interest in the romance genre has definitely wavered over the years, but reading a book like this makes me interested in reading more. Stella and Michael are compelling characters and it’s hard not to root for them or feel invested in their story, particularly Stella and her quest for success with relationships. The author does an exceptional job of relating Stella’s feelings, frustrations, and motivations. As I mentioned this book is steamy, and very much so. If that is something you don’t care for in books, perhaps this is not the best option for you. However, it is done well and is actually sexy, so if it is your cup of tea then make this a must read. What makes this a standout novel for me is the focus on the importance of consent – Michael is deeply contentious and respectful of Stella and her feelings/boundaries. All throughout, the author finds a perfect balance of sweet and sexy, showing us just how romance novels should be done.

I look forward to reading future releases by this author, and it looks like we will get to know more characters we met in The Kiss Quotient. The second book, The Bride Test, will follow a different character and is set to be released May 7th, 2019. Oh the wait!

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