Monday 4 June 2018

✪ The Kiss Quotient ✪ Helen Hoang ✪

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...

ARC received via Netgalley for an honest review

The cover of this book is what first drew me in.  It reminded me of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, and that is a book that I have read multiple times over the past few years.

I like books that have something a little different, and having characters that are a) a little older and b) on the spectrum lured me in.

What a cute, sweet and wonderful debut novel from Ms Hoang. I was enchanted with this story right from the start.

The Kiss Quotient is a refreshing story, Michael and Stella both have a lot of learning to do when it comes to relationships, and they way they do it made me smile.  I felt that we could all relate to Stella in ways, We have all felt out of place, overwhelmed,  and all spoken out before our brain has caught up.

Heck, I loved Stella's bluntness!  So much talking around things these days, the straight to the point can be a good thing.

I adore Michael and his family.  Ms Hoang brought quite of the Vietnamese-ness to the reader, which is something else that I have not come across in my reading, though I am sure there is plenty of it out there.

Beautifully written, lovely storyline, enjoyable characters.  This was one that just left me feeling good.

I can't wait to see what Ms Hoang brings us next.


Blogger Excerpt

Youve watched Pretty Woman too many times. Kissing doesnt mean anything, and its always best if youre not thinking too much in bed. Trust me, he said.
Her mouth thinned into a stubborn line. This is too important for me not to think. Id rather not kiss anymore if you dont mind.
Michaels irritation redoubled, and he forced his hands to relax before he popped all his blood vessels. How the hell had he gotten himself into this? Ah yes, hed been worried about his escort colleagues taking advantage of her. Stupid of him. His life was complicated enough without worrying about his clients. This was exactly why he had the one-session policy.
He would have backed outit was temptingbut hed promised. He always carried through on his promises. It was his way of balancing out the universe. His dad had broken enough promises for the both of them.
All right, he made himself say. No kissing.
Do the other plans look okay? she asked.
He forced himself to read them and found them pretty similar, only shed moved from hand jobs to blowjobs and changed the sexual positions.
Amused despite himself, he said, Im surprised you used the terms doggy style and cow girl.’”
Her cheeks went bright red, and she adjusted her glasses. Im inexperienced, not clueless.
Your plans are missing something important. He held his hand out, and she placed the pen in his palm with wary motions.
She tilted her head to the side as she watched him write FOREPLAY at the top of all the plans in capital letters. As an afterthought, he drew a box in front of each iteration with hard stabs of the pen.
But why? I was under the impression men dont need it.
You do, he said flatly.
She wrinkled her nose and shook her head. You dont have to bother with me.
He narrowed his eyes. Its not a bother. Most men like foreplay. I do. Getting a woman hot is satisfying as hell. Besides, he was not having sex with her if she wasnt ready. No fucking way.
Swallowing, she stared down at the menu. So youre saying I dont have a chance to improve.
What? No. His mind scrambled to figure out why she might say that and came up with nothing.
You saw how I reacted. It was one button.
And then you slept with me all night. You were basically naked, and you cling.
Are you two ready to order? the waitress interjected. Judging by the amused glimmer in her eyes, shed caught the last part of their conversation.
Stella perused the dinner options, her nails picking at the fabric edging of the menu.
Well have the special, Michael said.
Wise choice. Ill leave you to it. The waitress winked, gathered the menus, and disappeared.
Whats the special? Stella asked.
I have no idea. Lets hope its not woolly.
A troubled frown bracketed her mouth, and she leaned forward hesitantly, meeting his eyes for the briefest second. What exactly do you mean by cling?’”
Michael grinned. It means you like to cuddle when youre asleep.

She looked so horrified Michael couldnt help laughing. I confess to liking it. Which was the truth, and unlike him. Cuddling was an obligatory thing he did for his clients because he understood they needed it. He usually spent the time counting the seconds until he could leave and go home to shower. Holding Stella had been nothing like that. They hadnt had sex, so thered been nothing to wash away, and the trusting way shed curled into him had made him feel things he didnt want to think about.