Steamy and unconventional, The Kiss Quotient makes for an interesting read. The gender role reversal makes this novel the version of Pretty Woman we’ve all been waiting for. The portrayal of the love life of a woman with Asperger’s is particularly compelling, allowing us to delve deeper into the mind of a person who does not fit in with the rest of society. One criticism I have is that the writing was a bit dry at times, perhaps due to the want for more romance and conversation rather than just the physical, on which the novel places so much emphasis. The following is a spoiler-free review.

The kiss quotient book cover by helen hoang for review

Book Blurb: 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.

I found Stella Lane to be a fascinating character. She is determined, clever, and brave enough to face her fear of men and relationships. I think what this novel did so well is show how differently autistic women behave and think, compared to autistic men (who are usually the ones being portrayed in media). Stella is eager to please and it pulls at our heartstrings to see her so out of her comfort zone and yet trying her best. I also liked Michael’s character, who is portrayed as loving, patient, and sexy. And those love scenes…wow, all I’m saying is there is plenty of that for those who like their racy scenes!

As to the story itself, I thought it was lovely how Stella and Michael’s relationship blossomed throughout the book. It would have been even better if they did a bit more talking in a non-sexual encounter, just to show that it is not all about the physical side of things. It did feel a bit unrealistic that Stella had been having all these issues with men before, and suddenly this guy comes along and everything he does is complete and utter perfection. But then again, it is a romance fiction book where things can be overexaggerated. I also thought the book was lacking in the emotional department in some respects. There was a lot of jealousy and a lot of passion…but not so much on the deeper aspects.

Overall, The Kiss Quotient is a good read for those who are interested in the romantic perspective of a woman with Asperger’s and who enjoy racy scenes. The storyline and conversations may not be the best, but the characterisation was quite interesting.

Warning: Contains brief mentions of dubious consent in sexual encounters. Please do not hesitate to ask for more information if you have any questions.

Rating: 3.5/5

Have you read this novel and what did you think? Does this sound like your kind of book? Let me know in the comments!

9 thoughts on “Book Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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