Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Adult, Romance
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Bookish First in exchange for an honest review
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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 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...


The Kiss Quotient has been high on my wish list ever since I stumbled upon it last winter. I love the title (Can we PLEASE have more math related titles? It makes the math lover in me so incredibly happy!). The cover is all kinds of adorable. Most importantly, the synopsis was screaming "Read me, Read me!"

I will admit, however, that I was beyond nervous when I finally did get my hands on a early copy. I was so worried that it wouldn't leave up to my expectations, that I wouldn't love it as much as everyone else. Luckily, the worse case scenario didn't occur. Because the The Kiss Quotient? It's I-can't-stop-smiling adorable, burn-the-house-down sexy, and pee-your-pants funny. It's one of my favorite romance reads of the year (right up there with The Wedding Date!), and honestly, I can't suggest it highly enough. 

I knew from the synopsis that I was going to connect with Stella. I mean, how couldn't I? I love math nearly as much as she does. As it turns out, my predication was correct. Stella was so incredibly easy to love. She's smart, fearless, and incredibly thoughtful. I loved her bunt way of speaking. It broke my heart, though, that there were several times that she didn't believe she was worthy of a true, all consuming type of love. Those were the times where I wished I could talk to her, give her pep talk, and tell her things were going to work out. She was perfect the way she was, and anyone who told her otherwise wasn't worth her time. Her thoughts about numbers and math also completely reflected my own. There's something just so marvelous about numbers, perfect in a sense, and I could understand why she was so driven by her work. Additionally, Stella has Aspergers, and Helen did a fantastic job of intertwining it within Stella's character. I appreciated the representation. What I appreciated the most, however, was that Helen stressed that Stella could have the world and more, that nothing was out of her reach, even with being on the spectrum. It was incredibly positive to say the least. 

While I do admit Stella was my favorite character in The Kiss Quotient, Michael also managed to wiggle his way into my heart. Like Stella, he's come to the conclusion that true love isn't meant for him as well but for completely different reasons. Michael is in a sense the ultimate hero. He's compassionate and stunning on the inside as well as the outside. I loved how patient he was with Stella, how he never questioned her quirks, and instead worked with her to make things right. It was heartwarming to say the least, and it made me fully believe that they were meant to be. 

The Kiss Quotient primarily focusses on Michael and Stella's business agreement turned relationship, and I loved every single second of it. Michael and Stella's first meeting was one of my favorite parts of the book (I'm still laughing about the word wholly). Plus it established their chemistry, making me committed to their story from that moment onward. As the book continues, Michael and Stella have a push-and-pull kind of relationship. Every time Michael or Stella feels that they aren't meant to be, they push the other away, only to have that person pull them back. I also loved that this book took on so many different tones. There were times I thought this was going to be nothing but a spicy hot romance novel (some of the scenes in this are OFF THE CHARTS), and I was okay with that - I love fluff just as much as the next person. However, Helen managed to throw me a curveball here, as she also made The Kiss Quotient so incredibly personable as well as emotional. We see Michael and Stella at so many highs as well as lows, not only in their relationship but in their lives in general. Michael  struggles with his family's reputation as well as the sacrifices he made to help his mother and sisters. Stella struggles with living her life to the fullest and not letting her Asperger's control what she does and doesn't do. Both story lines wormed their way into my heart, and I felt every emotion hard. 

My only compliant? I wish the secondary characters would have been slightly more developed. I wanted to know more about Michael's sisters and cousin as well as Stella's parents. 

Regardless, The Kiss Quotient is a standout debut, and I can't wait for June to come so I can suggest this book to everyone I know. I'm probably a broken record by now, but I'll say it again...

Adorable as well as sexy, The Kiss Quotient contains all my favorite romance book traits while also bringing with it honesty, charm, and enough emotions to have even the most stoney person smiling.  

4 stars!! 

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