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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Read The Kiss Quotient, Katie. You'll love it.

I heard the above about forty times over the last few months. My lovely friend Katrina was nice enough to lend it to me, but I'm like a child. The more you tell me to do something, the more I don't want to do it.

I've got weird anxiety about reading sometimes. I tend to read the end of the book before the beginning. I need to know that things are going to end happy. Even knowing that it's a romance novel (and by definition must end happy) isn't enough to quell the waves of nausea I get in my stomach when the characters hit a bumpy patch in their relationship and all seems for naught.

So, The Kiss Quotient sat on my shelf and I side-eyed it for a couple of weeks. I wanted to read it, but knowing people wanted me to read it made the experience a little less enjoyable and my stomach a little more queasy. Finally though Katrina asked for it back I realized I had like three days to read it or lose it forever.


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 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...

Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is thee romance novel of the year. I can't even begin to explain how much I adored it. From the very first word to the very last page I couldn't tear myself away. I did step away for a while when the baby woke up, but the minute I got home I sat right down on the couch and finished it.

There were tears. There was legitimate lol-ing [laugh out loud-ing for you internet noobs]. There was sighing in delight. Stomach-clenching. Thigh-squeezing. Heart-pounding. You name it, it happened to me while reading this book.

The main character Stella (coincidentally the same name as my nanny baby which made reading a little weird at first) is autistic. It wasn't my first time reading a book with an autistic main character (I strongly recommend The Rosie Project), but it was my first time reading it from the perspective of the heroine. I learned so much about the way that people with autism can perceive the world around them and how they may struggle with social interaction, especially dating. I was enraptured by the plot, but I was fascinated with the way Stella processed every aspect of her life.

Michael was an amazing hero. I loved every part of him, even the parts that made me want to scream. I loved how much patience and understanding he had when it came to Stella, especially when she was questioning her own attraction and ability to have a functional relationship with another person. He almost always knew the right thing to say to bring her back to reality.

This book was full of misunderstandings and quirky situations, but there was also something so much deeper going on. It started so light-hearted that I almost didn't expect the depth it reached, but by the end I wanted to hug it to my chest and scream in delight. I could have read a million more pages on this couple and I'm so sad that it's over. I'll have to read it again and again and again in order to get my fill of Stella and Michael (if it's even possible to get my fill). No one's life will be complete without this book on their shelf.

You can purchase the book at your local independent bookstore or for your Kindle here.

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