The Kiss Quotient by Helena Hoang | The Kiss Quotient #1
Publication Date | June 5th, 2018
ARC from the publisher
| Review |
I don’t know what I can say about this book that hasn’t already but said, but I’m going to give it a go. I’m not usually one who gives into hype. More often than not, I walk away wishing I loved the book more. That was so not the case with The Kiss Quotient. This book left me with a full heart. I swear it touched my soul, and I could not have loved Stella or Michael more.
The story opens with Stella’s mother telling her she is ready for grandchildren, and as a woman who is single with no one on the horizon (and because…what the heck?) she finds this news jarring. But as the plot moves on, Stella knows she wants more than her solitary lifestyle, so she resolves to become comfortable with physical contact and intimacy. Her Asperger’s is something that hinders her, and as someone who is goal driven, Stella is convinced that with the proper plan, it’s something she can ‘overcome.’ When a coworker caustically mentions a male escort, Stella seizes onto that idea and puts a plan into action.
Enter Michael, who is cleaning up his father’s mess moonlighting as an escort to take care of his family. He and Stella get off to a rocky start, but Michael proves to be very caring and intuitive about Stella’s needs. Michael was practically freaking perfect. He was so sweet and thoughtful, and I just could not get enough of him. He wasn’t pushy or demeaning (most of the time,) and he wasn’t afraid to apologize when he stumbled.
I adored Michael’s family. They had such wonderful banter, and it was clear how much they adored each other and why he was so moved to take care of them. His cousin Quan was a nice voice of reason for him, and I am hoping to get his story eventually. There was way more steam that I was expecting, and the things that came out of Michael’s mouth…I think I may have been left panting a few times. Also, he called Stella ‘My Stella,’ and while it could have been cheesy, I found it sexy as hell here and couldn’t get enough of it.
This book was just wonderful – two people trying so hard to be someone else that they missed they were being loved exactly for her they were, and it had me laughing and crying over and over again, and I just didn’t want to put it down. I was happy, too, that Stella’s mother, who angered me in the beginning, really grew on me by the end. Her words were so jarring even to me as a reader that I completely missed she was speaking to Stella in the way Stella was most familiar with communicating – straight on. Even if I think her expectations were a bit too smothering, it was clear she loved her daughter.
I also love a good groveling hero, and I feel like Michael was that – I love that Stella made Michael chase her (even if that wasn’t her intent,) and that he was so damn good at. They were such a perfect pair, and I adored every moment of their story.
OK – it’s clear I have gushed enough, so I’ll just say I am absolutely floored that this is a debut author, and I am thrilled to see what she has in store for us. If you pick up The Kiss Quotient, be sure you have a whole afternoon to set aside…and to swoon!
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