I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. Lately I’ve been buying books based on how many times I see them on bookstagram or on people’s blogs. I skip over a breakdown of the blurb and just see what the person thought about it – if they loved it or not and roughly what genre it is. The Kiss Quotient was a book that fell into this unknown category. I put my trust in fellow book lovers and went into it a bit blind.
And I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It’s a romance with lots of steamy scenes but it has enough differences to make it stand out. Stella Lane is an econometrician who is brilliant at maths and data. But she’s not very good at socialising and relationships because she has Asperger’s. She doesn’t like being touched or noisy crowded places and she can be brutally truthful. She has never had a boyfriend and after three terrible sexual encounters she decides to hire a male escort to teach her the ropes. Michael Phan is the escort she hires. He is half Vietnamese and works as an escort once a week to pay all his family’s debts. Of course he is also gorgeous, kind and has a heart of gold.
I can’t remember reading many books where the female protagonist is on the autism scale. The author Helen Hoang found out when researching this book idea that she has Asperger’s so she was able to create a character who she and many other people can identify with. Stella reminded me a bit of the character Eleanor Oliphant as she often blurted out inappropriate things and behaved awkwardly in social situations.
It was also great having a character with a large Vietnamese family as it made him more interesting than if he had just been another good looking white guy. The book has a Pretty Woman role reversal vibe as Stella is wealthy while Michael’s family of many sisters and a mother are poor.
I wouldn’t say this was an absolutely perfect read that had no issues but it was entertaining, sexy and interesting. I easily devoured it within a day and will probably read it again in the future. The Kiss Quotient would make a great movie. The best thing about this book was seeing some representation for Asian Americans and people with Asperger’s. I’m not sure if the relationship issues in this book would be so easily rectified in the real world but I guess that’s why this is fiction.
Verdict: Read this if you want a romance book with an unconventional plot
What’s the most unconventional love story you’ve ever read?