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…
Trigger and content warnings: Unwanted touching and forced kissing, lowkey sexual harassment, anxiety attacks, abandonment, a loved one with a chronic illness, a fatphobic comment/insult, someone telling someone else about a person’s diagnosis.
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There have been so many people telling me to read The Kiss Quotient. I was so excited when I got it for Christmas in a bookswap last year, I didn’t start it for 5 months. I’m horrible when it comes to reading books as soon as I get them. There’s always something that stops me from doing that and it sucks. But I did read it! And here are my thoughts.
The Kiss Quotient is a contemporary, one thing they all have in common is that they are predictable. You know that two people usually come together, something happens and they’re apart, and then in the end they come together again. There, happily ever after.. or at least as far as we know. While The Kiss Quotient was no different, there were some small aspects of the story that did manage to surprise me. In a good way! It was really fun to see that there was still a contemporary romance novel out there that managed to surprise me, even if it was only a little bit.
So, the characters. Stella and Michael. I really liked their chemistry, their interactions. Both struggled with entirely different things and they were entirely different people. One thing I thought was really well portrayed was Stella’s autism. I don’t have autism myself, and I do know that every person with autism is different. However, there were some aspects that I recognized in friends that do have autism. I also really liked that while autism is a big part of Stella’s life, it wasn’t portrayed as all that Stella was. There were a lot of aspects to autism that I didn’t know before, especially the seams and the way clothes feel on your skin. I did now about sensitivity to certain fabrics, but never really had anyone explain to me what it really did.
What I already really loved is something incredibly important. Consent. Michael was super respectful towards Stella and didn’t do anything she didn’t want to do. He waits until she is completely ready to do things and if she isn’t, he just doesn’t do it. The way he treated her in those moments, every man and woman should be like that.
AND to add to all this. Nowhere in the book is Michael shamed for being an escort! It is so important that people that choose to go into the escorting business, if it’s because you genuinely enjoy it, or if there are other circumstances that force you into it (except someone else forcing you against your will, that is wrong and not the case here), just do not shame those people. There is nothing wrong with being an escort and I really loved that while Michael was struggling with some aspects of it, there was no judgement in the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. If you’re not into books with lots of sex scenes, this might not be the book for you. If you don’t mind it, or even like it, and you like books containing actual important messages, I really recommend this to you. And bonus! Number 2 in this series, The Bride Test just came out! So you can order both and just keep reading 😉