Diverse Read: Main character with Asperger’s + a Vietnamese/Swedish love interest
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 STARS)
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Summary: 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…
My thoughts: What a delightful and refreshing romance! The Kiss Quotient is a debut romance that should be on everyone’s radar because it has great, complex characters, a lovely romance that’s full of consent, and an amazing storyline reminiscent of Pretty Woman. TKQ is about an econometrician named Stella, who has Asperger’s and is inexperienced, sexually. She wants to break out of her boundaries and decides to hire an escort to teach her how to be better in bed. Thus, she hires a gorgeous Vietnamese/Swedish escort, named Michael, who becomes intertwined in Stella’s life in ways she never expected.
There’s something so fun about this novel, and I think it’s because Stella and Michael are two completely different people who come together and find this unique connection that they don’t have with anyone else. Stella is the type of person who doesn’t trust easily and is somewhat awkward in social situations, meanwhile, Michael is suave, sexy, and sure of himself. What I loved about their relationship dynamic was the fact that they both learned more about themselves, with the help of one another. Their relationship was also full of consent which was just a breath of fresh air. The times when Michael warns Stella that he’s going to kiss or touch her was such a small detail in the novel that I enjoyed to read.
Another detail that stuck out, to me, was the character development in both Michael and Stella. They both had their unique issues to deal with: Stella’s inability to connect with others, on a sexual level, and Michael’s inability to move on with his past and chase his dreams. The way their lives developed and changed, over time, was so well written, and I just fell head-over-heels for both of these main characters and Michae’s family that played a large role in this novel. To me, there’s nothing better than a romance novel that also includes familial aspects into the storyline.
If you’re looking for a great, diverse read that showcases the complexities of sexuality, family relationships, trust, confidence, and love, then you must read The Kiss Quotient. This is a book that I can’t recommend enough.
** I received a free digital ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. **