Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

This must be my first romance read in years to come, but the premise behind The Kiss Quotient sounded like the right kind of light and steamy book I craved. The romance also indicates that a lot of the novel depends on feeling and less on rational thought, so the two constant moods I had during my reading experience – courtesy of the male lead, Michael Phan– can be summed up with these iconic vines:

 

 

 

Also: Why did I choose one of the warmest days of the season to read this book that had me blushing and sweating 90% of the time?? And how is it that I wasn’t even planning on reviewing The Kiss Quotient, but still felt the need to talk about it… We’ll start at the beginning by including the synopsis:

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…

This is the one romance novel I read that gets things right by not focusing on exterior noise we’re not here for (like whining about one’s job, family, friend, etc.); we’re all here for the sweet rush of hormones, adrenaline, and swooning. So I was glad the author began the novel by skipping straight to the good stuff without having to pretend like we care for their personal lives outside the relationship because I obviously don’t if I picked up a romance book…

“She’d looked at him like she saw no one else. ”

I’m also beyond grateful Michael didn’t rush Stella into things their first time meeting and took things “ultra-slow” because that is just what she (and I) needed. soft scenes > hot and heavy scenes. Like, drawing out their first exquisite kiss:

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This boy had me nearly drooling like a dog.

Unfortunately so, this point is also where my following problems stem from with the remaining half of The Kiss Quotient . After Stella and Michael grow, naturally, more comfortable with one another, the soft scenes get dropped into the background to give light to more racy developments… which after a couple of chapters of the same old same had me feeling numb. I feel like the chase between Stella and Michael was way more exhilarating for me than them actually being together. (I mean, don’t even get me started on the traumatizing ‘meet the family’ scene * shudders *.)

I just wanted my soft man to show, but in its place, when both the novelty and excitement wear off, his over-protective ways show, which I personally wasn’t too keen on it; Stella definitely was.

All in all: The Kiss Quotient plunged me into an exhilarating head-start with its romance, so much so that I felt like Cookie Monster, wanting more and more, to quote from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl: “I never think the chapters are too long. I just want more and more and more.” The girl waved her hands in front of her mouth like she was Cookie Monster eating cookies.” 

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publication Date: June 5th, 2018

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