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review 2018-10-08 13:09
Not a Typical Romance
The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang

Trigger warning: descriptions of sexual assault

 

I found "The Kiss Quotient" not quite perfect. Mostly it's because I started to get annoyed by the two main characters (Stella and Michael) who were both too afraid to tell each other their feelings though it was plain as day to everyone else. I also hard cringed at the fact that Stella didn't get that was sexually assaulted by the so-called men that came before Michael. She has Asperger's, it doesn't mean that she wouldn't understand that. It really rubbed me the wrong way. The chemistry between Michael and Stella was great. I loved the development of their characters and secondary characters in the book. The romance/sex scenes were red hot. I think it's been a while that I actually read a contemporary romance book that didn't fade to black so to speak when the two leads finally have sex. The author usually skips to the morning after. 

 

"The Kiss Quotient" has Stella Lane deciding to hire an escort that will teach her all about kissing and sex. After a very nasty comment by her coworker about needing to learn to like sex, Stella decides that is what she will do. She hires Michael Phan and she ends up talking him into giving her lessons about kissing and sex. Initially Michael says no since he has a only see a client one time rule. However, something about Stella gets to him, and before long they are having lessons and then agreeing to fake date so Stella can learn how to be a real girlfriend. 

 

This book is marketed as a gender bending "Pretty Woman" and I can see why. We hear about how hot Michael is (he's Vietnamese and Swedish). His looks though are a source of pain. Many women who have known him, have only wanted to have sex with him and didn't care about his dreams at all. With Stella, he has someone who is much wealthier than him who likes to be around him. Stella on her part cannot understand why Michael likes her, but she likes everything about him from his looks, his smell, and the way he kisses her. 

 

I also really like that Michael told Stella point blank that no one has the right to force her to have sex if she doesn't want it or to kiss her against her will (which happened in this book, ugh). I also have to say though that it annoyed me that Stella didn't get that. Her parents were fairly absent in this book and I wonder why neither of them had that conversation with her. Since she has Asperger's and apparently takes things quite literal at times, you are telling me they didn't think they needed to have that conversation?

 

The secondary characters, which focuses mostly on Michael's family were great. I loved Michael's plethora of sisters and his cousin. His grandmother and mother were awesome too. 

 

The writing worked for me. I think that Hoang did a good job with taking the narrative back and forth from Stella to Michael throughout the book. The flow was good too. I do think the ending could have been tightened up a bit. 

 

The ending was sweet though I wish we had gotten at least one more scene with Stella and her parents with some sort of understanding between the three of them. Stella's mother definitely got that Michael was something more than what she had experienced before. Her father not so much. 

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text 2018-10-06 19:01
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang

Liked the idea of a gender swapped Pretty Woman. Really hot love scenes. Be warned though that some parts may be triggering for rape and sexual assault.

 

Stella (rich and clueless about men) decides to hire an escort to teach her about sex. Stella has tried to enjoy sex and kissing and hates it. When she hires Michael that all changes.

 

Michael is forced to become an escort due to his mother’s medical bills and the debt his father left family to deal with. He has a rule that he only sees clients once, but finds himself intrigued by giving Stella lessons in sex.

 

Loved having Michael as a biracial Vietnamese and white. His family sounds loud and loving. Hoang did a great job with providing details about him. She apparently did a lot of research into Asperger too and I hope those who have the condition found it realistic.

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review 2018-07-26 14:52
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang

I’ve been hearing good things about this book lately and after a pretty epic read I needed something light and fluffy. The Guardian book review section mentioned it and since they’ve always been accurate in the past, I dived in.

 

The Kiss Quotient is about a thirty-year-old woman called Stella who’s an econometrist. She’s a whizz where math is concerned, but when it comes to social interactions she has difficulty, namely due to her Autism. When her mother suggests she gets a boyfriend, mainly due to the intrinsic desire to have grandchildren, Stella employs an escort to teach her how to perform in the bedroom. She hasn’t had any decent sexual experiences in the past and thinks he can help.

 

The escort she employs is Michael, a Vietnamese man who's escorting in order to pay for his mother’s medical bills. The very fact of why he’s escorting was a bit clique. It’d be a change to read about someone who just did escorting because they liked sex or something, but anyway.

 

From this point on the novel works in alternate sections, sometimes from Michael’s perspective, sometimes Stella’s. This worked and kept the narrative from becoming stale.

The book as a whole was well enough written, if not stylistically unique. There were very few descriptive passages outside of the bedroom, of which there was a lot. I’m somewhat of a minority here when I say it was too much. There were continual sex scenes when what I really wanted was plot. However, I did know what I was getting into with this, so that’s really my fault.

 

There wasn’t much plot and what there was was predictable, if entertaining. If you want a sexy summer read this would definitely do it for you. There just wasn’t enough substance for me.

 

The best element was how Autism was handled, so it gets an extra half-star for that.

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text 2018-07-21 10:42
Reading progress update: I've read 86%.
The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang

Finishing this off with a cup of tea. I love Saturday mornings.

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text 2018-07-13 20:38
Reading progress update: I've read 8%.
The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang

I've heard so many good things about this book that I added it to mount TBR a few weeks ago. Then when I was reading the guardian book review section yesterday and saw it, I decided to start it at the first opportunity. After the epic that was North and South, I can see this being a fast read, which is exactly what I need to balance things out.

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