This was Silicon Valley, the kingdom of tech geniuses and scientists. The single men available were probably as hopeless in bed as she was. With her luck, she’d sleep with a statistically significant population of them and have nothing to show for it but crotch burn and STDs.
No, what Stella needed was a professional.
What a refreshing romantic comedy by Helen Hoang. In a gender-swapped version of Pretty Woman, Stella Lane is a remarkably successful economist whose autism has held her back from having a lot of romantic experience. With her mother putting pressure on her to couple up and start having babies, she decides if anyone is ever going to want to be with her, she’ll need to brush up on dating and sex. So, she hires a “professional” Michael Phan, who shows her that dating really can be fun.
Our heroine – Stella – is relatable and damn believable. I don’t think you have to be diagnosed as autistic to understand some of the pressures she feels. At least on a small level, most people out there want to be able to project the best version of themselves into the world and she has to work EXTRA hard to do this. I’m not autistic but I saw myself in some of her anxieties. She was unflinchingly honest with herself and Micheal which was SO refreshing in a romance novel (where all too often characters’ inability to tell each other how they feel is often the greatest “conflict”).
Our hero – Michael – is everything you’d want from a great romantic lead – gorgeous and sensitive. He certainly was not perfect but Hoang did a fantastic job of making his best qualities authentic, especially his relationship with his large Vietnamese family, which was easily was one of my favorite things about The Kiss Quotient.
I think I am forever a fan of Hoang if she keeps writing such smart romance. This is one of those excellent novels that stands out from the genre.
Thank you to NetGalley for access to this book in return for my honest opinion. The Kiss Quotient is scheduled to be released in the USA on June 5, 2018.