I rated The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang a 4.6/5 star. There are two others in this contemporary romance series, but it could also be a standalone since it ended tied up in a neat little bow. I loved that the two points of view switched between the main characters, Stella and Michael (however I wished it was first person instead of third person). The cover made me assume it would be cleaner because of the little cartoons. I think steamy romcom needs a different way to market than mixing in with the cutesie romcom covers.
If you want a comp, think “Pretty Women” mixed with “Crazy Rich Asians” but the roles are reversed. Right in chapter one Stella is researching a male escort service right out of the gate. That caught my attention. She finds stud Michael and their fake relationship breaks all his client rules. Once I hit chapter eight, I didn’t like the foreshadowing of expecting obsessive behavior though. Halfway through, I felt addicted to this book. It was a fast, smooth, flowing read. The only thing that wasn’t my favorite was when Michael compared Stella’s autistic characteristics to Khai’s. Because, from my experience, no two people with autism present the same.
Michael’s character development of learning that he wasn’t the same as his criminal father and could forge his new path was concise and clear. Stella’s arc of accepting herself despite her differences was a little predictable but done as realistically in possible in the short time span the page-length allowed. Both of their ‘All is Lost’ moments were done well. I could feel the slamming of the piano keys and the paper ripping.
I barely took notes or made comments while reading this novel because it was such a fast, spicy read. My favorite part were the sweet moments between the two when they were just a typical couple. What I’d change would be to add some more tension with Phillip. The epilogue wasn’t really needed, and I didn’t fully enjoy the “I love you because I buy you stuff” concept. They were a sweet pair and I’m interested in the next in this series.