This review will fill the “Not in My Wheelhouse” square.
I believe I have stated this before on here, but I’m not much of a Romance girl. There seems to be a stereotype of women loving their little mass market paperbacks of billionaires seducing young ingenues or Fabio with an open shirt kissing a woman with a heaving bosom. Of course, not all women are into these things, and if they are, that’s their business and they aren’t hurting anyone, so who cares? But I digress…romance isn’t my thing, which is why I surprised myself by enjoying the Cannonball Read recommended The Hating Game last year. This year, I was intrigued by the new release, The Kiss Quotient, so I decided to give it a try.
The Kiss Quotient is about econometrician Stella. She is really good with math and great at her job. Of course, because she is a single woman of advanced age (She is 30 years old, the hag! #eyeroll), her parents are hounding her to marry a nice man and have some babies. Unfortunately, the situation is a bit complicated because Stella has Asperger’s and is very awkward in social situations. When her douchebag coworker (Who her parents think would make a great match, which: ew) suggests that she could land a boyfriend by learning to be better at sex, she thinks he might be on to something. Stella decides to hire an escort to practice her skills.
Michael is said hooker with a heart of gold. He turns tricks to pay off his mother’s medical bills, but his true passion is fashion design. When Michael meets Stella, he immediately falls in love with her. He doesn’t understand how such a beautiful, sweet young lady would need to hire someone like him. During their bedroom time, he starts to realize that she has had some bad encounters in the past. Her other paramours didn’t care that she was tense and scared. Michael takes it slowly, gets her to relax and open up. They don’t actually have sex, but it is a very positive encounter.
Stella wants to hire Michael again. He has a strict policy against repeating clients, but she threatens to hire another escort, and Michael worries about her. After some more sex practice, she decides what she needs is to hire him as a pretend boyfriend. She will pay him $10,000 to be her boyfriend for a month. After that, she will be able to snag a real boyfriend. Of course, by now Stella really wants Michael but thinks that he couldn’t possibly want her. Michael in turn wants Stella but thinks she couldn’t possibly want him.
I’m a little torn because I liked The Kiss Quotient, it’s a pretty sweet romance. But there is a LOT of sex. So. Much. Sex. It’s a bit much for someone more used to YA books and fade to black sex encounters, especially given how graphic it is. Here’s a question for more experienced romance readers: do men always come off creepy when doing dirty talk/sex lessons? Because Michael’s bedroom instruction sounded a little condescending to me. Also, is it normal for him to call her vagina a sex? Is that a thing? Part of me does wish that Stella wasn’t described as tiny, pretty, perfect body. Some love for a taller, lumpier girl with Asperger’s would have been nice. It still gets extra points for switching up traditional gender roles, the whole reverse Pretty Woman thing. All in all, I recommend The Kiss Quotient, but prepare yourself for some very intense reading that could possibly embarrass you in public.
If you like, you can visit my review in its home at my blog here.