I finally read The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. I have to confess that I’m reading this loose series out of order. I reviewed The Bride Test last year, which made me cry it was so sweet. This year, I’m reviewing it for CBR12 bingo square with the “Cannonballer Says” square. Looking at the past reviews, nearly all my CBR romance peeps raved about it. And it did not disappoint!
Stella Lane loves her job predicting customer behavior using complex math. In her personal life, she doesn’t have the same success rate. But she wants to improve on what she perceives is a lack of experience. She hires a dreamy half-Vietnamese half-Swedish escort named Michael to educate her. In the book, he is compared to the very attractive actor, Daniel Henney, from K-drama and Criminal Minds fame.
Michael isn’t aware that Stella is atypical, but treats her with respect even when she confounds him. He has a strict rule to never do repeat dates. But Stella is different and gets a grip on his heart. The story takes some unexpected turns while not skimping on the HEAT level. Michael is multi-layered as well, struggling with who he wants to be. He has some family skeletons, which I won’t spoil, but he didn’t choose to become an escort lightly. Many of my favorite parts of the book focused on his close-knit family and his devotion to them. Helen Hoang deserves all the praise for crafting a sweet romance featuring an atypical heroine. Similar to the sequel, I love Hoang’s focus on the characters and realistically revealing their insecurities. Stella and Michael have an undeniable attraction, which does get quite steamy. He is a real professional, so he knows quite a thing or two about pleasing women. The plot could have easily gone the predictable route, but it was engaging and refreshing at every turn for me. I’m not super into contemporary romance, but this one was irresistible. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves the Debra Messing/Dermot Mulroney rom-com, The Wedding Date. And of course, if you’re a romance fan who likes HEAT on the page, you will LOVE this book.
Bonus: The animated book trailer for this book is adorable as heck!
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