Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: review

4/5 stars on Goodreads

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient is a contemporary romance set in San Francisco. It follows Stella, a highly successful econometrician and Michael, a male escort. Stella is autistic, but she doesn’t want to disclose it to anyone. With her good coping mechanisms, not many people notice, but it has led into some very bad dates and sexual encounters.

Disgusted with herself, she hires Michael to teach her how to be better in bed. This soon turns into teaching her how to be better in relationships. It turns out, she’s just fine with both. She just needs a partner that takes her needs into consideration. But as she is bad at reading people, and he is keeping secrets from her, what could’ve been a start of a great relationship dissolves into misunderstandings and heartbreak. Both need to do some thinking before the happily ever after.

This is a satisfying romance, with enough angst to give it a bite. Sex scenes are great and there are quite a lot of those, especially in the beginning. I liked Stella and Michael both, but side characters remained somewhat vague.

What I didn’t like, and which almost made me give this one star, is how Michael never told Stella that her romantic problems aren’t her fault. He doesn’t tell her that she’s good as she is, and that her problems with sex stem from her partners. Instead of telling her she should let the relationship grow before sex, he pretty much treats her like a porn object, forcing his needs to make her feel good on her. That she does enjoy everything, eventually, didn’t really compensate for it.

Stella figures it out by herself, in the end, and Michael works on his issue too, but as they do it separately, it lessens the romantic impact of the ending. It was satisfying, but not very emotional. But I liked the book well enough to read the next one in the series too.

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