Book Review – The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

“I don’t want just a night or a week or a month with you. I want you all the time. I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.” 

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My expectations for The Kiss Quotient were outrageous. I was so nervous going into this because high expectations tend to lead to disappointment. Especially since I’ve been eyeing this book since February.

I’m happy to say that I could not put this book down for the life of me. It’s 1:32 a.m. and I have 4 hours before I need to wake up for my impending surgery, yet I’m writing this review because I can’t control myself.

Sounds about right.

But who the hell cares when the characters and their story drag you in. And let me tell ya, Stella and Michael’s does just that.

Quick Synopsis

Stella Lane is one of the most down-to-earth characters ever with her blatant honesty and unique perceptions on life. She’s an econometrician with some difficulty in the dating department. The Asperger’s doesn’t exactly help either or the fact that “French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish” which is what leads her to the conclusion that she needs help. Help from someone who is a professional in that department.

That leads her to Michael Larsen (alias: Michael Phan), an escort who is seriously amazing. I loved Michael. He was such a sweet guy and ahhh. You can’t help, but fall for him. He’s that likable. Add on the fact that he declined some great offers for work to care for his mom and wham! You’re a goner.

A Closer Look

But let’s focus on Stella and Michael together. Those two together are what I call a match made in a martial arts movie. It’s inevitable. There were dozens of these small moments that yanked giddy smiles right out of me.

From their first meeting when Stella gave him a heads up to steer clear of the lamb since it had a “wooly taste” to when Michael wore the boxers that Stella bought him (I’ll get more into that later).

I do have to admit one thing that irritated me: Phillip. I don’t know what his deal was, but I wanted to give him another black eye. He reminds me of a wet frog; slippery and slimy. One second he appears uninterested and is telling you to go find a guy and the next he’s trying to force his lips on you whilst saying that the guy you like is below you.

You know what Phillip? I have a strong dislike towards you and I hope you get fired or at least get a kick to the groin. I really don’t like you.

But truthfully, I found the change within him strange. Especially paired with how he said he had been crushing on Stella for a while and was just intimidated by her. I just don’t buy it coming from the likes of him. Anyway, he’s not Michael, so he’s not even worth the effort of tapping letters.

Moving along, I enjoyed the slow buildup between Stella and Michael. It made them more real and you can’t help but root for them by the end.

Combined, they both had their fair share of insecurities. Ooh, might as well list them:

Stella and Michael

  • Believed the other would be embarrassed by him/her


  • Thought she would constantly say or do the wrong thing
  • Nervous about not measuring up to everyone who Michael dated (including clients) in the past
  • Insecure about her ability to date/sex/French kiss
  • That Michael didn’t trust her and wouldn’t want her after learning she has Asperger’s


  • Money
  • Being good enough for Stella
  • His dad
  • Level of success
  • The fact that he thought she was only practicing with him and would eventually find someone else who would “fit” her better
  • His dad

Open communication could have obliterated these problems in the first place, but it was fine. Of course, they had a slight step backwards after the gala/charity dinner, but we knew it would work out.

Not only did I like the love story, but I definitely came out of this with a better understanding of how someone with Aspergers may feel along with different habits.

I enjoyed reading about this because I feel not many books touch upon this. And Stella was such a fun character. Especially with some of her comparisons and thoughts that would randomly pop up.

And I also felt the topic of consent was handled beautifully between Michael and Stella. There was never a point when he pushed her into something she wasn’t truly comfortable with. He was always respectful and patient with her which really makes my heart want to burst (not really burst though, more like swell a bit).

But then we had Mr. Slime who did not seem to understand consent. I will be forever grateful towards Michael for sucker-punching him.

Economics and Underwear

Oh and about that pair of underwear she bought him, I was ready to jump out of bed and cheer when it all came around full circle. Her analysis hit the bullseye with frightening accuracy.

“Are you wearing the underwear I got you?”

Laughter cracked out of him. “Sometimes, the way your mind works is a complete mystery to me.”

“Are you?” She transferred the bear underneath her arm and tucked her fingers into the waistband of his pants above his leather belt.

Lips curving, he unfastened his belt, unbuttoned his pants, and drew the zipper down. “If we get arrested for lewd acts in public, they better let us share a cell.”

This is the type of interaction that makes them so incredibly adorable. And it just gets better honestly. I’d love to add in the rest of this excerpt, but that would basically ruin the experiment. So I’ll practice some self-control.

But really, it’s all economics. When you’re looking for an answer, turn to econometricians. They have all the answers.

If you’re looking for a sweet love story that has the ability to make you laugh all the while wanting to karate chop a few people in half, then read this! Even if you just want to take your mind off the daily hassles of life, this is a great way to do just that.

Helen Hoang did a wonderful job with Stella and Michael and I’m sure they’ll leave an impression on whoever picks up their story.

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