The Kiss Quotient

Berkley. Jun. 2018. 318p. ISBN 9780451490803. pap. $15. EROTIC ROMANCE
DEBUT Stella Lane, a successful 30-year-old econometrician with Asperger’s syndrome, is feeling the pressure from her mother to settle down. But she doesn’t like dating, or kissing, or what might come after. So she finds a practical solution: hiring escort Michael Phan for some unconventional education. When their first night doesn’t go as planned, Stella realizes that her intended field of study should be relationships, not just sex. Michael agrees to be her faux boyfriend, but neither can deny that the feelings brewing between them are very real. Debut author Hoang, diagnosed with Asperger’s herself, portrays Stella with honesty and tenderness. Michael's fraught family history is given lush attention, with a cast of endearing relatives who come together in a delightfully realistic portrayal of an unlikely couple falling in love. This title sits firmly in the erotic romance category, but the couple's slow build (and sizzling sexual chemistry) is certainly worth the wait.
VERDICT A compulsively readable erotic romance that is equal parts sugar and spice. Highly recommended.
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