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All booksRomanceThe Kiss Quotient
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient

Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to The Kiss Quotient!
We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Helen Hoang, on your first book!

by Helen Hoang

Quick take

A math whiz with Asperger's finds there's no simple equation when it comes to learning how to love.

Good to know

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Why I love it

Celestine Williams
BOTM Readers Committee

In the past, I have been that reader who thinks herself “above” the romance genre. I had this misconception that cool kids don’t read romance. But recently, books like The Kiss Quotient are showing me what I've been missing. Not only is this book well-written and free of cliches, but bonus: It’s an own-voices perspective—in other words, it’s a story with a diverse cast of characters written by a diverse author. The author drew on her own experiences with autism to write a heartfelt book about a woman with autism, and the result was so winning I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Stella is an autistic, phenomenally successful econometrician (a.k.a. math genius) who doesn’t have a lot of sexual experience. After being teased at work about this, she decides to hire an escort to teach her a few bedroom tricks. Enter Michael, a consummate professional (and total cutie). The relationship isn’t meant to be anything other than transactional. But, as you might have guessed, that plan quickly goes off the rails …

This is one of those books where the characters are the main selling point—Stella and Michael’s relationship is steamy, yes, but supportive too. They’re regular humans who have a lot to discover about each other and themselves, and their story shows that it’s always worth it to bet on romance. I’m just glad I bet on this book!

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Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with and way less experience in the dating department than the average 30 year old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: She needs lots of practice—with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan—from foreplay to more-than-missionary position …

As Michael and Stella’s no-nonsense partnership takes them out of the bedroom and into a full-time practice relationship, being together starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic ...

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Member thoughts

All (14804)
All (14804)
Love (9668)
Like (4221)
Dislike (915)
14960 ratings
  • 65% Love
  • 28% Like
  • 6% Dislike
  • San Antonio, TX

    My review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I cannot say enough great things about this book and @hhoangwrites She is amazing to come forward and write a book about a disorder that so many people label. Bravo!!!!!!

  • Riverton, NJ

    Really delightful. Reading a romance by and about an autistic woman was new, and it’s great to have more diverse characters in the genre. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also well written with great leads.

  • The Colony , TX

    Love it! It’s NOT your every day cutesy romance book. This one is special. The narrators give you interesting view points. Gets you thinking. Than you find out about the author’s story and????mind blown

  • Whitesboro, TX

    I really enjoyed his book, it’s a lighthearted read! I think it’s great that the author gave some light to what it’s like for an autistic person to fall in love when they have so many sensory issues!


    Hoang found a way to write something so intrinsically explicit that didn’t at all feel like a book JUST about sex. Romance writes who are looking to write this level of spice should take notes. 4/5⭐️

  • Petersburg, IL

    I read this book in two days... and I’m a single mom that works full time. I felt immediately invested in the characters and loved the way it gave both Stella and Michael’s viewpoints! Loved it! ❤️

  • Woodside, NY

    Absolutely loved this! I read it so fast in just a day. Stella and Michael’s chemistry is as addictive as the gender-swapping “Pretty Woman” story. I loved that we get a character so rarely depicted.

  • Spring Valley , CA

    I LOVED this book! I hadn’t even started the 2nd chapter and I already was thinking that I didn’t want to come to the end of the book. Stella was such an endearing character. I need a sequel soon!

  • Whitinsville, MA

    The book came in the mail. I opened it, read a sentence, then a chapter... and before I knew it, the book was over &I’m a basket case of emotions &the whole day has gone by &I’m not ready for the week

  • Sterling, VA

    I inhaled this book as soon as I received it and even would sneak reads at work. Yep, fully admitting I was reading while at work. This is a romance novel but it’s not like anything I’ve read before.

  • Wilmington, DE

    I LOVED THIS BOOK! This is not my usual pick (I’m a “thrillers” girl), but I am so happy I stepped out for this book. Loved the romance & all of the quirkiness. I will be reading this again & again!

  • Lake Orion, MI

    If you’re looking for a great summer romance read, look no further. But this book is so much more than that -great insight into Asperger’s syndrome and respect for all people. Love love love this book

  • Chico, CA

    The book reminded me of a Lucy Hale movie “Nice Girl Like You” A young woman is exploring her sexual interests in both. This was a fun read that held my interest. More steamy and graphic than expected

  • Aberdeen, WA

    Oh man...a must read if you like steamy romances and forbidden love! The author wrote this autistic character so beautifully, and I discovered that the author is autistic so it’s no wonder! ❤️❤️

  • Madison, WI

    I usually don’t read romance, but I LOVED what this book turned out to be. We’re long overdue for more neurodiverse protagonists out there, and even without that element it was smart, witty, and sexy!

  • Woodstock , IL

    A fast paced and buzzy read, The Kiss Quotient made me truly laugh out loud and smile while reading every chapter. I am not a romance fan AT ALL but I devoured this book like it was my favorite ice cream

  • Boerne, TX

    I cannot sing Helen Hoang’s praises high enough. It’s about time that people who are slightly different were represented accurately and with compassion in a romantic setting. Sizzling chemistry, too.

  • Lakeville, MN

    This steamy romance will leave you weak in the knees. The tagline on the front cover of the book says “I dare you not to fall in love with these two character!” I couldn’t put it better than that!

  • Wausau, WI

    This book was incredible! Stella and Michael’s relationship was so diverse while also having all of the cheesy aspects we love in a romance novel. A wonderful read for anyone who’s a sucker for love.

  • Greensboro , NC

    This book shows you the complexities people who are on the spectrum deal with in romantic relationships, but also how they’re still just as human as those of us who aren’t on the spectrum. Loved it!!

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