The kiss quotient / Helen Hoang.
Booklist Reviews 2018 May #1
Econometrician Stella Lane feels more comfortable with statistics than people. Her mother is pressuring her to focus more on her love life, but Stella has issues about getting intimate with men. The solution? She decides to hire an escort to tutor her in sex and dating. Her choice, Michael Phan, becomes much more than a detached date-for-hire. Michael works as an escort to support his family. His father is a con artist who left Michael's mother and sisters saddled with debt, and his mother has been diagnosed with cancer. He wants to keep his relationship with Stella on a purely business basis, but, between their steamy encounters, a surprisingly authentic connection develops. Debut author Hoang's romance novel features two uncommon protagonists: a woman with autism spectrum disorder and a biracial man. Inspired by personal experience, Hoang depicts Stella with empathy and honesty. Readers will find this to be a refreshing take on the classic romance story of an arranged, pragmatic relationship that turns into true love. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2018 March #1
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.
PW Reviews 2018 April #2
oang knocks it out of the park with this stellar debut about an autistic woman who takes a methodical approach to learning about sex and accidentally gets a lesson in love. Stella is great at her job creating predictive algorithms, but she's not so great at relationships, which is why she decides to hire escort Michael. Stella's autism is presented as both a genuine challenge and a part of her that she knows how to use to her advantage, and Hoang gives her tremendous depth as a character, never reducing her to a walking diagnosis. While Stella's intentions toward Michael start out as purely sexual, his gentleness and compassion begin to nudge her in more romantic directions, and his sense of honor, along with her tendency toward obsession, soon complicate their tidy professional arrangement. The two of them do a beautiful job of navigating their insecurities and fears, transforming their commercial relationship into something emotionally meaningful to them both. Hoang carefully avoids stereotypes and clichés: Stella never judges Michael for his profession, and he never judges her for her neuroatypicality. The diverse cast and exceptional writing take this romance to the next level, and readers who see themselves in Stella will be ecstatic.