The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The Kiss Quotient #1
Berkley | June 5, 2018
I feel like The Kiss Quotient is a pretty popular new release, but my reading radar never picked it up. It wasn’t until my good friend Angie told me about it, having loved it herself, and I read the synopsis that I know I had to have it. In fact, I ordered it within a week or two, knowing I was going to read it immediately. I’d fallen in love with the blurb, and I didn’t even worry I’d be let down.
My flourishing psychic abilities proved completely accurate, because I adored this book.
I loved Stella. She was a unique and interesting heroine, but what really sold me on The Kiss Quotient as a whole was Michael. Stella’s challenges throughout the book are the obvious conflict, the ones you recognize first. It was given to us right in the first chapter. Michael also had his own challenges, quieter challenges, that he overcame in a more subtle way. He also worked through those issues while he was helping to build Stella’s self-confidence. He questioned the start of their growing relationship, doubted himself, and yet never stopped being gentle and sweet with Stella. He never put his fears ahead of what she needed, and while he may have questioned his motivation, I certainly never did. From my perspective, as the audience, we fall in love with Stella right off the bat, so every time Michael showed compassion and love for her we fell for him too, because of how he treated this amazing woman. It made their relationship feel effortless, despite their roadblocks.
I also want to talk about Michael’s family, since they were the most influential secondary characters. Basically, I loved them. I loved how they interacted with our hero, but again I especially love how they embraced Stella as his partner. They weren’t put off by the quirky symptom’s of her Asperger’s, mostly. They recognized her worth immediately, and tucked her into their fold. It made their hold over Michael more understandable, because they were wonderful.
Actually, Stella’s parents were pretty nice too. In the best stories nobody is perfect, and none of the extended family was either. That’s okay. I prefer it that way. They were, however, supportive and loving. It’s definitely a plus in my book, because it seems like authors today choose to have one ‘bad’ family and I’m definitely over that trope.
The only reason I’m not giving The Kiss Quotient 5 full stars is because I think the ending was a little too neat. Every problem hindering Stella and Michael’s personal life seemed to just go away. With the wave of the author’s hand, like a fairy godmother, all Michael’s problems vanished. Maybe I’m too cynical but it felt way too fanciful. It was too perfect to be perfect.
Still, definitely a solid A on the grading scale. I can’t wait to read where Helen Hoang goes with Khai in the sequel, The Bride Test.