Release Day Spotlight & Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang + Excerpt!

Happy Release Day to Helen Hoang! THE KISS QUOTIENT is Helen's debut novel and we wish her many, MANY more successes! Marie reviewed the novel and she absolutely loved it! Keep scrolling to check out her review as well as an excerpt from the book!

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

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 thirty-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...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership 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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When I began this book, I wasn’t impressed. The idea of a woman feeling like she must use an escort service to experience intimacy really rubbed me the wrong way. I know she is in a unique situation, having Asperger’s, but I’ve known plenty of people who share the same situation and have found intimacy and love on their own. I was so irritated by this, that I almost put the book down. 

I am SO glad that I didn’t. 

This book simply blew me away. The way that the author portrays Stella, with all of her complexities, is beautiful. And as Stella embarks on this journey, it touches home to so many of us who deal with social anxieties and self-doubt. She becomes a beacon of understanding, I would imagine, for people with Asperger’s and Autism, and undoubtedly gives them courage to be who you are and what you want in life no matter the obstacle. It’s just absolutely inspiring. 

The man at the heart of this story is no doubt portrayed just as wonderfully. Michael is the escort that Stella hires to help her tackle sexual experiences, and whew! That man is sexy as hell. He is patient. He is kind. He works hard to understand Stella and what makes her comfortable, what makes her open personally and sexually.  Not only are all of these moments sweet and incredibly erotic, they are real. And as their sexual relationship matures, their romantic relationship blooms. It isn’t without bumps along the way, but it is the kind of relationship that sticks with you long after you turn that last page. 

The Kiss Quotient made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me think about my own intimacy and how to better the connection between myself and my partner. But above all else, it made me infinitely happy. This journey is one that I am so blessed to have experienced as a reader and will encourage everyone I know to do the same. 

I voluntarily read a copy of the book generously provided by Berkley Romance in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.

“You’ve watched Pretty Woman too many times. Kissing doesn’t mean anything, and it’s always best if you’re not thinking too much in bed. Trust me,” he said.
Her mouth thinned into a stubborn line. “This is too important for me not to think. I’d rather not kiss anymore if you don’t mind.”
Michael’s irritation redoubled, and he forced his hands to relax before he popped all his blood vessels. How the hell had he gotten himself into this? Ah yes, he’d been worried about his escort colleagues taking advantage of her. Stupid of him. His life was complicated enough without worrying about his clients. This was exactly why he had the one-session policy.
He would have backed out—it was tempting—but he’d promised. He always carried through on his promises. It was his way of balancing out the universe. His dad had broken enough promises for the both of them.
“All right,” he made himself say. “No kissing.”
“Do the other plans look okay?” she asked.
He forced himself to read them and found them pretty similar, only she’d moved from hand jobs to blowjobs and changed the sexual positions.
Amused despite himself, he said, “I’m surprised you used the terms ‘doggy style’ and ‘cow girl.’”
Her cheeks went bright red, and she adjusted her glasses. “I’m inexperienced, not clueless.”
“Your plans are missing something important.” He held his hand out, and she placed the pen in his palm with wary motions.
She tilted her head to the side as she watched him write FOREPLAY at the top of all the plans in capital letters. As an afterthought, he drew a box in front of each iteration with hard stabs of the pen.
“But why? I was under the impression men don’t need it.”
“You do,” he said flatly.
She wrinkled her nose and shook her head. “You don’t have to bother with me.”
He narrowed his eyes. “It’s not a bother. Most men like foreplay. I do. Getting a woman hot is satisfying as hell.” Besides, he was not having sex with her if she wasn’t ready. No fucking way.
Swallowing, she stared down at the menu. “So you’re saying I don’t have a chance to improve.”
“What? No.” His mind scrambled to figure out why she might say that and came up with nothing.
“You saw how I reacted. It was one button.”
“And then you slept with me all night. You were basically naked, and you cling.”
“Are you two ready to order?” the waitress interjected. Judging by the amused glimmer in her eyes, she’d caught the last part of their conversation.
Stella perused the dinner options, her nails picking at the fabric edging of the menu.
“We’ll have the special,” Michael said.
“Wise choice. I’ll leave you to it.” The waitress winked, gathered the menus, and disappeared.
“What’s the special?” Stella asked.
“I have no idea. Let’s hope it’s not woolly.”
A troubled frown bracketed her mouth, and she leaned forward hesitantly, meeting his eyes for the briefest second. “What exactly do you mean by ‘cling?’”
Michael grinned. “It means you like to cuddle when you’re asleep.”


She looked so horrified Michael couldn’t help laughing. “I confess to liking it.” Which was the truth, and unlike him. Cuddling was an obligatory thing he did for his clients because he understood they needed it. He usually spent the time counting the seconds until he could leave and go home to shower. Holding Stella had been nothing like that. They hadn’t had sex, so there’d been nothing to wash away, and the trusting way she’d curled into him had made him feel things he didn’t want to think about.

Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since.

In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT, which comes out in June 2018 with Berkley.

She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.

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