What a book!!!!! The Kiss Quotient is a beautiful story about Stella Lane, a lovely, smart and gorgeous woman who has high functioning Autism.Despite having a successful career she has struggled with her ‘label’ all her life. She struggles with social situations and has a tendency to be painfully honest, but she’s so endearing and willing to put herself out there that she puts up with some pretty shitty people.
“All the things that make you different make you perfect.”
But she’s had enough, she needs someone to teach her how to ‘be good’ at sex and how a ‘normal’ relationship works. Meet Michael, a struggling prostitute with a heart of gold. Cue Pretty Woman gender swap.
Together there is teaching, learning, a whole lot of steam and eventually healing.
“I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.”
Stella is a fantastic character. She is painfully aware of what she sees as her short comings and whilst it’s at times sad that she feels so inferior its really beautiful to see her come to accept who she is and not make apologies for it. She also has a lot of relatable qualities that help the reader connect with her and those blunt questions, and harsh truths provide for some great thinking about how our society and relationships are founded.
“She had a disorder, but it didn’t define her. She was Stella. She was a unique person.”
Michael is a little more straightforward, working a job he hates to pay for his mothers medical bills while also desperate to prove he’s not like his horrible father. He is endlessly patient with Stella and really focuses with her on the importance of consent and of it being ok to not want to do something and speaking up about it.
“People called it a disorder, but it didn’t feel like one. To her, it was simply the way she was.”
Another highlight I’d like to point out is the issues of career success and money in relationships. There is a big disparity in the ‘positions’ of our 2 protagonists and while it presents somewhat of an issue the way they deal with it together was nicely done.
“Michael was mint chocolate chip for her. She could try other flavors, but he’d always be her favorite.”
I’m very much looking forward to the next in the series!