Considering TikTok hasn’t fully taken hold of me yet (it’s a bit like dating apps, I get bored, delete it and then reinstall for fear of missing out), I’m probably the last person on Earth to read this book (and another I’ll be posting about soon, so keep an eye out for that!) but — for the most part — this series was worth the wait.
As I’m reviewing the full series in this review, I’ll just link each blurb below (in case, like me before I read the last two in series in April, you don’t know what you’ll be letting yourself in for).
Blurb for The Kiss Quotient
Blurb for The Bride Test
Blurb for The Heart Principle
The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1)
As much as I love romance novels, they all feel a bit samey sometimes so I was more than happy to dive into Hoang’s debut, The Kiss Quotient — a romance with a difference.
Stella Lane knows a lot about mathematics and economics, she doesn’t know much about love. In order to please her parents, and to improve her chances in the dating world, she hires an escort. The escort, Michael Phan, is here to teach Stella all manner of things and that is where the fun — and this romance — begins.
Stella was an interesting lead character. As someone who struggles with the thrills and challenges presented by the world of dating, I loved having a character I felt a real kinship with — even more so as the book progressed and the romantic stakes got higher, resulting in brilliant growth in her character. I also really appreciated how Hoang chipped away at preconceptions regarding Autism and its wide spectrum, through Stella and how she interacts with the other characters in the book.
Michael was interesting, too. At first he felt very one dimensional but, as you read more, you see he has his own motives and his own problems. There’s no denying when the two of them come together, it results in plenty of heat and humour – which was definitely needed among the heavier aspects.
It might not be to everyone’s taste but in this — and the two books that follow — Hoang redefines the typical boy-meets-girl story.
The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2)
Khai Diep doesn’t know what is the “right” way to feel or the “right” thing to say, his mother thinks she can solve that by bringing Esme Tran, a maid, home with her.
Khai, much like Stella, has depth to him. I was mistaken at first into thinking he was simply just a moody person but — eventually— he comes into his own and we find out there is more to him, much like Esme – the other side of this romantic puzzle.
Though the pacing of this one was a little off, I once again loved the fact that a lead character wasn’t as well versed in the world of romance as you’d expect. This lead to sweet moments with other characters from the previous novel and I think it made the romance all the more believable and sweeter in the end.
The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient #3)
The final book in the series, The Heart Principle follows Quan and Anna — both navigating their own insecurities but the result is a sweet, and steamy, romance.
Quan and Anna have their issues to deal with but, much like the leads in the previous books, they have plenty of layers to them and — as the book goes on — I was glad to see how they evolved.
The change in narration made this one more intimate for me, as I truly felt like aspects might’ve reflected Hoang herself.
This one took a bit of time to take off but, much like Hoang’s previous books, once it did “take off” it soared.
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You can buy this series here.