The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)
by Helen Hoang
Stella works in econometrics and is a statistics whiz, Michael is an ex-fashion designer who quit his job to come live with his mom–diagnosed with cancer–and help her keep up the family alteration/tailor business.
I love Stella. She walks the Asperger’s line quite believably in terms of having to give thought to social reactions other people might handle instinctively. You just can’t help wanting to cheer for her and steer her away from the yucky co worker she originally sets out to seduce.
Michael’s a little harder to like until he falls in love with Stella. He’s in a job (escort) that is not healthy for him, and he has a somewhat contrived-feeling issue that keeps him from committing fully to love relationships.
And there’s the smallish problem with this romance, some of the issues feel very contrived (mostly around Michael, Stella’s stuff with her family, her initial reason for hiring an escort,etc all felt genuine to me).
There is some quite smexy stuff going on here, too, quite quickly due to the nature of Stella/Michael’s relationship and that felt a bit odd juxtaposed with Stella’s more naive overall approach to romance.
But in the end, Stella was too wonderful a character to let any of these other small issues get in the way. Definitely a must read for romance lovers because of Stella’s more neuro-diverse lens on romance. (made me think a bit of how much I enjoyed Jennifer Ashley’s the Madness of Lord Ian McKenzie)