DISCLAIMER: I transcribed this from an audio recording I made, so brace for rambling. (Deal with it though, because my ramblings are my truth!)
I was so excited when I read this synopsis, and I’m happy to say IT’S AS GREAT AS IT SOUNDS.
My immediate thoughts: I’m so joyful. This is an EXCELLENT romance. It is an insanely entertaining, and addicting contemporary love story. The writing is great–I inhaled this book in a nearly uninterrupted few hours (which is unheard of for me!). I blew through it, even though it’s nearly 350 pages. No part of the story dragged or was uninteresting.
The characters…Well, I was going to say Michael is my favorite character, but I love both him and Stella equally. Michael is one of the better heroes that I’ve read in a looong time, and if I look over the span of my history of reading romances, he’s on the list of one of the best heroes I’ve read, period. He isn’t the typical hero, and even though the story centers around a non-typical heroine—one with high functioning autism—Michael doesn’t fit the mold either. He’s a beta, he’s the dam..? What’s the opposite of damsel? A lad in distress. But he is also perfectly lovely, and understanding, and sexy, and masculine, and emotional—just the best person for Stella. I LOVED MICHAEL. I want to see more heroes like this. He’s a family man, he has a dream, he has passion, he has insecurities (some of which frustrated me, but not too much), he’s cocky, he knows how to use it…
I’ve spoken about him too much.
And Stella, she is so endearing. She jumps off the page—as cliche as that is. I loved every single scene with her. And the scenes with them together…this is the type of romance I freaking love, because their chemistry is insane from the very beginning. Also, there’s a slow burn for about 50% of the book which was juicy and frustrating for me as they interacted with each other. Then, once things got more heated, it was PERFECT. This book has just the right amount of heat and sexiness. I loved that the protagonists spent the majority of the novel together, and I did not care one bit for the scenes when they were separated (although I know it’s necessary, since that’s the formula, no matter how original the romance is). I was deeply into their connection together and how they sizzled.
I loved this book.
I don’t know why it’s listed on GR as #1 in a series, because there wasn’t a cliffhanger—it’s a standalone. However, if there are side characters in this book that might get their own book, then I am all for it.
This is Helen Hoang’s debut and it is FANTASTIC. I need more romances like this. You should definitely read it.
P.S. Thanks for the ARC, Berkley. Publish more books like this. *muah*
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 crave all of the other things he's making her feel. 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...