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 mathematics 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 far 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. Gorgeous and conflicted, Michael 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 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...
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Steamy, tender and hilarious, Helen Hoang’s debut blows romance-novel tropes to pieces. Michael, a mixed-race fashion designer moonlighting as an escort, has never met a client like Stella: a wealthy computer whiz on the autism spectrum who wants to learn about love so she’ll succeed in life. We loved Hoang’s anything-but-typical protagonists; it’s rare in contemporary romance for male sex workers and autistic people to be central characters. As unique as both of Hoang’s characters are, we found Michael and Stella’s desires, hangups and missteps surprisingly relatable.
Hoang knocks it out of the park with this stellar debut about an autistic woman who takes a methodical approach to learning about sex and accidentally gets a lesson in love. Stella is great at her job creating predictive algorithms, but she's not so great at relationships, which is why she decides to hire escort Michael. Stella's autism is presented as both a genuine challenge and a part of her that she knows how to use to her advantage, and Hoang gives her tremendous depth as a character, never reducing her to a walking diagnosis. While Stella's intentions toward Michael start out as purely sexual, his gentleness and compassion begin to nudge her in more romantic directions, and his sense of honor, along with her tendency toward obsession, soon complicate their tidy professional arrangement. The two of them do a beautiful job of navigating their insecurities and fears, transforming their commercial relationship into something emotionally meaningful to them both. Hoang carefully avoids stereotypes and clich s: Stella never judges Michael for his profession, and he never judges her for her neuroatypicality. The diverse cast and exceptional writing take this romance to the next level, and readers who see themselves in Stella will be ecstatic.
I really liked this book. The main character was refreshingly interesting & relatable. It was predictable at times but it was still a nice love story.
Wonderful characters and storytelling, a wonderful story
A great read, great research about Autism, told in a sensitive manner. Couldn’t put down the book , read it in a day. A new favourite author ❤️