From the author of The Bride Test comes a romance novel hailed as one of The Washington Post’s 50 Notable Works of Fiction in 2018 and one of Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2018!
“This is such a fun read and it's also quite original and sexy and sensitive.”—Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author
“Hoang's writing bursts from the page.”—Buzzfeed
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...
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The author has a knack for translating romantic spark and fantasy into the written word. I’m not typically a big fan of rom com books but this felt like an honest portrayal of one woman’s sexual awakening. Thoroughly enjoyed
I don’t often leave reviews but I was so impressed with this take on the hire-a-boyfriend story. You are rooting for these two for the whole book. Great work bring all Stella’s personality traits out, it really rounded out her character.
This book is one of my new favorites!
I love how the author included a character with a condition, and portrayed her as strong and determined.
The relationship between the two characters is absolutely adorable and the way Michael cares for and treats Stella is so incredibly heartwarming.
Everything about this novel is perfect. The writing, the character development, emotional appeal, story progression, alllllll of it!!