Hi friends, so it’s a guest review, I suppose is the best way to describe it. I’m thrilled that Amara Royce contributed this post, and as you might know, Hoang’s next book The Bride Test is now out! (Amara sent me this post on the 4th.)
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…
I generally don’t write reviews of the books I read, not even on Amazon or Goodreads. So I’m not going to try to be clever, and I can’t guarantee I will be entirely coherent. But I cannot help gushing about this book effusively! I can’t adequately express how much I adore this book—and its author, Helen Hoang, for writing it! I’m also squee-ing because her next book is due out for release on May 7th!!
Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient truly wrecked me in all the best ways. I loved the main characters and many of the supporting characters. I adored the depiction of the female main character Stella’s subjective autistic perspective, as well as the male main character Michael’s handling of the heroine without realizing she’s on the autism spectrum. I adored the depictions of Michael’s family life, especially his mother. I adored the integral issues of consent, and I want everyone to read this book! That’s what the tl;dr boils down to, but for more details, keep reading.
Hi friends! Gosh I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of May. Where has this month gone?!?! I’ve been really sick for most of this month, so I apologize for not being more “on it.” That’s not the important thing though. What is important, is that we have Amara Royce visiting with us today! Yes, another wonderful APAHM participant! May has been an embarrassment of riches, just like February and March! <3 Without further ado, Amara!
It’s an honor and a pleasure to be among the wonderful guests celebrating APAHM with Limecello and with all of you fine people! Continue reading →
Hey you guys! Please welcome debut author Amara Royce to the blog! As you can see, this is her very first guest blog post ever! Isn’t that fun and exciting? And adorable? I’m really pleased and honored she chose us. 🙂 Her book will be available on May 2, so not long now! I hope you all give her a very warm welcome! >.> And ignore the fact that I stole some of her opening thunder, mkay? :X
First, I’d like to thank Limecello for giving me this opportunity! ALBTALBS is a great site, and I’m thrilled to be a tiny part of it. *whispers* This is also my very first guest spot…ever. So, as a debut author, this is quite a heady moment for me! My debut historical romance, Never Too Late, will be released by Kensington Publishing’s digital-first imprint, eKensington, on May 2, 2013.
After much consideration about my first guest spot ever, I decided it would make sense to focus on the First Kiss.
Both in romances and in real life, that first kiss is so frequently the stuff of fairy tales and legends.
In narratives, that single kiss is the key to life, the key to unlocking a whole new future. The spellbound princess has fallen into a deep sleep and can only be awakened by True Love’s Kiss. And since it’s a fairy tale, the princess has never been kissed before. The movie 50 First Dates features Drew Barrymore, whose character has lost her short-term memory due to a car accident and therefore wakes up every morning thinking it’s the same day, and Adam Sandler as a marine zoologist who has fallen for her and finds himself wooing her every day. Their first kiss becomes a running joke in the movie because, to her, it’s a magical first kiss every single day, but, to him, the dreamy blush of the first kiss fades fast.
And, ‘fess up, who didn’t at least consider practicing for their first kiss in the mirror or with a pillow when they were growing up?
On the other hand, there’s also the saying that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. In our modern world, maybe it’s a little too much to expect that your first kiss ever will be earth-shattering, toe-tingling perfection or that the first person you kiss will be your everlasting true love. Even the fairy-tale based movie Enchanted gives a nod to the difference between the first kiss and True Love’s Kiss.
So a first kiss can be monumental…but maybe not.
When I wrote Never Too Late, a historical romance set in Victorian London, I pondered that first kiss long and hard. In some historical romances, the heroine’s first kiss ever occurs “on stage” with the hero, and in those cases, it’s almost always breath-taking and impossible to forget. That first kiss gets deeply imprinted in the minds and hearts of both main characters.
Given the histories of Never Too Late’s heroine and hero, it was unlikely that they’ve never kissed anyone before. She’s a bit older than the average historical romance heroine, and he’s, well, him. So it seemed important to acknowledge their less-than-wonderful experiences before meeting each other, especially since it makes their First Kiss that much more potent.
Here’s a glimpse:
It was swift, a mere brush of their lips, but the electric tingle from that light touch ran through him. How he’d gone from a simple printing demonstration to this far-from-simple complication, he couldn’t puzzle out. Her eyes widened too, as if she felt a similar shock. He stood there for a moment, looking at her intently.
In that moment, she had enough time to recall the first time she’d kissed a man. Mr. Ranseed was the butcher’s son, an excellent match, both sets of parents agreed. The third time he’d come to visit her at home, somehow they’d been left unchaperoned. They were taking a walk in the countryside, talking about some innocuous topic or other, like the weather or, no, they’d been talking about feed, about what grasses are most conducive to good beef, and suddenly he’d butted her up against a tree and begun kissing her. That was all, just his mouth against hers, but it was clammy and horribly intrusive. Startled, she just stood there, letting him probe with his tongue and wondering what all the fuss was about. He seemed agitated and eager, but whatever he was doing with his mouth felt awkward and unnatural. She decided three things immediately: 1. I do not enjoy kissing Mr. Ranseed. 2. I am not inclined to allow him such familiarity again. 3. I will not marry him after all.
You can find me on Facebook and Twitter, and I’ll be posting more snippets from Never Too Late every Saturday until its May 2 release date at my web site.
In anticipation of Never Too Late’s release on May 2, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon e-gift card. Just answer the following question in the comments for a chance to win (and include the e-mail address you would want used to deliver the e-gift card):
What’s your favorite “first kiss” scene in a book or movie?