Interview and Giveaway with Helen Hoang

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Welcome to Under the Covers! We are so excited to talk to you about your debut novel, THE KISS QUOTIENT!

First off, let’s get to know you a little bit better. Tell us five things about yourself that readers wouldn’t know:

  1. I grind my teeth at night.
  2. I love chocolate cheesecake.
  3. I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Jin Yong’s wuxia.
  4. I have a blackbelt in Olympic style Taekwondo and am pursuing my first dan in Kendo.
  5. My husband is my first and only boyfriend.

Can you share with us a bit about how this story came to be and what was your inspiration?

Prior to writing this book, I’d been thinking about a gender-swapped Pretty Woman for quite some time, but I couldn’t figure out why a beautiful successful woman would hire a male escort. When my daughter’s preschool teacher suggested she was on the spectrum, that sent me on a journey of exploration that resulted in my own diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder and the inspiration for Stella, The Kiss Quotient’s autistic heroine.

How would you describe this book in three words?

Unconventional, inclusive, and bedroomy. ?

Can you please tell us more about Michael’s character?  What’s your favorite thing about him?

Michael was inspired by two important things: 1.) I built him with Stella’s needs in mind. For her, he had to be kind and very patient. That was key. 2.) My love for my family. His family resembles mine very closely, and I like to think his love for them resembles mine, as well.

He also likes to cook.  What’s your favorite dish to eat and/or cook?

Bún riêu is one of my absolute favorite Vietnamese dishes, but I’m a horrible cook so I only get to eat it when my brother-in-law is in town.

While writing THE KISS QUOTIENT, what was the biggest obstacle you faced? How did you overcome it?

Writing the scenes were Stella failed socially was extremely challenging. I can’t predict when I’m going to horribly offend people (if I could, I wouldn’t do it!), and devising those situations twisted my brain in a new way. My goal for those scenes was to show why someone might fail spectacularly in social situations despite their best efforts and how horrifying and bewildering it feels. I hope it inspires empathy and kinder judgement.

If the characters from your book could actually meet and go on a double date with another fictional couple, who do you think they would hit it off with and from what book are they?

Michael and Stella would have the BEST time double dating with Quan and his mysterious forever love who will show up in the third book of the series.

Tell us three of your auto-buy authors:

Jayne Ann Krentz, Christine Feehan, and Nalini Singh.

What’s the last book you read that you would recommend?

I am extremely behind on current books, but one I recently read and connected to at a fever-pitch level was Souls Unfractured by Tillie Cole. It’s dark romance, third in a series, and deals with extremely troubling subject matter. In fact, some of the scenes were so dark I had to skim or completely skip them because they hurt too much to read. READER BEWARE! I can definitely see this book as triggering for some people, but the hero is on the spectrum (I believe), and he spoke to me. Both hero and heroine have undergone horrific trauma that should have made romantic relationships impossible. Their connection, however, was electric and perfect. I won’t be forgetting this book.

What can we expect from you next?

The Bride Test is about Michael’s autistic cousin Khai. When he avoids relationships out of the misbelief that he has no emotions, his mom takes matters into her own hands and gets him a mail order bride. The novel follows these two over the course of a summer of forced proximity.


Available Now!

[new-release title=”The Kiss Quotient” author=”Helen Hoang”]



Click on the covers to buy the books


About Helen Hoang

Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since.

In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT, which comes out in June 2018 with Berkley.

She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.

Helen is represented by Kim Lionetti of BookEnds Literary Agency.


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Congratulation Helen on Debut Novel,it’s sounds amazing!
I have this book on my wishlist,and hope I will read very soon 😀
Thank you UTC for this lovely interview 🙂


I keep seeing this book everywhere on social media! Can’t wait to read it.


Great interview and giveaway!! Shared on all my socials!!


This sounds really cute! Also, great auto-buy authors


Congrats on the new release!! This has been getting such great reviews and it’s on my must have list 🙂 thanks for shairng!


I love chocolate cheesecake, too

Maria Malaveci

I’m looking forward to Book 2!

Tiffany Johnson

look forward to reading


Thank you for being so candid. My niece is on the spectrum. When she was an infant/toddler, I thought that she was a REAL angel. She’s such a good person. I’m so excited to read this book… and the next one…. and the next. Please, don’t worry, no pressure 😉

Kim Perry

Great interview! I really enjoyed The Kiss Quotient and I’m thrilled to learn that more books will be coming with Khai and Quan!


Great interview and giveaway! Can’t wait to read this book!


This book sounds fantastic. It’s been at the top of my wishlist for awhile now. The second book with a modern mail order bride trope sounds really good too. Best wishes on the release.

Carole Mckenzie

I can’t wait to read this book!


The Kiss Quotient is high up on my TBR list! I’m really looking forward to reading it 🙂

Afsha Shaikh

Congratulations on the debut Helen?
I have heard nothing but great things about The Kiss Quotient and I can’t freaking wait to read it soon!! (Very very soon)
Love the interview..?


this book is on my TBR list!! the interview makes me want to read it soon❤ thanks for the giveaway too?

Hulya Kara Yuksel

I LOVED this book so much. <3  Thank you for the great interview and giveaway.  :)


Looking forward to reading this!

Mary Preston

I love the sound of this.


I just received this from the Book of the Month. I can’t wait to dive in. Congrats on the debut!

Marika Weber

Sue G.

Congrats on your first release!

Amy R

Thanks for the post, I requested my library purchase this so I can try it.

Joy Prewitt

What a fun interview! I loved this The Kiss Quotient so much and I can’t wait for Khai’s book!

Kate Vocke

I cannot WAIT to read this book!!

Megan S.

I’m so excited for this gorgeous book! 🙂


The plot of this one has me so intrigued! Plus all of the hype just really has me dying to get my hands on it.


The Kiss Quotient sounds very intriguing and I’ve heard tons of amazing feedback about it! I can’t wait to read it. Congratulations on your release, Helen!

Michaela Barnard

Oh I really enjoyed reading some of the back ground to this book. Great interview.


This sounds so good! I’ve never read a book about someone on the spectrum before. I have to read this for sure.

John Smith

This book sounds like a fun, delightful read!


I heard so many great things about this book!


This is a new to me author. Thanks for the chance <3


This is a new to me author and I’m really excited to read her debut. Thanks for the chance <3


Looking forward to reading this!