I’ve been super interested in reading this book for a while now, but I was always hesitant because I wasn’t sure if I would find adult books interesting. My preferred reading genre is usually young adult novels because it’s easier for me to connect and stay engaged when the characters are my age. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story.
The story is in third person, so we can easily follow our two main characters around: Stella and Michael. Stella Lane doesn’t know what to do when her mom starts pressuring her to date and find a husband. She’d much rather create algorithms than socialize, most physical interactions make her cringe, and she can’t stand when people start walking on eggshells when they find out she has Asperger’s. Stella knows that practice makes perfect, so she hires an escort named Michael to teach her the ropes when it comes to physical and emotional intimacy. The arrangement was meant to be simple, but love never is.
The characters themselves made me go on a rollercoaster of emotions. They caught feelings kind of fast, but I still thought it was sweet, and I love their relationship. I love Stella and her bluntness and strength. Michael was super patient and loving. I thought sometimes he could get a little unnaturally angry at times, and he always wanted to be violent when he felt possessive. I also don’t understand why he didn’t just tell her why he broke up with her. She would’ve just taken him back if he told her the truth right away, but he sent her flowers for like a week before he actually talked to her. I thought that the ending was a little rushed, and I wished they at least talked about how Stella thought Michael didn’t like her because of her autism. In my opinion, the resolving miscommunication/making up scene should be just as intense as the fight/break-up scene.
This story was both cute and steamy, and I loved it. I literally read the whole book in less than two days because I thought a majority of this story was just perfection. I’m such a sucker for kind, patient guys, and that’s Michael. His family stole my heart as well. Michael genuinely strived to help Stella, but he never forced her to do anything she wasn’t ready for. Although his protectiveness was a little over-the-top, I still thought it was cute at certain points. Also, it may have been because it was super late, but I ended up shedding ACTUAL tears while reading. I NEVER cry while reading! When Michael found out about how Stella is autistic, he felt disappointed that he didn’t just tell her. He told his cousin, Quan, that he wouldn’t have taken her to the club if only she had just been honest with him. Then, Quan responded, “She just wants you to like her.” That one line hit me so hard, and I don’t know why. Tears started falling, and I was super impressed with how much emotion this book could pull from me.
Another thing I’m always not sure how to talk about is representation because everyone has their different opinions on whether something is good rep or bad rep. I’ve seen a few reviews that said they were disappointed because Stella barely seemed autistic. From my point of view, I enjoyed the representation and and found it fascinating to follow Stella’s train of thought. I liked the club scene and when she was at Michael’s house, and I could relate on a really mild level because I also get easily overstimulated in those types of situations. These scenes stood out to me because not everyone gets it, and it’s cool when books can show other people how overwhelming these situations can be. The scene when Stella missed a lot of social clues while talking to Michael’s family was both nice and difficult. Throughout a good beginning of the book, we just see Stella and Michael interact, and Stella does well in those situations. Michael is extremely patient with her, and he loves her quirks and bluntness. However, it’s beneficial to show both good and bad interactions in a story.
Although I really loved this book, I don’t know if I’ll actually give it five stars. It’s that ending that keeps making me hesitate. This novel was cute, steamy, engaging, and it made me shed a tear. Usually, that means that most hiccups don’t really matter or change my feelings towards a book. However, towards the end, the book did something I absolutely despise. There was a scene where Michael went to a social event with Stella, and it wasn’t going well with her parents. Then, Michael’s ex-client who was obsessed with him showed up. He’s supposed to love Stella, and he came to the social gathering as Stella’s boyfriend. His ex-client kept touching him on his arm and thigh though, and he didn’t do anything about it. Stella even tried to hold his hand, but he didn’t pay attention to her at all, and he kept staring at his ex-client. Later, Stella confronted him, and he said that it’s bad to make a scene with a former client. I’m like….you legit just could’ve moved her hand. It’s freaking rude to your date to let someone else feel you up. You don’t have to have a kendo match with her, but at least ask her politely or something to stop. Also, I still don’t understand why he kept the car his ex-client got him. That one scene pretty much summed up one of my biggest pet peeves that I don’t even know how to label, and that’s why I don’t know if I can give this book five stars or not.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope you enjoyed my blog! Have any of you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below. What do you all do when you love practically everything except one part in a story? See y’all in the next post!