Review: The Bride Test, by @HHoangWrites

Title: The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2)
Author: Helen Hoang
Rating: 5/5 stars

“From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart…

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions — like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better— that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working… but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.” (description from Goodreads)

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“The Bride Test is the next book in this series and I’m going to devour it when it’s released. I’m expecting great things from Hoang after reading The Kiss Quotient.” That’s a direct quote from my review of Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient. Did I devour The Bride Test? Yes, I think listening to the audio over two days (for me) could be considered devouring. What it worth it? Very much so! As I heard from some other readers, I feel that this book was even better than The Kiss Quotient. Not that either book is worse than the other, but I think the bar was raised even higher with this one.

What this book was able to do for me was to actually keep me thinking “will there really be an HEA when this one’s done?” The Romance genre, by definition, needs an HEA. There’s a framework that most books follow and a reader “knows” mostly when things will start wrapping up and all that. Hoang really had me worrying with this one. Even if the HEA didn’t happen, I feel that I was going to be satisfied with the book as a whole. The characters are some of my favorites in recent memory. Esme is one for not being a push-over, despite being a stranger in a new country and building herself up with little help from others. She made sure she had contingencies no matter what happened. And Khai for growing as a person, understanding himself better, and finding happiness he didn’t even think he needed.

This is the first time I’ve read a book where a main character, especially from the 1st person POV, is autistic. Was it drilled into my head that this was the case? Was this a book written just to have an autistic character? No and No. Khai is a well-written character who happens to be the way he is because that’s who he is. Some of the secondary characters (family members, to be more specific) don’t understand him or seem to try realizing he’s not an asshole. But then there’s Quan who is such a caring brother and reminded me that not everyone in the family dismisses Khai’s “differences” as him being stubborn or uncaring. 

And that leads me to what I would love to see next. Quan’s story. I don’t always “need” a certain character to have a book next, but I think a book for Quan would be a really great one to read, especially if we see more of the couple’s from The Bride Test and The Kiss Quotient in them. I enjoyed the cameos from book one in this book but miss them already.
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You can buy this book from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

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.

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

Find out more:

New Release: The Bride Test, by @HHoangWrites

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From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart…

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions — like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better— that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride. 

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working… but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

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You can buy this book from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

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.

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

Find out more:

Review: The Kiss Quotient, by @HHoangWrites

Title: The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1)
Author: Helen Hoang
Rating: 5/5 stars

“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…” (description from Goodreads)

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I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book since it came out last year. Now that I’ve read it myself, I can see what other people loved about it. And I can’t wait until the next book comes out in a few months.

I’m glad there are authors like Helen Hoang getting books out to readers. This book had so much in it that I haven’t found in other romances before. More diverse books are starting to hit shelves, but I feel that The Kiss Quotient is set apart from my recent reading list in many ways. In this book Hoang created a heroine with Aspergers trying to navigate the dating world. I loved Stella’s character and getting inside her head a bit in the various situations she’s in throughout the book. I feel that I could easily relate to the thoughts going through her head much of the time.

Michael was also a great character. He’s a Vietnamese-Swedish male escort/clothing designer. That’s a lot right? Michael is a great guy and I couldn’t picture anyone else being good enough to help out Stella in the ways that he did. While I’m sure it’s been done before, the escort/client fake relationship was a new twist on the fake relationship trope for me. Made me more of a sucker for the trope with the way Hoang wrote the book.

The Bride Test is the next book in this series and I’m going to devour it when it’s released. I’m expecting great things from Hoang after reading The Kiss Quotient. (No pressure Helen!)fancy lineresize

You can buy this book from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

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.

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

Find out more: