Review by Veronica

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Series Name: The Kiss Quotient, #2

“I love you. I told myself I didn’t. Because I was afraid to lose someone again, and I doubted myself, and I wanted only the best for you. But the feeling has gotten too big to deny. My heart works in a different way, but it’s yours. You’re my one.”

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is a cute, fun, and sexy read that you won’t be able to put down. 

Khai Diep believes that he cannot feel emotions like love and grief. However, his family knows that he can feel, but he just processes emotions differently because he is autistic. His mother is very keen on him settling down and getting married. Tired of waiting, she decides to take matters into her own hands and goes to Vietnam to find him a bride. There she meets Esme Tran, a mixed-race woman living in the slums in Ho Chi Minh City and is struggling to make ends meet. When Khai’s mother gives Esme the opportunity to move to America for the summer to see if she can get Khai to fall in love with her, Esme knows she needs to say yes. As Esme tries to seduce Khai, she finds that she is falling in love with the handsome man, but how could they be together as a couple if Khai refuses to love her back? With her time in America running out, Khai needs to accept that he can love someone before he loses Esme.

The Bride Test was just as much fun to read as the first book in the Kiss Quotient series, and I ended up reading it in one day. I have come to learn that reading one of Helen’s books will mean I will get nothing done around the house. Helen did a great job at not making this book a copy of the first one. Esme and Khai had their own voices, their own story, and their relationship was quite different from what Stella and Michael had. I adore Esme and Khai; they are both enduring characters, and it was a lot of fun watching them learn to live together. Readers will get to experience lots of cute moments between these two that will make your heart go pitter-patter. I loved reading Khai’s thoughts throughout this book. It was fascinating to see how someone with Autism views the world and how difficult it can be for them to interact with people and the environment around them. There are many intimate moments between Esme and Khai, and their relationship has a slow burn feel to it. There is also a lot of talk about sex in this book. One of my favourite scenes is where Quan and Michael are giving a “sex” talk with Khai; it was fabulously awkward. 

What I like most about Helen’s books is that they are romance books with substance. They always have a diverse cast of characters, a storyline that touches on important issues, and shows readers that love can come in many different forms. This is a book that I could read again and again and not get tired of it. 

I cannot wait for The Heart Principle, the third book in the series. It comes out August 31, 2021, and will focus on Quan (who I have a major crush on).