Also by this author: The Kiss Quotient
Series: The Kiss Quotient #2
Published by BERKLEY on May 7, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Also in this series: The Kiss Quotient
Source: a Blog Giveaway
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from a Blog Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
THE BRIDE TEST Review
After falling in love with Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient last year, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her newest book, The Bride Test. I was fortunate enough to win a copy of an ARC in a giveaway at jennifertarheelreader.com and dove into the book this past weekend. I’ll admit I was a little nervous that The Bride Test wouldn’t be able to live up to my very high expectations, but I’m happy to report that I loved it. So much so that I devoured the book in less than 24 hours! In addition to being a really sweet and sexy romance, The Bride Test also features so much more. It’s also a powerful and heartfelt read that takes on important topics such as grief and mourning, what it’s like to live with autism, and also what it’s like to be an immigrant who comes to America looking for a better way of life.
I adored the main characters, Khai Diep and Esme Tran, from the first moment I met them. Khai is just precious. He is autistic and doesn’t think that he is capable of feeling emotions. He feels nothing while attending the funeral of one of his best friends and just shies away from most relationships because he thinks everyone deserves better than what he can offer them. Khai’s mother isn’t buying it though. She wants grandbabies and makes it her mission in life to find the perfect girl for Khai. When she has a chance encounter with Esme, a single mom living in Vietnam, she knows Esme is the right girl and makes her a surprising and somewhat shocking offer – she will pay for Esme to come to America if Esme is willing to do whatever it takes to win Khai’s heart. Esme sees this as her best chance to secure a better life for herself and for her daughter, so she accepts the offer. Esme won my heart right away because she’s incredibly brave and resourceful, working on a backup plan for herself so that even if things don’t go well with Khai, she has the skills and education she needs to be able to stay in America and bring her daughter over as well.
There’s just so much to love about The Bride Test. The romance was just so well written. Esme and Khai are adorably awkward together but still manage to have intense chemistry. I loved how realistic the relationship felt with all of its ups and downs. At the same time, however, Hoang also weaves some wonderful family moments into her story. Khai’s siblings, Quan and Vy, are wonderful secondary characters and I just loved watching them educate Khai on all matters of the heart. The family dynamic was so sweet, as they were all so devoted to making sure Khai has every chance at love and happiness. Hoang’s depiction of autism also felt very authentic, as did her portrayal of what it’s like to be an immigrant in search of the “American Dream.” Overall, The Bride Test is a very satisfying read in every way and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to everyone.
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