Sunday, May 5, 2019

Book Spotlight: The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test
The Kiss Quotient #2

Helen Hoang


Release Date:
May 7, 2019

From Publisher for Honest Review

Book Synopsis:

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.

The Kiss Quotient Series:
Our Book Review
Add to Goodreads

Lindy's Thoughts:

The Bride Test blew me away!  I didn't think it was possible to top, The Kiss Quotient, because I loved it so much.  Yet, The Bride Test gave me even more smiles, tears, laughs, and an even bigger book hangover!  I love Ms. Hoang's writing.  She really brings her stories to life, and the characters feel so real, that they could walk right off of the page!

Esme Tran lives in Ho Chi Minh City in extreme poverty alongside her young daughter, mother, and grandmother.  She is a maid in a fancy hotel.  Esme is offered the opportunity of a lifetime by Co Nga; come to America for the summer, and get her youngest son, Khai, to fall in love with her, and marry her.  While Esme is reluctant at first, her mother convinces her to take advantage of the opportunity, so that she can provide a better life for her young daughter, and try to find her own father, who took off before he found out that Esme's mother was pregnant with her.

What follows is a breathtakingly beautiful love story.  Esme's character was endearing, so sweet, strong, courageous, and brought sunshine wherever she went.  Everyone that came in to contact with her, couldn't help but love her, including me.  She was so giving, and a nurturer.  Esme had such a beautiful soul, and it shone bright through every page of this story.  

Khai, lost his cousin/best friend, Andy, ten years ago, and has been convinced ever since that he can't love, and has a heart of stone.  Khai is different.  He has Autism.  He likes to be left alone, and prefers his structured life and routine just the way it is.  Khai is socially awkward.  Oftentimes, he says or does the wrong thing, and hurts people; but it's unintentional, and leaves him puzzled and feeling like something is wrong with him.  He has a beautiful heart, and would do anything for those that he loves.  He is closest to his big brother Quan and his mom.

Esme turns Khai's life upside down, and I enjoyed every moment of it!  He's never seen a woman as beautiful and kind as she is, but she also drives him crazy!  I loved the way she inserted herself in to Khai's life and gave everything she had, for a chance at love, marriage, and a life in America.  Little by little we see attraction and friendship grow in to love.  Esme pushes Khai out of his comfort zone, and makes his life so much fuller and richer for being in it!  The character growth made by Khai is astounding and it literally brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.  

I can't possibly express the extent of my love for this story.  All I can say is read this series, and this book.  You will not regret it!  The substance, romance, multiculturalism, extremely well fleshed out neurodiverse characters, fast-pacing, humor, and abundance of feeling, make it a new edition to my top favorite reads of all time!

Ro's Take on this Journey:

The Bride Test is a must read!!!  I loved, "The Kiss Quotient."  I didn't think that Ms. Hoang could surpass the excitement of that book, but let me tell you that The Bride Test gives you a well rounded adventure that will leave you stunned!

Esmerelda Tran is a maid.  She is from a very poor city in Viet Nam.  Her poverty is such that she lives in a one bedroom apartment with her young daughter, Jade, her mother and grandmother.  The three of them sleep on mats in the only room they have, but they are happy because they have each other and lots of love.

While Esmerelda is working, she notices quite a few girls coming in and out of the restroom crying.  Eventually she comes face to face with the wealthy Ms. Co Nga, who is shopping for a daughter-in-law for her son Khai, who has Autism and does not do well with interacting with women.  At first she hits Esme the wrong way with her antics, but then when the Khai's mother tells her she was just testing her, they get along fine.

Esme is to go to the United States with Co Nga for the Summer and seduce her son, hoping that the end result will be marriage.  There are so many ups and downs in this story, when Khai's perfect little world is turned upside down by this Vietnamese girl.  The tenderness and love that develops will make the reader want for more.  This was a phenomenal love story.  Khai is on the high end of the spectrum, Aspergers.  He is very analytical, wants things a certain way, OCD, and is not able to come in tune with his emotions.  Little by little, Esme breaks down those walls.  There is just one road block that continues to hold him back, the death of his cousin and best friend, Andy.

Though Khai loved his cousin and would do anything for him, he finds that his not being able to show his feelings like everyone else in his family, means that he didn't care that much.  The reality is quite far from that.  Esme keeps secrets and little by little divulges them.  Ms. Hoang brings her readers to the brink in this second novel.  

The reader will learn so many lessons in this novel that transcend social barriers, language barriers, multicultural customs, socio-economic differences, and more.

This is a story that will bring its reader to tears of frustration, and hopelessness, to euphoria and happiness!

Purchase At:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound 

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. 

Helen is represented by Kim Lionetti of BookEnds Literary Agency.


  1. These look like a lot of fun! :) It sounds like they do a great job with the multiculturalism and Asperger's/ OCD/ mental health aspects too. Glad these were good!

  2. I have been reading rave reviews around the blogasphere about this book and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy! What a great and well written review.

  3. *highfivesyouall* I absolutely adored this so I'm so excited you guys did as well. It really was fantastic. I still think about it and it's been over a month since I've read it!

    1. *highfiveback* It's so much fun sharing books we love with one another!

  4. YES. I have mad love for this author, book and series!

  5. Ahhh, glad to see you loving on this one even more than the first book, ladies! Yep, saying it again that I need to get on these. :)

    1. Once you do, you'll be part of all of the fingerling Sophia!!! 😍

  6. I can't wait to read this one, so looking forward to it.

    1. I'm looking forward to you seeing what all the mad love for this series is about! Thanks for stopping by Nadene!

  7. I also adored this book! Esme owned my heart. I loved her ambition and drive and all the hard work she was willing to put into it. She was a bit zany at times, and it was fun seeing her and Khai interact. I liked how we got to see a bit more of Quan too, and I am so excited to read his story.

    1. Me too! I can't wait to see Quan fall in love!

  8. I really enjoyed Khai and Esme's story, too! Helen Hoang really proves she's not a one-hit wonder with this second installment. All the feels! Wonderful review, Lindy! :)

    1. Thanks Rachel! We're already looking forward to book 3, Quan's story!


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