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Review ❤️ The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

May 7, 2019

the bride test helen hoang

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.

Release Date: May 7, 2019
Heat Level: Hot
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley
Price: $9.99


Ever since I had read The Kiss Quotient, I have been anticipating The Bride Test. We touched briefly on Khai from that book. Khai did not disappoint.

Khai has always believed himself not capable of human emotions especially love. The story starts off with a young Khai experiencing something that should have shaken him to the core. Instead, he is left questioning why he doesn’t show any feelings of hurt and sadness. He knows he is different but still he should feel something.

Fast forward to the present, Khai’s mother goes to Vietnam to test different women as potential brides for Khai. She meets Esme who is cleaning the bathroom of a hotel that his mother is staying at. Esme is not what she first intended but she is captivated that she is different and passes her test. She offers a proposal: the summer in America on a Visa to get to know her son. If they hit it off, they marry, if not, Esme gets money and the experience of America for the summer.

Esme is not convinced. She is a bit jaded as she is a poor young mixed race Vietnamese woman from the country side trying to make ends meet for her family which includes a daughter she has from a failed relationship. Her mother convinces her to get to America to try to better herself and look for her father.

I loved every moment with Esme and Khai. Esme immediately tries so hard to flirt and win over Khai. She is not aware that he is autistic. The author does such a great job with Khai’s character. She shows how different their relationship was from Michael and Stella’s (The Kiss Quotient). Each person with autism is different and should be treated accordingly. It opened my eyes to the issue.

Khai’s family especially his brother Quan tries to help them navigate this new trajectory together. The scene after Khai and Esme’s first time had me smiling. Quan and Michael were a trip. Khai’s new experiences almost mirrored Esme’s as she had just a hard time understanding what he was going through and trying to learn her way around a foreign place.

The relationship blossoms into so much more than they both expected. The time is coming to an end and Khai has to make a decision. Once Khai realizes he is truly capable of love and has been the entire time, can he finally let go?

This was almost a five star read for me because Khai brought out so much of the feels. However, the whole cookie cutter ending just took away from the feels and made it a bit cheesy. I’m still a huge fan of the series. I am ready for Quan’s story. He had me at hello!

~ Samantha

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