Helen Hoang Strikes Gold Again (Review: The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2) by Helen Hoang)

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Helen Hoang is coming in strong with her sweet, steamy and sly follow-up to The Kiss Quotient: The Bride Test. AND IT'S EXACTLY THE ROMANCE YOU NEED TO KICK OFF YOUR SUMMER. All caps forever.

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 Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Rating: ★★★★☆
I was provided a digital copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not change my view in any shape or form.  
She strikes gold again! Helen Hoang's hotly anticipated followup to last years hit novel The Kiss Quotient hits all the right spots when it comes to a great romance. The Bride Test is cringe-filled, humorous, totally steamy and swoon worthy. It is a delight from start to finish and proves one thing is certain: Helen Hoang is going for the crown as one of the real standouts in romance. 

Building onto the novels central plotlines, we've got a great deal of representation and the exploration of another notch on the autism spectrum. Which is thoroughly wonderful to see Hoang represent the many types. Like The Kiss Quotient we see the characters grow together and as individuals. The front row seat of seeing their development is, as always, a completely engrossing journey. 

What is so striking about this novel is the sheer emotional charge that runs through it from the very first page. Then again, what else would you expect from a novel that starts with a flashback from one of our main characters Khai, at a funeral years prior to the novel's beginning. I felt a great deal for him as a character from the start and saw myself in the way that he processes things, so I'm obviously going to be partial to him from the getgo.  

Esme, too, is an absolute gem of a character. You want to root for her just as you want to breathe in Hoang's words. She is strong and determined, and is going on a completely different path of growth than Khai. Her biggest flaw is her ambition and fear getting in the way of her telling Khai about her daughter back home--which is also the only choppy part of The Bride Test when considering pacing and development.  

As these two grow together and apart, you can't help but notice how their journeys expand alongside one another. It adds that extra dimension to their love story and causes the reader to root for them in a very massive way. They fit fantastically together and really learned so much just by being in each other's presence. If you thought The Kiss Quotient's romance was fit for OTP status, you're in luck: this one is just as magnetic and brilliant.

The Bride Test is a romantic journey at its core, but ultimately it is the story of understanding between characters. If you enjoy romance that is very character driven and that builds on the realistic fluff, The Bride Test is a must-read. Definitely one of the best romance novels of the summer! 

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