The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test

Helen Hoang

Khai Diep steadfastly avoids relationships, and his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride. Esme Tran finds that seducing Khai doesn’t go as planned.

Access the hottest new Penguin Random House books months before they hit the shelves.

Sign In or Join Today

SIGN UP

Sign me up to receive news about Helen Hoang.

Place our blog button on your blog to let people know you are a member of this great program!

From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart...

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.


Advance Galley Reviews

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang 4.5 stars This is a sequel to the Kiss Quotient, the much lauded debut of Helen Hoang that came out last year. The male character, Khai is a cousin of Michael the main character of the Kiss Quotient. He has a form of autism which makes his behavior seem strange to other people. He seems to deal better with numbers than with people. The female character is Esme, a mixed race from Vietnam. She is a single mother and working as a maid in a hotel when Khai's mother finds her and thinks she would be a perfect bride for Khai. She comes to the US and lives with Khai to see if they can have a lasting relationship. There are some misunderstandings and stubbornness on both parties. Of the two books, I liked the Kiss Quotient better. But this was a fast and enjoyable read. Thank you First To Read for the ARC

I was very excited to read The Bride Test. The synopsis sounded interesting, and I’d heard nothing but good things about Hoang’s first book, The Kiss Quotient. However, I couldn’t get into The Bride Test. Ultimately, this one just wasn’t for me, and I didn’t end up finishing it.

Thank you to Penguin Random House and First To Read for sending me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. 4.00 ?? ?? I am probably one of the few who did not enjoy the first installment all that much. It was mostly *okay*. I did not find the male protagonist swoon-worthy and I did not relate AT ALL with the female lead. This book, however, was the complete opposite, including the roles. I found Khai to be just about perfect. Don’t even get me started on Esme - she is the leading lady that we didn’t know we needed. Their chemistry was on point and I gobbled the book up faster than I intended. It was good, I tell you. Plus, the plot hits a little too close to home (hello, ASEAN neighbor) with the whole marrying-for-a-green-card story line. I have neighbors, friends, relatives who I know considered that option at least once in their lives. ?? Honestly, the whole book was too simple and the conflict got resolved in a couple of pages. It was a short book and the resolution did not showcase the whole emotional healing that I wanted. He just rode on that damn bike and everything was magically fixed. I wanted more introspection from Khai and I did not get that. ?? It was too easy a read, which I guess worked to a certain degree? For someone looking for a complicated love story, this isn’t the book for you. I enjoyed it, nonetheless.

I give this book 5 stars! I had a feeling I was going to love this just as much as I did The Kiss Quotient and I was right! I could not set this down. I just wanted to keep on reading. I thought the representation of autism was done very well. Khai kept on doubting his love for Esme even though he felt it in various ways. That is, until his brother pulls a stunt for the books. I loved the ending of this. Not everything was wrapped up in a pretty little bow, which I actually enjoyed. I think finding her father was a little far-fetched, but the fact that Esme still pursued her college education even after she got Khai to admit his love for her was great. I thoroughly enjoyed this!

I loved this book! Esme is a brave girl leaving her daughter and trying to see if she can make a relationship work with someone’s son she met while cleaning a bathroom. She must leave everything she knows and loves for the hope of love somewhere else. Khai is autistic and she may not fully grasp what that means but she loves him fully. I loved Quan and Khais relationship. Quan loves his brother fully and protects him. I also loved Esme and Khais relationship. It was wonderful to watch love grow. It was amazing to see Esme grow into someone who was confident in herself and could believe in herself. I fell in love with Quan and how loyal he is and how faithful to doing the right thing. I would love to read more about Quan in the future. 4.5 stars/5 I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a feel good story with romance mixed in.

Hoang's second book bears a lot of similarities to her first, which I have a feeling won't be bad news to many people because her first was so well-loved. Like [book:The Kiss Quotient|36199084], we have an autistic main character and a neurotypical love interest who is paid to be in the picture. In The Bride Test, the sexes are reversed--the book features Khai, the cousin of Michael who was mentioned in The Kiss Quotient as being autistic like Stella, and Esme--a mixed race Vietnamese cleaning woman who Khai's mother recruits as a potential wife for Khai. Stella and Khai are both autistic, brilliant, rich, and confused by romance. Michael and Esme are both mixed race, poor, have absent fathers, and have something to hide. After Khai's mother recruits Esme to come to the U.S. to potentially marry Khai, the usual confusion and allure of forced proximity ensues. Esme is trying to seduce Khai so that she can marry and stay in the U.S., but she is also working hard at the family restaurant, looking for her American father, and pursuing her own interests. To me, they did not have much of a spark. There were some potential points of conflict that kind of fizzled out-- for example, Esme's big secret that she left her child at home. Also there are numerous hints in the book that Esme does not understand just how successful Khai is, and there is never a big reveal for that. There were some things that were huge conflicts that seemed blown way out of proportion, like the aftermath of their first sexual encounter and her insistence on him saying the words, "I love you." It did have a bit of good angst thrown in thanks to my favorite secondary character in both novels, Quan. QUAN. When are you getting your own book, you cad? In the Afterword, Hoang discusses how this book was originally written as a love triangle where the Vietnamese arranged marriage loses out to Khai's love interest in the U.S. Having read that, I wonder if that is why the chemistry between Esme and Khai is a bit lackluster. Also, that afterword was so touching. Don't skip it. If you liked The Kiss Quotient, you will probably like this as well. Hoang's depiction of characters who are surrounded by loving families and just trying to struggle through what life has handed them is so sweet. Her ethic seems to be hard work, sacrifice, family, and loving care. I hope she varies a little more from this formula in her next book, but I do hope she keeps writing neurodiverse characters since she just does a lovely job of it. Thanks to Penguin First to Read for an advance e-copy of this book. My opinions are my own.

Another great book from Helen Hoang. The Bride Test is definitely a feel good, happy romance. I couldn't get enough and had to sneak in reading time whenever I could. Is it great literature? No but it isn't supposed to be. This book gives exactly what you'd expect from a good romance and even more. Esme is a strong female character who won't settle for less than she feels she deserves. She also figures out a way to get her dream even if it means having to do it on her own (getting her GED, going to college). Going into it knowing that Khai (the cousin of Michael from The Kiss Quotient) was autistic, I worried that we were going to get the male version of autistic Stella. I'm so happy to say that this was not the case. Khai has his own social challenges and behaviors and is quite a different character than Stella. He is sweet and endearing. Khai and Esme make for a great romance couple. Those expecting the "sexiness" of The Kiss Quotient may be relieved or disappointed depending how they felt about all the hot sex scenes in TKQ. The Bride Test does not go to that extreme. The sex is toned down considerably from TKQ but the romance is oh so strong. My only disappointment with it is how Jade was handled in the story. I felt that this relationship was pretty much neglected by the author. I felt the separation needed to be touched upon more and the revelation of her is more of a sidenote. I wanted to know more about how Khai felt about her. But overall a great romance that I will be recommending. All I need to know now is if Quan will be getting his own story.... please, please, please! 4/5 stars

4.5/5 stars Wonderful love story. Engaging and complex characters. Endearing supporting family . I fell in love with Khai and Esme. Khai’s internal narrative was funny and heartbreaking as he tries to navigate his grief, his life and Esme. Esme is a young woman desperately trying to rise above her lack of education and poverty to make a better life for her daughter, mother and grandmother back in Vietnam. Esme is so earnest in her attempts to understand Khai and make him value her. Yet she will not comprise her desire to be loved, even if that demand will derail all her hopes and dreams. Khai is Michael’s cousin from Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient. In this book, Michael makes a funny (a scene with Quan teaching Khai some health education ;) and charming (at his wedding) cameo. BTW, Quan needs a book with his own HEA. Thank you Penguin Random House for the ARC

I'll admit I was disappointed when I finished this one because I did enjoy The Kiss Quotient and had high hopes this would be a good read as well. Lack of good chemistry is the main issue I had with this book and why it was only an okay read. Once again the author has featured characters that are underrepresented in fiction which is awesome but given romance is such a big part of the story, the fact I wasn't really feeling it, was a significant problem. Other readers really connected with the characters so definitely this is one of those your mileage may vary type reads. This is the second book in The Kiss Quotient series but can easily be read as a standalone. Some characters from the first book make appearances in this one which was nice although some were "don't blink or you'll miss it" type cameos. It looks like a third book is in the works and after reading this one I have a pretty good guess who will be the main character. Even though this book wasn't my favorite, I still wouldn't mind checking the next book out. Esme Tran has lived her entire life in Vietnam and is working at a hotel when she is approached by a woman who has an interesting proposition. She wants Esme to come to America and marry her son. The prospect of a better life for not just her but also her family, is why Esme takes the woman up on her offer. But getting the son, Khai, to fall in love with her isn't going to be easy. I wasn't a huge fan of the premise to begin with as having a green card type plot doesn't seem like the best use of diverse characters. I wish the author would have chosen a different reason for Esme to come to America and interact with Khai. However, the author did attempt to give substance to the characters by featuring such things as Esme's drive to succeed and Khai learning how to deal with his emotions. Like I said before I wasn't feeling much chemistry between Esme and Khai and in general I thought the story needing some polishing up as it didn't quite work for me. It just felt like so many aspects of the story were not fully developed or not developed to their potential is maybe a better way of putting it. Everything felt slightly off with this book. It wasn't horrible, but I definitely walked away wishing I would have liked it better. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy!

The Bride Test was an exceptional follow up companion novel to The Kiss Quotient. Both stories are set in the same world, however they couldn't be more different. The Bride Test is about Khai, who has Asperger's and believes he can't love. It is also about Esme, who grew up in extreme poverty in Vietnam. Khai's mom brings Esme to America from Vietnam, hoping she and Khai will end up getting married. At first I thought this book was going to be a simple romance and I would know exactly how it was going to end from the get go. I was so pleasantly surprised, though. It was nothing like what I expected. I fell in love with Esme. Her strength and determination were incredible and knowing that she was based off of Helen Hoang's own mother made her even more lovable. I highly recommend this novel, even if you are not a fan of romance as a genre. It is an exceptional story of love, hope, strength, self discovery and family. You will not be disappointed.

4/5 stars I haven't had a chance yet to The Kiss Quotient, so I was excited to get a chance to read The Bride Test first! I absolutely flew through this, I think finishing the book in 3 days. I think what I most enjoy about The Bride Test was the character development. The author did a great job of building the relationship between Khai and Esme, and showing the readings how they fell in love with each other. I really rooted for them both! I enjoyed getting a glimpse into Vietnamese culture (I'm curious about swim bladder soup now). I look forward to reading what Helen Hoang writes next! Now to get my hands on a copy of The Kiss Quotient...

I thought this was a cute romance. The read was nicely paced, and there were other background events going on to keep the romance from being the only thing even though it was the primary focus. I liked Esme, and I think a lot of people will root for her and enjoy her story, but I also liked Khai quite a bit. As someone who can be socially awkward and had to be trained to make eye contact, it was nice to see someone like Khai who is caring and well-meaning but may not always understand what people need to hear. I emphasized a bit with his struggle to understand that just because he doesn't express his emotions the same way, that doesn't mean he doesn't feel them. And Khai's family was so lovely. His mother sees Esme at the beginning of the book, and notices the way she's able to pay attention to details and thinks, "This is someone my son would like." Even as his mother is worried and trying to find him a bride, she knows her son very well and clearly loves him deeply. My only complaint is that Esme being a single mother didn't seem to add anything to the book. It gives Esme motivation and angst, but I think she could have just been poor with her family to take care of and the book would have unraveled the same way. It was just a reason for her to not be able to finish her schooling. And I hated the fact that Khai didn't find out until the end of the book. I'm sorry but nobody can process that information as quickly as he apparently did. And I was honestly mad at Esme for parts of the book for not telling him. It's not information that you hide like that. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a cute romance.

Esme is a single mother in Vietnam when she meets an older woman that wants her to fly to America and woo her son, Khai. Esme sees this as an opportunity at a chance at a better life for her family so she agrees to do it. Upon meeting Khai, she realizes that he is a bit strange. When he tells her that he is autistic, she doesn't really understand what that means. In the span of two months, Esme and Khai have to figure out whether they can form a lasting, loving relationship. I absolutely adored this book!! Esme is unlike any character I've ever encountered before. She is a strong mother. Her every thought and action is dedicated towards giving her daughter a better life. In the States, she works hard. Not only at her waitressing job, but at her studies. She takes every single opportunity to better herself. #empowering The story itself is also fascinating. It's a lot of "will they or won't they". Once you get to understand the characters, you root for them. I mean, Khai (the love interest) is just so perfect. He's incredibly smart, kind, and movie star handsome. What's not to love? There were also a few juicy parts in the story that had me swooning haha. Overall, a fantastic read!!! 4.5/5* *Thank you to Penguin's First to Read program for providing an ARC in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and based solely on the book provided*

I absolutely love the author since I read The Kiss Quotient. I immediately read up the synopsis for The Bride Test and was very excited. When I get the chance to read it I was scared it wouldn't be as good as her first book. I was not let down at all. I loved this book from start to finish! The dialogue was funny and heartwarming. I didn’t expect it to be so funny and witty. Khai had already won a spot in my heart from the start. He was so special to me and I wanted to go in the book and hug him/keep him safe. Esme was so fierce and strong I really admired her. I was almost wishing I could have some of her strength because she did not let anything get her down. Even if she was knocked down with an obstacle she got up and fought harder which had me rooting for her in the background. I absolutely loved the ending it was beautiful and brought happy tears to my eyes. I was so proud of her and of Khai. I can’t wait for everyone to read this book.

Helen Hoang has quickly become one of my favorite romance authors. I've been waiting for this book to come out and was excited to get an ARC. I stayed up late trying to finish the book in one go. I didn't want to put it down! Hoang has created a strong character in Esme. You root for her on her own or with Khai. I can't wait to read more of her books and explore Khai's family. I think this is a better book than the Kiss Quotient, which was one of my favorite books last year!

I enjoyed The Bride Test as much as I enjoyed The Kiss Quotient. Helen Hoang’s books have everything I want when I’m in the mood for a fun light read; there is humor, sexual tension, romance and she treats the person who is autistic by showing their quirks and how hard it is for them to cope with emotions in a compassionate manner. I love all her characters. It’s always a quick read because I hate to stop reading when I start one of her books. I’m already looking forward to her next one and hoping it won’t be long. Thanks Penguin for the chance to read The Bride Test early.

Thank you Penguin First to Read for a digital ARC. Put this on your May TBR list. Helen Hoang follows up the 5?? The Kiss Quotient with another great read. 4.5?? for The Bride Test, a story that is about much more than romance. We watch the male lead, khai who has autism, learn to process his emotions including grief and love. It’s a Helen Hoang book, so lust is not a problem. ;) Esme is a single mom, Vietnamese immigrant determined to make a life for herself and be a role model for her daughter. Not quite as steamy as TKQ, but a deeper story. Fans of TKQ should love this one as well, and will definitely fall for Khai’s brother Quan. One hopes there is a book about him in the future. Be sure to read the author’s note at the end.

I really liked this book a lot! It’s much sweeter than TKQ. I loved Khai and Esme and was rooting for both of them independently and together as a couple as well. Khai’s family is so great. I loved that Esme is Vietnamese and we were able to get a glimpse into their culture and the hardships that Vietnamese women face. She is such a great person and such a hard worker. I really admired her. Compared to TJQ, there’s more character development and less sex which I actually liked.

Helen Hoang has an innate ability to create a beautiful love story with characters that pull at your heartstrings and remind you that love is messy, complicated and not always easy, but worth the time and effort no matter who you are and what you have to overcome. I read the Kiss Quotient right before I read The Bride Test, and I probably loved that book a little more, laughed a little more and cried a little more but this book is still fantastic. Khai is autistic, and after losing his best friend and cousin ten years before, struggles with making an emotional connection with anyone. His mother decides to take matters into her own hands and finds Esme in Vietnam, and brings her back to America with the hopes that she can bring out Khai's potential and capacity to love. Not surprisingly, Khai struggles with having a stranger in his life and home, especially when he realizes that he truly likes Esme. Esme, meanwhile, having grown up poor and as living as a young, single, mother cleaning hotels to pay the bills in Vietnam, struggles to find a sense of pride in who she is and what she's capable of. While she came over to convince Khai to fall in love and marry her, she realizes that she has value all on her own. It's thoroughly enjoyable to watch these two characters realize their own individual potential while falling in love with each other.

"Girl loves boy loves girl" I was so excited to read this ARC and it did not disappoint! Helen Hoang has managed to give us another heartfelt story with characters you can't help but love!

Thank you First To Read for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. I absolutely loved this book. The characters were well developed and you couldn't help but root for Khai and Esme the entire way through this book. I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read more from Helen Hoang.

Loved it!! When I read The Kiss Quotient I didn't know what to expect, I read the whole book in one day. So I can definitely say the same for The Bride Test! I really enjoyed it! I recommend to those who enjoyed The Kiss Quotient! Will definitely look forward to any upcoming works of Helen Hoang!

Helen Hoang has such a gift with characters that are nuanced and so so special. Igobbled this book down, seriously it was hard to set aside to focus on anything else. I loved Esme and Khai and I loved them figuring each other out through the novel. The only thing I can say is that I wish it was longer because the end did feel a bit rushed to me but I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Such a great read and romance! Steam and smarts for the win!

Thank you so much for the chance to read The Bride Test early! I absolutely loved The Kiss Quotient and couldn’t wait to see what Helen Hoang wrote next. I do think The Bride Test took a bit longer to get into, and was a bit less steamy than Kiss Quotient, but I did end up falling for the characters and rooting for them in the end. Hoang’s unique perspective on Vietnamese culture as well as autism makes this a romance worth spending some time with.

I was given the opportunity to read this via an ARC. I absolutely adored this story. Helen Hoang brings us another lovely romance from a deeper perspective through the eyes of an immigrant looking for hope and getting more than she bargains for. She meets an overbearing Vietnamese mother who’s in search of a wife for her autistic son, but so similar to most immigrant families, doesn’t recognize that her son is on the spectrum but just has his own “issues”. Agreeing to try to sway him, My (or Esme, as she deems herself once she lands in the States) has her work cut out for her. Along the way, she not only learns Khai’s quirks, but also about her fierce independence. What struck me most about this book wasn’t the wonderfully crafted story that Helen weaves between the pages, but what lies at the very end in her Author’s note. Her mother’s history, so much like so many other immigrant’s stories, is really something that reminds you how much everyone has a journey they’re on that isn’t always easy, but is often worth it. Thank you for telling a beautiful and lovely version of an immigrant’s story.

I did not think The Kiss Quotient could be outdone, but I was wrong. Maybe not everyone will love it, but they should all read it. The Bride Test is a story no one but her could write and am thankful for the insight from the autor's notes. Khai is just as special and amazing as Stella and the same for My/Esme as Michael. Helen Hoang has not only made you love her characters, but has the reader look in and love themselves a little more. Thanks to Penguin's First To Read program for providing an advanced reader copy of The Bride Test to read in exchange for an honest review.

Helen Hoang has done it again. She is very easily becoming a favorite with these heartwarming romances. I loved every single page. Khai and Esme's story is beautiful and so fun to read. Highly reccommend, I can't wait for her next one!

Excellent An excellent book. Couldn't put down the book, read it from start to finish in one sitting. Absolutely loved the story. Full of humor, laughter, and most importantly love. Do yourself a favor and get this book. Settle down with a cuppa tea, or coffee and enjoy yourself.

This was amazing. I was a bit wary at the beginning, but as I got into it, I really enjoyed this book. It was perhaps even better than The Kiss Quotient. This is a small thing but at one point Khai made an accounting remark in his head about her that was really great. I loved this book, and am so excited that we're going to get more books from Helen Hoang.

When I received this book, I thought I would just read a few pages to get a feel for it and come back to it a little while later. Instead, I stayed up into the early hours of the morning in order to read half of it in one sitting. The story is a very touching and realistic portrayal of two underrepresented groups in romance, but Hoang is able to immerse you in the culture and feelings you might not normally experience. I laughed. I cried. I read the whole thing in about twelve hours and I loved every minute of it.

Had the opportunity to read an ARC for an honest review and THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!! I couldn’t believe that I could love a book more than The Kiss Quotient, but I do! I spent a very productive day at work hiding in my cubicle, hunched over my laptop desperately trying to finish this book before o had to leave for a dinner engagement. Spoiler, I was late because I had to finish this. Hoang has an amazing ability to walk the fine line between realistic, romantic, & sexy. And her writing on autistic is so spot on; no two autistic persons are the same. Also, as an Asian American, I love seeing more representation in books; it makes me so happy when I read descriptions of people who look like me and families who resemble mine. And mentions of very Asian things, like visiting 99 Ranch; all of this make my heart swell!!! Please pre-order this book ASAP, you will not regret it!

 


More to Explore

  • The Kiss Quotient

Copy the following link