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.

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From the USA Today bestselling 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

A well written romance novel. I definitely enjoyed reading it and the characters were well done. 4/5 stars.

The Bride Test is book 2 in The Kiss Quotient series. I read these out of order by starting with this book but loved it so much I backtracked to book 1 immediately and loved that one as well. These can be read as standalone novels if you choose to. This series is a diverse read and makes me happy sigh because I finally get books with Vietnamese characters and they're done right, it's not just sterotypes like I've seen a ton in other novels. We also have lead characters with autism or Asperger's which I don't think I've ever seen in other books I've read. This romance is an emotional read and one you will fall in love with. Our leading lady, M? (aka Esme) works as a maid in Vietnam when she's approached by a woman in the bathroom she's cleaning. The woman wants M? to go to America and have a relationship with her son and if it doesn't work out she can go back to Vietnam and think of the time as a vacation. What M? doesn't know is that the woman's son, Khai Diep has autism and his brain works a bit differently. Khai initially was not too happy about the situation but wants to make his mother happy so he picks Esme up at the airport and takes her back to his home. It's a bit rocky at the beginning but our duo get into a good rhythm when they start to understand one another. Esme learns a bit of the things that triggers Khai like strong smells, unexpected touches, etc. Feelings do start to grow for one another as the story progresses but I was worried it might not be fast enough before the time ran out. The Bride Test is romance done right and you'll fall in love with the story. I loved both of the main characters and the fact that there is a bit of actual Vietnamese mixed into the dialogue. My husband is Vietnamese so I know a bit of the language and how to pronounce it and I was amused since M? is part of my Vietnamese name. All in all, this is a great read that you'll want to grab if you're in a diverse contemporary romance mood.

4/5 Stars While very different from The Kiss Quotient, I really enjoyed this book. I loved Esme and was rooting for her happiness. The author's note shouldn't be missed.

my blurb! A guy on the Autism spectrum, who hasn’t dated, is convinced to house a potential mail order wife that his mom set him up with. 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 steam level what I liked: So if you didn’t know, this book is a companion novel (in the same world and kind of a second book but also a stand alone book) as The Kiss Quotient. The Kiss Quotient, I wasn’t in love with, but also it was one of the very first steamy romance novels I’d ever read. So I am kind of convinced it would rank higher now that I’ve immersed myself into the romance reads culture. I really liked this book! I love love loved the main characters! This is told from two perspectives (dual POVs) and it made the book that much more enjoyable. I loved both main characters and felt like I knew both of them and their thought processes well! My/Esme, our female protagonist, was independent and determined. She was, dare I say, scrappy and sexy. She was kind and vulnerable. Khai, our male protagonist, was so realistic. He was kind, and sensitive. He was considerate and funny. Hoang wrote the dual perspectives very well and each chapter was so specifically different from the POVs- they never blended together. At its core- this was the story of a female immigrant and a boy on the Autism spectrum. I’ve said it multiple times but that won’t stop me from saying it now, romance novels are THE most diverse novels published right now. (Try to change my mind!) Lastly, this books acknowledgment section was epic. I mentioned that in Sky in the Deep as well. I’m clearly a fan of a well written acknowledgment section. (Come to think of it, I also love that part of Children of Blood and Bone). The author explains how Esme/My ended up as the main character and… I mean, you just have to read it. It was amazing and made me love the book even more! what I didn't like This next part will be hard to explain without giving away any spoilers but I’m going to do my darndest! This book ended with an Epilogue… which you know I love! So why is it in the “didn’t like” section? The epilogue took place FOUR years after the main portion of the book. Let that sink in. We spend a lot of time with these characters and then we’re catapulted four years forward. I wasn’t thrilled with the overall relationship status of Khai and Esme at this point. I won’t go more into that, but if you’ve read it you know! Overall I would easily recommend this book to romance readers. It is on the higher end of steam level that I’m comfortable reading. If you liked the first book in the set, The Kiss Quotient, I think you’ll like this book even better! while reading you should: Listen: Slipped Away by Avril Lavigne Eat: Authentic Vietnamese food! Do: Learn something new that you’ve always wanted to learn Happy Reading, Dux I received this book for free but was not required to write a favorable review!

Ah! Gush. The Bride Test has reached number 1 status of reads for 2019. I LOVED this! I enjoyed reading about Khai and Esme so much. The main characters were well developed and interestingly paired together. I enjoyed reading of Esme's experiences moving to the US from Vietnam and the struggle to help her family by leaving them. I loved reading how Khai interacts with his family, especially Quan, and learning to communicate with Esme and how to love. I am a huge fan of The Kiss Quotient and this was an amazing follow up! Loved!!

I gave myself some time to really think about how to review this book and my feelings about it...not something I am known for. So try to cut me a little slack. I think the problem I had actually came as I was almost finished reading and came on GoodReads to add it to my shelf. That was when I found out the book was technically the second in the Kiss Quotient series, which felt weird. Mainly because while there are definite overlap in the main characters’ traits, beyond that overlap there was nothing to bind the two books. That being said, THE BRIDE TEST and THE KISS QUOTIENT are very much stand alone books. The overlapping trait in the main characters is that both the female lead in THE KISS QUOTIENT and Khai, the male lead in THE BRIDE TEST, are on the spectrum for Autism. It effects how they see their ability to love and it shows how one not on the spectrum has to adapt to their style of loving, as it is different than one not on the spectrum. When I read TKQ, finding out at the end that Hoang is on the spectrum herself literally made me reread the book a second time through eyes that had a deeper trust she understood and felt what she was describing. Going into the TBT with the same knowledge definitely helped. Hoang is a talented writer and I cannot wait to read more romance novels by her.

The Bride Test I am not generally a fan of romances and this book did not change my opinion of them. I decided to try this one out because of the plot. The protagonist, Esme Tran, is a single mother living in Vietnam. When an older woman proposes she travel to America to seduce her son, Esme immediately shoots this down. However, as she starts to think about what this could mean for her and her daughter, she decides there’s no harm in getting to know a potentially nice man. Khai Diep is also completely averse to his mother’s harebrained idea, but he knows better than to oppose her. When Esme lands on his doorstep he has no choice but to take her in. This novel stands out because Khai is autistic. He’s completely different from most of the male protagonists I’ve read in other romances. He’s not spontaneous, hyper-masculine, or aware of how sexy he is. As a matter of fact, he basically wants nothing to do with Esme. Which makes this novel refreshingly slowburn. The sexual tension between the characters builds naturally as both characters try to decide when’s the right moment for that next step for very different reasons. When sex finally does happen, it takes into consideration what the experience could be like for someone with autism. Watching Khai explore feelings he thought he was incapable of having was definitely what kept me reading. However, I didn’t find Esme interesting. She’s supposed to be a humble, sexy Cinderella who captures the man with her strength and pureness. The fact that she can very easily fit into a stereotype bothers me. I like that she’s Vietnamese and that she’s a single mother, but because she leaves her daughter at the beginning of the book I didn’t care about her at all and so I couldn’t relate to Esme’s feelings of missing her. I felt that the daughter was purely a plot device to get Esme to accept going to America and to provide tension between her and Khai. I wanted to like this book, and for the most part I did, but not enough to finish it before my download expired. ***ARC was provided to me in exchange for an honest review***

Thank you, First to Read, for the opportunity to read this eARC. I absolutely loved Hoang's The Kiss Quotient and could not wait to get my hands on her latest. The Bride Test was such a sweet story about what it means to truly love someone, flaws and all. It was also a testament to self-deprecation and how we are much harder on ourselves than on others. And by the way, if this isn't a story with life lessons about strong communication, then I don't know what is. How Esme is able to accept Khai for who he is despite not understanding his limitations is the purest love imaginable. And Khai showing Esme, and everyone else, how much he cares about her without even realizing it is so sweet and innocent, it'll hit readers right in the "feels". Another great title by Helen Hoang!

Overall this book was a cute love story. I thought the two main characters were sweet. Kahi was a great male character who was learning his way around a relationship while Esme was a bit naive and I just couldn't root for her the way the author wanted us to. I did appreciate the representation of autism. Kahi was a great character and I felt his anguish and struggles. His character ARC was amazing! I was really rooting for him, and it made me appreciate the struggles someone with autism might face on a daily basis. The story takes place over the summer so the romance moves fast. It started out slow which I wanted, but soon snowballed into Instalove. It's a fast read which is nice, I think it would be a great summer vacation book.

Helen Hoang’s second book, A Bride Test, was a fun, easy to read novel but also included a strong female lead and intertwined a theme of female independence. This is a stand-alone book from her first novel, The Kiss Quotient. The characters from the Kiss Quotient make a brief appearance in her new novel (which gives a glimpse into the future of what happens for the Kiss Quotient characters, and makes me hope there will be a follow up in the future!). I loved how the main character Esme, is developed as a strong, female lead but is still relatable, soft, and emotional. While you can characterize this as a romance, it’s also a story of an immigrant and the struggles she faced and many emotions she had while being in a new culture. I enjoyed the Kiss Quotient and found this new novel to be just as fun and enjoyable and get like the main character was even better developed than Stella, the main female character from The Kiss Quotient.

Helen Hoang's lastest novel, The Bride Test tells the story of Esme and Khai. Khai is on the Autism spectrum and believes he is incapable of feeling any emotions, like grief and love. He believes he has a heart of stone. However, his mother is desperate to find him a wife. So, Khai's mom, Cô Nga, takes matters into her own hands by flying overseas to Vietnam to try and find his future wife. That's where Esme Tran comes in. After getting pregnant young, she now desperately tries to support her daughter in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City. She's mixed race, and has long wanted to go to America to find her father. When Cô Nga offers to pay for her visa and trip to California in exchange for her trying to seduce Khai, she takes the opportunity. Khai's way of living is structured. He has a routine that he follows every single day and should not be messed with. As you can imagine, Esme has a hard time trying to fit into Khai's life upon her arrival, but he also doesn't make it easy for her. Khai is very closed off and tries to keep Esme at distance, but he's not sure how long he can keep it up. I thoroughly enjoyed The Bride Test. Khai and Esme's story is funny, sexy, and delightful all at the same time. What I really appreciated about this story is that Khai is not a carbon copy of Stella from The Kiss Quotient, but he is very much his own person, and ASD affects him in unique ways. In this sense, Helen Hoang does a wonderful job of truly showing the Autism spectrum and how vast it truly is. This book has a completely different Autistic main character than her first novel, which reminds readers that everyone’s experiences are different, and I truly enjoyed getting to know Khai. He is geeky and obsessive, but since this was written by an author who is on the spectrum, it does not come across in a stereotypical way. Hoang did another amazing job at weaving in the all important topic of autism by giving us insight into what it really means to be on the spectrum. Overall, this is a story about loss, love, and healing. It's also about becoming the person you want to be, no matter the circumstances. We get to see both Khai and Esme dealing with their own traumas, and healing separately, while also seeing them build a future where they can both be accepted and happy. From the important elements and themes, to the beautiful diversity and inclusion, to some steamy and romantic scenes, this book is definitely a winner.

This was my first book by Helen Hoang but after hearing so much about her debut novel The Kiss Quotient I was excited to at the opportunity read her sophomore novel The Bride Test as an eArc from the publishers in exchange for my honest opinions and review. The Bride test follows Esme Tran who was born and raised Vietnam, a poor country girl who works as a maid in a hotel. She is mixed raised with brilliant green eyes. She had a daughter at a young age and works hard to help support her family including her mom and aging grandma. When she is given the opportunity to come to America and marry a man by his mother she decides that is something she has to try. This could be the opportunity to provide her daughter with the family she always deserved. Khai Diep is a Vietnamese American who is on the autism spectrum. According to him he has no emotions, no feels and sees the world in only logical ways. Numbers and puzzles make sense.... people and feelings do not. He has never had a girlfriend or relationship of any kind, so his mother does the only thing she can and finds a wife for him in Vietnam, Esme, and brings her home. The deal they must live together for the summer and behave as if they are fiancees. As the summer goes on the two are forced to learn how to deal with the difference between the two of them and how to help each other. Can they marry? Can they let each other go? Have they been honest? Is a summer enough to really know all the answers? Helen Hoang writes this from an own voices perspective, being both Vietnamese and on the spectrum herself, which adds so much authenticity to this novel that you can fill throughout the story. All of her characters are so strongly built that you truly have a sense of who they are. I had a very strong connection even with the side characters and am truly hoping that we might get a book for Quan next. The only real downside that I could say is that the problems that came up between the main couple could feel repetitive at times. Although they had communicated through bits of the issues they never actually worked through the whole matter when they did talk about things that were bothering them which could be bothersome particularly when the same issue would arise between them again. I think this novel could be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys light contemporary reads. It felt like a beach read almost. I could see enjoying this up at the cottage or at the beach. It was light and happy and made me smile over and over.

This novel is a worthy follow up to the wonderful "The Kiss Quotient." Helen Hoang's books feel very personal, and I love the unconventional characters. They feel like real people, living in a real world. No one is too perfect, and the problems and situations that drive the story do not feel contrived. It is refreshing to see diverse characters in mainstream books, and I truly hope that Helen Hoang continues to write for a long time.

Ok. I imagine it is ridiculously hard to write a second book after your first was so successful. As a reader, it's hard not to have high expectations or compare the two. Like many people, I adored The Kiss Quotient and I'm sure a lot of that was because I went in with zero expectations. The cover was cute, the description was cute, obviously didn't know the author, and it blew me away. I couldn't stop gushing about it. When I heard about this one, I tried, I really did try, to keep my expectations low. But it's impossible. So, I liked this one. I did. It didn't blow me away like The Kiss Quotient. But I liked it. I liked Khai. I didn't love My/Esme as much. I couldn't get a handle on her, I felt like there wasn't enough time for her to switch from 'want to get married to get a better life' to 'want to get married because i love him'. I wanted a bit more build up or development to their relationship so I could feel the love. I felt it from Khai's side, but not necessarily from Esme's, and that was a bummer. I definitely feel like the daughter thing went on a bit too long. Maybe revealing it earlier and having it as part of the conflict would have been too predictable, I don't know. I did like Khai and Esme together, I just wanted a bit more. Wanted more chemistry, more development. Other than that, it was a cute read, a very easy quick read, overall I did enjoy it. Really. I will 100% read more from Helen Hoang, can't wait for the 3rd in this series. I don't want it to sound like I disliked this one, because I didn't. Like I said, it is so hard not to have high expectations or compare a second book to a fantastic first book. So I tried to keep that in mind and not judge too harshly, and honestly it wasn't too hard. It wasn't like I had to keep telling myself 'don't be mean, don't compare'. Not at all, it was a very good, enjoyable, quick, easy read. It was cute, funny and a little dash of sexy. I did like it. One thing though - I am not sure where the 3 years green card thing came from? Yes, I am sure the author did her research and perhaps things have changed, but I am an immigrant. I got married and applied for the green card right away, it took about 6 months to get it and then it is valid for 2 years because I had only been in the country for a year when I got married. I can't remember how long you have to be in the country for that 2 year thing to be waived, maybe 2 years? But either way, my green card was valid for 2 years, then I had to go back and do all the interview things again, then I got my 10 year card, and in a few years I'll have to go back again. Anyway, maybe things have changed, and I am sure 99% of readers won't even notice that, but I did, and it just struck me as odd. So bottom line. Liked it a lot, didn't love it, need the next one yesterday!

As a huge fan of The Kiss Quotient, I was quite let down by The Bride Test. The characters felt very flat, didn't really come alive, and even the two leads don't really have a great chemistry. The marriage of convenience turned real love trope wasn't very successful, and I think a lot of that had to do with the secrets and lies at the beginning. Overall, as a stand alone novel it was just ok and if you were going to read any Helen Huang books I would say start here and then move to The Kiss Quotient in order to not be let down.

I really enjoyed The Bride Test a lot more than I enjoyed The Kiss Quotient. Less graphic sex and the characters seemed more true to themselves. Odd, considering that one of the characters, My/Esme, was pretending to be what she wasn't at points during the story. But that fabrication seemed in line with how she was presented to the reader. I really enjoyed how the traditions of the culture played throughout the book and were intertwined with assumptions made on both main character's parts and how they shined together when they were willing to talk about how they felt or what they liked/needed. Now if only people could do this in the real world!

I was looking forward to reading this after loving The Kiss Quotient, but this one fell flat for me. I gave up at page 57 after too many descriptions of awkward physical attraction but no connections on any other level. I just couldn’t relate to these characters. Thanks First to Read for an advanced copy.

I thought this book was just okay. I don't know why but for some reason I couldn't really get into it. I didn't feel the chemistry between Khai and Esme aside from lust that somehow turned into love over night. I thought Khai's character could have been developed a little more. I would have liked to know more about the relationship he had with his cousin Andy in the past and how that shaped him as an adult. Also I thought the author could have delved more into how being on the spectrum affected how Khai interacted with those around him daily. I did like Esme's story line and her journey from Vietnam to the U.S. was interesting. However, I thought the story about her trying to find her father was kind of just thrown in there haphazardly without any real development and then somehow conveniently came together in the end. The ending was a little predictable but then again most contemporary romance novels are so I guess that was to be expected. Overall I would say this book was a miss for me.

The Kiss Quotient was probably one of my favorite reads of 2018, and I was unbelievably excited for its sequel, The Bride Test! I am always so desperate for Vietnamese rep, and Helen Hoang really delivers it in a way I've never gotten before. The Bride Test is an amazing book, filled with love and understanding and heart. This book really took my breath away; I honestly couldn't put it down! Esme and Kh?i are great narrators, and I loved following them on their journeys. Esme is struggling to adapt to American life and to make Kh?i fall in love with her. Kh?i is trying to adapt to the changes in his life with the introduction of Esme into his life and to not fall in love with her. Esme is truly amazing. Following an immigrant as a narrator was definitely eye-opening, and in Hoang's author's note, she notes that she does not have first-hand experience as an immigrant and goes on to list resources for you to read and to learn more about it. She also writes that the research that went into this novel brought her closer to her mother, a Vietnamese immigrant; I teared up at this point because I share this same experience. This is why we need #ownvoices books! I also liked that Esme has a child (despite never formally being in a relationship with her child's father) but is never ashamed of this. She certainly believes that ever falling for her daughter's father was a mistake, but the love that she has for her daughter is massive and unending. The Bride Test is also #ownvoices for autism representation in Kh?i. It is definitely interesting reading how he believes he doesn't have feelings, just because he doesn't experience them like most everyone else does. This definitely got me thinking about how we, as a society, portray a "normal" way to feel, when everyone is different and expresses their emotions in different ways, especially love. Kh?i thinks he's incapable of love because he doesn't feel the passion and intensity that's often portrayed; however, love can be subtle: it can be slow-growing, shown in small, everyday gestures. This book is evidence of that, and I loved reading a different take on a love story. Kh?i's brother, Quân, is honestly the best! He's such a great brother and overall person, helping both Kh?i and Esme in their times of need. Can we get a book about him please?? I also loved seeing him and Kh?i and Michael interact, although I desperately need more of them together. I've touched on this throughout this review, but the Viet representation in this book is truly some of the best I've ever read. The fact that I get to read about Vietnamese people, eating Vietnamese food, mentioning little bits of Vietnamese culture, all while falling in love . . . it honestly still makes me cry. I so rarely get to see Vietnamese characters, much less have them centered in a love story. Hoang is writing more sequels in this series with Michael's sisters as the protagonists, if you didn't know, and I smile every time I remember this. #ownvoices books mean so, so much. The Bride Test is a stunning sequel to its already amazing predecessor. You'll be sure to fall in love with Esme and Kh?i over and over throughout the book as they fall in love with each other. The Vietnamese rep is some of the best I've ever had the chance to read, and I'm forever grateful for it. The Bride Test is a poignant tale of an immigrant's struggle to adapt, of a man with autism adapting to change, of a slow-growing, but eternally steady love.

I loved the kiss quotient in immense amount so i jumped at the opportunity to read this one from First to Read. This book is about growth more than the sexy times than the Kiss quotient was, but there is still plenty of that too. It's a romance that shows growth from the characters, and has forces to overcome, minor and major. It worked well together, and in some ways better than the Kiss Quotient. This book also needs to be read, because it's about diverse characters, its own voices author that doesn't shy away from her own story and just because it's so very very good.

Thank you First to Read for this ARC! I loved this book! It was sweet, sexy, and literally made me laugh out loud sometimes. It's less "sexy" than The Kiss Quotient but that didn't matter to me. I thought the Vietnamese and American cultural differences were presented in such a funny way (good funny that makes you laugh) while it's still respectful of both cultures. I enjoyed how both characters helped each other grow personally. I didn't feel as frustrated with their miscommunication (or lack of communication at times) as I was in The Kiss Quotient because I was expecting it this time. I really hope the next book is about Quan - he was a really sweet minor character in this book.

Girl loves boy loves girl. This girl loved this book. Five stars. I love it that the author can make me laugh and cry in the same book. I enjoyed this story between Esme and Khai so much. Khai is autistic and says he has no feelings, but he meets Esme and starts to feel. His learning about sex and his conversations with his brother were so funny. And his brother, Quan...if he doesn't get his own book, I will cry. Esme is new to the United States and is there, at first, to meet Khai and hopefully get him to marry her--to help better her and her family's life. But, then, she is there for herself. Both Khai and Esme each have their own character development and each is enjoyable to read. Read the author's note. It was so touching and heartfelt. Thank you to Penguin Random House First to Read, Berkley Publishing Group, and Helen Hoang for a digital ARC. The Bride Test releases May 7.

I was so excited when I received The Bride Test by Helen Hoang Thank you @berkleypub for my arc in exchange for my honest review. Just as good as The Kiss Quotient Khai (Michael’s cousin who we met in the previous book) is autistic and because of a tragedy that occurred in his youth he thinks himself broken and unable to feel important emotions and therefore not interested in love. Now that he’s older his mom just wants him to find a partner. She travel to Vietnam to find him a wife. In her travels she meets Esme a woman who’s had a difficult life and who takes her up on her offer come to California and she’ll pay the expenses and she tries to make a connection with Khai. Esme accepts. I LOVED this book. Let’s start off with a book with diverse characters ! Khai and Esme were such well developed characters. I felt both their stories and thought their personalities were so well fleshed out that I understood their motivations and choices. In one of the scenes Khai begins reading a book at a wedding and I just thought of Brittany and how she did the exact same thing. I think what I appreciated most of this book was one that even though, like in the Kiss Quotient, we have a character who is on the autism spectrum Khai and Stella are different and that’s very true of how the autism experience is different from person to person. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of an immigrant experience. At a time now when immigration is a hot button issue we forget the stories behind the immigrant experience and those stories are powerful. An amazing romance with and amazing message and I am here for it!! This book releases on May 7th and I 100% recommend you pick it up and read it!!! I saw on goodreads that book 3 Quan’s story is the next book and I am already impatiently waiting for its release! Rating 5/5

Really cute! Esme is adorable and strong, and I love her motivation even when things aren't going well with Khai. Khai was a little frustrating for me at times but I understand why. They both really grow in this book.

As I don't typically read books from the romance genre, I was apprehensive to embark on The Bride Test. I was intrigued, however, by the rave reviews of the author's first in the series and also by the inclusion of characters with autism in the story line. First, let me say that I feel the author did a wonderful job with the main characters.The characters were charming and while the chemistry lacked a little on the side of Esme, overall I would say I was fairly wrapped up in the characters lives shortly after the book began. I love the inclusion of characters that are on the spectrum. It was done in a wonderful way. I'm so happy to see the author writing these characters in a way that show they have normal lives. I feel this is a group of people that are too often overlooked in our novels. Second, while it did have the feel of a series book, the story could have stood on it's own as I didn't feel lost at any point. There just seemed to be characters that made appearances that weren't entirely needed in the story, so I assume they're from the previous book. The romance is built upon a "mail-order-bride" type of story line, which I found intriguing. Overall, it was a book I couldn't put down. I've since purchased The Kiss Quotient and can't wait to read it, as well.

**4 stars** I've been looking forward to this book since I read Helen Hoang's first book, The Kiss Quotient and I'm please that this didn't disappoint. It did take me awhile to get into the story, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. I like Khai and Esme (My) as characters, though it took some time for me to really root for them on a romantic level. Actually, Khai and his brother Quan's relationship was my favorite. I really enjoyed their scenes together and would love to see Quan get his own book. There's a very straight-forward, matter of fact style to Hoang's writing which I appreciate, but may not be everyone's cup of tea. If you are a fan of The Kiss Quotient or just looking for a good contemporary romance, I would recommend this.

"Girl loves boy loves girl" When was the last time you were CONSUMED by a book? When the story was so overwhelmingly raw and beautiful and passionate? This story was EVERYTHING, you guys. E V E R Y T H I N G! And I can’t stop thinking about it!  Esme Tran lived in the slums of Vietnam. She worked hard to provide for her daughter, mother, and grandmother. She wanted more for her family and more for herself. So when presented with the opportunity to go to America, she knew she couldn't turn it down. Even if her job was to convince a man to marry her, a man who was convinced he couldn't love. Hoang beautifully captured Esme's pride and strength, and resounding drive. Drive to be more, drive to provide for her family and drive to rise from the circumstances she was in - at no fault of her own, she was there simply because she was born. I loved that even though she wanted so much to become a US citizen, she wasn't willing to trade her pride, she wasn't willing to trade her self-respect. She knew what she wanted, where she wanted to go, and she was determined to get there, in a way that would make her proud of herself, and prove to her daughter that you could be whatever you wanted to be. Khai's mother and sisters were all the women he thought he needed in his life. They constantly mothered him and made sure he was taken care of. He liked being alone. He liked his life. His days were scheduled down to the seconds and that provided comfort. He knew his mother wanted him to find a girl and get married, but Khai knew marriage wasn't for him, people marry when they are in love, and Khai didn't love. Khai's world was turned upside when Esme showed up on his doorstep. His mother's attempt at an arranged marriage was surely going to be a failure, right? He just needed to convince everyone he was not capable of feeling, of loving, and send Esme back to Vietnam. I cried tears for Khai. It was hard watching him struggle and view himself as a failure. Ever since childhood, he knew he was different -- but different in a bad way. He didn't think he could love, he thought he had a heart of stone. GAH, my heart hurt so much reading how he viewed himself. Those passages were difficult for me to read. But thankfully, Helen Hoang took us on his journey of personal growth. She exquisitely showed him learning to accept that he was more than how others viewed him and that he was capable of emotion and happiness. Esme and Quan were so good for Khai, they helped him understand his feelings, they helped him see his worth. Esme accepted him for who he was. She loved him and despite their differences, she willingly gave him what he needed. "When she got to number eight, she grabbed Khai's far arm and wrapped it around her middle so he was hugging her, and he smiled. He liked this, the snuggling, her smiles, the fact that she helped him to be there for her. He hadn't known she needed to be hugged, and it was immensely freeing that instead of getting angry with him or sad, she communicated and showed him what to do." Quan was Khai's sounding board, his voice of reason and the one Khai went to for advice. Quan challenged him at every turn. He refused to allow Khai to believe he was anything but good and not just capable of love, but deserving of it, too! "I told her I don't love her back" "That's bullshit," Quan exploded. "What the f*ck?" "I said it because it's true," he said. "You're crazy in love with her. Just look at you," Quan said, waving his hands at Khai like it was obvious. "I. Am. Not,' Khai bit out. "The f*ck you're not. You're an all-or-nothing guy, so we knew the first girl to catch your attention would be the one. Esme is your 'one' Khai." THE BRIDE TEST was stunning and beautiful and endearing. It held so much emotion and passion within its pages. This will be a book I reread often. Helen Hoang is not a one-hit-wonder! I adored her debut, ‘The Kiss Quotient’, it was one of my favorite books last year and there’s no doubt, THE BRIDE TEST will make the list this year!

Helen Hoang returns to the scene with the same neighborhood as The Kiss Quotient. Remember Michael’s friend Quan has an Autistic brother? This is the story of Quan’s brother Khai and the arranged marriage his mom sets up with a strange girl from Vietnam. Khai doesn’t think he is capable of feelings like love. Esme, his “girlfriend,” on the other hand needs to create a good life for herself and her daughter, but she has her pride, and won’t marry without love. Helen Hoang’s addictive romance novel structure draws you into another unputdownable novel. I love that this novel was more bout feelings than sex, though. I love these stories the most.

I really liked this book, but I do like The Kiss Quotient better. Something was just a tiny bit off for me, either with the characters or the plot. I think the second reason Esme wanted to go to America was just too much for this particular story in order for me to love it. However, I DO still recommend this book. Helen does have amazing writing skills and I look forward to reading more of her work. Quan NEEDS his own book though!

Khai Diêp  has convinced himself, ever since the death of his beloved cousin Andy, that he has a stone heart. Unable to process emotion in the neurotypical was due to being autistic, Khai unconsciously pushes others to arms length. He has set up a contented lifestyle that pleases him and has stubbornly held it in place for years.  But Khai's mother is not satisfied with Khai's life. She has taken it upon herself to force his hand by bringing home a woman for him from Viêt Nam.  What takes place next is a study in family dynamics, cultural complexities, self determination, realization and strength.  As a mother of an autistic son, I was lightly apprehensive, as I always am, about reading about an autistic character. Even characters written by some autistic people or authors with autistic family members and friends can be problematic. Often these characters come across stereotypical and one dimensional. They are often written from a neurotypical person's researched point-of-view, with hollywood clichés and statistical signs and symptoms sprinkled throughout. But I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of character Hoang gave to Khai. She portrayed Khai as a deep, caring, flawed personality who just so happens to see life from an autistic perspective. He wasn't portrayed as autistic and then human. She even managed to make his interaction with family and friends less about neurotypical persons dealing with the fallout of having a family member on the spectrum and more about his family dealing with him as Khai without explaining away his every flaw and reaction as a result of his autism.  The love story between Khai and Esme is also done in a way that hardly focuses on his autism. It's discussed but Khai is never excused from his blunders in dealing with Esme because of his differences. And she is never made into a neurotypical savior for loving a man on the spectrum. She sees Khai as who he is and the love and trust is built up between two flawed but loving souls.  Quite frankly my favorite love story I've encountered this year, I highly recommend this story to everyone who loved a classic boy meets girl, fall in love, conquers all odds, happily ever after, romantic junkie's dream.

First of all, thanks to First to Read for this advance reading copy of "The Bride Test" by Helen Hoang. It was one of my must-read in 2019. It is the first time I read a book written by this author. I was a little disappointed by the book. The plot is quite interesting, unlike the characters. As far as I'm concerned, Khai Diep was very annoying. Even though Esme tried her best to seduce him, he kept believing he had a heart of stone. Who wouldn't fall for Esme? I felt pity towards Esme as it seems she had to beg for Khai to love her. It was like the love was one-sided. Khai really didn't deserve Esme. Personally, I like to read books with strong heroines. It was the first time I read a book where the hero is autistic. I would have preferred for him to be stronger and to overcome his difficulties. My rating : 2/5 stars

I couldn't put this down. The characters and their relationships are funny and touching. The story was a little far-fetched at times, but the writing is so humorous and entertaining that I quickly overcame it. I loved reading this and finished it with a big smile. This is a great read for someone who just wants to read something fun. Thanks to First to Read for the ARC.

In The Bride Test, we first meet Khai who is austistic and is led to believe that he is incapable of feelings. We then meet Khai's mother, who is in Vietnam hosting a bride search type event at the hotel where Esme works as a housekeeper. Khai's mother meets Esme and offers to bring her to the US to live with Khai for the summer as his fiancee. Mother is hoping that Khai will fall in love with Esme and want to marry her. Esme accepts the offer hoping this is a pathway to a better life for herself and her family. Upon arrival in the US, Esme sets out on her agenda to seduce Khai into wanting to marry her. They live together in a strange, awkward way -- partially because they're complete strangers and partially because of Khai's unique personality. Khai has to acclimate to Esme, decide whether or not he loves her and whether he wants to marry her. Esme struggles with feelings of inferiority in this strange, new country where she feels so unfamiliar and foreign. She misses her family terribly but wants so badly to be someone that Khai will want to marry. Overall, I really enjoyed The Bride Test. I loved Esme and her strong character. She reminds herself throughout the book that she is worthwhile and deserving of love -- I love a woman who knows and embraces that about herself! She fights quietly but fiercely throughout the story for the things she wants and deserves. My heart broke with Esme during challenging times in the story and I celebrated with her during those times. Even though her story and situation are different than anything I've ever experienced I related with her amazingly well. I didn't relate as well with Khai, although I did sympathize with him. His character opened my eyes to a type of person that is very different than me. It was fascinating to view the world through him and experience a taste of what it's like to live with autism. My favorite character in The Bride Test is Khai's older brother, Quan. We met Quan in The Kiss Quotient (Hoang's first book) but he really shines in The Bride Test. He's strong yet tender with Khai, tells him the tough truth when no one else does, and gives advice when Khai has questions about Esme. I would absolutely love to read a book in which Quan is the main character! The epilogue was a little strange for me, but the author's note at the very end of the book is wonderful. Don't miss it! Tremendous thanks to Penguin Random House First to Read, Berkley Publishing Group, and Helen Hoang for a digital ARC. The Bride Test releases May 7.

I loved this book! It reminds me a lot of my favorite musical, The Light in the Piazza. It has a similar plot line: a romance where the boy and girl are from different cultures, and one of them has different mental health than the other. But because they’re from different cultures, they don’t have the same understanding of mental health, and they get a chance to fall in love without the cultural stereotypes and expectations one might expect. I also apprecaite a main character who has autism but is also a functioning member of society. You hear so much about severe autism and non-functioning autistic people, but many autistic people are high functioning, and it was great to be reminded of that in a context where the autism itself wasn’t the main drive of the story. The magic of a book like this is partially from the two separate points of view. The reader knows both characters very intimately because of the POV, but the characters still have to get to know each other on their own terms, and it’s that difference that creates tension. This author did it really well, and it was delight to read. My one disappointment was the epilogue…what a strange way to end the book. It brought the book down to four stars from five for me.

4/5 stars When I requested this book from the first read programs, I didn’t associate the author’s name for this book with the other book I had just gotten from the library, the kids quotient. So that’s how I came to read her two books in this series back to back. TKQ received wide acclaim, but although I liked it, I didn’t love it. This one though, I did. It is one of those romance stories that you get your chest tight almost feeling the same things the heroes are feeling. The plot, the character development, and the conclusions were well worth the reading, and this is a book I’d definitely recommend to friends.

I loved The Kiss Quotient but I actually loved this story more. I was thrilled to learn Khai was getting a book so we would have another look at a main character with autism falling in love. Esme was a perfect match for him. Khai’s mother finds her in Vietnam and arranges for her to spend the summer with Khai. Esme’s culture is a huge part of the story and I loved it. The author shared that she did not set out to write this story but I am so glad she did as Esme stole the spotlight in this book. Khai’s reactions to Esme were swoony and heart melting. I really fell for Quan in this book and hope his story is next.

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

?This book was given to review by first to read website by penguin.?You don't know how excited I was when I saw this book pop up. Been wanting to read it since the kiss quotient which like myself and many others was one of my top romances of last year since the nice mix of the romance and character with autism and did well to portray that.?Book 2 is the same style with going with a character has autism where the main guy has it (khai diep) where in TKQ the female character had it.?But story line of the book is khai feels he can't get love since he doesn't feel it, just content and such. He thinks he has something but his family knows better since khai is autistic. So his family takes matters into their own hands by going to Vietnam and bring back a women for him to meet and marry for arranged marriage. This is where esme comes in she is the other main MC. She is quiet, and strong and strong willed worker. But takes the chance to help with her family to start a new since she is living in extremely poor part of Vietnam. In this awkward tale can these 2 work???Well I can say I enjoyed this book a lot sadly not as good as TKQ but enough. The spots I liked were though again I felt this book did well with the autism and dealing with the spectrum, coming from myself who is special ed so always nice to have a book put some light. Other thing Iv cone to learn I love in books in a dual pov for main characters and see the thought process. Esme was spot on very strong willed but while being able to be vulnerable and always thinking how to help her family. Khai's is harder to figure out what he is thinking since different thought process. It was good but also confusing to figure out.?But yea this story was cute. Esme besides trying to be her best was always helping khai be better and anyone can wish they would be their girlfriend, it takes time to like khai is sooo stubborn but he has his cute moments you just gotta wait and see.?The story plot mixed well, from getting to the states, to slowly the 2 talking and khai learning what he can't and can do and esme learning how to transition her life around and leading up to the romance Helen has been very good at the pacing I felt.? My rating is 4/5 stars ?

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.

A very cute read. I enjoyed the characters and found them charismatic and entertaining. While I did enjoy this book, it wasn't quite as good as her previous novel.There was something not quite right about the chemistry between Esme and Khai, I really can't put my finger on what was missing. There was plenty of steamy scenes and funny moments. It tackles romance, autism, and cultural differences. I love that this book is not your average romance and has more themes that were explored. I look forward to more by Helen Hoang. Thank you First to Read program for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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!

 


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