Genres: Contemporary Romance
Setting: San Francisco CA
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also by this author: The Kiss Quotient
Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.
As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.
The Bride Test was one of my most anticipated 2019 books and I knew Helen Hoang would deliver. She has such a beautiful way with words. Khai is on the spectrum and Hoang writes these characters dynamically. Even if you don’t know anyone on the spectrum, you can understand Khai because Hoang ensures it.
My (Esme) won my heart as quickly as Khai! She is a poor single mother cleaning hotels in Vietnam. Khai’s mother is in town interviewing potential wives for her son and quickly realizes Esme is a gem. She is keeping secrets from Khai, but as a reader, you get why and it isn’t a bad or selfish decision. She really does develop feelings for Khai and she has the patience of a saint!
I loved seeing Khai develop an understanding of himself. He had one version of himself that he thought was who he was, and throughout the story, he begins to rewrite his own ideas on Khai. Their romance is slow burn and perfect for their story. The best thing about The Bride Test is it isn’t “The Kiss Quotient” with a different couple. Autism is a spectrum, and no two people have the same behaviors or quirks. While Khai and Stella might have had the same medical diagnosis, they certainly are not the same and neither are their experiences. Hoang not only brings the diversity with characters on the spectrum, but having an entire story about an Asian family and with Esme being from Vietnam (and of mixed heritage) and in America for the first time , the level of diversity is high and on point!
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: a few
- Trope: arranged relationship, virgin hero, mental health
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
- HEA: View Spoiler »