In 2016 Helen Hoang was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome). Her journey inspired The Kiss Quotient series which is currently available to purchase as a boxset. I adored The Kiss Quotient. You can read my review HERE. The Bride Test definitely works as a standalone, however, I loved that characters from her previous book made a brief appearance and that we were given a sneak peek into their happily ever after.
The Bride Test isn’t as spicy as her previous book, however, it’s a lot more emotional and heart-warming. I’m not embarrassed to admit that several tears were shed, particularly during the last few chapters. The sex is actually refreshingly realistic and slightly awkward which I appreciated as it made the characters more relatable than I’ve encountered in other romance books. The book also features a dual POV which is a brilliant way of getting into the mind of two characters who find it difficult to express their emotions.
“Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, 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 refuses to consider a relationship, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.”
Esme is a single mother who lives in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City. When the opportunity arises for her to go to America, meet a potential husband and possibly secure a bright future for her little girl she can’t turn it down. She keeps a lot of secrets from Khai, mostly because of shame. It was wonderful to see Esme taking control of her life and embracing her own self-worth.The Bride Test deals with some difficult subject matter such as sex, grief and classism, however, Hoang’s writing is incredibly smart and sensitive. She has the ability to make you smile (and laugh at loud) whilst writing about the most uncomfortable situations. I loved this book, as I mentioned previously, many happy tears were shed. Their unconventional yet sweet romance is one that will stay with me for a long time.
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is available to purchase HERE.2