The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is the second book in The Kiss Quotient series. It can be read as a standalone, but there are overlapping characters as the mmc in this one, Khai, is cousins with Michael who was the mmc in The Kiss Quotient so it makes sense to read it in order.
As mentioned above the mmc in this one is Khai. It’s mentioned in The Kiss Quotient that he’s autistic, because he has some similar characteristics to Stella. He has some social awkwardness and has issues with touch, but other than that is pretty perceptive (about most things, but not all) and highly successful. His mother thinks it’s time for him to get married, but he has no interest in dating whatsoever. Not willing to give up she goes to Vietnam to find him a wife. There she meets Esme, a young mixed race single mother. Esme grew up poor and is still poor, just making ends meet by working as a cleaner at a hotel. Khai’s mother makes her an offer – come to America and try to win Khai over, which would allow her to stay in America. She can spend the summer there and if he doesn’t want to marry her by the end of the summer she’ll go back to Vietnam. Initially hesitant to accept the deal she realizes it is the best opportunity she has for her young daughter and her mom and grandma.
Khai might be different than anyone Esme has ever met before and he’s a bit peculiar, but Esme quickly becomes drawn to him. Khai originally wants nothing to do with Esme and can’t believe his mother would bring back a girl for him to consider marrying, but there’s something about Esme that has him thinking about her all the time.
I loved this book! Seeing Khai and Esme’s relationship develop was so good. Seeing Khai realize that he’s capable of love and being touched was so sweet and heartwarming. Hoang has this amazing way of writing that has her autistic characters my favorite. In The Kiss Quotient, I loved Stella so much. In The Bride Test I thought Khai was so interesting and I loved him.
The only thing I wish was in this book was an actual scene with Stella! Michael shows up a couple times in the book, but the only glimpse we get of Stella is on her wedding day with Michael and no real interaction. Other than that minor complaint, I loved the book. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Heart Principal, soon. I need Helen Hoang to announce a new book because after The Heart Principal I’ll have no other book by her to read!
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