Review: The Bride Test - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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 Kiss Quotient

Book 2

Can be read as a standalone

Book Type:

Contemporary Romance

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The Bride Test
By Helen Hoang

Review: The Bride Test

A desperate mother tempts a young Vietnamese woman with the opportunity of a lifetime—three months in America and a potential husband, in Helen Hoang’s THE BRIDE TEST.

Once again, Hoang weaves a poignant, layered romance with well-drawn characters you can’t help but fall for.

We meet Esme Tran, a hard-working hotel maid who dreams of a better life for herself and her young daughter. The opportunity comes along in an unexpected offer from a wealthy American woman, who searches for a good match for her son, Khai. Esme is initially shocked and horrified at the offer, but after a push from her own mother, she realizes this may be the only chance she gets to forge a different future.

Despite her determination to do whatever it takes to seduce Khai, nothing goes as planned. Khai is curt, closed off, and not interested in a relationship, much less a marriage. His autism means he isn’t always aware of people’s feelings, he often doesn’t process the world—and those around him—correctly. He longs for a solitary life, guided by his own rules and structure.

Khai and Esme collide in a storm of misunderstandings, awkwardness, anger and hurt, but somewhere along the way, they connect in a way that’s very real. Soon, Khai finds he becomes accustomed to Esme, with feelings he finds difficult to understand. Esme, in turn, realizes she’s fallen in love. But what would Khai think if he knew that truth of her circumstances—that she was a poor, uneducated maid with a 5-year-old daughter?

It’s a beautiful thing to see them come together, to see them fall in love, but also to see how their individual stories evolved. Past trauma has made Khai feel like he can never love, and Esme struggles with self-worth as she experiences both hope and heartbreak in reaching for her dreams.

I love this book for its realness, for both the humor and emotion it evokes, for the nuanced characters and the clever writing. Hoang continues to impart the kind of stories that are important to tell, the kind of stories we yearn to hear.

Charming, tender and witty—a refreshing romance that hits all the right notes.

“My heart works in a different way, but it’s yours.”

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