Romancing the Stacks: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Welcome to Romancing the Stacks. This is a series of reviews featuring one of my favorite genres: Romance Novels! Nothing is better than curling up with a good romance. This review will explore The Bride Test by Helen Hoang.

This book was on my radar for a while. I read a best new romance novels coming out in 2019. The main male lead had autism and thought himself incapable of love. I placed it on hold but was too late, so many people signed up before me. The wait was worth it though. After I finished reading this book I discovered it was the second in a series and I had just read the first one. Looking back I can tell how they connect, but without being told the two were part of the same series, I wouldn’t have know. You can read the books out of order with no issues.


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.

My Review:

This book was great. I adored it. I think I liked Kiss Quotient a bit more than this one, but it is a very close race. I found it interesting how Esme changed her name once she got to the United States. I found her story intriguing. While she originally went along with the plan to marry Khai for a better opportunities for her daughter, but she actively looked for legal opportunities to stay in the United States. She applied to college, she took English classes, she made friends. She was able to stand up as an individual without Khai. Khai was a great character. He is autistic and just had a close friend die. He didn’t mourn like everyone else and was told he was heartless by someone. He took that to heart and just thought it meant he was incapable of love. The truth was Khai was not heartless, he just loved and mourned differently than other people. While he did not bawl his eyes out when his best friend died, he failed to function properly for a long time after his friend’s death. Again I cannot atone to how accurate this book portrayed Autism, but it is an eye opener. Too many of romances follow the same pattern to the point where we start to believe that there is only one way to fall in love. People have different ways to express their love, people fall in love differently, people overall are different. I want more romances that focus on people with different issues like Khai and Esmee. I think I like the Kiss Quotient Series so much as the characters feel like real people. I need more romance were I can connect like I did these characters.

The Kiss Quotient Series

  1. The Kiss Quotient
  2. The Bride Test
  3. The Heart Principle (2020)

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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