This Chick Read: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test is the stand alone sequel to Helen Hoang’s wildly acclaimed The Kiss Quotient. Khai Diep is introduced to the reader as unfeeling and incapable of love. Despairing of ever having grandchildren, his mother goes back to Thailand to find Khai a wife. In the bathroom of a large hotel she meets Esme, the house maid of that hotel. Enjoying Esme’s lack of artifice and her practical manner, she issues the invitation to Esme to come to America for the summer, meet Khai and see if they’d be a good match. All expenses paid, with a job waiting tables at her restaurant waiting on the other side. Down on her luck Esme takes advantage of this opportunity and takes her first plane trip to the US, where she proceeds to charm Khai with her lack of feminine wiles.

I had a few issues with the Kiss Quotient. I had such a hard time overcoming the fact that FINALLY a book was written about an autistic woman falling in love, yet that love was a hooker. So many people overlooked his profession but for some reason (I don’t know, sanity?) that was a line I just couldn’t cross. Thankfully, The Bride Test had none of those issues. Khai, too was autistic. However, his self proclaimed issues were his emotions, not his lack of sexual prowess as was Stella’s in The Kiss Quotient. I loved learning about Khai’s difficulty’s trusting himself to let go and feel. I learned a lot about autism reading from his POV. Funny enough, Esme seemed to have plenty of self worth issues herself but hers came from her social standing. Their character growth ran parallel to each others and I relished seeing how this country girl taught Khai how to learn to love.

This novel had plenty of humorous moments and titillating scenes that fans of The Kiss Quotient will be happy to hear about. Esme is a fish out of water in the US and she makes plenty of social gaffe’s, however she’s so sweet and charming that you are laughing with her instead of at her. Khai’s confused attachment to her grows and he becomes her biggest champion, albeit in a way that shows he’s absolutely clueless about how to navigate a romantic relationship. They really were the perfect couple.

The Bride Test is a unique romance novel in that its main characters are not perfect at the end of the book. You get the feeling that both Khai and Esme have a long journey of self discovery ahead but they will do it hand in hand. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“These two weren’t perfect people, but they were perfect for each other. I loved how she wanted Khai’s consent before she did things that would trigger him. How she asked him to show her how he liked things and how he wanted to be touched.” Books and Blends

“Overall, I adored this book.  There are some things that happened near the end that felt rushed and far-fetched but not enough to truly bother me.  I breezed through this one and it even brought tears to my eyes.  That does not happen to me that often with a romance!” Kristin Kraves Books

Click this link to purchase!* The Bride Test

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient is one of the most talked about contemporary romance novels to date this year. It’s the story of a young woman, Stella Lane, who has Asberger’s, a form of autism that makes it really difficult for her to interact socially. Her mother wants to be able to stop worrying about her living on her own and pushes blind dates on Stella constantly hoping she’ll find a match. This makes Stella feel awkward and a failure, but she really wants to please her mom by finding a boyfriend, and even more she wants to alleviate the feeling of being “different” by doing something so normal. However, her approach is a little abnormal. She hires an escort to teach her how to have sex and be in a normal relationship.

Michael Phan is half asian, half Swedish and 100% gorgeous. Every Friday night he moonlights as an escort, who, yes, sleeps with strange women. Never the same one twice. However, there is something about Stella that draws him in. She is obviously awkward, but they have a chemistry that intrigues him. Stella asks to hire him for a few weeks and he breaks his rule and accepts.

THE LOVE STORY: I really enjoyed their relationship with each other. Stella was charmingly awkward and even though she managed her Asberger’s very well, she had obvious tells; the rhythmic tapping, the affinity for numbers and formulas, and the problem with hearing multiple sounds at the same time, just to name a few. Michael was somewhat oblivious to all of those tells, being too caught up in his surprising feelings for someone who had hired him. He also had his own secrets and issues, but those are a really big turning point in the story and I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that even though on the outside he seemed to have it all, there was a reason he was hooking. Yes, I am going to call it hooking because if he was a woman that is what he would be called.

MY CONFLICT: It was so hard for me to overlook that Michael slept with other women for money. That’s not a romantic trait. At all. He was charming, sensitive, good looking and very caring towards Stella and that did go a long way towards taking away that hooker taint, but still…

I loved Stella. She was so human with all of our frailty’s and issues. Why did her hero have to be so flawed? Why couldn’t an autistic woman be loved by a “normal” man? These were the thoughts that ran through my mind as I was reading this book. I know I am in the minority on this one, but these were my feelings and those thoughts took me out of the story and lessened my enjoyment.

MY CONCLUSION: I had to sit on this one for a couple of weeks before writing my review and I’m glad I did. Looking back on my feelings I realized that in the end I really did like these two characters and did root for them to fall in love. He was the person she needed and it didn’t bother her one bit that he’d slept with hundreds of women. (just an estimate!) He was IT for her. It’s only a fictional novel, but if this were someone in my family I think I could overlook that for her. So, I gave this novel a four rating. It was very well done and really made me think.

The Kiss Quotient will probably not fulfill most women’s fantasy’s but it is striking a chord for a lot of people who may or may not have eccentricities and character traits that make them different. It was a story well told.

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Click this link to purchase*! The Kiss Quotient

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate