Review: The Bride Test (Helen Hoang)

The Bride Test
Series: The Kiss Quotient, #2
Author: Helen Hoang
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart…

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 Bride Test is a book about a modern-day arranged marriage. Esme has been given the opportunity to leave her humble beginnings in Vietnam to possibly become the wife of an American. She’s excited for what this marriage could mean for herself and her family back in Vietnam. But when Esme arrives in California, she discovers that her could be husband is not so excited to meet her. Khai has no desire to get married. He doesn’t do feelings or love. He doesn’t need a wife to make his life better. Esme knows her summer with Kai is going to be awkward and uncomfortable, but she’s determined to win him over.

Have you ever read a book that made you insanely happy? That’s how I felt while reading The Bride Test. I was completely captivated by it. The writing was fabulous. Like don’t ask me to put this book down because I have become one with the words fabulous. I loved it so much that I don’t feel like I can properly put into words how much I enjoyed it — but I’ll try.

Esme and Khai’s story was… GAH! I loved every single thing about their relationship from their horribly awkward beginning to their slowly getting to know each other to the ending that came all too fast for my liking. I was fascinated by the partnership they built. Esme and Khai had completely different needs when it came to a relationship, but they still managed to build something beautiful together. It wasn’t necessarily easy for them. Khai may not have thought he did feelings, but he had so many in relation to Esme. He also had some specific physical needs thanks to his autism. His needs could have easily overshadowed Esme’s, but they didn’t. Her personal needs were just important. I loved how she was good at voicing them and following through with what she needed for herself. It was so interesting to read about them navigating through it all. It made me think about how every couple has to go through learning moments with their partner both physically and emotionally. All their frustrations and hard work made this book all the more heartwarming and lovable.

I’m sure there were a couple of little things I could nitpick about this book, but I can’t even remember what they would be. I was so into Esme and Khai that nothing really stood out as a major flaw. The Bride Test was one of those books I truly got lost in.

The Bride Test was adorably sweet and subtly sexy, with just the right amount of drama. It was just as much a masterpiece as Hoang’s début, The Kiss Quotient. I cannot wait to find out what Helen Hoang is writing next. (Please, please let it be Quan’s story!)

21 thoughts on “Review: The Bride Test (Helen Hoang)

  1. Fab review! I love how enthusiastic you are about this one. I can see why it made you so happy. The premise sounds interesting and the characters multi-dimensional. This is a title that I think I’d also enjoy 😉

  2. Hoang’s debut was one of my contemporary romance highlights of last year, and I was itching to get to know Khai better. I am so glad to see this and so many other positive reviews, and I cannot wait to see Khai and Esme fall in love.

    • You do need to read them! They are so much fun! I actually listened to The Kiss Quotient. I got the audiobook from my library.

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