The Heart Principle
Series: The Kiss Quotient, #3
Author: Helen Hoang
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this heartfelt new romance by USA Today bestselling author Helen Hoang.
When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.
That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.
I, along with all other Helen Hoang fans, have been
not so patiently waiting for The Heart Principle. After getting to know Quan over the past two books, I couldn’t wait for him to find love. The Heart Principle wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I loved it none the less.
The Heart Principle was the first book Hoang has written in first person. I loved the “I” instead of “she”. I felt it brought me closer to both Quan and especially to his new lady love, Anna. Their relationship started out as a casual thing, but I could feel their budding emotional connection from the minute they met. I loved them together and how their relationship built. This book wasn’t quite as romantic or sexy as the past books, but it worked for the characters.
Anna was a complex character going through A. LOT. A lot. Seriously. So much. Anna was overwhelmed and I was overwhelmed for her. Her family stuff was suffocating. Her mental health suffered due to all the pressure and I felt for her. I really did. I loved how Quan was able to be a support and comfort to her in that time. I loved the growth of Anna’s character throughout their relationship and this book.
There was only one way I felt let down by The Heart Principle. I was expecting Quan and Anna’s story and I got mostly Anna’s. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Anna’s story. I did. It just made this book feel more women’s fiction than romance. I just wanted more Quan. His chapters were special and included a lot of Michael (The Kiss Quotient), but it felt like the most important chapters were from Anna’s POV. I get that, especially after reading the author’s note, but I wanted more Quan.
Overall, I truly enjoyed reading The Heart Principle. I loved how new and fresh it felt, while also maintaining the brand Helen Hoang has created. The move from from third to first person made me happy. Her writing is a addictive and a joy to read. I can’t wait to read what’s next from this talented author.