The Bride test by Helen Hoang- A book review

The Bride test by Helen Hoang- A book review

You know I loved The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang last year and I knew I was gonna love The bride test too, given the raving reviews it has been getting from all around. Can we get on with the review?

About the book

Bride test by Helen Hoang Cover

Book Name: The bride test (The Kiss Quotient #2)

Author: Helen Hoang

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Khai Diep, Quan and their mother, Esme Tran, Michael

Setting: San FranciscoThe USA

The plot

Esme Tran is a self made woman, a single mother from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, who has been recruited by a rich lady to meet her son and win his heart, in a year. And in return, she gets a chance to the USA to look for her American father and help her family financially, if things go well.

Khai Diep leads a perfectly efficient life and he is not big on emotions. He usually ignores his mother’s nagging to get married as harmless, but when she brings in a woman to stay with him at his house, he is completely taken aback.

Did his mother’s plan work? Can Esme win Khai’s heart and more importantly, understand why he is not like everyone else? Is he really not like everyone else? Read The bride test by Helen Hoang to find out more.

My initial thoughts

I LOVED The bride test and I am going ahead to say I am gonna pick any book by Helen Hoang in the near future. She knows how to write characters that are fully developed and complex. Here is Khai who has made his mind up that he is above emotions and Esme can marry him only if he feels what she feels for him.

And both the families are rooting for them. His brother Quan goes a step ahead and even tries to speed things between them in his own way. I don’t remember the last time I laughed out loud reading a book.

I loved Quan and I can’t wait to read a book about his story. Interesting fact: If you have read The Kiss Quotient, you might remember Quan, the protagonist Michael’s cousin, who recognizes that Stella is autistic, because he had an autistic brother. That brother is our protagonist, Khai Diep. And Michael plays a cameo too.

The only problem I had was with dishonesty and omission.

Esme and Khai’s mother explicitly hide the fact that she was doing the whole arranged marriage for her own gains and the fact that she has a child back home in Vietnam. In fact, they agree to wait for him to fall for her, before telling him the truth.

And again, his mother omits telling her that Khai is autistic. I understand Esme turned out to be a great support to him and all. To be fair, doesn’t she have the right to know before agreeing to the deal? Go figure.

What worked for me

  • I loved the OWN VOICE representations, as the author being autistic and a Vietnamese herself
  • Oh the romance and chemistry! And it has been a while since I felt this invested in any fictional romance. Again, great writing.
  • The humorous and witty dialogues help the the Bride Test from being a steamy or sappy romance. Stellar combo!
  • I loved that all the characters, not just the protagonists, are full developed, with emotional depth.

What may have been better

  • Some people may find all the deception and disregard to Khai’s feelings off putting.

Bottom line

If you are looking for a steamy, happily-ever-after with great Own voice representations, The bride test by Helen Hoang is your go to choice. You will not regret it. It comes close to being The Kiss Quotient !

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Let’s chat

Have you read The bride test by Helen Hoang or The Kiss Quotient? Does deception and omission hinder your liking of a romance? What are your main no go’s when it comes to romance? Let us talk.

The Bride test by Helen Hoang- A book review

Kiss Quotient, The – A book review

I hope y’all still believe in “better than late never“, because I am talking about a book that many of you have read and spoken to death about. Yes, I am talking about The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. And if you are one of those rare souls that haven’t read this yet, let my review convince you!

About the book

elgeewrites Kiss Quotient, The - A book review Kiss Quotient

Book Name: The Kiss Quotient

Author: Helen Hoang

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Stella Lane, Michael Phan

Setting: Silicon Valley, CaliforniaThe United States of America

The plot

When her mother forces her to get married, the autistic Stella Lane hires a male escort to teach her the ways to please a man. Stella is a highly intelligent econometrician who is socially inept and hence generally poor in understanding people and thus relationships.

Micheal Phan works as an escort on Fridays to pay his ailing mother’s huge hospital bills. He is good at what he does and he is strict about not rebooking his clients, even if they pay well. Well everything changes when he is hired by Stella. 

There is an instant connection between them but they resist because professional boundaries and miscommunication. Do they or not end up together forms the rest of The Kiss Quotient.

My initial thoughts

I took the book right from the first page. It is a story that we have all heard before but what makes The Kiss Quotient a good book are the protagonists.

The characters are so well thought and developed with depth. None of the cardboard stereotypes that are a dozen a dime in the Kissing Quotient. Both Stella and Micheal made me laugh and cry when they did. 

I liked the fact that the author didn’t cheapen autism or oversell it. Even I, who have very little personal experience with autism, could understand a lot about the spectrum and Stella as a person. I would consider that a win for Helen Hoang. 

Yay for the representation (autism, Asian (Vietnamese) characters and a male sex worker)! And extra credit for not shaming the sex work in anyway.

Things that worked for me

  • The writing is so easy to read and I couldn’t put the book down at all.
  • I loved the well developed characters. 
  • The Kiss Quotient is kinda smutty but it works so well. Kudos to the author!

Things that didn’t work for me

Definitely not a young adult novel, as some believe it to be. Lots of steamy scenes. So beware. 


If you are looking to beat the boring afternoons during the lock down, pick The Kiss Quotient without a doubt. This racy, funny romance will steal your heart away for sure!

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Let us chat

Have you read this one? Do you like steamy romances? If yes, suggest me similar books please. What are you currently reading? Let us talk.