Helen Hoang is without a doubt one of, if not the most talented romance authors of our time. Her novels nothing short of brilliant and their featuring on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists only cements that. The most famous of Hoang’s novels is her The Kiss Quotient, which is responsible for garnering Helen the ardent fan base she boasts today.
How Hoang Led Her Early Life
Helen Hoang was born in the year of 1982, in Minnesota. The mom of Hoang was an immigrant from Vietnam, and the family spent not much time in Minnesota, as they relocated to California. Hoang, during her time at school, was often oppressed and bullied, dealing with anxiety, so she opted to give her stories something that she very much yearned for: a joyous finale. Helen acquired her Undergraduate Business Degree and was employed in the area of finance prior to becoming a full- time author.
The Genres That Helen Frequents
Before having her stories published, Helen often wrote fantasy, paranormal, and even martial arts romance novels. By her own admission, Helen had been writing infrequently for a decade prior to her debut novel’s publication. You can also find her name in our article about the best contemporary romance books.
Today, Helen resides with her spouse and their two kids in San Diego. With all of that noted, we can now give our book review.
The Bride Test Book
This book is not as well-known or adored as Helen Hoang’s debut novel, The Kiss Quotient, but her fervent adorers and critics agree that it is perhaps Hoang’s best story. It was only published a year ago, but the novel’s merits far outweigh any flaws that it may have. It is the second novel in the Kiss Quotient series, which is comprised of a total of three novels.
The Kiss Quotient, as it is the predecessor of The Bride Test book, is a novel that followed Stella Lane and her attempts at getting a boyfriend. Stella Lane was on the Autism Spectrum, but it didn’t stop her from following through her ambitions. Stella opts to study the individual facets of being in a relationship, which is actually the reason why she employs Michael Phan, an escort.
Their story is one to warm the heart truly. If the reader hasn’t read The Kiss Quotient, we have no idea what you are waiting for. The Bride Test and The Kiss Quotient are connected, though only tangentially; they boast a different cast of main characters. Now, with that settled and the previous novel summarized, we can go ahead and acquaint ourselves with Khai Diep and Esme Tran.
Who is Khai and What Is He Like?
Khai is the cousin of Michael Phan from the first novel. Khai is a Vietnamese-American person, and he is on the Autism Spectrum quite like Stella was. Soon, though the reader sees that there is an important difference between two people with the same diagnosed disorder; Khai is not just a carbon copy of Stella, but is his own character.
Accordingly, Mr. Diep supposes that he can’t feel the emotions that people find significant. He doesn’t think he can grieve, he doesn’t think he can be head over heels for somebody. Khai’s mother, always one to get bright ideas, is determined to find Khai a wife from back home – Vietnam.
Esme Tran, on the other hand, lives in Vietnam, in the hovels of Ho Chi Minh City. Esme ended up getting pregnant when she was still a fairly young lady and she is trying to find ways to take care of and afford for her daughter. Esme’s father, as she knows, lives in America, but she hasn’t the means to fly out to the States. For one, she works as a maid so money isn’t exactly in abundance.
However, Khai’s mother, Co Nga, seizes the opportunity after being mesmerized and in awe of the attractiveness of Esme to offer her the chance to move to America. The catch, however, is that she is to stay with Khai, go to weddings with him.
If Khai happens to fall for Esme then they can get married and all’s well, however, if Khai doesn’t take a liking to Esme, she has to go back. Obviously, Esme is supposed to make the best of the situation; this is perhaps going to be her last opportunity.
Like Two Peas in a Steaming Pot
As Esme gets to know Khai, she sees that he is a very pleasant being, compassionate and good-natured. Khai is just the type of person that she would marry, though the process of getting there doesn’t seem to be as featherweight as it initially seemed.
We see that Khai, too, feels an irrevocable attraction to Esme, he likes her and he likes being around her, though he continuously stops any attempts that Esme makes. We see Khai as he struggles with his Asperger’s; he feels compelled not to allow himself to feel things in spite of the fact that he does feel even if it is just an inkling of the emotions.
Esme isn’t one to just lie down when her advances have been shut down, though. One loves to see characters like this finding what they have been searching for, but the odds seem to be stacked against them.
Can Esme and Khai make sense of their situation and join in an embrace or will Esme have to go back to Vietnam and Khai be left once more to sulk, all alone? Our book review of The Bride Test surely shows how attached we are to these characters and how much we love this book. We believe that the reader will find it a superb tale, as well.
What to Read After Finishing the Novel
The Kiss Quotient, as we said, is comprised of three novels: The Kiss Quotient, The Bride Test, and The Heart Principle. This series is a relatively short one, though undeniably a brilliant treat to read. That’s why it is not so surprising that we included it in our selection of the best romance series books. One should be swift in picking up these books and enjoying them!