This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Penguin Group
Released on May 7, 2019
The Kiss Quotient by this author was one of my favorite reads of last year so of course, I was going to read this one. An Asian American man needs a wife so his mother goes to Vietnam to recruit one. A Vietnamese American (mixed heritage) woman in Vietnam cleans bathrooms for a living and tries to support several members of her family in a one room shack. She pretty much jumps at the chance to escape to America to better her and her family’s life. No one tells her that the man is on the autism spectrum and that it’s going to be an uphill battle. And what a delightful battle it was.
Khai was introduced in The Kiss Quotient as the hero of that book’s cousin. He was different and it’s acknowledged that he has Aspergers, a high functioning autistic condition. He’s very good with numbers and is very successful and owns his own accounting business. Even though wealthy, he still lives in a rundown house in an only just okay neighborhood much to his family’s dismay. He doesn’t understand their concern-as long as the house functions for him, then it’s all he needs. Of course, he doesn’t understand social norms at all. He has very little feeling about things, at least he thinks he doesn’t. Things just have to make sense to him like numbers do. He balks at his mother bringing a woman to him, but knows he will have no peace until he lets her. Trial basis only-one summer. Esme is excited about going to America. She pretty much immediately becomes embarrassed about her background though and lies a bit about some major things actually. She takes one look at Khai and pretty much thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread. That is, until she really gets to know him and can’t understand what’s up with him. On Khai’s part, he think Esme is beautiful, but has no intention of marrying her or anyone.
On my part, I fell in love with these characters and their story. We get involved in all the problems of Esme trying to navigate America and navigate Khai as well. And we also get inside Khai’s head as he tries and fails to stay away from Esme. Interestingly, the author is also on the autistic spectrum so a lot of this rang true for me, due to the author’s own experiences. I also continued my love for this huge Asian family that I first met in The Kiss Quotient. I liked their interactions and love for one another. Khai’s mother is pretty bossy though. I particularly enjoyed Khai’s brother, Quan. I am hoping for a book for Quan-as he is a sort of womanizer, I would love for him to get his own happily ever after. Michael and Stella from The Kiss Quotient do show up, and I was happy for the updates about them.
The Kiss Quotient won Readers Choice favorite romance last year on Good Reads and I adored it. I think The Bride Test is every bit as good as that one and that’s saying a lot for a second, so anticipated book. It’s definitely a slow burn romance, but I still highly recommend it to only adult romance readers. Such a good read!