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.
So, I read this book is less than 24 hours! I can not remember the last time I was this into a book. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. I adored the two main characters and was actually sad to part ways with them. The representation is wonderful and I think this novel has the potential to allow readers to have a better understanding of people on the autism spectrum. I also think it is fantastic that people on the spectrum will see themselves in this book and hopefully will feel understood. There is so much to love about this book- it made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me smile with absolute delight!
Fans of The Kiss Quotient will not be disappointed, and I daresay that I loved The Bride Test even more. Esme and Khai have a lot of depth and feel like real people. It was an absolute joy to watch them slowly come to understand each other better. I would say that The Bride Test test is more serious than The Kiss Quotient, and that is probably why it appealed to me on another level. I was surprised by the serious issues that this book takes on and handles with care.
I have to take a moment to shout out Khai’s brother, Quan. He was so adorable and sweet. I loved how protective he was of Khai, but he was also not afraid to put him in his place and have an honest conversation with him. I am desperately hoping that book three follows his story.
Overall, I adored this book. There are some things that happened near the end that felt rushed and far-fetched but not enough to truly bother me. I breezed through this one and it even brought tears to my eyes. That does not happen to me that often with a romance!
Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.