The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang
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.
This was a great second installment in the series. It’s a companion novel so we’re not following the MC from The Kiss Quotient but they do make a cute chamoe.
I adore the fact that this romance series is so diverse with its representation. Khai is Vietnamese-American and has autism, and Esme is also mix-raced (Vietnamese and white).
I liked how determined and hard-working Esme was. It made it very easy to root for her and wish for her success. I especially liked her attitude most of the times, she doesn’t give up easily. But my heart goes to Khai. He was such an amazing love interest, super thoughtful, compassionate and kind.
However, i didn’t love this as much as The Kiss Quotient for two main reasons: I really didn’t like that Esme didn’t tell Khai about her daughter until the very end. I could understand it initially, but we are talking about her daughter, why would you keep that a secret from someone who is your potential partner??
At the same time, I’m personally not a fan of the mother kind of forcing Esme into Khai’s live when he had already stated multiple times that he didn’t want a wife. She just completely neglected his feelings and wants for what she thinks he wants or needs. Even if it turned out great in the end, it is not her place to decide.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…
This was the most pleasant surprise of 2019 so far. I had heard a few things about this story but I didn’t see any 5 star reviews or anyone raving about it when I initially read it (by now it is a lot more popular, with reason), so I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it so hard.
I loved absolutely every single thing about this story. The characters are not your stereotypical romance characters at all: Tiffy is unapologetically herself, she’s loud, outgoing and TALL (which is such a breath of fresh air in the romance genre, as usually the female love interests are tiny and cute). She was so funny, strong, brave and wonderful I couldn’t help falling for her. Leon was SO KIND. I love, love, love looove kind male love interests. Give me a kind man over a brooding mysterious guy every day.
The progression of their relationship from strangers to friends to something more was flawless. I loved that Leon had a girlfriend initially and how their fall out made sense and wasn’t dramatic.
I also adored the friend groups and the families in here. The secondary characters in romance usually take a backsit once the relationship gets started, but in here they are so relevant, so real. It was great seeing how much Tiffy’s friends supported her and cared for her, while also showcasing arguments and messing up with your friends. No relationship is perfect.
But the icing on the cake for me was how heavy the themes explored here were, without ever dragging the story down. Emotional abuse is definitely a trigger warning in here. Tiff goes through a very tough relationship and seeing her character grow was the best part of the entire story. Leon is never her saviour or knight in shinning armour, she saved herself. Leon simply supported her along the way.
Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey
After an injury ends Travis Ford’s major league baseball career, he returns home to start over. He just wants to hammer out his frustrations at his new construction gig and forget all about his glory days. But he can’t even walk through town without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there’s Georgie, his buddy’s little sister, who is definitely not a kid anymore.
Georgette Castle has crushed on her older brother’s best friend for years. The grumpy, bear of a man working for her family’s house flipping business is a far cry from the charming sports star she used to know. But a moody scowl doesn’t scare her and Georgie’s determined to show Travis he’s more than a pretty face and a batting average, even if it means putting her feelings aside to be “just friends.”
Travis wants to brood in peace. But the girl he used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman who makes him feel whole again. And he wants her. So damn bad. Except Georgie’s off limits and he knows he can’t give her what she deserves. But she’s becoming the air he breathes and Travis can’t stay away, no matter how hard he tries…
This was my least favorite out of all of the romance novels talked about in this post. I thought it was enjoyable as a whole, with the main character being the star of the show and a few funny moments sprinkled throughout the story, but the love interest really lessened my enjoyment of the novel.
As I’ve said, Georgie was great. I loved her profession (a clown), the fact that she loved children and was so passionate about her career. I also really appreciated the female friendships in here. I was weary at first, there were a few instances that made think this was going to have a lot of girl-on-girl hate but it wasn’t the case, it actually focused on women support and that was great.
Travis was my main problem. He was such an asshole. It took so long for him to treat Georgie well, not being rude and broody, and by when that happened, his behavior towards other people didn’t change that much. He was still an ass to some people, just not Georgie so the character growth wasn’t really there.
Also, the overuse of the world babygirl was an issue. I didn’t care about it at first, but by the end of the novel I had seen so many babygirls that I was going a little bit insane.
Have you guys read any of these? Did you like them? Do you like romance? Let me know!
Untile next time,