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.
Wow! Bravo to Helen Hoang for writing such a beautiful love story with characters not typically portrayed in the romance genre. This was just absolutely brilliant! It had just the right amount of sexy and had so much humor. A story with such insight that was also so much fun to read!
Khai and Esme meet under very unsuual circumstances. Khai’s mom has brought Esme back from Vietnam in her attempt to set them up for an arranged marriage. Khai has autism and he doesn’t believe he is capable of loving someone. He has convinced himself that he is happy to be alone so the last thing he wants is a wife. Esme could not turn down the opportunity to come to America because it could be her chance to give her family a better life. These two are forced to live together and the love story that develops was so real and authentic.
Esme and Khai had to learn how to communicate with eah other. Khai processes his thoughts and emotions differently, there is a cultural barrier and there is also an educational gap. Esme was unable to finish high school and she was very insecure about her lack of education. We get to see the strength and determination of this immigrant woman as she seeks to make a life for herself through hard work and perseverance. I felt such pride for this woman! She completely won me over as one of my favorite heroines!!
Esme recognized that Khai was different but she accepted him for who he was. She saw past his awkwardness and saw his kind heart and appreciated what a great man he was! The sex was sexy and hilarious! Khai navigating how to please Esme was so sweet and innocent and also brought some seriously LOL moments.
This whole book has a level of hilarity that I enjoyed so much despite the serious subject matters. Both of these characters were so brave to open themselves to new experiences and eventually open themselves to love each other. This was such a beautiful love story that made my heart SQUEEZE so tight! So sweet and so emotional! I had a huge smile on my face for this entire book and again I am so glad this author gave characters like these a voice. After reading the author’s note at the end of the book, I became even more emotional if that was possible where she explains how she came about writing this book. It’s definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2019. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!
Note: You do not need to read The Kiss Quotient before reading this.
Heat Level: Mild to moderate
ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review
Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since. In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT. She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.