Wow. So to keep this short since I am tired and hungry going to say that everything worked for me except I thought that someone should have explained Khai’s autism to Esme a lot better than they did. I also thought the harebrained scheme his brother cooked up was ridiculous and was honestly one of the things that took me right out of the book. I did think that Hoang still does a great job with love scenes and sexual tension. I loved our quick glimpses into Michael and Stella but really wanted more. I have to say that I thought it was odd to have what we see as Michael opting out of things to Stella not liking crowds, and thought how weird it was that he couldn’t just to to events without her. Okay, moving on. The ending was okay, just not great to me with the four years later leap which didn’t show much of anything had changed except with two secondary characters that I really didn’t care much about.
“The Bride Test’ follows Khai Diep. We heard about him and I think may have gotten a scene with him (I can’t remember) in the last book. Khai was know is autistic but seems to have a more severe form. This has Khai believing he has no feelings and can’t love people which one would think would have been discussed before now, but here we are. Khai’s mother is worried he will never marry and flies back to Vietnam to find a bride for him. She ends up meeting Esme Tran in Ho Chi Minh City in a bathroom of all places. Esme had her life derailed by an unexpected pregnancy. Now she works as a maid and has dreams of finding the American father that abandoned her pregnant mother more than two decades earlier. Khai’s mother sees something in Esme and offers to fly her to America to meet her son and convince him to marry her.
This book follows Esme and Khai starting to fall for each other though Khai is reluctant to be with anyone and likes his routines. I actually ended up liking Khai a lot in this story. There’s a hilarious scene discussing sex with him, his brother Quan, and Michael. I still am a bit confused about what he does for a job though. You find out that losing his best friend when he was younger along with his father has really affected Khai a lot and it was something that no one really talked with him before.
Esme is determined to not just stay with Khai unless he loves her and I have to say that I liked the fact she was focused on going to school and paving a way for her mother and daughter. The chemistry between Khai and Esme was wonderful to see and as I said the love scenes though not as numerous as the last book were great.
The writing was very good and the flow worked up until the end with what I call the this must be a Hallmark Movie twist/ending. It just didn’t work for me and I found myself annoyed by it.
The book ends on a weird note too and I literally flipped back to make sure I had not read four years later. I had a lot of questions about immigration and all of that but just decided to pretend that in this world Donald Trump isn’t a thing.