The Bride Test by Helen Hoang book review_berryduchess

Genre: Fiction/Contemporary Romance/Adult
Publication Date: 07 MAY 2019
Date Finished: 11 MAY 2019

This book proves why I am so addicted to Contemporary Romance genre *sigh. 🥰 It gives you that high & giddy feeling of being in love. Yung lutang! That feeling when your’re annoyingly happy that I’m sure at least one of your officemates wanted to punch you on the face already because you look stupid wearing that smile all day. Ganoin!

in a nutshell

Esme Tran is a beautiful biracial woman & a single mother who lives in Ho Chi Minh City. She works in a hotel as one of the cleaning staff and though she’s smart & hardworking, Esme didn’t finish school because she got pregnant at a young age. Esme got dreams for her daughter & family and someday, she wants to meet her biological father who’s an American & goes by the name Phil who worked at Berkeley University (that’s all she got & a photograph.) One typical day at work, she met Co Nga (Khai Diep’s mother) because the mom is in town, looking potential wife for her son. Yep. Para siyang may pa-audition, ganyan. Esme caught Co Nga’s attention to the point that she offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to her and she just can’t say no. It’s the chance that she’s been waiting for to unlock all the possibilities of having a much better life for her daughter & family.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang book on love quote

Alam mo yung sa sobrang frustration nung mom ni Khai to get him a wife, pati naglilinis ng banyo, tinalo na. Kasi nga naman, malay mo di’ ba! Besides, her green eyes are a dead giveaway that she’s mixed-race, and when they had a chat, Co Nga already felt a connection with her. Sabi nga ni Stormy Rain, she’s got a good vibey-vibes! And she has no bad intentions, whatsoever. What made it funny is the way Co Nga pushed her son to Esme! 😂 Para lang siyang nagpapa-try ng makeup! May suhol pa! And she said it’s much better if she gets pregnant. Kahit walang kasal, keribells! 😂

Khai Diep, on the other hand, is the son who “needs” a wife. He’s a successful accountant, a fitness enthusiast, the very definition of good looking & a good catch (duh!) but has no feelings. Pusong bato, ganyan! Well, that’s because he has Autism. If you read The Kiss Quotient (the first novel of the author) the lead character on that story also got an Asperger’s Syndrome, but Khai’s autism spectrum involved sensory issues which made it more challenging to have intimate relationships. The thing is, he gets irritated on simple stuff like arrangements of things or when the count is not in the increments of 5 but when it comes of emotions like love & sadness, he feels nothing. NONE. ZERO. NADA!

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang book on loneliness quote

When Esme accepted Co Nga’s offer, she didn’t know about Khai’s situation but she’s determined to win him over & potentially start a new life in the states. He looked normal to her. Normal & just uninterested. But she didn’t give up and started flirting with him. They tried to co-exist peacefully for the next 3 months, as instructed by his mom, but Esme actually has an effect to Khai and he’s trying to ignore that & doing his best avoid her at all cost. As they get to know each other & becoming more comfortable with their living setup, Esme successfully handled his intimacy issues but the problem is, she’s falling in love to him…fast & deep. But what happens when you fall in love with a person with a stone-cold heart? What’s gonna happen to them? Read the book! 😋

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang book on love & taking risks quote

favourite moments

Can I sleep here just for tonight?

This! Awww…. This was the night when the first hug happened because of her nightmare and it’s like for the first time, he’s doing things he doesn’t usually do. For her. awww...

First Kiss

Oh my! I’ve read a lot of first kiss scenes before but I like this one, probably because of the anticipation & the build-up of emotions!

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang book on being in love_quote

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang book on being in love quote

Subtle Flirting Moves, I approve!

She may be shy but our girl knows how to use her charms & assets properly! And when she leaves the room, she makes sure you’ll remember her.

“I Want to Kiss You”

Ay oh! iba si ate! soft pero may kapusukang taglay!

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang book_beautiful woman quote

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang book on beautiful woman quote

“The Morning After” talk with Quan & Michael

This is the funniest part of the story! It was the man-to-man talk between Khai, Quan & Michael and it was freakin’ HILARIOUS! The discussion pertaining to sex was like a science experiment gone wrong! 😂😂😂

The first apology

Another awww moment because even though I’m just reading it, but in my mind, it was a very sincere moment between the 2 characters. Or at least that’s how I want to play it.

Hello from Michael & Stella 

Oh my goodness! Can you just imagine my surprise when I realised that Michael & Stella mentioned here are actually the 2 characters from Hoang’s first book, The Kiss Quotient?! SPOILER ALERT! Michael & Khai are cousins! It took me a while, so silly of me!

*click the image to read the full review.

The Kiss Quotient_by Helen Hoang book review_berryduchess


Surely, this novel will fall on one of your typical romantic story plots where there are those last minute realisations & itigil-ang-kasal! eksena/moments. But I enjoyed reading the book, I really did! You just can’t help but love all characters – Esme, Khai, Quan, Co Nga & the rest.

I understand Co Nga’s efforts to find her son a wife because it’s that motherly love and wanting to find someone who will take care of Khai and that hope for him to have a happy life with another person.

a fun, sexy & romantic read! 

The Bride Test_Helen Hoang Book Review

Esme’s character is flawed but I can’t categorise her as a damsel in distress because she’s strong. She cries but she fights with all her might. She tried to work with what she has and look for ways to make things better.

So many times, I found myself smiling while reading the parts of their not-so-innocent encounters & it made my heart float. nakakakilig ih! In my opinion, the intensity of the giddy feels/kilig on The Bride Test is more subtle compared to The Kiss Quotient. But this is funnier than the first. Overall, it was a fun, sexy & romantic read! I’m giving it 4 smooches/stars!

book rating 4

If I were to choose an OST for this novel…

favourite quote

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang book on strong women quote

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xoxo roma


  1. yeah! I love the Kiss Quotient and it also took me a while to realise that Michael in The bride Test was actually Michael Phan from KQ, yep! they are related! as in Family related!

  2. As soon as I finished I wanted to reread it 😂😀 I’m reading it now. I knew the books were from the same series, but I thought the only thing linking them were protagonists with autism. I didn’t realise the characters are from the same family 🙈

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