Oh, what a gem of a book! I read this lovely over the weekend and my heart is so happy! Whether you’ve read The Kiss Quotient or not, whether you’re a romance fan or not, I highly recommend this beautiful story.
The hero: Khai thinks he has a heart of stone because he doesn’t feel emotions the way most people do. He’s autistic, and has decided that he’s better off on his own than risking hurting others with his inability to feel or relate.
The heroine: Esme is a young, single mother living in Vietnam when she meets Khai’s mother, who has come to “find him a bride.” She sees something special in Esme and invites her to come live in the US with Khai and see if she can get him to fall in love. Esme wants to make a better life for herself and her daughter, so she agrees.
The story: so much sweetness! Khai doesn’t think he’s capable of love, and Esme doesn’t think he’ll love her if he knows her real self. But as they slowly spend time together, the trust (and attraction) grows. I chuckled, I got tears in my eyes, and finished with a smile on my face.
Personally, I think I enjoyed this more than The Kiss Quotient. The steam level is moderate and felt like the right amount to me. My only complaint was that by around 2/3rds of the way through, our hero and heroine go through some angsty stuff and we don’t get to see them together much. They are SO good together that I wanted more, especially toward the end.
But overall, an immensely satisfying romance novel with depth and heart. Definitely read the author’s note at the end wherein she talks about her mother’s immigrant experiences helping to shape Esme’s character. Really beautifully done! Helen Hoang has solidified her spot as a must-buy author for me and I can’t wait to read her next book.