#RomBkLove Day 31: Change-Makers
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez {review}

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang {review}

The Bride Test

Genre: Contemporary Romance


My Review - 5 Stars

Khai and Esme’s story was gripping and angsty but still had humor and spirit. I could not put it down and I could not have loved it more.

Because of some ill-timed words from a relative years ago, Khai doesn’t believe he knows how to love. His extended family also generally ignores his autism diagnosis. He believes he cannot feel so he focuses on work, to his mother’s chagrin and so she heads to Vietnam to find him a wife. Esme, a maid and a single mother, worries she’s not good enough. She takes the opportunity Khai’s mom offers her and along the way, develops feelings for Khai. People who don’t believe they’re worthy of love wreck me. This book gave me so many feels. Watching those two figure out they do love each other and they can make it work was an absolute gift. 

The way it highlighted the immigrant experience was especially thoughtful. Be sure to read the moving Author’s Note to learn more about the inspiration for Esme’s character.

CW: ableism, grief, references to death of a loved one



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.


Buy The Book (affiliate links):

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice