Summary: When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better. That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.
Review: The Heart Principle is the third book in The Kiss Quotient series. I loved the first two books in this series, so it’s no surprise that I really enjoyed this one too. We follow Quan (who we met in previous books) and Anna. Quan had cancer and he’s now in remission, but this former playboy hasn’t really tried to get back into the dating world. Anna is a musician that’s really struggling. She’s having trouble with her music, and then her long-term boyfriend tells her that they should start seeing other people to make sure that the pair should get married. Anna and Quan both download a dating app and that’s how they meet. Things go from there. I feel like the first two books in this series focused a lot more on the actual romance between the couples where The Heart Principle focused more on the emotional struggles of the two main characters. I liked that their romance was a slow burn and took its time. But the characters are what made the story. Quan was such a soft and sweet man. He’s dealing with his own issues and insecurities, but he always made a point to make sure Anna was comfortable. Anna was incredibly unsure, about everything. We see her visit with her therapist and we see her in the throes of depression. We also see her learn that she is on the autism spectrum. Anna’s journey learning things like this about herself was the biggest focus. Overall, I wanted more of the romance between Quan and Anna, but I loved what we got. I think I just wanted the book to be longer. Both characters are dealing with so much. I wanted more time to see them happily together. It’s a much heavier book than the first two, I think. I think this will absolutely be a hit, just like the first two.
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. Review:
After a long week of my husband being away at a wedding and taking care of my daughter without him, I was due for some much-needed self-care. So, I picked up The Bride Test and settled into a glorious bubble bath.
While I didn’t love this book as much as I loved The Kiss Quotient, I still really enjoyed it. I liked that Khai, while super-hot, wasn’t your usual male love interest. Nothing about this book was the usual. Khai was annoying at times. I just wanted to shake him. But I think that also made me like him even more.
I felt the same about Esme. At times, mostly in the beginning, I just wanted to shake her. But by the end of the book, I adored her. I really enjoyed how she made a plan to stay in the States that didn’t have to do with Khai. She was going to earn her way and not depend on a man to get the things she wanted. I just loved it. I loved how smart she was and her enthusiasm to just enjoy her time in America.
I really loved the way these two eventually came together. I loved that this wasn’t your typical romance. It still followed the same formula for the most part but the characters and the story was unique and I really enjoyed it. I think any romance lover would enjoy this fun story with a diverse cast of characters.
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.
It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…
Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he’s making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic… Review:
I have nothing but good things to say about The Kiss Quotient. I don’t know why I waited so long to pick this one up but I’m so glad that I did. It was sweet. It was funny. It was sexy. It was all of the things that I wanted from a romance novel and I’m so glad I finally picked it up.
I really loved Stella. She was so sure of herself and nothing but heart. I loved how thoughtful she was and I just thought she was wonderful. I loved having this story be focused on her. The fake dating trope is one of my favorites and it was so well done in this book.
Michael was a little annoying in the sense that there were things he wasn’t sharing. I understand why he didn’t, but it comes to a certain point where you just have to spill your secrets for the sake of your relationship. Other than that though, I really loved him. He adored his family and was endlessly patient with Stella.
I just really loved this book. It was sexy and sweet at the same time. I will definitely be reading more from this author and I cannot wait to get into her next novel. This is one I will be recommending for sure.