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.
So, I really liked the first novel in this series, but in my opinion, this one is better. The first novel relied a lot on the smuttier stuff to move the plot, which made sense given that the main male character was an escort. This is a sweeter tale.
Esme and Khai both have their struggles. She’s a single mother supporting her family in Vietnam and he’s a young man who’s autism makes him feel that he is heartless. In the end, they both find ways to support themselves and also to support each other.
I will say, this is the most feminist romantic story I’ve read. Esme’s journey from wanting to marry to help her family to wanting to get an education to help her family is incredibly well done. Such great character development here.
Whether you like the genre or not, you should consider this to be your next read.