Title: The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient #3)
Author: Helen Hoang
Publication date: August 31st, 2021
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 herself has just started to understand. 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.
“No one should need a diagnosis in order to be compassionate to themself.”Helen Hoang, The Heart Principle
I adore this series by Helen Hoang so very much. I reread these all the time when I need to read something that I know I’m going to love and enjoy. First is The Kiss Quotient and the second is The Bride Test, followed by the newest – The Heart Principle. This one is Quan’s story, and it seems to be a few years after the events of TBT – which honestly was fairly confusing. My only criticism for this book is that I don’t feel like enough time is given in the beginning to set the scene, because a lot has happened to Quan since the last book and it’s just brushed over. This is important to me because Quan is very different in this book than in the past books, and that change isn’t really depicted so it seems ingenuine to his character.
But outside of that, this is definitely the most emotional of the series so far. I found myself crying by the end at Anna’s story with her family. Anna has always been different, and never understood by her family. After going viral for her violin playing, she loses the ability to create and is stuck in a perfection paralysis cycle. Her perseveration and anxiety in social situations leads her therapist to diagnose her with autism – which her family does not accept and is very rude about. Also, her boyfriend decides he needs to sow his wild oats and have sex with a lot of other women before he proposes to her, so he demands a break. In enters Quan, and she attempts to sow some oats herself.
Like I mentioned, this book is emotional while Anna struggles with her family relationships, her diagnosis, violin playing, and trying to open up to Quan. Be prepared to cry, but make sure you read the author’s note at the end because that made me cry even more. I love Helen Hoang and her decision to make a character so similar to herself and work through her pain.
Read this series, that’s all I can say.
Happy reading, folks!