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Series: The Kiss Quotient #3
Published by Berkley Books on August 31, 2021
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Review Copy Provided By: Berkley
AMZ US Apple Books Book Bub
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A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this heartfelt new romance by USA Today bestselling author Helen Hoang.
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.
I was provided a review copy; this did not influence my opinion of the book.
❝Nothing I actually do can compete with the boundless potential of what I could do.❞
A top favorite of the year, ‘The Heart Principle’ was a powerful story about acceptance, understanding, and struggle.
Anna was a violinist who was struggling with her newfound popularity. Suffering burnout, she found she wasn’t able to get through an entire song without stopping and criticizing herself. Ana would continue in this loop for hours, lost in the search for perfection. She struggled in other areas of her life as well. Always knowing she was different, Ana learned to wear a mask according to which social situation she found herself in. She learned how to fit in by watching others. What an exhausting venture. Her family never tried to understand her, only thinking she was lazy and admonished her for being different.
Quan was such an inspirational character. He was the epitome of empathy. He was the one who had always been there for other people. He tried hard to live up to the person other people thought he was. But after a major health procedure, Quan lost his identity as a man.
Hoang took special care in the growing of their relationship. Each had to grow in their own person before they could care for the other. The way they helped save and repair each other was incredibly inspiring and a beautiful thing to watch. The parts of Quan that he believed defined his manhood weren’t important to Ana. She loved him for his tender heart, his protective nature, and his strength. Ana needed love and support, which was something Quan had mastered.
I had goosebumps as I finished this book. All over my body, from my head to my toes. My heart was bursting with happiness how Hoang turned the qualities that others viewed as less than into glorious, beautiful, and inspiring attributes.
Helen Hoang is incredibly talented. Her books read like she is recounting the stories of real people. That’s how vibrant and fleshed out her characters are. They don’t read as fictional. It is this realness that she brings to her books that makes them so impactful, so important, and so lovable.