If you’ve read my previous reviews of books by Helen Hoang like The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test, you’ll know that I absolutely love this series. I’m not sure if you could really call it a series but all the books are in the same world and we see previous book characters in sequels and it’s just so wholesome! I love books that do this and I’ve absolutely loved Helen’s writing so far so I was super excited to get my hands on this book. Truth be told, I actually completely forgot about it until the week before the release date but then Amazon took 3 weeks to deliver me my pre-order! I was so excited about this book that I read it in about 3 days.
Let’s get onto the review!
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 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.
As you can see by my rating, I LOVED this book. It was an absolute delight to be back in this world and Helen’s writing is no exception in this novel as it was in the first two books. I really enjoyed everything about it. In this novel, we focused on a new character, Anna Sun, who is a violinist but can’t seem to get back on track with her playing, especially with the pressure on her shoulders after going viral from an unfortunate YouTube video.
She goes through a lot of pressures with her family and I could really relate that that kind of family dynamic amongst her parents and family. After finding out her boyfriend wants an open relationship, she tries to get back into dating and meets Quan for a one-night-stand. Only that it doesn’t work out the first time and they find themselves on more ‘one-night-stands’ as both characters go through inner struggles and work to learn more about each other.
First of all, it was so nice to learn more about Quan. After seeing him in both the previous books in this series, we didn’t really know much about it other than his relation to Michael. Learning about what he’s gone through and seeing his character as he interacts with Anna was awesome. I love that he embodied the idea of a softie hiding under a sharp, rough biker exterior. Anna’s personality was also interesting, in that she’s soft spoken but strong-minded. I was very intrigued about her compulsive violin practice that we see and Helen’s writing really made me feel Anna’s stress and exhaustion. I could certainly understand the need to have something be perfect before I can continue!
I really don’t want to spoil anything so I’m keeping it quite vague but I just loved Anna and Quan’s relationship and how supportive of each other they were and this book just really tugged at my heart strings! It felt so authentic and a fusion of so many enjoyable elements that it stood out as a romance novel alone and I couldn’t stop reading. Helen Hoang definitely did not disappoint me this time around either and I hope to see more books in this world in the future.
Overall, if you enjoyed the previous, I’d highly recommend you give this one a go too! It was so cute and it really makes me want to keep reading cute romance novels for the rest of the year.
What did you think of this new release if you’ve read it?
Until next time,
Malka @ Paper Procrastinators
I found this installment in the companion series to be a lot more hard hitting than the previous two, but I was still amazed at how much emotion Helen Hoang was able to evoke from me! I felt so much for Anna and how she was treated and all that she was going through!
YES! It was so emotional, much more emotional than I expected. I agree wholeheartedly <3