The Heart Principle
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.
Synopsis source: Goodreads
Genre(s): Fiction, Contemporary Romance, BIPOC
HB&W Rating: 4
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Chirp was running a deal on a few of Helen Hoang’s books, which I’d seen all around Bookstagram, so I decided to give them a go. I picked up The Kiss Quotient and this one. To be honest, I had doubts going into this one because The Kiss Quotient was just okay for me, ranking only 3.5 stars in my opinion. I liked the story and autistic representation, but I didn’t care for the audio narration (it rankled) and I didn’t feel like there was enough of the storyline to balance out the sex. It’s a fine line, friends.
Psst! If you haven’t tried Chirp, it’s an audiobook app without the subscription! Try it and get 50% off your first purchase with my link here!
Still, after reading a few reviews from people saying that they didn’t care for TKQ but that they really liked this one, I said okay, let’s go. The Heart Principle was everything I wanted from TKQ and I couldn’t agree more with those other reviewers.
There was a dual narration and while I’m not 100% sure I cared for the actors, they are head and shoulders above the narration of the other one. I really liked the characters and I was so happy to see that Quan was the MMC of this one because I did really like him from The Kiss Quotient. There are cameos from Michael and Stella too, and it’s always fun to see familiar characters pop in now and then. I felt like the setting was opened up more (I felt like too much of TKQ was just basically Michael and Stella in a box), the story was better developed, and the sexual tension and steam factor were so much better balanced in this book.
Again, I loved the autistic representation here and I felt that the book did a good job explaining the spectrum, showing that the characteristics of autism look different for different people and especially between the sexes. I learned a lot from this book and found Anna extremely sympathetic.
A thoroughly diverting read with a lot of heart.
Until next time,
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