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My name is Renee, and I am the host of this site. I am a 34 year old woman, on the prowl for her mate, searching out the best of books, exploring the wilds of the imagination and delving into the heart of a beautiful love story.


Quickie Romance Review-The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

by | Sep 6, 2021 | Book Reviews, Quickie Romance Review | 11 comments

Quickie Romance Review-The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

I received this book for free from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Quickie Romance Review-The Heart Principle by Helen HoangThe Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Also in this series: The Kiss Quotient, The Bride Test
Series: The Kiss Quotient #3
Published by Berkley on August 31, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Womens Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Berkley Publishing Group
ISBN: 0451490843
AmazonLibrary ThingLibrary ThingLibrary Thing

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.

The Heart Principle is the latest release in the Kiss Quotient series by this author, and probably one of the most anticipated releases of the year for romance. This book has been so on the waiting list for so many of us romance readers, there were some delays to the book being release (definitely understable) and I was thrilled when I was offered a copy with Berkley. But even though it saddens my heart, I couldn’t give this book more than a three-star rating. This book just wasn’t for me, and it probably is because this book is NOT a romance, it’s women’s fiction. I feel like this factor isn’t quite understood and after reading it, I completely understand why it is. Now women’s fiction isn’t really my cup of tea unless I am in the right mood for it which is probably why this didn’t quite work for me the way I expected it to. The story focuses on Anna Sun, who has had some startling revelations about herself, and there are some family issues that can be crippling for her. (please check the triggers for this book before reading it) My heart just broke for Anna, she had so much strength, but she really had to deal with so much. Quan was a delight but sadly his role in the book was the back story and I was sad. I had been looking forward to his book so much and felt like he deserved more attention. While I completely understand the author’s motivations for this story, it just didn’t meet up with my expectations of the story. I wanted to love this one but in the end, it just didn’t work out that way in my reading of it. I am curious if this author will be focusing more on women’s fiction and letting go of writing romance, I dearly hope not, but if she does decide to go down that path, I am not sure if I will continue reading her or will wait until I am more in a women’s fiction mindset. Currently, I just need all the romance (:))

I just know that this story will work for so many readers especially if you have been anticipating it, but this story just wasn’t for me at the time I read it. I know my mood at the time wasn’t right for it, and it evoked certain emotions I wasn’t ready to experience at the time. I truly admire this author, and what she has been dealing with and felt a connection to her in this book but it was a bit of a disappointment after the long wait of it.

About Helen Hoang

Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since. In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT. She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.

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  1. Sam@WLABB

    I have been watching reviews for this book, and I feel like I could embrace Anna’s story. My disappointment would be in that we were cheated out of a Quan book. We have been waiting for his story. Granted, the other two books did focus heavily on the heroine. I felt TBT was more Esme’s story than romance, but Quan was such a fan favorite. He deserved his story.

  2. Sophia Rose

    I get what you’re saying. I really enjoy women’s fiction, but it can be disconcerting when I’m anticipating romance and especially when the earlier books were romance. I still need to try these.

  3. Sophie

    As I do love both romance and women’s fiction I hope it will work out for me as I got it in my mail today!

  4. Jen

    I hemmed and hawed over reading this one, and I ended up skipping it. After loving the first two titles, I was put off of reading it because of Berkley’s marketing to reviewers. Also, I had a lot on my plate, so I ended up not taking a review copy. I’m thankful that I didn’t, based on your review and some others, I think I would have been frustrated.

  5. Kristin

    Oh man. I loved the first two books. I’m not sure how I would feel about this one. I didn’t realize that the author moved away from the romance aspect. That’s what I loved about the previous books. Plus, I’m sad to hear that Quan doesn’t even get his story told. I might still read this one, but I don’t think I will rush out to read it. Thanks for your honest review.

  6. Michele H

    Ah, bummer! I’m sorry this one was a miss for you. I can completely understand, though. I’m so used to reading women’s fiction now for the blog that the lines get blurred for me between WF and romance, so I don’t think I mentioned in my review that Anna’s problems overtook the story. I also wished Quan was featured a bit more prominently–I loved all the scenes from his POV! Hopefully this was a one-off in the way Hoang wrote it and she’ll find her way back to that winning formula we all love in her books. <3

  7. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    The wait for this one has been so long so that kind of makes it doubly sad that I feel like it’s not going to deliver what I’ve been wanting and waiting for. I’ve been so excited for Quan’s story but reviews like yours have me thinking I’m not going to get much of that at all. I’m sure I’ll read this at some point but I’m not rushing out to get it.

  8. Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

    Totally understand where you are coming from. I think her stories lean towards women’s fiction…but I totally loved this and the other books. My son is on the spectrum and I love how she gets it and presents it.

  9. Karen

    I have this one on audio so good to know not to expect a full on romance.

  10. Rachel

    I do agree, this one wasn’t at all like the first two. Not primarily a romance at all. This was definitely more Anna’s story with Quan on the side and that was a little disappointing. Still, overall I enjoyed it a bit more than you, but I had seen a few mixed reactions so I think I adjusted my expectations before going in. I do think it was an honest portrayal of someone on the spectrum, which was educational for me. My heart broke for Anna and all she had to deal with. It would’ve been difficult for anyone, but even worse with her condition. Great honest review, Renee!

  11. Jamsu

    My copy just arrived yesterday. I really hope I enjoy it more than you did. I’m disappointed it’s not a romance book like I thought though.


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