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Publisher's Summary

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. 

©2021 Helen Hoang (P)2021 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Featured Article: The Lushest Romance Listens for Bridgerton Fans


With Bridgerton season two filming now, but an anticipated release not expected until sometime next year, it may feel like we have nothing but time on our hands. If you're looking to fill the Bridgerton-shaped hole in your heart, I've gathered up a variety of picks that tap into various aspects of the show. Whether you're romance rooted, romance curious, or (gasp) romance-adverse, have a read through the list and find something to scratch that Bridgerton itch.

What listeners say about The Heart Principle

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Went downhill

While I like this author, I was not a fan of this book. First, it started out as a fluffy romance book and then midway through became very heavy. I was not prepared. Second, while I appreciate the main character being autistic and bringing that viewpoint to light (although I cannot comment on the accuracy, as I am not autistic), I found the particular character of Ana to be very very annoying by the end. I didn’t feel that she deserved the devotion of her love interest, and I lost respect when she didn’t even tell her family that her father had expressed his wishes about the end of his life. Hard to make myself finish this one.

10 people found this helpful

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so disappointed - makes you feel creepy

SPOILERS- I was so disappointed in this story and performance. I loved Helen Hoang's previous books. Quirky heroines, facing down challenges and discovering strength but this was awful. The main characters were so vulnerable in the face of the unthinkable that I felt really creepy. Like I was intruding in someone's lowest point but for hours and hours. that the main character is dealing with anxiety severe enough to impact her life, an autism diagnosis, her father being basically a vegetable who wants to die, family that doesn't care about her, friends who she has never met, a boyfriend beloved by the family who forces her in and out of an open relationship while also emotionally manipulating her into sexual acts that make it almost impossible to be with anyone. She meets a man recovering from testicular cancer who has had surgery that makes him feel unmanly and seems to mostly like this woman because she needs him. Their interactions at times almost feel paternal or like a father which makes the awkward sex scenes more awkward. I ended up skipping about half if the book.

Less of an issue but also the male actor had a very stilted way of speaking that made it very hard to listen to.

8 people found this helpful

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No longer an automatic preorder...

From the excerpts published last year and previous entries in this series, I preordered once again.

After listening to this, I was dumbstruck. The 1st uh-oh moment was change in narrator, I was expecting Emily Woo Zeller who is beyond tremendous, but this was dual narration so maybe a good thing. 2nd: the story started out ok but Anna quickly became annoying. 2.75 speed was barely fast enough to trudge through and Naudus didn't alleviate the situation. 3rd: Quan was an afterthought if not no thought in his own book. 4th: I don't mind some TW's but this was TW's on parade. 5th: never felt so numb/stupefied after reading a favorite author. 6th: that cover is considered bait and switch (imho) since that was associated with earlier excerpt that was nowhere in this edition. 7th: completely different tone than previous series entries hence why I preordered again. This should have been published as a stand-alone.

Audible did a grave disservice by not narrating the author's note that was in the back of the actual book. Thank goodness I had that as well to read as it helped me understand the author's motivation/feelings in telling this story and I respect her even more for that.

7 people found this helpful

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Almost There.....

This one fell a bit flat for me. I am a huge fan of the first two books in this series. And like many, I fell in love with the funny and outgoing Quan. However, where is our fun quirky Quan in this novel? I was so looking forward to Quan's installment in the series but really this was all about Anna. Quan could have been any other "good guy" love interest and the book would have unfolded the same way.

With that being said, I really enjoyed this book and could not stop listening! I was captivated by Anna's story. It was beautifully written and tackled many difficult topics. If this was a stand alone, I would have given it 5/5 stars. However, I knocked off a point because I wish Quan's character was explored more.

5 people found this helpful

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All the feels

Love this so much. We'll worth the wait
Perfect casting for the narration. I followed along in the Kindle book.

5 people found this helpful

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Hoang's best work yet!

Emotionally captures the reality of not only one mental need, but many others. This is her best and most honest piece of work while addressing a real issue for women in relationships. Standing ovation!

4 people found this helpful

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Not like the others

I love this author, but this fell flat for me after so much anticipation. I was hoping the other characters in the series would make appearances, so there would be updates to those storylines. Was looking forward to the banter of the two cousins. It wasn't a story about Quan, he seemed to only be a background character. The other two books were GREAT. This ventured a little too off track for me. I struggled with the narration.

3 people found this helpful

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Definitely not a light romance

This wasn’t the story I was expecting after the other two books from Helen. This story was powerful, but extremely painful for me to listen to. I’m sure the audio format and emotional performance by the narrators made this story even more impactful in that way.

I have trouble criticizing this book because some research indicates how deeply personal this book was to the author. She calls it somewhat of a memoir. I can see that for sure.

However, the way that this book was marketed and considering the two books prior, this wasn’t the story I expected. It holds nothing back and kept me in a dark place for most of the second half of the novel.

This book was dark, painful, and devastating to read at points. The female protagonist is put through far, far too much and it’s difficult for me to exist inside her head for so long. Her sister is particularly awful. I want this book to come with some warnings on it. It was addicting but horribly personal to read (maybe I share too many personal connections with Anna).

I don’t recommend this book if you’re not aware of what you’re getting into. It’s captivating but dark.

3 people found this helpful

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STOP!

This book was so awful, from the narration to the ridiculous story. I enjoyed her other two books, this one is awful.

3 people found this helpful

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Another knockout

I just LOVE Hoang's style. Such a great story. Now i have to wait on a fourth.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jab
  • 10-02-21

Story line repetitive

Very similar to her 2 previous books.
Personally got weary of the story and was relieved to finish it.
Really enjoyed her 2 previous books though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leigh UK
  • 09-11-21

Prepare to feel!

I'm only at Chapter 30 but I want to shoot everyone but Anna and Quan. Julian could take a flying leap for all I care! I need this book to start looking up for Anna in the next few chapters because her family is so completely toxic!

Chapter 34
Ok now I want to beat Anna too. Stand up for yourself girl!

Chapter 36
Finally!

Ok, it's over and rest assured I got my happily ever after but wow, what a ride! This book was a strong reminder to me that not everyone operates the way I do and while I would have told Anna's sister where to jump off from the start, Anna operates, thinks, experiences things differently than I do. Truly, people are all doing the best they can with what they've got. Even if I find it frustrating that does not make them wrong or weak or inferior or less deserving or worthy. I bet I tick other people off with my actions too. Hmmm... lots to digest and learn from here; yet at no point did this book do any preaching about compassion. These are simply my observations after reading.

I enjoyed this series a lot, but this last book was the one that riled me up the most. I guess it's true that discomfort is an indication of growth. Thank you for making me uncomfortable Ms Hoang.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-21-22

Shallow and dull

Found the characters really underdeveloped and unlikeable. The plot was weak and pretty irritating. Real disappointment from this author.

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  • Tammy scott
  • 09-15-21

This is a beautiful written story

This book is so refreshingly Honest.
It’s the third book of the series, I have to say how I’ve enjoyed them all. The narration is 10 out of 10. I normally prefer to read than listen, however the narration is that good it moved me.
The stories show’s some of the difficulties and the beautiful honesty of Autism developmental disability! Also the different way this culture demonstrates there family dynamic’s.
The characters are so believable that I feel like I know them and have truly enjoyed them. The love stories are heartfelt. The Passion isn’t crude like some books I’ve read that have lots of sex within the storyline’s. I will definitely be reading more by this Author. A beautiful representation of how refreshing it can be to be different.

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  • ELLIE
  • 09-08-21

A disappointment

I read her first two book and expected another 3rd person read character. It was 1st person and did not work for me. The female character became so annoying, whinging and too emotionally fraught that I could not listen. The female showed little resilience so I thought what was the point. The love story became lost in her personal and family issues , so I could not see how love could endure in such a one sided way. The sex scenes were excruciatingly bad. Worst book I have read and had to give such negative reviews. It is not about her diagnosis.

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  • carly munroe
  • 09-07-21

A very pleasant surprise!

Came across this book by accident & was very pleasantly surprised!
Great book! Couldn’t stop listening.
Helped very much by the fab narration!
Fabulous

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  • mardie lowe
  • 03-21-22

A very intense story

This is very different to the preceding two stories on this series but runs with the same theme. I enjoyed the tale of Anna's life - not seeing her pain but watching her burgeoning self understanding and growing confidence. It was lovely to catch up with Quan and travel some of his life with him. I enjoyed both narrators.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-05-22

Not as good as Helen's other books

I was really looking forward to this book but sadly, I found it rather underwhelming. It was very slow to start and the narration flat.

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  • Rachel Jones
  • 01-10-22

underwhelming

I personally disliked the male narrator, his diction was poor. Narrative was predictable and somewhat derivative.

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  • Bibliophile Mom
  • 01-04-22

Brilliant!

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang (The Kiss Quotient #3) is a story of second chances at love, family traditions & norms, and love of a lifetime. The main characters, Anna & Quan, are from different worlds but eventually found their way to accept each other's strengths & weaknesses. They did these despite of all the obstacles along the way that they had to endure. I really liked the author's writing style and the way she digs into common social issues or conditions that people usually experience these days.

Liked:
-Tattoed male antagonist
-Music & fashion side of things
-A view about surviving cancer and living with autism

Disliked:
-The cliche' on how Anna's family viewed Quan
-Pressure that one's family bring to a person
-Female protagonist's submissive personality

Setting: 4⭐️
Character Building: 3⭐️
Writing Style: 4⭐️
Message: 4⭐️
Overall: 4⭐️

Overall, it was a roller coaster ride but I'm happy with how things turned out in the end. It is a fun and enjoyable read with intriguing characters and fast-paced turn out of events. Highly recommended to readers of contemporary romance books with cultural diversity. Looking forward to more books by Helen Hoang!

Instagram: @BibliophileMom

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  • Karly Martin
  • 11-25-21

Beautiful story.

The female narrator was AMAZING. I loved listening to Anna’s chapters to hear how she’d portray them.
The story itself is a little deeper than your average romance. It deals with love and familial hardships. So bear that in mind, when going into this.