Summary from Amazon:
Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she’s long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.
Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought that nearly destroyed her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn’t matter. She doesn’t care that his leg is less than perfect, it’s his personality she can’t abide. But forced to spend a week in close company they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless …
New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn’s enchanting third novel in the Smythe-Smith quartet is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and tug at your heartstrings in equal measures.
I used to read romance novels all the time while in college, but over the last few years, I sort of stopped reading them. I still love them, I’ve just focused more on teen books lately. But I am always eagerly anticipating Julia Quinn’s next book, and I’ve read nearly all of them (except the Lost Dukes of Wyndham books). And I’ve loved nearly all of them, except The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (the hero in that book was not very heroic, in my opinion). So, I was exstatic when I was approved by Avon through Edelweiss to get a Digital Review Copy of The Sum of All Kisses, the third book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet.
There’s something about Julia Quinn novels that just make me so happy, even a little giddy. Early on in reading Sum, I started smiling, giggling, and a happy feeling came all over me. This is a normal experience when I read a Julia Quinn novel. There’s usually quite a bit of humor in her books, and there is little I love more than a book that makes me laugh. The characters, and the witty dialogue, and the lightheartedness (without being frivolous) make her book irresistible to me.
Romances are character-driven (a huge reason I love them so), so I have to talk about the hero and heroine first. I will admit to being a little frustrated with Sarah, the heroine, at first. She does seem to be quite self-involved. She’s still an exceptionally nice woman, but she still can be a bit self-involved. Her displeasure of Hugh, our hero, was at times understandable, and other times seemed to center so much on how his actions affected her life, instead of the very real impact those actions had on her cousins. But not to worry, because soon she found a place in my heart, and I quite liked her. She’s not afraid to go after what she wants, and she’s excellent at problem solving. And she’s also willing to change, and try to be as good a person as she can be.
The hero, Hugh, I was very intrigued by. His relationship with his father made me so sad, but I adored how much he loved his older brother. He’s always thinking things through before he opens his mouth, and I loved that about him. He’s not uncomfortable in silence. I also really admired his determination to fix the consequences of his mistakes, and the actions of his father.
The romance between Sarah and Hugh was very JQ, if you ask me. There was definitely lots of laughter, and the dialogue was fantastic. Even when extraordinary things happen to Hugh and Sarah, their interactions still feel very grounded. I can tell that they make a good couple, I believe it, and I want them to finally get their Happily Ever After.
The Sum of All Kisses is exactly what one would expect from a Julia Quinn novel. Intriguing, well-developed, unique characters, and humorous dialogue fill up the novel, leaving me quite content upon reaching the final page. I’m already eagerly anticipating JQ’s final book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet!