Title: The Sum of All Kisses
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.
Author: Julia Quinn
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: A Night Like This , Because of Miss Bridgerton, Four Weddings and a Sixpence: An Anthology, The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
Published by Avon Source: Publisher
Published: 29 October, 2013
Genres: Historical Romace
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I am fast becoming a fan of Julia Quinn, in this second of her titles I have read, the stories are easy and engaging: with enough angst that is resolved by the end to make them the perfect afternoon getaway. In this book, the third in the Smythe-Smith Quartet, we have an unusual hero for most romances of this era. Hugh has a brilliant maths mind, little patience for the niceties of courtship, and a limp sustained in a duel after a night of cards with his best friend.
While Hugh has known the Pleinsworth family for a long time, in fact, the duel in which his leg was maimed nearly resulted in the family’s downfall, and Lady Sarah missed her debut because of the fallout. Outspoken, matter of fact and actually quite clever, Sarah can’t stand Hugh: his personality and hers are oil to water.
When Hugh starts to see Sarah in a different light, he believes his disability will keep her at bay: his own self-esteem is shot to bits, he feels less than manly and cannot imagine his life full of laughter.
The first interactions between Hugh and Sarah are melodramatic, as befitting the females of the family: and while the barbs are sharp, the dialogue is clever and telling, and nothing short of pure entertainment. Of course, this being a romance and we must push the issues: they are in close company with preparations for a wedding, and they must learn to at least exist in the same space.
Slowly but surely their understanding in one another grows, as does their attraction. What Sarah often sees as Hugh being ‘too serious’ is his own lack of faith or belief in his own worthiness as a man. Even more interesting, Sarah barely acknowledges his disability: it wasn’t the reason she didn’t like him, or consider him a possible match.
These two characters are so well developed and detailed, with moments that will bring you to tears when seeing Hugh’s dismay and self-loathing. While not being a highly conventional (for the time) man, he does actually appreciate Sarah’s brain and outspokenness, even if it may give others fits.
Slowly over the course of the book the two manage to discover the hidden gems under the exteriors, as preconceived notions and old hurts are healed and they work toward their own happily ever after. Moments of laughter, tears, anger and joy are thoroughly sprinkled throughout this story, perfectly suitable to read as the introduction to the series as Quinn is careful to provide background information without overloading the reader more familiar with the first two books. I’m thoroughly enamored of the Smythe-Smith Quartet, and can’t wait for the next installment.