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Friday, January 17, 2014

The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

I have already forgotten my 4 item review format and have to go look it up. It’s probably a good thing my children are loud and obnoxious or I might go around forgetting them too.


The Blurb, from Goodreads:

He thinks she's an annoying know-it-all...

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.

She thinks he's just plain mad...

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.


The Short of It:  I think this is one of the best Julia Quinn books in recent memory.  The plot takes a fairly contrived turn near the end, but that is balanced out by Hugh and Sarah being so enjoyable.


All the Rest:  The last four or five Julia Quinn books had really lost some of the charm that made me a Julia Quinn fan. It was to the point where I decided I was going to have to stop seeking out her new releases. Then for Christmas I got a Barnes and Noble gift card, so I went ahead and bought this one and I'm glad I did. The humor from the previous books is back, and I didn’t feel like the situation between them was completely contrived, not once you accepted that there was a duel in Hugh’s past.  The attraction between them is terrific even when they hate each other, and Hugh’s despair over what he’s done to his life is heartbreaking.  The only thing keeping me from recommending it wholeheartedly is the turn the plot takes about ¾ of the way through. This twist depends entirely on the book before it (A NightLike This) and seems a bit over the top. I told myself to accept that everyone really does feel the way they say they do about the situation, and was still able to enjoy it in the end.  (Sorry to be so vague, but it’s a pretty big spoiler.)
I especially enjoyed one small moment with Sarah and her cousin Iris, where Sarah is forced to consider how she’s always treated Hugh, and everyone else, and instead of just being angry she really looks to change her actions and attitude.  This one little bit makes Sarah much more than a flighty girl looking to get married and gives her the chance to grow.  Hugh is interesting in that he's not a perfect specimen of manhood. He's got a ruined leg and thinks that he's just not worth anything, what with the leg and the duel and all. I love seeing him begin to think of himself as a man again. While it’s not a five star read, it was satisfying, and worth spending my money on.


Source: I bought it.


  1. ok! i put a hold on it at the NYPL!

  2. I just bought the first on in the Bevelstroke series by her. I'll have to check out this one too.

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this! I haven't really loved one of hers in awhile. I think the last 2 were The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (and I know I was in the minority on that one) and What Happens In London.

  4. "my children are loud and obnoxious" hilarious.

  5. I have yet to read anything by Quinn. Ugh! This is another author that I have been meaning to read but haven't. This does sound good. Which one of her books should I start with?


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