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Smythe-Smith Quartet #3

The Sum of All Kisses

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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.

373 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 28, 2013

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About the author

Julia Quinn

138 books36.1k followers
#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and and if you watch reruns of the game show The Weakest Link you might just catch her winning the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code.

A graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, Ms. Quinn is one of only sixteen members of Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame. Her books have been translated into 32 languages, and she lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.

The Bridgertons, her popular series of historical romance, is currently in production by Shondaland as a Netflix original series starring Julie Andrews, Phoebe Dynevor, and Rége-Jean Page.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,136 reviews
November 20, 2013

It's difficult for me to put my feelings about this book into context. I'm just devastated by this book because it was such a huge letdown. It was still pretty funny, and light, and amusing, but on the other hand, this is Julia Quinn, and I feel like this book should be more than just brain candy. The characters are largely forgettable, the plot is just ridiculous, and I am so sad that I can only give this a 2. There is just no substance to it. It is all fluff, and so completely lacking in everything that was bright and beautiful in the early Julia Quinn books that I loved.

Let me preface by saying I absolutely adore Julia Quinn. She is on my auto-buy. She is STILL on my auto-buy despite this book. Why? Julia Quinn is single-handedly responsible for my introduction into the cult of Regency Historical Romance. I have always scorned historical romance novels until I reached for one of her books one day, thinking the premise looked interesting, and well, she's a Harvard graduate, so surely it's less shameful to read a romance novel by someone so pedigreed. Yes, I am a book snob sometimes. I'm not perfect, and it's stupid, but I needed to rationalize my urge to read a genre of books that was inherently shameful to my conservative Asian upbringing.

With that said, my first few Julia Quinns were absolutely fantastic. I laughed til my sides hurt, I felt for the characters, and it finally got knocked into my stupid, silly, youthfully immature brain that I should not judge a book by its covers because a good book with amazing characters and humors can transcend a genre. Julia Quinn is the first romance author who taught me that romance novels have value, too, that it is a genre worthy of reading when it is so spectacularly written, that they're not merely bodice-rippers with brutish alpha males as the hero who ravish wilting maidens with heaving bosoms (no, thank you, Catherine Coulter).

But lately, it feels like Julia Quinn's books have lost the magic. This book is no exception. The last Julia Quinn book I remember loving is the 5th in the Bridgerton series. Since then, her books have been largely unmemorable for me.

Don't get me wrong, they're still good...but this is Julia Quinn, man. I don't read Julia Quinn books to merely have a "good" reading experience. I can reach for any light Regency novel and expect to get a book that's at least a 2.5 to 3-rating reading experience I expect sparks. I expect magic. I expect transcendence. I hold Julia Quinn to a higher standard, and I'm sorry, but I feel let down. Am I selfish? Do I have too-high-expectations of an author so beloved to my heart?

Summary: This book follows the Smythe-Smith family, you might be a little lost if you plunged in without having read the previous books, but not by much. This is Hugh and Sarah's story. Hugh is the second son of a Marquess, who has what would today be called a eidetic (or photographic) memory; he's also highly mathematical, being able to calculate enormous sums in his head. Hugh got pissed drunk a few years ago, and wound up making a mistake he never makes: he lost a game of cards. While drunk off his ass, Hugh makes the enormous mistake of challenging the man who beat him to a duel. That man happens to be Daniel Smythe-Smith, a good friend. The duel was a mistake, and what happens was also a mistake--Daniel shot Hugh in the leg, cripping him, and is forced to flee the country the escape from the wrath of Hugh's father, the Marquess. Daniel leaves behind a devastated, broken family, and a cousin, Lady Sarah Pleinsworth, who is more righteously angry about the entire situation than the entire Smythe-Smith family.

Things happen, namely Books 1 and 2 in the Smythe-Smith series, and Daniel is back in England, and getting married. Hugh and Daniel have since mended their differences, but he and Sarah still cannot stand one another. He dislikes her because, well, she's annoying. She hates him because of what he did to Daniel. They're thrown together by force at Daniel's wedding, improbable hijinks follow, and for some fucking reason, they fall for each other on the spot, considering they have not been able to stand each other for years.

The plot: I give Historical Romances some room for levity when it comes to plot, but I cannot overlook a plot that is so absolutely absurd as to be absolutely unbelievable by any extent of the imagination. The plot and the eventual resolution is incredibly fucking absurd, and please believe me when I say I take no pleasure at all in critiquing this book.
“No.” Sarah shook her head, aghast. “That can’t be true. It’s preposterous. It’s mad, it’s—”
Nope, Sarah. I may not like you at all, but you are absolutely right. The book starts off fairly well, and then devolves into a ludicrous resolution that I can't even hint at because there's no way that you could see it coming. There is no rationality, there is no reason. The resolution and the climax was just pulled out of thin air. I can't even hint at it because there is no foreshadowing involved and no subtlety because the ultimate confrontation just doesn't make any goddamn sense. The climax of the plot was grandiose, overdone, unnecessary, a complete fucking farce: it's the equivalent of using a jackhammer to insert a pushpin into a wall.

Some series needs to come to a graceful end. The Smythe-Smith family have been a long-running insider joke since the days of the Bridgerton series because of their terrible musical skills and their annual intolerable musical performance. Well, the joke should stop here.

The characters: There's just nothing about the characters in this book that stands out. The characters are more or less cookie-cutter dull, and the main character (Sarah) got on my nerves. For a book that is Regency, there's but the mildest effort at making it historically accurate, considering the inclusion of children at parties, the use of unicorns within discussions, and the use of the word "typecast." Really? "Typecast?" In the 1800s? There is just not even a pretense at making the characters' dialogue in this book anywhere near historically accurate. I get it, I don't want to read flowery purple prose and overly archaic language any more than I want to stab myself in the eye, but I read Historical Romance largely for the HISTORICAL part, and the speech should at least attempt to reflect the time.

I found Hugh to be inoffensive. I found Sarah to be quite annoying and grating on my nerves.
when Lady Sarah spoke, it was difficult to ignore her.
She used far too many adverbs. And exclamation points.
Sarah even admits it herself.
And I . . .” She paused. How to say it? “There are people in this world who find me quite annoying.”
She is overly judgmental, and she is overly sensitive.

Sarah reminds me of Helen Lovejoy in the Simpsons, largely because she is so overwrought and more offended FOR someone than the person who was actually hurt. She is uptight, snippy, and a mess of nerves. Yes, Daniel is her cousin. Yes, he got hurt. No, Sarah should not be screeching like a harpy and acting more hurt on behalf of Daniel than his actual family. Sarah is one of those types of people who are offended (and even more so) on your behalf; they mean well, but overall, they should just shut up and let the actual parties involved deal with it rather than taking it on as their personal cause.

The supporting characters includes a group of Sarah's teenaged sister' ranging from 11 to their late teens, and all the headache and squabbling that entails, as well as Hugh's Sad, Sad Past and an Evil Father who's more evil than any Disney villain. I just did not enjoy this book, and I feel like I have to be apologetic for not liking it.

The Romance: Not believable. Mainly because Hugh and Sarah have hated each other for years. He hated her because she's an annoying twit who runs at him screeching like a harpy at every single public appearance at which they meet.

All of a sudden, they re-encounter each other at a wedding. They fight and avoid each other like two particularly ill-tempered cat and dog. Out of fucking nowhere, the sparks fly.

For him.
And her lips, he realized now that she wasn’t hurling insults at him, were utter perfection, full and pink, and touched with just the right sort of curve. They seemed to tell a man that she knew things, that she knew how to laugh, and if he only laid down his soul for her, she would light up his world with a single smile.
And her.
And his mouth—he rarely smiled, or at least he rarely smiled at her, but there was something rather wry about it. She supposed some people might not find that attractive, but she . . .
Dear Lord
Oh, please.

I've lost that loving feeling for Julia Quinn novels =(
Profile Image for Jennifer.
374 reviews578 followers
April 15, 2018

Disclaimer: No, this isn’t a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. But you will enjoy it just as much!

There’s some of this…

And some of this…

(giggling) And some of this…

And OMG, some of this…

Julia Quinn = the modern day Jane Austen.

Yep. I said it.

Her writing is elegant and sophisticated.

She knows how to write a story…a wonderful story. She knows how to tug at my heart.

Her tongue. Her lips. His downfall.

Lord Hugh and Sarah hate each other. They insult each other at every turn. It’s not a flirty banter either. They truly do not like each other. Though he doesn’t know it, but Hugh ruined Sarah’s life, and Hugh doesn’t care for Sarah’s personality.

He didn’t like her. He really didn’t, but by God, he’d have sold a piece of his soul right then to dance with her.

My Hugh:


Hugh – MEGA-HARD-SWOON!!!!! After participating in a duel with Sarah’s cousin, Hugh’s leg is forever injured and in pain, so he must walk with a cane. He lives in regret. Even when he starts to fall for Sarah, he doesn’t think he is good enough for her. Hugh isn’t able to sweep Sarah off her feet, literally, because he can barely walk himself. He’s the best kind of broody :).

My Sarah:

Sarah – The girl has got attitude and I loved her!!!

It’s one of those books that make you hug your kindle :).

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Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,635 followers
October 27, 2013

4 Enchanting, Delightful, Passionate Stars!

The Sum of All Kisses is the sum of all things I love in historical romance! It’s romantic, witty, passionate, charming… it’s a story that had me smiling and sighing from the very start, and kept me there right to the very end.
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...
I don’t know how else to explain it except to say there was something endearing about the gruff, bitter, Hugh Prentice. Even when he was being an utter ass, even when his self-deprecation was at its peak, I wanted to cuddle him and love him and make him all better. And even when Sarah was being a stubborn ninny, I wanted to cuddle her… okay, that’s a lie. I wanted to smack some sense into the silly chit’s head and shout, “Can’t you see he’s hurting? Can’t you see he needs you??” Thankfully, she figured that out on her own without the need of violence on my part. Close call, that.

Julia Quinn has such a gift for writing about family and close friendships. Story after story, she pulls me in, makes me care, and keeps me coming back for more.

My thanks to Avon Books and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. Truly, it was a pleasure!
Profile Image for Anne.
4,059 reviews69.5k followers
July 11, 2021
Hugh and Sarah's book is standard Julia Quinn.
It's a 3 star cute-enough regency romance but nothing super special.
I don't know what's wrong with me, but for some reason, I can't seem to stop myself from reading (listening to) all of the Julia Quinn books I can get my hands on. They aren't amazing but they're like a bag of chips that I just cannot seem to close and put away.


Hugh is mathematically gifted and socially awkward.
Sarah is overly dramatic and annoying in the way that only those people who are constantly on the verge of being outraged over something can be. You know the kind of people I'm talking about. They're so wrapped up in their narrow-eyed vision of how they think things should be that they feel justified in speaking their mind without considering anyone else's wishes.


So, years ago Hugh got drunk and called his best friend out over a card game. Neither meant to hurt the other one, but both got shot. Unfortunately, Hugh almost died and now has a fucked-up leg. Daniel (his friend), had to flee the country to avoid Hugh's batshit crazy father's assassins.
When Hugh had recovered enough, he went to great lengths to save Daniel from his father and now everything is good between them.


However, Sarah (Daniel's cousin) still hasn't forgiven Hugh for what he put her family through back in the day. They've had an awkward but ugly run-in in the past and neither likes the other one.
Annnnnd now they're stuck at a wedding together. To make matters worse, the bride (who has no idea they despise each other) wants Sarah to keep Daniel company all week long. <--because he can't get around as easily as her other guests.


The fight, they fall in love, they fiddle around a little. <--But not too much! Because this is a regency romance, you pervert. They need to be at least getting married in a few days for those sorts of shenanigans.


Overall, this is fine. Sarah's really not someone that I'd want to be friends with and Hugh's nothing to write home about. But together they make a decent couple.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
January 24, 2021
TW for discussion of abuse and kidnapping

This was SUCH a good hate to love romance with a wounded hero and it's definitely my favorite in the series! I loved Hugh so much in Daniel's book and really enjoyed seeing the duel from his perspective in the prologue. Hugh and Sarah do not get along at all, but they are forced to spend time together at Honoria's wedding. This very much centers around the wedding and they even go on a road trip (9 hour carriage ride) and that was one of my favorite scenes! Sarah's siblings were in a lot of the previous book and I just adored them and their antics. Francis was especially adorable and I loved how she wanted to be friends with Hugh.

There was a lot of discussion surrounding Hugh's injury and his frustration over not being able to feel like a man, especially when it came to protecting and caring for Sarah. I loved their conversations about Hugh's injury and how Sarah was genuinely curious and wanted Hugh to feel the most comfortable when with her. The dancing scene was just everything. *sigh* There was some danger at the end with a villainous character and I enjoyed how that was the conflict as opposed to miscommunication or some other trope. Overall, I just adored this story and really need to get this in paperback. The audiobooks for this entire series are just amazing and I highly recommend!
Profile Image for ᑭᑌᑎƳᗩ [Punya Reviews...].
874 reviews208 followers
November 6, 2013
My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn was one of my most anticipated releases this year. Now that I’ve read it, I’m heaving a sigh of pure contentment. This had a little of everything à la JQ; funny scenes, witty (even sometimes confusing) dialogues, Smythe-Smiths, Pleinsworths with a very short mention of the Bridgertons.

For those who have never read JQ before, start with the Bridgerton series because that is where the Smythe-Smiths were introduced. This is a yearly musicale of ‘legendary’ reputation with four Smithe-Smith cousins butchering Mozart enthusiastically. A musicale that has been going on for a long time and even though the ‘music’ in question is horrendous more often than not, everyone invited always attends for some odd reason. The cousins change as they marry. Married women can’t be in that musicale, only unmarried ones, in the hopes of making a good match, hence showing off their ‘talents’. Their mommas are always convinced, just as the girls, that they’re prodigies in the making! But, there would always be one unfortunate girl who is intelligent enough to know how bad they actually are and even though you’d feel for her, there’s nothing to be done as she has to go along with the flock, or so to speak.

As it happens in this series, each book starts with a gambling scene that took place about 3 or so years ago. A brawl, then a duel that changes a few lives forever. Daniel Smythe-Smith, the handsome young rake in the making and Hugh Prentice, the nerd-extraordinaire (no seriously, he’s brilliant!) who got drunk, and did all of the above because... they were drunken idiots, their friendship could take a hike! Daniel’s friend, Marcus, who had the coolest head and a maturity even at that age, tried to stop it but to no avail. Hugh, who is the second son of an Earl, is badly injured. So much so that he now can’t walk without a limp. Daniel had to flee the country because of the Earl’s deadly threats. Marcus, well, he was left to look after Daniel’s family on his request because he was rather lonely himself.

Book 1, Just Like Heaven, was about one Smythe-Smith, Honoria, Daniel’s sister who was trying to make a match but all in vain. She IS one of those girls who know how bad they are in the musicale and wants to escape the next at all cost. But somehow she’s still a spinster. Not that she’s ugly or plain or an idiot. Honoria is very smart and has that jolliness about her that everyone likes. And men certainly show interest. But for some reasons, after sometimes, they just... flee every time she tries to communicate with them. Then we find ‘the cause’, Marcus who was attracted to Honoria for a longtime but being reserve, kept his feelings to himself. Even though he convinced himself that he’s only looking after Daniel’s sister’s (alongside his family) well-being so that she makes a good match, on the inside... well, you can guess. He couldn’t let anyone come near Honoria. It was funny in an endearing way. Also loved being introduced to the secondary characters, such as Anne Wynter, the governess for the Pleinsworth girls, Sarah Pleinsworth (Honoria’s cousin) and her ever confusing bunch of sisters, Iris, another cousin, Hugh, even the little mention of Bridgertons. Daniel was not seen but at the end of the book when he returns, finally, after Hugh himself took step and reach an ‘agreement’ with his father so he leaves Daniel alone. Finally, Honoria and Marcus marry with Daniel’s blessing. But most of all, the shadow of scandal that was hanging over Honoria’s family (another reason why most men wouldn’t be interested in her) seemed gradually lifting because everyone assumed that the trouble is over.

In book 2, A Night Like This, we find Daniel in pursuit of Anne. It was fun, I loved that book. It wasn’t just a fluffy, warm read but had its own darker aspects. The day Daniel returns in the day he also sees the beautiful and graceful Anne playing the piano with the Smythe-Smith cousins and falls for her on-spot. Actually it was a love-at-first-sight-thing, which worked for me just fine! As they grew closer, we learn of Anne’s secret past and her running from it. The 4 Pleinsworth girls were there too, giving us the much needed laughter. There were some superbly laugh out loud moments, something also JQ does the best. But the ending was also gripping, with Anne’s kidnapping by someone from her past and Daniel going insane, thinking he couldn’t help her. We also learn a bit of what Hugh has agreed to keep his father’s men at bay and let Daniel live a normal life. Hugh was more than eager to start anew, so was Daniel and the strain in their relationship ends on a note of forgiveness and understanding with a desire to move on.

(a day in Sarah’s head)
“I am plagued by weddings.”

Sarah was there in all three books. She’s a vivacious thing; a bit loud and straightforward, melodramatic, given to hyperboles, fancies and dramatic sighs. She takes a little time to grow on people, not being the more easygoing type. And she hates Hugh with a passion. He’s everything mean and villainous to her for what he did to their family... her family, because she was about to make her debut the year that ‘incident’ took place. Instead, she had to flee to the country and couldn’t be seen in London for a full year! Sarah is mad because according to her, there were 14 very eligible men who got engaged and later, married that year of 1821. Even though we don’t know if she wanted to snag any of them, but hell and damnation, she couldn’t have her debut parr-tay and it was Hugh Prentice’s fault!

Ah, the good old Sarah. It might sound ridiculous at first but when you get inside her head, you feel for her and be surprised to find that she’s not as empty-headed as she gives the impression of! Sarah is as smart as the rest of them, but she’s vulnerable. For some reason, she thinks she’s not beautiful, graceful or jolly enough to grab a husband. I understood, even when she grated on my nerves, especially with her uncalled for animosity towards Hugh as they met at a house party for the upcoming nuptials of Marcus and Honoria, which were to be followed by Daniel with Anne. Hugh was invited because of Daniel. But Sarah didn’t know that and their meeting for the first time (they met before but not like this, certainly not ‘officially’) was rather... awkward with an angry Sara and a very confused (later angry) Hugh trying to deal with her accusations (I’ll leave you to imagine her ‘accusations’ but those were, indeed, confusing).

(a day in Hugh’s head)
“Hugh Prentice noticed everything. And he remembered it all, too.”

Hugh was just trying to make amends. He still feels guilty for everything that happened between him and Daniel and the lives that were affected for one drunken night. Knowing a rotten childhood because of his psycho of a father, the Earl of Ramsgate, Hugh didn’t want to ruin anymore lives. His father is very concerned about keeping his ‘noble’ bloodline alive and that is his sole reason for breathing. Now, the problem is, Hugh’s elder brother, Freddy, who is the ‘official’ heir and should also sire heirs, is gay and hence, a humongous disappointment to Ramsgate. Even though few know of Freddy’s choices, Ramsgate knows he’d never marry, so no chance of an heir. That leaves him Hugh. Now, after Hugh’s injury, which runs closely to his erm... well, let’s just say Ramsgate thinks Hugh would probably never father a child as well. But Hugh knows better. He has experienced all the signs that says he’s very much able.

And this led us to relive what Hugh went through months after months; of pain and suffering. It’s a miracle that he didn’t give into depression IMO. With a father like that (that guy is pure and simple loony, just how much you get an example later in the story) and no mother... gosh, I felt for him. It was a painful recovery; not only physically but also all the time knowing his leg would never be the same again. He’d never walk dashingly or ride a horse or dance with a graceful partner. I didn’t berate once that he felt sad that he won’t do some of those things (also sometimes, later in the story, feeling that he can’t be the sort of man Sarah needs). Post-injury, Hugh hasn’t been with a woman in the past 3 or so years. It has a lot of do with the scar which he thinks is very ugly and any woman would find it gross. But as I already mentioned, he knew his body’s reaction just fine.

Hugh only wanted a little peace of mind, which seems farfetched now that he’s meet Lady Sarah... again. It struck me, really, when he thought to himself how well he knows her voice and could recognize it anywhere. And her odd animosity towards him leaves him speechless... every time. Hugh has an ah-meh-zing brain and can do math (no matter how big the numbers) without any help. Also, his memory is very sharp. Even then, Sarah’s voice seems to stand out. So for the rest of the wedding, Hugh is determined to ignore the crazy Sarah Pleinsworth and be done with it.

But it’s easier said than done when he keeps meeting her everywhere. And even though, they rather heat it off with all sorts of wrong, one could see that Hugh and Sarah only needed the right ‘push’ to see what they can mean to each-other. At one point, they actually started having somewhat normal conversations because the Providence provided that ‘push’ in the form of that house party. :D Hugh also meets Sarah’s sisters- Elizabeth, Harriet and Frances. They’re all... endearing in their own way. Hugh is especially taken with the youngest, Frances, the one with a very deep passion for anything that spells ‘unicorn’. We all know how confusing, yet entertaining the Pleinsworth sisters can be. You start reading their dialogues and then, you just stop trying to make sense of things at all. But I guess that’s the type of effect JQ was trying to achieve and succeeded without a doubt. I distinctly remember one carriage scene where they were on their way to Daniel’s estate for his wedding. The carriage had all the Pleinsworth girls... together... speaking, among other things. Poor Hugh, he weathered quite well IMO. He rather enjoyed that ride actually, more so because Sarah was there with him.

As Sarah and Hugh started becoming friendlier, the story also started picking up its pace. I was eagerly waiting to see when/how they actually fall. There were some lovely scenes at this part of the book. One would be the scene where Hugh has this conversation with Frances on the wedding of Honoria-Marcus. He couldn’t dance like the rest, so Frances brings him a piece of cake to share with hers. Hugh was engrossed in Sarah, who was dancing with someone, feeling a little listless that he can’t be the one she’s dancing with (trust me there is a superb scene at one point where they do dance). But he didn’t have to wait to have her in his arms. I thoroughly enjoyed this transformation from haters to almost lovers on that scene at night (at Daniel’s estate) when Sarah goes out because she was feeling restless. Hugh couldn’t sleep due to his injury, but more specifically, because of his disturbingly erotic thoughts on one certain Sarah Pleinsworth. Then he sees her outside, only in her nightdress... ‘WTF?’ was Hugh’s reaction! I didn’t know what to expect next, certainly not one of the most beautiful scenes of the story; the scene where Sara and Hugh finally sort out their mutual feelings. It was marvelous... and grand, to watch Lady Sarah finally fall in love.

And I’ll quote (because it goes so beautifully with the title):

“And when he kissed her . . .
All she wanted was more.
��You are so beautiful,” he murmured, and for the first time in her life, Sarah truly believed that she was.
She touched his cheek. “So are you.”
Hugh smiled down at her, a silly half grin that told her he did not believe her for one second.”

Things heat up after that for our Nerd Extraordinaire and Miss Melodramatic; secret kisses and fondlings, stolen glances and smiles. Sisters giving unexpected privacy, when they’re not being pesky or making up illogical words such as ‘Hughnicorns’ that is! Sarah and Hugh were sure, so sure they’re going to be each-others. But then Hugh had to come clean about his crazy contract with his father, making Sarah mad. Since Hugh was pretty precious to his father because of his probability of siring an heir someday, he was able to ‘sway’ his father with threats on his own life in leaving Daniel alone. Crazy, crazy scheme! I certainly didn’t blame Sarah for being mad!

The rest was just a big, bad climax with some confusing, entertaining and sometimes maniac strings of events (thanks to Hugh’s daddy dearest). You just have to read to see what I mean by that. To me, Sarah showed her mettle when she stood up to the Earl and gave him a good bit of what-for. Oh that was F.U.N! Hugh certainly was more than proud of her. Then came the epilogue which was just sighworthy. Well, I certainly grinned like a lunatic. It was such a treat to see them finally together, letting all the bitterness go.

The next book is supposed to be of Iris’s. Though we still don’t know who will be her hero, I’m eagerly waiting for it. I just hope we don’t have a loooooooong wait ahead of us... again. 4 ‘Hughnicorns’.

(couldn’t help it, seriously. :p)

This ARC was provided to me by HarperCollins/Avon via edelweiss which didn’t influence my review and rating in any way. thankyou
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Iliada.
741 reviews195 followers
April 14, 2015
Why do people hate this book???

I truly loved it. It was a very slow-burn romance, almost excruciatingly slow, and there's nothing I love more than that in an HR. It felt like a real HR, not a contemporary in disguise. I know Julia Quinn writes those love-at-first-sight books (like book #2) as often, but IMO she's at her best when she's doing slow-burn. Maybe that's a matter of personal preference though. Readers who want action will not find it here. The book is full of dialogue and the H/h spending time together and getting to know each other. At first they were enemies, they hated each other and this didn't change overnight. I could see their relationship changing and evolving along with their feelings before my eyes as they got to know each other better and spend time together. I could see them beginning to appreciate each other, grudgingly at first, with all their heart later and eventually falling completely in love.

I loved Hugh! I loved his beautiful mind and his kind heart and his leg was just one vulnerability about him that made me feel even more drawn to him. Sarah was an interesting heroine. She was very kind, but could also be very selfish. Strangely, selfishness is not a quality that easily bothers me. Probably because I believe very few people are truly pure and completely selfless in their hearts and selfishness just makes a character feel more round and multi-layered.

Hugh's father was a bit too villainous and crazy to pass off as a real and complex character, but, on the other hand, Sarah's sisters and especially Francis, who is the most adorable little girl <3, were so wonderful and funny! I couldn't stop laughing! Especially about the unicorns. I really, really, really need Francis's story!! Please Mrs. Quinn!! Maybe you could pair her up with one of the new Bridgertons you're writing about!! Wouldn't that be great?

I don't know why people think Julia Quinn has lost her charm. I can see her talent shining brighter than ever. The whole series has been nothing but excellent. And I like that it's laugh-out-loud funny, but in a very subtle way, not, for example, like Tessa Dare's humour that feels too modern for an HR with all the pop culture references and the outlandishness.
Profile Image for Naoms.
706 reviews162 followers
September 4, 2013
Originally Posted on Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek

There is something about Julia Quinn’s writing that hits all the pleasure sensors in my brain. I laugh, cry, love and hurt with her books. She is probably my favorite living author and all I need is to see her name on the cover to grab it up. I could not wait to get my hands on THE SUM OF ALL KISSES and Ms. Quinn did not disappoint. Probably, because Julia Quinn never ever disappoints!

The story of Hugh Prentice and his duel with Daniel Smythe-Smith will never cease to bring pure drama to the pages. It will always be the dramatic, heartbreaking and defining moment of this series. A moment where two young men made a stupid mistake that will define them forever. More than define them they will always carry scars and it seems will keep paying for a youthful mistake.

Well, at least that’s what life looks like for Hugh Prentice. Daniel suffered for a long time, but now he is home, back in the bosom of his family and about to get married to the love of his life. Hugh on the other hand is broken. He has a damaged leg and a reputation for being a bit too serious. More than that, Hugh can never dance, never carry a woman in his arms and never feel like he is a complete man.

I loved this book. THE SUM OF ALL KISSES starts with the most ridiculous, melodramatic and irrationally entertaining first meet I have ever read. When Lady Sarah meets Sir Hugh, fireworks fly, words are swung like knives and feelings are hurt. And yet, I laughed. I laughed, giggled and chuckled through most of this book, but that opening is gold. Sarah’s hatred for Hugh is melodramatic, but also legitimate and it seems impossible that these two people will ever fall in love.

Then they do. They fall in love, slowly, realistically and oh so romantically. This relationship is similar to Mr. Darcy and Ms. Elizabeth. Their dislike for each other is so strong it seems that only God could change their opinion. But God wasn’t needed in this situation, just time and openness. That’s what makes these kinds of stories work so well. It quickly becomes obvious that two people are perfect and that misunderstandings could actually keep them apart. It makes you wonder about your own misunderstandings and whom your snap judgments are keeping you away from.

Julia Quinn did a wonderful job with Hugh’s injury. It’s strange to say wonderful job about something so heartbreaking, but honestly I believed it. I believed Hugh’s inner turmoil. The idea that you are alive and you should be happy to be so, but you are not whole. There are certain characteristics that society has made us believe makes us a man or a woman. For a woman it’s the ability to have children and for a man it’s virility and strength. Hugh’s injury takes some of that strength from him.

There is a moment where Sarah falls out of a carriage and Hugh does not have the ability to catch her. His absolute disappointment in himself is something so strong that I felt it in the pit of my stomach. I felt his despondency and his shame. I felt so much sorrow at the idea that he thought less of himself, because of something he could not help. Something that is not his fault.

THE SUM OF ALL KISSES is romantic, funny, heartbreaking, dramatic and charming. Like all of Julia Quinn’s books. It is packed with so much drama and entertainment it’s hard to put down. A must read.

Recommended for fans of Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas and Eloisa James.
Profile Image for Nelly S..
468 reviews90 followers
January 3, 2023
I thoroughly enjoyed this romance which was a signature mix of Julia Quinn's beautiful writing, witty banter, and layered character portrayal. Hugh Prentice is the second son of the Marquess of Ramsgate. He is extraordinarily clever with numbers and has a photographic memory--a talent that he uses to great effect to gamble and support himself. He never loses at cards. Sarah Pleinsworth is the eldest of four charming sisters. Bold, intelligent, and desperately impatient to get married, she is very loyal to family. With a flair for melodrama and sarcasm, she's the life of the party. She's also extremely close to her siblings and her cousin, Daniel Smythe-Smith. After a drunken night of revelry and gambling, Hugh challenges Daniel to a duel after losing to him in a game of cards. Hugh shoots Daniel in the shoulder and Daniel shoots him in the leg, leaving Hugh permanently lame. Daniel is forced to flee the country to France. Both their families are torn apart by the consequences of the duel.

What I loved
• The brilliantly done enemies-to-lovers trope. Sarah's and Hugh's clashes are a joy to witness.
"Regardless," he continued, "this is only the second time we have exchanged more than two sentences with each other. The first I believe you instructed me to remove the world of my presence."
Sarah winced. That had not been her finest moment.
"And then tonight..." His lips moved into a seductive smile. "Well, you did mention poison."
She leveled a flat stare in his direction.
"You should mind your tooth powder."

• The achingly beautiful portrayal of Hugh.
"Hugh would never be able to do that. Forget riding, forget dancing and hunting, and all those things he mourned since a bullet had mangled his thigh. None of those seemed to matter anymore.
He would never gather a woman in his arms and carry her away.
He had never felt like less of a man."

• Witty banter.
"I find myself curious about your fourteen men."
"They were not my fourteen men," she snapped.
"I should hope not," he murmured, then he added, "not that I would judge."
Her mouth fell open.

• Clever humor.
"I have found that happy people are dull. You two, on the other hand, looked ready to spit nails. Naturally I came right over." She looked from Hugh to Sarah and then said plainly, "Entertain me."

• Delicious sexual tension.
"He wanted to know the exact temperature of her, and then he wanted to know it again, when she was hot and flushed with desire."

• Beautiful love scenes
While the steam level is moderate, the love scenes are beautifully written. There are three sensual love scenes, but only one is full length.

Main Quibble
Sarah. I never really connected with her character. At the beginning, she came across as an OTT unwed lady of the ton obsessed with getting married. She was funny, witty, melodramatic but without much depth. It's only as she gets to know Hugh better that we see a more nuanced side to her--more empathetic and reflective. This was a case where the hero really overshadowed the heroine; he was such a complex, compelling and tragic character but he didn't let his challenges define him.
Profile Image for Estíbaliz Montero Iniesta.
Author 38 books1,016 followers
November 10, 2021
Maravilloso. He estado pocha todo el día y al final me he rendido, me he puesto a leer y he dejado que Julia Quinn me hiciera olvidarme se todo🥰. Por otro lado, me he acabado el libro en un día y ya es uno menos de Julia que leer😢. Y doy gracias a los dioses de que me haya encantado este libro, que después del chasco que me llevé con el anterior de las Smythe-Smith tenía un pelín de miedo.

Pero era un miedo injustificado. Aquí he recuperado todo lo que me gusta de Julia Quinn: es una historia ligera y entretenida con mucho humor y una pareja con una dinámica enemies to lovers. Chef's kiss.

El personaje de Hugh ya me llamó la atención en el libro anterior, tiene una historia muy curiosa detrás y me ha gustado mucho ver su desarrollo en este libro. Como sucede a menudo con los personajes masculinos que están todo el día de morros y se aíslan mucho, tiene un lado suave y cariñoso que al final te derrite.
Y Sarah es una reina de armas tomar. Es cierto que su motivo de enfado con Hugh al principio del libro no es muy racional, pero bueno. De ella también me ha gustado mucho su evolución y el hecho de que al final es ella la heroína del libro que salva la situación.

Y sobre el final, me ha gustado que el mayor conflicto al final no fuera por falta de comunicación o ocultar la verdad al otro, etc. Ese recurso ya se utiliza bastante y no es mi favorito, así que me ha gustado ver un cambio en este libro a ese respecto.

También me ha gustado todo lo que tiene que ver con la lesión de Hugh, cómo se siente él al respecto, cómo intenta entenderlo ella y ayudar en todo lo que pueda a que él esté cómodo, etc.

En conjunto, entre los libros de Julia es un soplo de aire fresco en ciertos aspectos, pero sin perder nada de la esencia que caracteriza sus historias. Muy recomendable.
Profile Image for ♥ℳelody.
631 reviews658 followers
December 27, 2018
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So I went from hating the heroine Sarah to liking her once she put her dramatic sighs and high handed judgmental attitude away. Her and Hugh were really sweet together once they realized they were crazy for each other...but that lasted like a minute. Everything just fell apart right after when the silly melodrama with Hugh's father got in the way (tying your grown ass son to a bed? Really?). I thought Hugh's backstory was interesting and heartbreaking but I think Quinn went to extremes to make his villainous father unhinged and disgusting. I'm not a prude by any means when it comes to reading tastes but I need good motivation behind why a bad character does what he does, what drives him. Some of the things Hugh's father did were a little all over the place that it left me feeling...confused? I don't know, or maybe it was the fact that some of his uh....vices weren't explained clear enough. The hero would explain *just enough* to leave readers to put 2 and 2 together but it did not add up to 4 in my head. His father likes rough sex, he man-handled and possibly beat his wife in bed, he's clearly a horndog. But the things he did to Hugh's older brother Freddie when they were younger just left me going huh? cause it made no sense. Their father clearly hates both his sons yet he went to such above and beyond extremes to try and get them to get married and have an heir to carry the family name. His hellbent fury and revenge against Daniel for ruining Hugh's life was a little extreme and convoluted to me given how little he thought of his own family and again, how he treated his own off-springs. Did Julia forget this? I don't know, something just wasn't clicking for me with this whole conflict. And doing this all for the family title didn't jive with me. The villain's motivations for giving Hugh and his loved ones such grief was contrived and all over the place. And don't get me started on the ludicrous deal Hugh makes with his father to leave Daniel alone. Are you kidding me?? And Sarah's reaction to it was so dramatic and OTT. He made this deal way before he even met her, so I didn't understand her I want to die! betrayed reaction. Everyone acted like it was a done deal and Daniel's offended angry reaction to finding Sarah with Hugh didn't make sense and was just unnecessary.

The love story, whatever there was, was nice but it fell short for me, not enough alone time for these two. I loved the ending but I wanted more. Too much time was spent on back and forth repetitive flashbacks of how the h/hr met (from BOTH POVs), Sarah and Hugh hissing at each other, her sisters and cousins getting in the way and the stupid vendetta with his father. And the author's habit of rambling inner monologues got tedious fast. The number of things our heroine feels necessary to point out, and emphasize and break down further (with parenthesis) was so pointless and annoying. What's with all the parenthesis usage? It's nearly on every page and adds nothing to the dialogue. It only makes things more long winded. Is this a new thing with JQ? I can't stand it. Her characters seem to love to go off on tangents while talking with others and speaking internally as well. It just doesn't work and got annoying fast.

Bottom line:
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I really feel JQ's only successful work is the Bridgerton series. *ducks head* Everything outside of that I have struggled to enjoy and have been complete misses for me. Even her backlist works haven't worked for me (with the exception of Minx) the OTT silly dramatic characters with never ending conversations where everyone interrupts each other is not my idea of witty. I thought it was just a writing quirk of hers she phased out...I guess not. It was definitely more pronounced here with Sarah's squabbling nosy younger sisters. Forgive me but I did not find the endless arguing, shrieking and bantering cute but rather annoying. And Sarah's behavior in the beginning of this is like nails on a chalkboard and unforgivable. Nobody can be that dramatically whiny & judgmental and call themselves "sensible" and "easy to relate to". Seriously? lol That's a special kind of self-absorbed. SMH. I honestly feel this whole Smythe-Smith spin off series is rather pointless & entirely tone-deaf (in more ways than one). It focuses on a family of girls who can't play their instruments but nobody has the heart to tell them they suck. I mean.....really?? How is this cute? Or funny? I'm not laughing here. The overall humor falls so flat. Instead of quirky and charming it's rather insufferable. I honestly don't get the appeal or purpose behind this other than "they know the Bridgertons" and milking that angle for all it's worth. It's like that one annoying relative or acquaintance who shows up everywhere and never goes away. Half the time I kept rooting for Sarah or Iris to yank that damn violin out of Daisy's hand and throw it out the window and tell her to just SHADDUP! Humoring senseless annoying characters is not my idea of witty at all. Iris did intrigue me a little, her blunt honesty and lack of drama for one lol but I honestly don't know if I have enough interest or patience to sit through another Smythe-Smith rambling monologue. And given the overwhelming reaction to Book 4, I think I'll pass.
Profile Image for Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*.
425 reviews207 followers
November 15, 2013
**4.5 Captivating Stars**

THE SUM OF ALL KISSES, the third book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet series, was just what I needed after the darkness and intensity of my last book. I know that Julia Quinn will captivate me with the romance, charm and humour of her stories.

Hugh is definitely the most tormented of the heroes in this series Even though he did everything in his power to make things right after the reckless, drunken duel, he is still filled with overwhelming guilt. His friend Daniel might have forgiven him but it seems he can’t forgive himself. He seems a lonely figure… constantly in pain from his lameness and believing it makes him less of a man. I think that’s why he stole a piece of my heart and the fact that he is an unconventional hero…with his amazing memory and mathematical genius.

Both he and Sarah have preconceived ideas about each other. Hugh can’t stand Sarah’s tendency to overdramatize …

Sarah Pleinsworth was one of those dramatic females given to hyperbole and grand announcements.

and Sarah hates Hugh for causing her family so much pain and hurt…

“They are my family,” she said in a choked voice, “and you have hurt them beyond repair. For that, I can never forgive you.”

So watching their feelings gradually change and evolve as they learn more about each other was so heart-warming. There are many delightful scenes but I absolutely love this one…for me it is gloriously romantic!

It was the strangest, most awkward waltz imaginable. Instead of a clasped pair of hands, elegantly arched before them, they both put their weight on the cane. Not too heavily; they didn’t need that much support, not while they had each other. He hummed in three-quarter time, and he led with light pressure on her back, moving the cane whenever it was time to turn.
He had not danced in nearly four years. He had not felt music flow through his body, nor savored the warmth of a woman’s hand in his. But tonight … It was magical, almost spiritual, and he knew that there was no way he could ever thank her for this moment, for restoring a piece of his soul.

Another memorable scene, but for very different reasons, is where Sarah massages Hugh’s leg and he’s having all sorts of randy thoughts! I’ll leave you to read that one!!

Ms Quinn always imbues her stories with a strong sense of family and the scenes between Sarah and her younger sisters are a sheer delight. I love Hugh’s reaction to their conversations…

Hugh could only stare. There appeared to be sixteen different conversations going on at once. With only three participants.

The youngest sister, Frances steals every scene she’s in…she’s so adorable.

The least said about Hugh’s father the better, other than to say, when he is described as a rat bastard, it is definitely no exaggeration!

My only criticism is that the drama towards the end of the book, involving Hugh’s father, seemed excessive but it certainly didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the book.

THE SUM OF ALL KISSES is a charming romance with loveable characters, sparkling dialogue and delightful touches of humour.


The Smythe-Smith series to date (click on cover for more information):

Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1) by Julia Quinn A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet #2) by Julia Quinn The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #3) by Julia Quinn
Profile Image for Louisa.
497 reviews365 followers
November 10, 2013

Julia Quinn is the very definition of hit-or-miss to me. I love her Bridgerton series and some of her older standalones. I really liked the first book of this series. At the same time, I loathed her Wyndham series and several of her other standalones. I hesitate to say that she's lost her charm since she's written some HRs I've quite liked recently, but not as many as I would've wanted.

There's a LOT of suspension of belief here. HRs are usually pretty ridiculous (hey, I read them when I don't want to tax my brain) but this one takes it to another level. The whole premise of the series is that Hugh Prentice, the hero, accuses Daniel Smythe-Smith of cheating at cards, and gets shot in the thigh by Daniel during their duel the next morning. Hugh's father is a ~~buttload of loony~~ and chases Daniel off to Italy while sending assassins after him. Why? Because even though Hugh's dad has an heir, he thinks of Hugh as the better one and thinks Daniel's robbed Hugh of the chance to sire more heirs to keep the title in the family.

What follows is sheer strangeness.

The romance isn't particularly well-done. Extremely rushed. Hugh and Sarah hate each other from the beginning. The next second he's fantasising about her lips and she's wondering how his green eyes got so ~~pretty~~. I didn't believe it at all.

Yeah, don't bother with this. I just hope the next book Quinn writes doesn't make me want to slam my head against a wall multiple times.
Profile Image for Sharon.
506 reviews272 followers
January 1, 2018
3 good ones in a row! I love when a series is consistently good throughout.

Here are some of my thoughts in no particular order:
• Love-hate relationship. Sarah and Hugh are so cute. I love the nonstop bantering, and how they increasingly started admiring each other and enjoying each other’s company.
• Hugh: A solid, noble guy. He is so stiff and grumpy in the beginning, but he turns out to be rather sweet later on.
• Sarah: Funny, argumentative. I usually don’t like argumentative, hot-blooded characters, but she does it in a way where it makes sense to me. She never gets annoying. I get why she says certain things, and I end up appreciating that she is vocal about her feelings.
• I love the strong family theme. Seeing how much Sarah cares about her imperfect, crazy family is sweet.
• Seeing the old couples from the previous books – aw.
• I think I would have liked to see a bit more of something towards the end. Overall, there is a good vibe and flow throughout the book during the development of the relationship, but by the end, I feel like there should have been something more, maybe another scene, maybe another plotline, idk.

Overall, this is a great read. I’m giving this 3.5 stars (maybe 4).

Things that you might want to know (WARNING: Spoilers below)
Happy/satisfying ending?
Love triangle? Cheating? Angst level? Other things to note?
Favorite scenes?
What age level would be appropriate?
So far, a very amusing and funny series. Hoping this one will be just as good as the others. 🤔🤔
Profile Image for Drache.... (Angelika) .
957 reviews26 followers
July 16, 2023
reread 07/2023
4 stars.
I loved Sarah and Hugh, their banter, and every scene with Sarah's sisters.
The plot was quite mad and OTT, even ridiculous toward the end.
But entertaining nevertheless (as I was able to suspend some disbelieves).
Loved it. The slow development from enemies to friends to lovers was sweet and beautiful. I adored the scenes with Sarah's sisters. 5 stars.
Profile Image for Becky (romantic_pursuing_feels).
806 reviews684 followers
November 21, 2021
Edit to update steam stats (11/20/21):
Locations of kisses/intimate scenes

Book takes place in 1824

Original review 12/18/2018 (Sorry everyone, I was a mean reviewer back then :P ):
This book was so utterly boring and unlikeable to me. Possibly it would have had a better chance if I had read all the books relating to this. Maybe.

What actually happened:
I gave up and set the book nicely down on the table after 180 long pages of basically...nothing. No tension, no sparks, no kisses. High and Sarah hate enough other and have nasty interactions. Then miraculously they just fall for each other. Why? Who knows. I don’t. If I was being nagged to death by a harpy I wouldn’t find her lips enticing. If I was yelled at and insulted by a limping math genius I wouldn’t be awaiting his smile. I love the enemies to lovers trope, but it has to be done right. I need to see, feel and understand the shift in feelings. And there better be sparks! I was done.

But, but I hadn’t even read a kiss yet! What if it changes everything??? I pick the book back up and skimfor something interesting like first kiss. Not finding anything and set it back down. Pick up again determined to find it. Read first kiss, which is decent, then read heroine loves hero.

Heroine LOVES the hero? After one kiss and barely any interaction that wasn’t mean? I felt like it was pity love. Or guilt love. She started to see Hugh as a person and realized that he suffered too and maybe her being extremely annoying her entire life wasn’t fun for him.

Husband, watching me, says, “So are you actually reading that book or just flipping the pa-“ chucks book across living room. *Calmly drinks wine*. “-err okay I see that one is not a winner...”

The end.
Profile Image for PlotTrysts.
647 reviews215 followers
March 21, 2022
We had mixed opinions on this book as a whole, but one thing we agreed on? We pretty much loved the couple. Lady Sarah Pleinsworth is a witty, fun, life-of-the-party kind of girl, while Lord Hugh Prentice is a socially awkward, in-his-own-head, sexy-limp kind of guy. Plus they hate each other.⁠

When they must endure two weeks of forced wedding proximity, they have to reevaluate the basis of their enmity. Throw in a subtle critique of toxic masculinity, some precocious kids, a dance by moonlight, and a third-act trip to What-the-Heck-Just-Happened and you've got one of the best entries in the series.⁠

And that third-act trip is where our disagreement on this book arises. Meg was all-in and didn't care how wild and wacky things got, while Laine thought that the sudden escalation was too much for a low-key love story. All in all, though, we thought that this pairing was perfect!

Meg's 47-word summary: Do weddings bring people together? They do in Smythe-Smith land! Sarah’s forced to hang out with her sworn enemy, Hugh, who puts up with it because “getting along” is the whole reason he’s attending. A sprained ankle and several dramatic revelations later - and they’re in bed together.⁠

Laine's 47-word summary: Sarah's the only one left holding a grudge against the man whose duel ran her cousin out of the country - and he reciprocates, but wedding contrivance results in ... affection? and a sobbing fight over a suicide pact and kidnapping/forced ruination scheme and the most boring fingering ever. ⁠

Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
971 reviews142 followers
June 12, 2020

Y'all are probably sick of all my 5 star reviews but this was another story I loved. And made for a wonderful addition to this series!

The Sum of All Kisses was such a delight to listen too. I'm a HUGE fan of Rosalyn Landor. She is fabulous!

Lady Sarah Pleinsworth and Hugh Prentice were fabulous. Their story was one of enemies to lovers. It was filled with sarcastic banter, humor (thanks partly to Harriet and her play writing) and of course historical lusting!

I enjoyed having Daniel around as well as Lady Honoria! I'm looking forward to the next book too!

Profile Image for Pepa.
949 reviews240 followers
December 18, 2014
En realidad 3.5

Un libro bastante mejor que el anterior. Sigue totalmente la línea de las novelas de la autora y vuelve recurrir a un esquema que a ella le funciona muy bien. Dos personas que parten de una aversión mutua pero que el roce "forzoso" provocará que a medida que se van conociendo realmente surgirá entre ellos sentimientos muy distintos. Una historia ligera, con algunas escenas que resultan divertidas y unos diálogos que son el punto fuerte.
Si os gusta esta autora, la historia os gustará, quizás no llega a la altura de sus mejores novelas, creo que es bastante superior a sus últimas publicaciones
Muy entretenida, con algunos momentos muy buenos... destado la escena del carruaje y unos buenos diálogos. Ha conseguido una historia bastante tierna con unos personajes con bastante fuerza
Profile Image for Addie.
511 reviews251 followers
June 10, 2018
I am re-reading all my 5 star rated romance novels. There are 60 on my shelf. This is book 15.

(Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Scarred hero (limp)

This is how my 15th re-read held up.


Oof. It dropped from a 5 to 2. And it’s Julia Quinn. ☹

“You don’t like me,” she said.
“Not really, no.” He probably should have lied, but somehow it seemed that anything less than the truth would have been even more insulting.
“And I don’t like you.”
“No,” he said mildly, “I didn’t think you did.”


Quick plot: In a moment shrouded in alcohol and misunderstandings, Hugh Prentice made a foolish mistake to challenge his friend, Daniel, to a duel, which resulted in him wounding said friend in the shoulder. Startled, Daniel wounded Hugh’s leg, leaving him with a limp and a cane. Sarah, Daniel’s cousin, has never forgiven Hugh for all it caused, and when a few years later, forced into proximity during two weddings/house parties, Sarah is not shy about letting her feelings known.


What really rubbed me the wrong way, was how strongly Sarah judged Hugh for what happened. He did something foolish (hello youth + alcohol), he has made amends, and Daniel has not only forgiven but also never blamed Hugh.

- What did bother him, however, was being thought a villain. That someone might think he’d wanted to kill Daniel Smythe-Smith, or that he’d rejoiced when he’d been forced to leave the country . . . This, Hugh could not bear.

Don’t forget, Hugh was also a victim!

- “You do not know me,” he bit off. “You do not know what I think or what I feel or what measure of hell I visit each and every day of my life. And the next time you feel so wronged—you, who do not even bear the same surname as Lord Winstead—you would do well to remember that one of the lives I have ruined is my own.”

(I feel ya Hugh)

While this goes on we also learn that Sarah might not even have the right to sit so comfortably upon her high horse.

- “Oh, please,” Iris said, in that scornful way one could adopt only with family and still hope to be on speaking terms the next day, “you are the last person who can claim to keep all of her obligations.”

- “Frances, you are eleven,” Sarah said sharply. “You are hardly able to judge a man’s character.”
Frances’s eyes slitted. “I can judge yours.”


No one feels the awkwardness of being surrounded by so much of Daniel’s friend and family as Hugh. He is socially awkward, far too intelligent, and can’t handle the banality of the ton.


Sarah very reluctantly is tasked to “babysit” Hugh during the two house parties they attend.

- Yes, he was rather nice to look at, and yes, he was (she was told) exceptionally intelligent, but by God, the man was like fingernails on slate.

- “Just be your usual charming self,” she said, poking her face back in the room for one last second. “He will love you.”
“God forbid.”
“He works in strange ways . . .”
“Not that strange.”
“Methinks the lady—”
“Don’t say it,” Sarah cut in.

Their mutual animosity leaves no room for polite conversation, which leads to delicious dialogue.

- She leaned forward. “It is a testament to my love for my cousin that I have not found some way to poison your tooth powder.”

- “Is something wrong, Lady Sarah?” Lord Hugh inquired.
“No,” she replied. Too quickly.
“You look agitated.”
“I’m not.”
“Of course,” he murmured.
“I’m—” She cut herself off, then said disgruntledly, “Well, now I am.”
“And here I hadn’t even been trying,” he said.

- “I am trying to be a better person,” she finally said. “I do not wish you pain.”
His brows rose. This was not the Sarah Pleinsworth with whom he was familiar.
“But I don’t like you,” she suddenly blurted.
Ah. There she was.

- “I believe you are aware that I have been tasked with your welfare.”
“You should really stop flattering me, Lady Sarah. It will go to my head.”


Intense dislike turns into respect, which turns to like.

- “I don’t like that word, though,” she said.
His brows rose.
“Lame.” She scrunched her nose. “It makes you sound like a horse.”
“Have you an alternative?”
“No. But it’s not my job to solve the world’s problems, merely to state them.”
He stared at her.
“I jest.”

- “Sarah.”
“How do you make my name sound like such a threat?”
“It doesn’t really matter if it sounds like a threat,” he said. “It only matters if you think it sounds like a threat.”
Her eyes grew wide, and she burst into laughter.

- He defended young girls and unicorns. He waltzed with a cane. He did not deserve to have his life defined by a single mistake.


Then like gave me a whiplash when it suddenly turned to love.

- Softly, he kissed her lips. Then her nose, then each of her eyes in turn. It was bursting out of him that he was falling in love with her, but he had never been a man to speak of his feelings, and the words choked in his throat.


But in a weird twist of events, that I am not sure I quite understood why is so dramatic as it is made out to be, causes Sarah to suddenly question her feelings.

- I thought I loved him,” Sarah said in a small voice.
“I don’t know if I still do.”


Frankly, I did not like Sarah very much, and I am not even sure why her and Hugh fall for each other.

Also, there is very little smexy times in this book. It’s well over 60% before there is a kiss, and some groping. And no actual sex until 93%!!


And by that time, I rushed through it, as I was not at all invested.


It’s with a heavy heart I downgrade my rating from 5 to 2 stars

Profile Image for Ginger.
787 reviews366 followers
June 9, 2018
The Sum of All Kisses was good! It's not amazing but it's definitely "middle of the road" for a historical romance. I've read other Julia Quinn books in the past and this is typical of her writing.
Decent writing, characters and some witty dialogue. So not much new with this addition but it's nice to go to something familiar and solid at times.

I read this as a stand alone and it worked. I don't think you have to read the other books in the series to enjoy this one. There's obviously reoccurring characters in this book from previous books so starting from the beginning is also a good option. That's if the reader wants to commit to the whole series.

Lady Sarah Pleinsworth was a good character to cheer for and I loved her attitude in most situations. I enjoyed Hugh Prentice more though. He had more depth put into his character, into his family life and how it shaped him as a person.

If you like historical romance, this is a good one to get to one day!
Profile Image for WhiskeyintheJar.
1,317 reviews539 followers
November 1, 2013
Ugh I so excited for this series and am trying to desperately like it but all the books are turning out to be boring. This one was no different.

Regency, someone walked with a limp, old duel issues, daddy issues, and I hate you! BUT wait, you're starting to turn me on. Fin.

Will I read the next book in the series? Yes. I am I happy about it? No.

Julia Quinn is really resting on her laurels with me.
Profile Image for Atrapada.
495 reviews26 followers
October 29, 2021
Una lectura de romance de esas que te hacen leer sin parar, un romance con una base algo tormentosa que poco a poco irá evolucionando y dando paso a algo realmente adorable, una historia en la que el arrepentimiento y perdón jugarán papeles protagonistas, sin duda Sarah y Hugh estaban destinados a estar juntos.
Reseña completa: https://atrapadaenunashojasdepapel.bl...
Profile Image for Mariana.
691 reviews75 followers
June 19, 2023
I love this quartet of books even though I read them all out of order. They are funny and sweet. This was probably the least humorous but my second favorite behind Just Like Heaven. I do have a predisposition to fall in love with scarred heros though.
Profile Image for Patry Fernandez.
472 reviews234 followers
June 25, 2019
MARAVILLOSO. Leer a Julia siempre me saca de cualquier bajón... y creo que lo que mas necesitaba ahora era distraerme. Y como siempre, sus historias me enamoran y me hacen disfrutar.

No le doy las 5, pero casi... 4,5*
Profile Image for Cami L. González.
1,157 reviews396 followers
February 20, 2022
El segundo libro me aburrió mucho, por suerte disfruté enormemente este. Hugh fue el personaje más interesante hasta la fecha y me encantó que fuera el protagonista aquí. Además, soy fan del enemies to lovers y si bien aquí siempre tuvo casi un tono más dulce, lo pasé muy bien.

Creo que tiendo a disfrutar mucho más los inicios de los libros de Julia que el cómo los cierra. Este, al igual que el segundo, estaba lleno de drama y secuestros y así. Lo peor de todo es era por completo innecesario, entiendo que estos libros no suelen tener tramas complejas, y así me gustan. Sin embargo, dentro de todo espero que sean coherentes, pero acá todos querían lo mismo y, por algún motivo, terminó sucediendo de la forma más dramática posible.

Aún con eso, de verdad lo pasé muy bien. Me lo leí de un tirón y me encantó el personaje de Hugh y su relación con Sarah. Como siempre, también las hermanas de esta fueron ese aporte caótico y divertido al libro.
Profile Image for Neus Gutiérrez.
1,011 reviews556 followers
February 27, 2020
Qué bonito es este libro.
De verdad que Julia Quinn escribe maravillosamente y todas sus obras me han gustado, en menor o mayor término, pero es que este libro es tan bonito.

Reconozco que tengo cierto amor y predilección hacia Hugh. Desde el inicio de la saga me parece un personaje genial y no puedo negar mi favoritismo. Es de esos lores inteligentes y buenos, que la vida les ha dado una infancia funesta y un accidente que los ha marcado. Nadie lamenta más que él lo que ocurrió con Daniel, y eso lo hace aún más maravilloso.
Tiene una manera de ser que te atrapa, y su pierna es ese detalle que lo hace más humano. Los momentos en que habla con Frances y se comporta con tanta tracia con las hernanas, te dan esa perspectiva de la clase de persona que es.

Si bien es verdad que Sarah al principio te parece bastante egpista y simplona, conad hojas te das cuenta que tras todo eso es una gran mujer. Es verdad que tiene miedos y la sociedad la empuja a querer casarse y ser reconocida, pero por encima de todo es leal a su familia y desea que sean felices incluso con Hugh, por el que siente cierto rechazo, odia que sienta dolor y que sufra.

Su amor, aunque rápido en cuanto a días, viene desde lejos por la forma en que se encuentran y se encaran mutuamente. Son francos y directos, y como no, honoria los empareja muy sutilmente. Hay complicidad. Hay mucha conversación. Miradas y conforme pasan los días también pasión.
Es cierto que quizá ese final no sea mi preferido, pero tienr sentido con la historia y adoro que sea Sarah la que ponga final a esa situación.

Una maravilla de historia.
Siempre es un placer leer a esta autora.
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