Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tasty Book Tours Book Review: The Sum Of All Kisses

The Sum of All Kisses
By: Julia Quinn

Hugh Prentice has never liked Lady Sarah Pleinsworth, and his opinion is confirmed when he overhears her yammering on about how she must get married this season or she will simply die. He’s never had patience for dramatic females, and the words shy and retiring have never been in Sarah’s vocabulary. Besides, even if he did grow to enjoy her company, it wouldn’t matter. A reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now, unable to run, ride, or even waltz, he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought three years earlier, the one that forced her cousin into exile, nearly destroying 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 stand.

But when the pair is forced to spend a week in close company they discover that opinions--even those firmest held--can, in fact, be altered. And when a kiss leads to two, three and four the mathematician may lose count and the miss may, for the first time, find herself speechless. 


Hugh Prentice was strong on the inside, where it truly counted. He’d have to be, to come back from such an injury.
                She swallowed, her eyes finding focus somewhere across the room even as she continued in step next to him. She felt unsettled, as if the floor had suddenly dropped an inch to the right, or the air had gone thin. She had spent the last few years detesting this man, and while this anger had not consumed her, it had, in some small way, defined her.
                Lord Hugh Prentice had been her excuse. He had been her constant. When the world tipped and changed around her, he had remained her steady object of disgust. He was cold, he was heartless, he was without conscience. He had ruined her cousin’s life and never apologized for it. He was horrible in a way that meant nothing else in life could ever be that bad.
                And now she had found something within him to admire? That was unlike her. Honoria was the one who found the good in people; Sarah held the grudge.
                And she did not change her mind.
                Except, apparently, when she did.
                “Will you dance to your heart’s content once I’ve left?” Lord Hugh suddenly asked.
                Sarah started, so lost in the tumult of her thoughts that his voice hit too-loudly at her ears. “I hadn’t thought about it, honestly,” she said.
                “You should,” he said quietly. “You’re a lovely dancer.”
                Her lips parted in surprise.
                “Yes, Lady Sarah,” he said, “that was a compliment.”
                “I hardly know what to do with it.”
                “I’d recommend accepting it gracefully.”
                “And do you base this upon personal experience?”
                “Certainly not. I almost never accept compliments with grace.”
                She looked up at him, expecting to see a sly look, maybe even a mischievous one, but his face remained as impassive as ever. He wasn’t even looking at her.
                “You’re a very odd man, Lord Hugh Prentice,” she said quietly.
                “I know,” he said, and they steered around Sarah’s enormous great uncle (and his remarkably tall wife) to reach the ballroom door. Before they could make their escape, however, they were intercepted by Honoria, who was still radiating such happiness Sarah thought her cheeks must ache from smiling. Frances was standing at her side, holding her hand and basking in the bridal glow.
                “You’re not leaving so soon!” Honoria exclaimed.
                And then, just to prove that it was impossible to make an unnoticed exit in a room full of Smythe-Smiths, Iris suddenly materialized on Honoria’s other side, flushed and out of breath from the Scottish reel that had just ended.
                “Sarah,” Iris said with a tipsy giggle. “And Lord Hugh. Together. Again.”
                “Still,” Hugh corrected, much to Sarah’s mortification. He gave Iris a polite bow, then turned to Honoria and said, “It has been a delightful wedding, Lady Chatteris, but I must go to my room for a rest.”
                “And I must accompany him,” Sarah announced.
                Iris snorted a laugh.
                “Not to his room,” she said quickly. Good Lord. “Just to the stairs. Or maybe—” Did he need help on the stairs? Was she supposed to offer it? “Er, up the stairs, if you—”

                “As far as you wish to take me,” he said, his benevolent statement clearly meant to tease.

Buy Links

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/10/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for-sum.html

Review: There are certain authors that you can guarantee that you'll enjoy reading no matter what. Julia Quinn is one of those writers. She creates characters you love because they aren't perfect and that's what you have here. Sarah Pleinsworth is often annoying, but not in that, "I want to club her in the head kind of way" but more in the "she's your best friend and she's always thinking of herself" kind of way. Hugh is just so marvelously strange, from the numbers he has running in his head at all times to the fact he called out a good friend for cheating at cards and ended up nearly dying as a result.


If you don't fall in love with Hugh, there is something wrong with you. I love how he and Sarah pick at each other, driving the other to distraction and falling hopelessly in love at the same time.

There is a scene at a wedding party where Sarah who has sprained an ankle falling from a carriage dances with her. Both are handicapped at the time and the scene is so beautiful and touching and just full of Awwws.

But there's more than just awwws between Sarah and Hugh, there's the whole Smyth-Smiths/Pleinsworth clan. Hugh and Sarah's sister Frances produced the most awwws especially when unicorns were being discussed.

I loved how noble Hugh was and how caring he was, even after he screwed up. (And with a family like his, it is no wonder he's a little messed up) His father was and is abusive. The lengths of that man's depravity really know no bounds.

My only gripe is the ending was a bit drawn out, but that is such a minor thing when the rest of the book is pure perfection. Any fan of regency romance should grab this book and free up and afternoon to read it.

 Rating: 5 flowers

Author Info
#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and in 2001 she did so in grand fashion, appearing on the game show The Weakest Link and walking away with 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. Ms. Quinn is one of only fifteen members of Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame, her books have been translated into 26 languages, and she currently lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.

Author Links

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Lover Of Romance said...

I just loved this one!!! There has never been a book from Quinn that I didn't love. I totally agree with you on the characters, you can't help but love em'. Enjoyed the excerpt, made me want to read this one again.

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