The Formula of a Good Romance in ‘The Sum of All Kisses’

15702268The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
Avon, October 29, 2013, (Historical Romance)*

My Rating: Outstanding adventure

Lady Sarah Pleinsworth is an outspoken and highly dramatic young lady. Hugh Prentice is a logical and careful thinking, not to mention a mathematical genius. The Sum of All Kisses is the story of how a drama queen tempts the nerd, and it was fantastic!

Lady Sarah is desperate to get married. Not only has her best friend just been married, but only through marriage or death can she escape playing in the Smythe-Smith Quartet. At her friend and cousin’s weddings, Sarah is forced into close contact with her worst enemy, Hugh, and she makes it clear that she’s not happy about it. Likewise, Hugh is also not thrilled about being paired with Sarah. Sarah has made it very clear that she dislikes Hugh and although Hugh is not really sure why she dislikes him so, he returns the favour, since he disapproves of her hyperbolic ways. However, when Sarah twists her ankle and is unable to participate in the many activities at her cousin’s wedding, she spends more time with Hugh and learns that there is more to the silent and frowning man than meets the eye.

I have been anxiously awaiting this one since I knew the next book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet series would be about Sarah and Hugh. I found Sarah to be an entertaining character in the snippets we got of her in the first two books in the series, and I was not disappointed by her in The Sum of All Kisses. Sarah and Hugh’s conversations were delightful, and I liked the fact that Sarah dramatized everything. She blamed Hugh for her marriage-less state, which took talent, if you ask me. Her outrageous statements were as entertaining as Hugh’s reaction to them. As for Hugh, he was a more serious character, but he was the perfect balance to Sarah’s exuberance.

Despite how much I enjoyed Sarah and Hugh, the real stars of The Sum of All Kisses are Sarah’s sisters, Harriet, Elizabeth and Frances. These girls were an absolute hoot, especially Frances. Frances was obsessed with unicorns, to the point that she made Harriet include one in her play. It was completely ridiculous but they were a great addition to the novel. I think that Quinn writes fantastic child characters in all of her books that I have read up to this point and they always seem to add a lot to the story; The Sum of All Kisses was no exception.

Overall, The Sum of All Kisses was filled with Quinn’s characteristic wit and fun. The only thing I would have wished for was a better resolution of the issue of Hugh’s father. Hugh’s dad was a twisted villain and I really wished that Sarah and Hugh could have been rid of him because you’re left with the feeling that he could interfere down the road and disrupt their happily ever after. But, I will choose to believe that Sarah and Hugh will be able to overcome any future manipulations since Sarah was able to deal with Hugh’s father so swiftly when needed (and that scene was awesome!).

The Sum of All Kisses was a fantastic and fun romance romp and I think Quinn’s fans with be happy with this one.

*Review copy provided by Edelweiss.

Read-Alikes:

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2)A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2)Her Sudden Groom (The Grooms, #1)What the Duke Desires  (The Duke's Men, #1)

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: Here we’ve got to smarty-pants leads, and like Hugh, Cross has a somewhat checkered past.

A Week to be Wicked: Sarah and Hugh in reverse! Minerva is the scholar this time round, and Colin is the one with all the humour and wit.

Her Sudden Groom: Another scholarly hero; however, in this tale he’s much more relationship-challenged than Hugh.

What the Duke Desires: Probably the closest match to Hugh and Sarah, Max is straitlaced and isn’t fond of Lisette’s outspoken ways, but when forced to spend time together they realize first impressions aren’t everything.

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