Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Edelweiss
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 thoroughly enjoyed The Sum of All Kisses, the romance and hate to love premise with all the angst was just what I was looking for. There is a scared hero with a limp who does not feel worthy of love and a heroine with a bit of a dramatic flair, they play off each other to make this read so much fun.
Several years ago a duel between Hugh Prentice and Daniel Smythe-Smith, the Earl of Winstead caused repercussions for years to come, nothing was supposed to happen, shots were supposed to go wild without hitting anyone, but Hugh accidentally hit Daniel in the shoulder and Daniel shot Huge in the leg, a leg that healed poorly and he now uses a cane whenever he walks.
Hugh’s father Lord Ramsgate never forgave Daniel and was forever after Daniel even though Hugh told him to stop. Hugh eventually makes a deal with his father to have him back off and let Daniel return home. Now Daniel is happily about to get married.
Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has had three unsuccessful seasons and her first season was interrupted because of the duel, and she has always blamed Hugh. She is so mad at him that she is unsure of how to stay away from him during the two weddings they both will be attending. Unfortunately her cousin Honoria, one of the brides, has asked her to keep Hugh company – something she is dreading. I will have to say that I loved whenever the two got together, the banter was amazing and there were several moments that I found myself laughing. Of course as they spend time together, they realize the attraction is beyond denying, even when decisions are forced upon them.
This is my first Julia Quinn book, but it will not be my last, given time I would love to read the previous two books in the series and then of course her back list. I really like the author’s voice, humor, emotion and of course romance are prevalent in her story and I just love Hugh and Sarah together. I really like Hugh, I have a soft spot for the tortured hero and especially those that are so intelligent that they are a bit socially awkward. Hugh is a math genius and along with his limp he keeps to himself most of the time, I love that fact that Sarah thinks he is more lonely than just alone. I was not sure of Sarah at first, she seemed very full of herself and blamed Hugh for everything wrong in her life, but then she lightens up, especially after her cousin calls her selfish which really startled her and was a laugh out loud moment. The witty banter between Hugh and Sarah was so engaging that I enjoyed their time together as they grew to like/love each other.
The story is a continuation of the series and we get to know the story behind Daniel and Hugh, the friendship survives some horrific circumstances and outrageous deals are made for the safety of Daniel, which just shows how much Hugh loves his friend. And although it is part of a series, you can easily read it as a standalone. I really enjoy the secondary characters and feel they added so much to the story, Sarah’s sisters where so much fun and thoroughly engaging and I loved when Hugh interacted with them. The true villain was Hugh’s father, a truly evil man that only wanted an heir and would do anything to get what he wanted and I wish we would have met Hugh’s brother as he is an important reason Hugh and Daniel had the problems they did. A lovely historical romance that I recommend.
I give The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn 4 stars!