The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #3
Also in this series: Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1), A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet #2)
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 29th 2013
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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, even if Hugh 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.
She thinks he's just plain mad
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 abide. But when the pair is 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.
It’s been awhile since I read the previous Smythe-Smith book, so I was a bit hazy on the details going into this one. It wasn’t a concern, however. Things were explained in a way that brought me up to speed without bogging the story down.
One night of careless drinking led to events that changed the lives of too many young people – and not for the better. While Hugh was definitely the cause of said events, he’s the one who suffered the most. Not that Lady Sarah Pleinsworth is willing to see things from his side. Her life was ruined – okay, almost ruined – because of his actions and she isn’t going to forgive him for that anytime soon.
When her favorite cousin asks her stand up with Hugh in her wedding, she can’t very well say no. Even if she’d rather impale herself on a sword than spend an extra minute in his company, she made a promise and won’t go back on it. She’s going to fulfill her duty, even if it kills her.
Hugh is extremely sorry that his actions hurt his friend’s family. But he isn’t sure the plight of Lady Sarah is on his head. He has enough sins on his soul to accept the ones she’s claiming are his. Plus, she’s infuriating and dramatic and…quite lovely, though he’s loathe to admit it.
Hugh and Sarah are a very unlikely match. He’s quiet and reserved while she’s overly dramatic and not afraid to voice her opinions. He doesn’t like her and she certainly doesn’t like him..but when they’re thrown together and forced to make the best of the situation, they find each other…tolerable. I really liked their acrimonious relationship and how it moved into a friendship, then more.
The story was sweet and fun. Exactly what I’ve come to expect from Quinn.
4 out of 5