Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith) Mass Market Paperback – October 29, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Enhance your purchase
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
“[A] wild romp... There’s witty banter, a colorful cast of characters and enough secrets and scandals to keep the gossip-mongers happy. A great, entertaining read.” (RT Book Reviews on THE SUM OF ALL KISSES)
“[Q]uintessential Quinn: witty, whimsical, and wonderfully romantic.” (Booklist on THE SUM OF ALL KISSES)
“[A]n unstoppable romp that sparkles with enough hilarious situations, over-the-top characters, and laugh-out-loud dialog to keep the chuckles coming long after the book is closed. A lovely tale that is just plain fun!” (Library Journal on THE SUM OF ALL KISSES)
- Publisher : Avon (October 29, 2013)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062072927
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062072924
- Item Weight : 6.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 1.06 x 4.36 x 6.78 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #10,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I wanted more of Hugh's story. Well ... there was a lot of Hugh in this book, but I think that his development as a character should have taken more of a central part of the plot. He was a broken man ... strong, but broken. He believed he was probably never going to find love. He didn't think he deserved it. He felt that any punishment society offered him was well justified for his prior sins. Once he began to feel strong feelings toward Sarah he began to face real internal struggles as he realized that he could not be the strength to her that he believed a man should be. He felt like less than a man. These feelings were fascinating to me. I would have loved a more detailed examination of the changes that take place in him that allow him to love Sarah and eventually feel worthy of her love. Sadly, this just never really took place, and for that reason I feel as if this book lost a real opportunity to hit it out of the ballpark as a story. I did like Hugh as a character ... definitely my favorite of the book.
I did not really like Sarah much at all at first. Her anger was rooted in a good cause, but it was so over the top that it became completely irrational. When I can't feel the need for such emotion I have a hard time as a reader finding the capacity to feel real empathy for a character. That was my problem with Sarah. I didn't find her cute or witty or funny or caring at all for the first half of the book. However, once she began to put aside her irrational anger and truly see Hugh for the person he was I found myself liking her much more as a character. Her compassion for him and a real understanding of exactly what he needed in different situations made her a perfect match for him. Still, I wouldn't list her as a top book heroine on any list. Her reaction upon learning about what Hugh had promised his father seemed a huge overreaction compared to the actual situation at hand. Instead of feeling empathy for her I was highly annoyed with her, and even her eventual role in saving Hugh in the final chapters of the book was not enough to rescue my opinion of her. Bummer.
Still, with all of those issues I was still heading toward giving this a four star rating. This is Julia Quinn, after all, and she can write romances that are intelligent and witty and swoon worthy. Unfortunately I had to drop a star because of the incredibly ridiculous story line involving Hugh's father. Hugh's father was a horrible, horrible villain for this story. He was so bad, and his plans were so horrible, that he ceased being interesting as a character. Instead of adding drama and depth to the story he turned the entire thing into a giant melodramatic soap opera. His plan to ensure that there was an heir was completely RIDICULOUS. I had to put that in all caps because a lower caps word could not capture just how ridiculous this plot was. Instead of feeling any real fear or apprehension for what Hugh and Sarah were facing, I found myself rolling my eyes, thinking how badly this book had been plotted out. That is never a good thing when reading a book, and although I have regularly felt that way with other regency romances, this is the first time that I have ever felt that way in a Julia Quinn book.
Having said all this ... this isn't a bad book. I did enjoy reading it for the most part. But this is not on par with other Julia Quinn books that I have read. I still think she is the best regency romance writer out there. This book just didn't meet my expectations. Three stars. I liked it.
They are forced to spend time together during the two wedding of the family- the Earl of chatteris is marrying Honoria Smythe-Smith and then the marriage of Daniel Smythe-Smith to Miss Anne Wynter- the ex-governess of Lady Sarah’s sisters. Lady Sarah and Lord Hugh agree to a truce for the duration of the weddings. During this truce they get to know each other, share time together, share secrets and grow to like, even love each other. They both struggle with their own doubts and inner demons. They find that sharing their issues brings them closer.
One of my favorite secondary characters is Sarah’s younger sister, Frances, aged 11 years. She is wonderfully precocious, has a strong conviction that unicorns are real and loves cake. She has a crush on Lord Hugh and thinks he is brilliant. She loves that he does not talk to her like she is a child and they keep each other company during part of the wedding festivities of Honoria’s wedding. She brings out a side of Lord Hugh that he seems surprised by and is admired by Lady Sarah.
This is a wonderful book that does not disappoint. Lady Sarah finds her inner personal strength and defends Lord Hugh to his father and states HER terms for the way the future will be. I cheered and shouted for her when she told the men in her life, Lord Hugh, Daniel and Lord Hugh’s father, Lord Ramsgate, “I am sick of you (all) trying to solve things. You’re useless the lot of you….” It was fabulous! You will enjoy every page.
I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Top reviews from other countries
The last 3rd of the book worked better than the beginning when the banter between Sarah and Hugh seemed hollow and contrived. There were some delightful moments, notably when little Frances or the witty Lady Danbury were involved. I did not find Sarah a particularly engaging character. I could not warm to her in the same way as I had liked Honoria or Anne.
I don't think I will read the last instalment of this series. I suppose that if this had been my first historical romance series, I might have been more enthusiastic, but I've read much better!
Ms Quinn should certainly keep on writing. Her books are light and funny but don’t ever imagine you will feel totally transported back into the 1800’s in this one. If that doesn’t matter to you, you will enjoy yourself. If, however, you are looking for the gentility and manners of the 1800’s you will be disappointed as the speech patterns, gentlemen’s behaviour and women’s responses are, for the most part, very 21st century.
In the first few chapters Sarah ‘gasped’ at almost every sentence (very annoying – glad it stopped). I felt if she was as feisty as we were later to believe she would have seen the funny side of the banter and simply smiled and only gasped perhaps once when someone had appeared to be very rude. She actually came across as being sheltered a bit wet behind the ears. I didn’t feel her grow too much. Although she did come to understand how Hugh must feel I never really got inside her or Hugh. I actually felt Hugh deserved someone with a quiet strength rather than someone quite so shallow and flighty.
There was a lot of banter but you never really felt you knew what the characters were thinking. Perhaps my favourite author has spoiled me (no it’s not Austen).
Men, in those days, may love their wives and daughters but they were definitely the head of the house and if we are to believe Hugh’s father was the cruel and heartless person he was depicted as, he may have been amused by Sarah at first but he would never have put up with her behaviour for more than a few minutes no matter who else was present to stop him. I imagine he would have risen to her challenge and quite literally flattened her. Once again, it was a scene which would be very believable and funny in the 21st century but for me didn’t work for the 1800’s.
I enjoyed Ms Quinn's Bridgerton books and not being a big fan of explicit sex scenes felt that subject was handled relatively well most of the time.
It appears that a romance, even of the historical kind, cannot exist these days without the deflowering of the heroine and the way it came about in this book was very contrived and unbelievable. I don’t know if it is the readers or publishers who insist on a bedroom scene but there always seems to be one if not several. This book would have worked very well without one.
However, in this regard I don’t believe a lady born in the 1820’s would have done what Sarah did at the end of the book. But then I don’t believe Hugh would have touched her either, even if the door was locked. Consider Darcy and Elizabeth. If Lizzy had done what Sarah did don’t you think Darcy would have kicked her right back out the door out of respect for her - especially if he loved her. He would have been shocked and perhaps disappointed in her boldness. In fact, she would have been no better than the air headed Lydia and we know she had more respect for herself than that.
However, a man and woman of the 21st century may quite easily have acted this way. If you disagree then we will have to agree to disagree and perhaps you should read more Austen or Georgette Heyer, two of the most popular romance writers who lived either in or closer to those chaste times and should know what they were writing about. Their characters hardly touched a bare hand.
Yes, I know what you are thinking. Not everyone, even back then, waited for marriage but most did. Women were too scared of the unknown and they rarely knew what happened in the bedroom. Owning cats and dogs and horses and sheep didn’t fill the gap in the education because a lady wouldn’t usually have been involved in that side of things but ran the household. They most likely were horrified if they did know and thought they might have to do something similar.
You only need to read Ms Quinn’s excellent ‘The Duke and I’ where she got it absolutely right. The heroine was completely in the dark, much to the fond amusement of her husband who thought her mother might have at least have given her some idea of what to expect.
If you like this book, you will love the Bridgerton series and see how far short this one falls. I encourage you to read those if you haven't already; all eight of them.
Anyone familiar with Julia Quinn will know her trademark sense of dry humour and wit, her larger than life characters and the spirit of romance that fills her novels, to which The Sum of All Kisses is no exception. Whilst being the third in the Smythe-Smith series, the story does not necessarily require a familiarity with the earlier two books (I, myself have not read the second of the series); though characters from the two earlier books do feature.
Sarah makes for a typically feisty Quinn heroine; perhaps a little quick to judge and sharp-tongued, but with a heart of gold underneath and real steel. Hugh is probably one of the more complex of Quinn's heroes, with a troubled and chequered past; he's made mistakes but paid a high price for them, however, he still hasn't been able to forgive himself. His physical disability lends him further vulnerability, and the psychological effects of this were explored well. The interactions between them both and their evolving relationship was engaging, with good chemistry and sparkling banter between the pair. My favourite scene was probably the rather unique waltz the two of them shared.
Though a fun and pleasant read, I do however think the book lacks the magic of some of Quinn's earlier works, particularly the Bridgerton series. The pacing is also rather uneven; hardly anything happening for large chapters, then a sudden change in gear towards the end. I have to say I thought the latter third of the book was rather overly dramatic and theatrical; nor am I sure that such an evil villain was really needed to be brought in to the story merely to create obstacles for the pair, as surely there were enough inner demons for Hugh to need to battle and come to terms with.
I always hoped for some love for Lord Hugh, so I was delighted this book was about him. Lady Sarah was not the lady I would have thought was ideal for him, but, in fact, they were both clever and witty and could spark off each other. The trick was to get them together and get to know each other - not an easy task as he was retiring and she was not. Also, she blamed him for the fact that she missed the first year of her come-out and was still unwed nearly 3 years later!
The storyline may be a little improbable, but the flow and humour carried me along, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would certainly recommend it for a good summer read.
The story was well framed and led on from the other books in the series. If you haven't read the other books I wouldn't recommend reading this until you have! I don't think you would get the full depth of the book unless you have read the previous books in this series. The characters were both well written and I enjoyed the banter and conflict between the two characters. The dialogue really sparkled with wit and I look forward to their sparring. Additionally, the secondary characters were all well rounded, I especially loved the arguments and interactions between the Pleinsworth sisters (it reminded me of the arguments I had with my siblings in the back of the car on long journeys).
I thought the book was well paced and I really liked the use of the flashbacks and normally this can get a bit stale but I like that fact it was written from her perspective and then his.
I really loved this book and I would recommend this book to everyone I'm only sad that I finished it so soon. Hopefully another book in this series will be coming out soon!