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.
She thinks he's just plain mad...
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 ...
New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn's enchanting third novel in the Smythe-Smith quartet is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and tug at your heartstrings in equal measures.
I enjoyed The Sums of All Kisses for the simmering distaste the hero and heroine had for each other who weren't afraid to show it.
"You don't like me," she said.
"Not really, no." He probably should have lied, but somehow it seemed that anything less than the truth would have been even more insulting.
"And I don't like you."
"No," he said mildly, "I didn't think you did."
"Then why are you here?"
"At the wedding?
"In the room. Lud, you're obtuse." The last bit she said to herself, but his hearing had always been fairly sharp.
He rarely trotted his injury out as a trump card, but it seemed a good time. "My leg," he said with slow deliberation. "It hurts."
There was a delicious silence. Delicious for him, that was. For her, he imagined it was awful.
"I'm sorry," she mumbled, looking down before he could ascertain the extent of her flush. "That was very rude of me."
"Think nothing of it. You've done worse."
I will say that Ms. Quinn's writing style seemed awkward (some of the witty banter felt really forced, and other conversations just seemed so out of place) and things seemed to go around in circles which made it dizzying and trying when all I wanted was to get the action of the story going. It was a very slow start.
Without spoiling it too much, Sarah can't forgive Huge for what he did to her cousin, and how his actions ruined her first season in society. Because of him, she had to sit it out and miss out on the unheard of opportunity to snag one of the fourteen gentlemen who decided to marry that year. If not for Huge, Sarah believes she may have been one of those lucky ladies. But because she had to wait til the following year, she's remained unmarried and she completely blames Huge.
"... I was supposed to make my debut in 1819 ... Because of the duel," she said, rephrasing so that the blame could be put back squarely on him, "we did not return to town for an entire year."
Hugh choked back a laugh, finally understanding her silly little mind. She was blaming him for the loss of her London season. "And those fourteen eligible gentlemen are now forever lost to you."
While at the wedding, Sarah is asked to make sure Hugh isn't left feeling like an outsider, and the two are thrust together to muddle through their differences and magic sparks between them eventually. It's a slow building burn between them, but when they admit they've fallen, it's very sweet but I still felt it lacked depth. I wasn't really drawn into believing that they were actually in love.
I wasn't really a fan of the ending, it took a bazaar turn, but overall it was a good book.