THE SUM OF ALL KISSES by bestselling author Julia Quinn, is the third book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet series and the twelfth story set in the world first created for her highly popular Bridgerton family series of books and novellas. This time around it is one of the musically challenged Smythe-Smith cousin’s Lady Sarah Pleinsworth who takes center stage—a fitting spot for a 19th Century drama queen.

“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 am a HUGE fan of Julia Quinn, in particularly the Bridgertons series and I have been equally charmed by the previous two stories in this spin-off series, but although Hugh and Lady Sarah’s story has all the same elements that made all of those other stories great, there just seemed to be something that never quite clicked for me this time around.

The problem—and the reason that I almost decided to skip writing a review at all on this one—is that I found it so hard to define what it was about this story that didn’t quite work for me.

The characters of Hugh and Sarah are interesting and relationships that always start off with the future lovers at swords drawn has always been a favorite of mine. Plenty of beloved and familiar faces from the earlier books make spotlight appearances within the story and the villain of the piece is delightfully demented. As I said, all the elements are there and while I did truly enjoy this book and still would recommend it to others, for me there was just that completely undefinable something that just didn’t inspire a higher rating this time around.

Fortunately, with an author like Julia Quinn, even a somehow less than perfect story is still a good one, which says a lot about the lady’s talent.

I continue to look forward to every title with this author’s name above it and hope that you will too.

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About the Reviewer

Teresa Spreckelmeyer
Teresa St. Mary - Teresa, is a wearer of many hats (figuratively) including, mother, wife, graphic designer, event planner, web developer and a self-admitted, avid reader of historical romance novels. Although Teresa is a “small town girl” (again, figuratively) from Missouri, through her various workings with clients and events, in and out of the west coast entertainment industry, she laughingly refers to Los Angeles as her second home. Teresa has produced marketing design work for actors, directors, writers and film studios, among others and played a strong behind-the-scenes role in the creation of entertainment oriented, fundraising events in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas over the past nine years.