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review 2016-04-28 02:17
Review for The Sum Of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
The Sum of All Kisses - Julia Quinn

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews

 

Lady Sarah Pleinsworth will always hate Hugh Prentice. He has never done anything to her directly but his actions caused her beloved cousin Daniel to be exiled from England for several years. Now that Hugh has fixed that and Daniel is home at last, everyone wants to forgive and forget. Not Sarah, though. Sarah isn't the forgive and forget type. Sarah is determined to hate him for all eternity. So when Honoria assigns Sarah to make Hugh feel welcome at the weddings, she's beyond irritated. Doesn't Honoria know she hates this man? Forced to make nice, she makes it known to Hugh that she doesn't not enjoy this arrangement, but will suffer through it because Honoria asked it of her. The more time she spends with him, though, the more she realizes that maybe she doesn't hate him after all. For his part, Hugh is just as irritated at Lady Sarah. She's loud and dramatic and down right annoying. But the more time he spends in her company, the more he comes to appreciate her hidden wit and think that maybe she isn't as bad as he originally thought. Are these two destined for all head over heels, or will they soon learn that all of their original impressions were spot-on?

 

Sarah is a character I could clearly understand Hugh's irritation at. She is, in fact, very dramatic. It's even more annoying because she doesn't seem to realize that she's dramatic. She's also highly opinionated. I can relate to her more than I'd like because I'm also very opinionated. Hopefully I'm less dramatic because I tend to hate drama, but I'll never see myself through someone else's eyes, so I guess I'll never know! But back to Sarah. I admire how loyal she is to her family. The Smythe-Smith brood is intimidatingly large, so it's no wonder she always has someone hanging about. It must be nice to have such a close-knit family. I must admit that I love her sisters. All of them, but especially Harriet and Frances. They are so terribly darling that I cannot express my love completely. It was so very much fun to watch Sarah discover more about herself. The realization that she is indeed dramatic was a priceless moment.

 

Hugh was someone I loved immediately. I must confess that I swoon easily for the heroes of historical romances. They are always so dashing, with just the right amount of rakish-ness. Hugh is no exception to that, but he's a bit different than your average HR male. He's handsome and charming and witty, as you'd expect, but he's also went threw a great deal with his leg and then with convincing his father to allow Daniel to live his life in England unscathed. The length he went to to assure that would happen is astounding. You want to both congratulate him on his genius and slap him for being an imbecile. His penchant for maths is astounding as well. I can't do basic addition without a pencil and paper (or a calculator preferably), but this guy can do them in his head in a matter of seconds. He's relationship with his father is heart-breaking. Parents are supposed to love you, period.

 

What can I really say about a JQ novel? She's brilliant. My favorite thing about her collective works is the humor. She always incorporates wit and humor. Humor is very important to me. Reading is an escape that should make me happy and laughter is the best way to show that happiness. I fear she has spoiled me for all other historical romances. I go into them all expecting JQ levels of awesome and am usually disappointed. How to do you go back to loving mediocre once you've had perfection? Beyond my fanatic level of love for all things Julia Quinn, this is also one of my favorite types of stories. That whole I hate you, I like you, I love you dance is always entertaining to watch. It promises epic disputes, witty repartee, and the perfect sigh worthy moments.

Basically, what I'm saying is that this is a novel for everyone. As with most historical romances, even though this is the middle book of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. It might enhance the experience if you know some of the backstory, but it is by no means necessary. I think anyone who enjoys romance novels of any kind would love this. It's everything you could want in a novel. :)

 

 

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review 2015-12-15 00:20
The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #3) by Julia Quinn
The Sum of All Kisses - Julia Quinn

15/12 - I didn't like either Hugh or Sarah at the start of the book, but by the end I felt like maybe I wasn't supposed to like them from the beginning. They both changed so much that I got the feeling that Quinn wanted to show them growing through the book, being tempered by love and their relationship. Sarah's sisters and female cousins were hilarious additions to the book providing plenty of chuckles, especially during the scene in the carriage.

Hugh's threat to his father to stop him from exacting vengeance on Daniel was completely insane and ridiculous, but that only happened in the last few chapters of the book, so it didn't impact on my enjoyment of the book as a whole. Hugh's father was so crazy that it did occur to me that he had untreated tertiary syphilis and it was turning his brain into Swiss cheese (not a completely unlikely scenario considering his sexual proclivities), but the reasons for his behaviour weren't explored beyond Hugh's declaration that "He's a mad bastard."

This was similar to The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, the next and last book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet, in that the last few chapters of the book were the worst and involved a crazy scheme that pushed the boundaries of disbelief, even for a romance. Still, I look forward to reading the first two books in the series, maybe in 2016.

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review 2015-11-17 00:00
The Sum of All Kisses
The Sum of All Kisses - Julia Quinn I think it’s about time to call this one, this is the first of Julia Quinn’s books that I just couldn’t finish. I tried, I really did, but I found the story, characters, and romance just so frigging boring, I couldn’t make myself read more of this utterly disappointing book.

And just let me say, I absolutely love Julia Quinn's books, she is my favorite historical romance author; I read her books when I'm in a reading rut or feeling sad :( - because her books always make me feel better.


I need to read the book synopsis just to remember what this book was about… Not a good sign.


I had high hopes going into this book, I’ve enjoyed the previous books in the Smythe-Smith Quartet and I was intrigued by both main characters, as they had been introduced in the last two books already.

One of the problems that I had with this book where the two mc’s, Sarah and Hugh just don’t fit together. The romance felt forced – because the characters have no chemistry, and absolutely no reason to develop deeper feelings for each other, and definitely no reason to literally go from hating each other’s guts to falling in love in a matter of days (if not hours)!

The whole insta-after-hating-each-other’s-guts-love does not work for me. So naturally for the rest of the book (before I DNFished at 39%) I was annoyed and bored…


The rest of the book is filled with an absolutely ridiculous plot, fluff, fluff, and more fluff. That’s all that there is; no depth and definitely no interesting characters. There was still humor though, because it’s a Julia Quinn book, but the specialness that I found in practically all of Julia Quinn’s books – and made me love them so much – was simply missing.


So although I love Julia Quinn and her books, this one didn't do it for me, and is – in my opinion – her worst work.
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review 2015-07-29 08:22
Not as good as her other books
The Sum of All Kisses - Julia Quinn

Normally Julia Quinn is one of my go to authors of historical romance, I usually enjoy her light-hearted, romantic stories and like her characters. But this time I was a bit disappointed because I didn't enjoy "The Sum of All Kisses" as much as I expected to.

The romance was the main thing that didn't work for me. I hard a hard time to believe in the attraction and feelings, I wasn't that excited about what was going on in general. Meeting characters from older books by Julia Quinn was for once not entertaining, I don't know why, but little things that worked in her other books this time annoyed me.

I plan to read more books by Julia Quinn in the future, but for now I have enough of this series, especially because the content of the next book in it doesn't sound that appealing to me. So I will skip it and then come back to read another book in the series or wait until Quinn will begin with a new series that has nothing to do with her other books.

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text 2015-06-03 17:20
Read: Red Rising, The Eighth Day, How To Seduce A Billionaire And The Sum Of All Kisses
Red Rising - Pierce Brown
The Eighth Day - David McClellan,Dianne K. Salerni
How to Seduce a Billionaire - Portia Da Costa
The Sum of All Kisses - Julia Quinn

 

In "Read" I'm talking about the books I read that belong to my personal good books.

 

I read the following books over two weeks ago but wanted to wait with writing the reviews until I felt better and could think clearly again. The books range from didn't like it to it was good, but I had some issues.

 

 

Red Rising - Pierce Brown (dystopian, #1 in a trilogy)
This is not a book that was surrounded by a huge hype when it was published, but still you can see praise for the book everywhere. Many readers enjoyed this book, critics love it as well and I bought it spontaneously when I saw it in a bookstore with used books.

 

After I bought the book I learned that some readers compare "Red Queen" by Victoria Aveyard to it and even assume that "Red Queen" was inspired by "Red Rising" (that's a nice way to describe some of the things I read online). To that I can say that besides some general ideas at the beginning of the books they have not a lot in common and should appeal to different kinds of readers.

 

When I bought the book I thought that the story sounded fascinating, but I also knew that there was potential for issues, just by reading the synopsis I knew that this would be a book I would either love or don't get at all. And sadly I have to say that the second option came true. From the first pages one I had issues with the authors writing style, things like

 

The dread rises in me. I see my bootheel melting. The first layer goes. The second bubbles. Then it will be my flesh.

 

don't work for me. I didn't enjoy reading about any of the characters, I didn't like them and that's a major issue for me. I want/need to like the majority of characters I read about.

 

The world building was interesting, but once again it left me cold. I wasn't touched by what was going on, everything seemed to be a bit too constructed, nothing seemed like a natural development.

So in the end "Red Rising" is another dystopian novel that didn't work for me, I'm no longer surprised when this happens with books from the genre.

 


The Eighth Day - Dianna K. Salerni (children's fantasy, #1 in the trilogy)
This was in the end a good and entertaining book, but also one whose writing style, world building and characters felt a touch to young for me. Which is absolutely ok because it's not an adult or even YA book.

I applaud Dianna K. Salerni that she can adapt her writing style when writing for different age groups, it's not something that many authors can do.

 

I personally prefer her more grown-up style a la "The Caged Graves" (love the book) and that's why I will continue to read her books but will give the rest of the Eighth Day series a miss.

 


How to seduce a billionaire - Portia Da Costa (contemporary romance, adult, stand-alone)
Ok, this book was recommended by a blogger for readers who like the general storyline of "Fifty Shades of Grey" but didn't like the book itself. I personally like the books by EL James and books with similar storylines so I decided to give the story a try. And of course I was also excited to read a book by a new to me author.

 

This is the first book by Portia Da Costa I read and I think it will also be the last one. In theory everything is there I enjoy in romances, but in reality nothing worked for me. The characters didn't interest me, I couldn't believe in their feelings and the story bored me. Sorry to sound so harsh, but somehow nothing in the book worked for me, the reader-author-chemistry was pretty much non-existing.

 

Added to that there is something about the author's writing style that is driving me crazy, she loves to use ... in her texts, constantly and everywhere (ok, that's a slight exaggeration). Seeing ... normally doesn't bother me, but when it happens three times on a page and the use doesn't make that much sense to me, it becomes an issue. Whenever I saw the ... my reading flow was disrupted and this drove me crazy. With some books it's so easy to ignore little things, but then with others small details can make everything go wrong.

 


The Sum of All his Kisses - Julia Quinn (historical romance, #3 in the The Smythe-Smith Quartet)
Normally Julia Quinn is one of my go to authors of historical romance, I usually enjoy her light-hearted, romantic stories and like her characters. But this time I was a bit disappointed because I didn't enjoy "The Sum of All Kisses" as much as I expected to.

 

The romance was the main thing that didn't work for me. I hard a hard time to believe in the attraction and feelings, I wasn't that excited about what was going on in general. Meeting characters from older books by Julia Quinn was for once not entertaining, I don't know why, but little things that worked in her other books this time annoyed me.

 

I plan to read more books by Julia Quinn in the future, but for now I have enough of this series, especially because the content of the next book in it doesn't sound that appealing to me. So I will skip it and then come back to read another book in the series or wait until Quinn will begin with a new series that has nothing to do with her other books.

 


Happy Reading!

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