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Blog Tour: Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Kiss

Winners Kiss Blog Tour Banner 1 (3)

In celebration of the launch of The Winner’s Kiss, the wonderful people at FSG have asked bloggers to commemorate their favourite literary kisses. I’m so pleased to be part of this tour, not only because I really respect Marie Rutkoski as a writer and enjoy her books, but also because it’s all about the swoon-y kisses! This time of year we all need some heat, y’know?

WKiss_CVR_lowresWar has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her. But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

What book is your favorite literary kiss in?

Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead (Book #6 in the Georgina Kincaid series)

Who is kissing?

Georgina and Seth

Why is it your favorite?

Georgina is a succubus who, it transpires, is part of a larger plan that is revealed over the course of the series. Seth is an author (sigh) who is tied to her in many ways, but their chemistry is always incredible and has been since book one.

There are other kisses in the series that are wonderful in their own way – there is one of affection between Georgina and Carter at the end of the novel that still brings tears to my eyes – but I love this one for what it signifies for Seth and Georgina. Over the course of the series, they have never had the chance to be a couple in a conventional sense – Georgina being a succubus has always meant that there has been an element of danger to their relationship, and Seth’s inherently good soul has been too tempting. Like Kestrel and Arin, they never seem to find a time when they are on equal footing, and where they can truly admit how much they love and care for each other – until now.

It’s taken six books and more lifetimes than either can count, but these two have finally found each other again – hopefully for the long life they both deserve.

Those warm brown eyes searched my face. “Is it true? You had a clean getaway and risked it all for me?”

I swallowed. “It wouldn’t have been a clean getaway without you.”

Seth tipped my head back and kissed me, his lips warm and soft. The sensation swept my body, love and desire both threatening to overwhelm me. There was no more succubus feeding, no more peering into his soul. I no longer knew his thoughts, and I didn’t need to. I knew my own, knew that I loved him. And I also suddenly knew with certainty, in that same way all humans deduce such things without that benefit of succubus powers, that he loved me too.

“Is it that easy?” I whispered, when we finally broke apart. “Kiss and make up?”

“It’s as easy as we choose to make it,” he murmured, pressing his forehead to mine. “At least, this decision is. Nothing’s truly easy, Georgina. Love and life . . . they’re wonderful, but they’re hard. We may mess up again. We have to be strong and decide if we can still go forward, even when things aren’t perfect.”

Everything changes [….] You don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

“I’ve waited long enough,” I told Seth, just before kissing him.

And that was the moment I knew what it was like to have my soul back.

It sounds kind of sappy, I know. But to be able to kiss someone you love when you’re fully and completely in control of yourself and know who you are . . . it’s exquisite. How we love others is affected by how we love ourselves, and for the first time in a long time, I was whole. I knew who I was and in turn was able to appreciate just how much I loved him.

Bonus Question: what kiss do you hope will occur in Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Kiss?

I want there to be a stunning, world-stopping kiss in The Winner’s Kiss – I want it to be the kiss that rivals all other kisses … and I want it to happen when Kestrel and Arin are finally on equal ground with each other.

I want them to survive all the drama and to figure out who they are after everything is said and done, so they can find each other again and start over – no owner/slave, no captive, no rebel, just two very determined people who are meant to be together. 

Winners Kiss Blog Tour Banner 2

Thanks to the lovely people at MacMillan, I can share the Winner’s Kiss obsession with a friend…. I can’t wait to send a kiss to Gillian Plummer – Gillian will receive a copy of Book 1 so I can get her just as hooked on this series as I have been (and now that the series is complete, she will actually start to read it!).

Marie-Rutkoski-credit Tobias EverkeMarie Rutkoski is the author of The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders and The Celestial Globe. The Cabinet of Wonders, her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, among other honors. Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa, where she took Writers’ Workshop classes and studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner James Alan McPherson. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and creative writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and cat. 
The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkowski is available on March 29th for purchase, as is the rest of the series. It is published by Farrar Straus & Giroux, and is distributed by Raincoast Books in Canada. It can be purchased at your favourite big box, online or indie bookseller.  9780374384739, 352 pages. 

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