Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski: The Winning Kiss Blog Tour

Tour organized by Fierce Reads
Follow the stops HERE

The Winner's Kiss is the very anticipated third installment in The Winner's Trilogy, which also includes The Winner's Curse and The Winner's Crime. I have been riveted to this series since the very first line in The Winner's Curse, and I have loved watching the evolution of these beloved stories and their characters. 

Kestrel and Arin have put me through every emotion imaginable.  I love them dearly and feel fiercely protective of them. In honor of their journey through this series, and the title of the final book, bloggers are sharing their favorite kisses from literature.

What book is your favorite literary kiss in?

I debated for quite a while about what to pick for my favorite literary kiss, because there are just so many good ones. Both big scenes with lots of details, and quiet, subtle kisses that characters have to work hard to get to, or that readers need to peruse carefully to grasp the full effect. I love them alllll. I almost picked a more subtle, hard earned moment, but in the end, I've chosen one that is more on the grand gesture side than the quiet one. 

The Night Circus 
by Erin Morgenstern 
First Published: September 13th 2011 by Doubleday

I read The Night Circus back in 2011 when it released, and then I reread it last month via the audiobook read by Jim Dale. For a book to become one of my favorites, it has to stand up over time, and The Night Circus does that and some. I love it even MORE the second time through. Audiobooks always add more layers of depth to any reading experience, and my adoration for this story and these characters has now multiplied. This includes my love for Celia and Marco and their amazing love story, which starts slowly and blossoms into the most delicious swoon. Because of circumstances, these two don't spend a lot of time together during the book, but everything they do is for each other, and when they are together in the same room, sparks fly. 

Celia and Marco have several winning kisses, but this is my most favorite: 

I'm posting the entire scene, because it is part of why I love this kiss so much. I've also highlighted my favorite kissing line (emphasis mine). 


"Without a word, Marco turns his back on his instructor. He walks out the door at the back of the room...

Image source
He goes directly to the ballroom, making his way to the center of the dance floor. He takes Celia's arm, spinning her away from Herr Thiessen. 

Marco pulls her to him in an emerald embrace, so close that no distinction remains between where his suit ends and her gown begins. 

To Celia, there is suddenly no one else in the room as he holds her in his arms. 

But before she can vocalize her surprise, his lips close over hers and she is lost in a wordless bliss.

Marco kisses her as though they are the only two people in the world. 

The air swirls in a tempest around them, blowing open the glass doors to the garden with a tangle of billowing curtains. 

Every eye in the crowded ballroom turns in their direction. 

And then he releases her and walks away. 

By the time Marco leaves the room, almost everyone has forgotten the incident entirely." 

Who is kissing?

Celia and Marco OF COURSE

Why is it your favorite?

Why do I love this kiss? Let me count the ways. 

1) I love the movement of this scene. I am an extremely visual reader, and I can perfectly imagine the kiss playing out like a movie - Marco turning from his argument with Alexander and going straight to Celia in the ballroom, pulling her into his arms, then walking right out the door after their kiss is over. 

2) I love the way Celia's dress, which she created to change the color of whomever she's standing nearest, turns the emerald green of Marco's suit. They are as close together and connected in this moment as they can be, and their blended clothing is an outward representation of how they feel about each other and the fact that they truly are the only people in the world for each other. 

3) I love that even when Marco's left the room, Celia's dress stays green. 

4) I love the fact that Marco is the one who does the leaving in this scene, when it is Celia the illusionist who typically disappears during their encounters. 

5) I love that you can see careful and controlled Marco's desperation for Celia in this scene, and the fact that she feels exactly the same for him. They just cannot stay away from each other, even though they are opponents who have been kept separated.  

6) I love that Celia and Marco create literal sparks and gusts of wind and explosions from their magic whenever they touch. And that in this moment they are so consumed with each other that they aren't able to temper the outward reaction of their lips touching, as a tempest swirls around them. 

7) I love that for the length of the kiss, Marco lets everyone know exactly how he feels about Celia - and she for him, before he takes the memory away from the people in the room.

8) I love that this entire scene takes place without any words being spoken. Actions really do speak louder, and Celia and Marco are experts at expressing their love in ways that are beyond language. If  you haven't read this book yet, wait until you get to the other scene that features kissing and no speaking. 

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

Is this a trick question? I'm all over Kestrel + Arin and wouldn't be sad it this book was just one massive make out session. But for real, I'm halfway through this story and LOVING every second of it. 

As part of this blog tour, we get to send a kiss to a friend by giving a copy of The Winner's Curse to someone, and I'm chosen to have it sent to my sister. She is living abroad for the next few years and I miss her so much! I've been sending her ebooks to read, and discussing them has been a great way to stay connected. I'm excited to for her to receive the joy of a package (who doesn't love getting a book in the mail?!) and then to be able to talk about this series as she reads it. 


About the Book 

The Winner's Kiss
by Marie Rutkoski
Published: March 29th 2016 by Farrar Straus & Giroux
Series: The Winner's Curse # 3
Buy the Book: Amazon | B&N Book Depository | IndieBound 

Book Description (Spoilers for the first 2 books): War 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?


About the Author

Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders and The Celestial GlobeThe 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. 

Find Marie: Twiter | Website | Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE


  1. YES YES YES! This scene in The Night Circus is fantastic and was by far my favorite moment when I read this book. I just loved how Marco just dropped everything and went for it, YOWZA!! I am also beyond excited for The Winner's Kiss. The first two books really had me going, so I can't to find out how she's going to end everything. Great post. :)

    1. Goodness, YES! Marco has swoon for days. And he's so careful and controlled up until this moment, which gives it an extra wow factor. So many small details about this story I love, like the fact that Marco hides his real appearance from all but Celia.

      And TWK is really amazing so far. The writing is just blowing me away on every page. I think you're going to be very happy when you read it. :)

  2. Yessss I absolutely love how atmospheric The Night Circus is and that kissing scene was absolutely beautiful! I can't recall any kisses that don't have dialogue attached it to it so that made it more magical! Lovely post!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. This whole book is magical, and this scene just does me in. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I love how this author makes us swoon without words. And that later scene in Marco's appartment when Celia renders him literally speechless and he has to express himself without words - *fans self*! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Omg! The Night Circus has been on my TBR I'd say from spring 2012? And I STILL haven't read t, but nnnnnggghhh!!!!!! THIS IS SO SHIPPY WOW <3 Hah! I love how in depth you have analyzed this scene :P "I love that Celia and Marco create literal sparks and gusts of wind and explosions from their magic whenever they touch." I. AM. ON. THE. FLOOR. SWOONING LAUREN! Omg lol! I want the whole deal in TWK tbh: a kiss just isn't enough *dies from feels* I'm so glad you're enjoying this and can't wait to have my little hands on this piece of art in March <3

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination

    1. I love seeing you comment on my blog Siiri! I've missed you, lady. Hope you're doing well. And YESSSS!!! You MUST read this book ASAP. So much Swoon in these pages. It is so so subtle at first but builds in an amazing way. Stick with it! And I'm almost done with TWK and LOVING IT SO MUCH. I'm usually a speed reader, especially for intense finales, but I've been savoring because the writing and everything are so gorgeous.

  4. Stunning post Lauren. <3 Sigh. You are the luckiest for taking part in this tour and getting to read The Winner's Kiss :) I'm still forever jealous and heartbroken that I didn't get to join, lol. But love that you did. <3 And ahh, your post is so awesome :D I have not read this book. But I tried it once.. and stopped :p I do own it, though :D And I'm curious about it. And ahh, that kiss is pretty amazing :d I love that it is your favorite. <3 Thank you so much for sharing it sweetie :)

  5. I've been meaning to read Night Circus for awhile but THIS is finally having me move it up my TBR. What a gorgeous excerpt and your breakdown of it perfectly covers so many aspects I love about in a good kiss. I'm so excited to see what you make of this book, Lauren--I really want it to work out for these characters and am already sad it's not going to be 300-400 pages of Arin and Kestrel making out. ;) I'll be looking out for your thoughts on this for sure! Thanks for sharing such a phenomenal post, dear!

  6. Well, you and B already had me convinced to read Night Circus, but this definitely makes me want to read it even more. SWOON. I'm sooo ready to love these characters!


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