{Tour}: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski (Our Favorite Kiss + a Giveaway!)

The Winner's Kiss

Welcome to Swoony Boys Podcast! This is our stop on the The Winner’s Kiss Tour. When our friends at Macmillan asked us if we wanted to participate in a tour where we’d get to talk about boys and kissing, there was an obvious answer. HECK YEAH! So today, in honor of The Winner’s Kiss, we’re going to share our favorite literary kiss with all of you! We’ve also got a fun giveaway at the bottom of the post that you don’t want to miss! Ready to go? Let’s do this…

***About The Book***

{Tour}: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski (Our Favorite Kiss + a Giveaway!)The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Also by this author: The Winner's Curse
Series: The Winner's Trilogy
Also in this series: The Winner's Curse
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux, Macmillan on March 29th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 352
Goodreads Buy the Book

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks.

But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?

***Our Favorite Kiss***

What book is your favorite literary kiss in?

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon


The Bone Season

by Samantha Shannon

Release Date: 8/20/2013



The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

Buy The Bone Season Here

Who is kissing?

Warden (Arcturus Mesarthim) and Paige

Why is it your favorite?

Okay, listen. We did not take answering this question lightly. I mean, it’s a pretty big deal. We like to consider ourselves swoony boy and kissing experts, which means we couldn’t let you down. So as soon as we found out what Macmillan and Marie wanted us to do, we got serious. Really, really serious. We did research:

After hours and hours of research we finally settled on a kiss from The Bone Season. But why? Well after reading so many amazing kisses we did what any good “perfect kiss researchers” would do. We made a list of the elements of a perfect kiss. Are you ready to see what made the cut? (This is a big deal. Give us a little drum-roll please.)

It’s easy to check off items on the list for so many books, but there’s a particular kiss in The Bone Season that checks off every single box. It goes a little something like this:

When I turned my head to look at him, he tucked a stray curl behind my ear. His other hand came to rest on my abdomen, pressing my back to his chest. The warmth of him was comforting.

And I could feel his hunger. Not for my aura, but for me.

He nuzzled his head against my cheek. His fingers traced my collarbone. His dreamscape was close, his aura intertwined with mine. My sixth sense heightened, taking him in. “Your skin is cold,” he said throatily. “I never–” He stopped. My fingers pushed between his naked knuckles. I kept my eyes open.

His lips moved to my jaw. I guided his hand to my waist. The lure of his touch was excruciating; I couldn’t flinch. I couldn’t refuse him. I wanted this, before the end. I wanted to be touched, to be acknowledged. I lifted my chin, and his lips closed over mine.

I clutched his back, pulling him against me. He caught the nape of my neck in his hand. I could feel each callus on his palms. His breath was hot. The kiss was slow. Don’t stop, don’t stop. I couldn’t think of anything but those words: don’t stop. His hands ran up my sides, my back, and clasped me. He lifted me onto a crate. I placed my hands against his neck. I felt the thick heat of him. His rhythm. My rhythm.

After reading that is there any question why it’s our favorite? We didn’t think so. Now go ahead. Read it again.

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

The answer to this one is so simple. Two words. Okay, two words and an ampersand. Arin & Kestrel


***Send A Kiss To A Friend***

Not only did the awesome awesomes at Macmillan put together this tour, they are also giving us a chance to send a copy of The Winner’s Curse to a friend who hasn’t read the series yet. (We know, we know. Why would be friends with them if they haven’t read it? That’s a discussion for another time.) Our lucky friend/reader is Trish. Macmillan will be sending you a copy of your own very soon! Keep an eye on your mailbox.

***About Marie Rutkoski***

Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner’s Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Find Marie Here:
Facebook | Website | Twitter | Goodreads



1 Lucky Winner Will Receive A Pre-order of The Winner’s Kiss

Open Internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy swooning!

Make sure you tell us all about your favorite literary kisses below!



  1. OMG!!!! YES to this. I don’t have any other words except now I want to re-read that book!!

  2. Oh gosh, am I such a lame reader if I can’t remember any memorable kiss from the books I have read? I loved those kisses when I was reading them, but right now I can’t recall anything. Sorry! On a different note, I really like The Winner’s Trilogy. I have read the first two books, and I cannot wait to read The Winner’s Kiss and see what happens. I have not read The Bone Season yet, but I am planning to. So I skipped reading the kiss scene (although I was tempted), so I will really feel it when I am actually reading the book.

  3. Thanks for the giveaway! There are so many great kisses in books I can’t pick just one. I can’t wait to read The Winner’s Kiss. 🙂

  4. I really love your question, but I cannot remember a “favorite” kiss. I did recently finished The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, and I thought the kiss between Wes and Macy was adorable.

  5. Kaitlyn A. says

    Warner and Juliette all the way!

  6. Omg You guys!!!!
    Okay now i will be reading this book next!!!!!
    Um ok this will be hard but the first thing that popped into my mind was The kiss in the evolution of mara dyer * gah but also the kiss in the unbecoming of mara dyer* but mainly omg the beach scene. Noah and Mara <3

  7. Elizabeth M. says

    There are so many good literary kisses, but I’d say anything by Jennifer Armentrout is a good call!

  8. I have a lot of favourite literary kisses, but one of them is definitely Paige and Warden’s from TBS, same as yours! I read TBS two years ago and I still remember being on my toes when it finally happened! And then, again, with The Mime Order! And of course, Kestrel and Arin’s as well, but that’s implied. 😉

  9. You want me to tell you what now? My favorite kiss? I can’t do it. So many fabulous kisses I wish I was the receiver! Let’s start off with Kestrel & Arin. That man is swoony. Kricket & Trey from Under Different Stars, Evie & Reed from Inescapable by Amy Bartol. Warner & Juliette, Khalid & Shahrzad. I have so many more. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway. I was lucky enough to read an ARC eBook of The Winner’s Kiss and it was really wonderful.

  10. MichelleRae6 says

    I want to say that my favorite literary kiss is from The Winner’s Crime between Arin and Kestrel. I just love their chemistry so much!!!

  11. Mmmm, I think my fave lit kiss is prolly from The Scorpio Races, between Puck and Sean. Idk, I just … love those two so much. 🙂

  12. I’m just SO excited about this book. The wait has been killing me since finishing an ARC of TwC in Nov 2014. I’ve reread it like 10 times since my copy arrived in the mail. Kestrel and Arin are very special and I can’t wait to see how their story ends.

  13. Ok, this may sound fake but I swear it’s not: Kestrel & Arin kissing are my favorite thing. EVER. I have re-read their kissing so many times, both the one on the carriage and the one on Arin’s kitchen. I just love the chemistry between the both of them, so when they finally kiss… *swoon* it’s OTP heaven for me. I love to see them interact, and I even love them when they’re not with each other, but when they kissed, it was everything and more!

    SPOILER: *Remember when Arin and Kestrel were are the library, after her engagement to the prince, and Arin sadly asked her if his mistake had been that kiss on his kitchen? Oh boy. He couldn’t’ stop thinking about it.*
    *And before, right after the kiss in the kitchen when he asked what he had done wrong, if it was too soon, that they could have a life there together… *
    I have a lot of FEELS for this couple. Lots.

  14. danielle hammelef says

    Thanks for the post! My favorite kiss was between Jaylen and Kamesh in Banished.

  15. I’m ready for Kestrel and Arin to get over one another and just get together.

  16. Tanya Guthrie says

    Dean and Sky in Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. It looks like I need to read The Bone Season! Thanks for the chance, I can’t wait for The Winner’s Kiss!!!

  17. can’t think of any

  18. I love Janelle and Ben’s kiss in Unraveling 🙂

  19. Although I was team Edward, I loved it when Jacob kissed Bella right before the vampires attacked.

  20. Marcela V. says

    It’s so hard to choose only one! Since I love Aria and Perry so much, I feel I need to highlight one of their kisses. Every moment they are together – with and without kisses – are ‘swoon-worthy’ for me but this one from “Into The Still Blue” is forever in my heart:

    “Tell me what to say. What can I say to make you want me the way I want you?”

    The words sent a thrill up her spine, making her shiver. She smiled. “That worked.” She pulled him down and kissed him, needing his warmth. Needing his mouth and his skin and his taste. Her fingers found the hem of his shirt. She pulled it over his head and found him smiling, his hair ruffled.”

    Gimme. My. Perry.
    By the way, THANK YOU so much for all the posts and specially the podcast about this series and Perry & Roar. I read the books more than one year ago and still think about them. <3

  21. Honestly I’ve read too many excellent book kisses that I can’t even choose a favorite. The most recent one I loved was in Gathering Darkness, between Magnus and Cleo. But there’s so many!

  22. Angelfall has one of my many favorites. Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. Obviously I LOVE The Winner’s Trilogy and cannot wait for The Winner’s Kiss release! Honestly my favorite kiss is probably from The Winner’s Curse with Arin & Kestrel in his kitchen… Swwwoooooonnn!

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