{Review/Giveaway} KISS OF THE ROYAL by Lindsey Duga

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

    BY THE SEVENTH DAY of constant agony, I wished I hadn't already killed the dwarf who cast this locking curse on me. I wanted the opportunity to kill him again. Slower this time.
(Page 7, US ebook edition)

"It's what you do before going to fight evil queens and deadly dragons: you confess."

If you're looking for a fantasy that has a different way of using magic, you've just found it.

In this society, the only way to beat back evil forces is with a Kiss. The magic lives in the bloodline of royalty, so princes and princesses everywhere are able to use the Kiss. Princesses bestow the kisses and use battle spells, healing spells, and other spells to help their partner in battle. The magic flows into the prince for battle or healing purposes. In return, they host the prince's Sense and are able to sense trouble at a more heightened level. They are one another's shield and protection on the battlefield. They are bound, with tattoos on their hands, and if one partner is too ill to go on or becomes deceased, they must go through a painful separation process.

When Princess Ivy loses her fifth partner on the battlefield, she despairs. She wants to be out their fighting. Her Kiss is the most power of them all, and she can heighten any prince's prowess on the battlefield. She may now be forced to retire and become a child bearer. Luckily for her, a convey from another kingdom is on the way, and with them, her next partner.

Her new partner, Prince Zach, is half Royal, half Romantica. The Romantica are heretics. They believe Kisses mean so much more. That they convey True Love. That their meaning has been lost over time. Nobody else believes True Love exists. Kisses are professional.  Once in a while, the royals may feel the need to work off a bout of Lust, but it's dangerous and not recommended. When Ivy and Zach become bound, Ivy knows they'll be able to attack the heart of evil once and for all. The only problem? Due to his heretic roots, Zach refuses to kiss her in the name of battle. Can the two overcome their differences and find a solution without compromising their morals?

Even though it's not a fairy tale, KISS OF THE ROYAL has that fairy tale core of True Love's Kiss. If it didn't have that at its core, it may be a very different book. Princesses give up a lot more than Princes do in this world, and they don't even realize it. Upon bestowing their Kiss and sharing their magic with their prince, they become weaker. They become someone extra to protect in battle. Princes lose their innate Sense of their surroundings, which can also be life-threatening in battle, but not ton ther same extent.  At times, I was bothered by how poorly princesses are treated in this world--and they don't even know it.  I was glad to see that this world contained more than one kingdom and more than one way of thinking. Zach is a good balance to Ivy. She knows her Kiss bestows the strongest magic. It hurts her pride when her Kiss doesn't work on her ailing partner and stev Zach keeps rejecting her battle enhancing abilities.

But at the same time, Ivy's feelings on True Love and its existence change and evolve so much. There is so much more going on than what meets the eye and the stakes are higher than ever. I really liked learning more about this world and its curses and its solutions. I wasn't sure about the book going into it and by the end, I really liked how fairy taleu-esque it was. I loved the power of True Love and the way its abilities to transform and heal were used in battle. I thought the book got stronger as it went along and enjoyed where it took me.

While not without its flaws, KISS OF THE ROYAL is a fun, easy read with a magic system I haven't seen before, so it's still worth a look! I had fun with it and I wasn't quite ready for it to be over when I got to the end, because I wanted to spend a little more time with the characters!



About the Author

Lindsey Duga developed a deep love for courageous heroes, dastardly villains, and enchanting worlds from the cartoon shows, books, and graphic novels she read as a kid. Drawing inspiration from these fantastical works of fiction, she wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. By day, Lindsey is an account manager at a digital marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By night, and the wee hours of the morning, she writes both middle grade and young adult. She has a weakness for magic, anything classical, all kinds of mythology, and falls in love with tragic heroes. Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show, practicing yoga, and listening (and belting) to her favorite music artists and show tunes. KISS OF THE ROYAL is her YA debut novel. 

Author Links:


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG ( Kissing )
Language: PG13 ( Bastard; mostly sexual allusions such as mentioning bedchambers and the effects of Lust and talking frankly about sex; nothing graphic. This is a society where sex is a means to an end once you have retired from the battlefield and spoken about in passing. It just is)
Violence: PG13 ( A lot of blood is spilled on the battlefield. A lot of creatures die. Secondary characters die. Characters are heavily wounded. )
Other:  --

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This is a really great, eye-catching cover! The moment I saw it, I wanted to know what it was about and TBRed it immediately. When that happens, the cover has done its job!

I really love the coloring and the grunge and the action on this cover. It's all just really appealing to me!


O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Lindsey Duga
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Received: For Review
Purchase links can be found HERE!

 In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that. 

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that. 

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.  


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