Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... The Winner's Kiss

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Just Finished Reading ... The Winner's Kiss

The Winner's Kiss (Winner's Trilogy #3)
by Marie Rutkowski

Published on March 29, 2016
by FSG

Source: bought

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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? 
My (spoiler free) take:  I'm happy. This was a fantastic ending to a really great YA trilogy. I don't know what I was expecting (and these days, I tend to go into series enders with a HUGE amount of trepidation and low expectations) but this book exceeded it. It was everything I hoped for!

I'm not a huge fantasy reader. I don't have a lot of patience for books with tons of bloody battle scenes. I love a heroine who uses her brains against the brawn of others. Thus, this was probably my ideal YA fantasy-ish series (I still think this feels a little like historical fiction, and it seems to me that it's somewhat inspired by the history of the Roman empire.)

I'm also a huge sucker for romances in which the couple completely misunderstands and misjudges each other, and then finally realizes how completely wrong and stubborn they've been. The Winner's Kiss is all about that good stuff. Arin has made a lot of assumptions about Kestrel and in this last installment, he learns that he's misjudged her. But do they fall into each other's arms once he's realized this? Ha ha ha - I also love romances where the couple really has to earn their happy ending and that's certainly the case here.

If you haven't read this, get on it! (In fact, I'll be offering up a copy this Friday.) If you haven't read this series and, like me, are more a fan of historical romance than hardcore fantasy, put this series on your list. You won't regret it!

Have you read this or any of the books in this series? Tell me in comments!!


  1. I can't wait to get my copy. This has been an amazing series so far, and I hope that this is a 5 starer as well. Great review!

  2. I'm so happy you loved it too! I thought it was a fantastic and satisfying ending - and I don't get to say that very often!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  3. I'm really glad you loved this one, Jen! I thought it was a fantastic ending. I loved the romance too even though it was torture at times. I secretly love these painful romances where the couple has to work to be together too. :)
    Lovely review!

  4. Oh if only I can forgo reading the second book just to get to the good parts. Glad it was a great ending!

  5. I did! It was awesome. I need to buy the second installment soon. Great review!


  6. Yay, so happy to hear that it was a good ending! I'm planning on starting this soon, definitely can't wait! Lovely review, Jen!

  7. We here enjoyed reading it and the review from a good-read made its bit for our decision on reading! It is beautiful - the all-aged problems of a loving triangle, hatred, love and jealous woman! Nice!

  8. I'm so happy to know you enjoyed it. I can't wait to read, but sadly my copy still hasn't arrived. I'm glad to know the romance wasn't easy.

  9. Yay! So glad you loved it! This one is on my shelf waiting for me to read and I will be getting to it hopefully sooner than later.


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