Kiss of the Royal
by Lindsey Duga
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 3rd 2018
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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Royals use their Kisses to boost the power of soldiers, break curses, heal others, and for many other useful things. Ivy is determined to save her kingdom from the Darkness, hopefully making her mother proud. When her sixth partner dies, she is determined to find another one quickly. Prince Zach is an unusual prospect, but she decides to take him anyways. When he refuses to kiss her, she is livid. He thinks that a kiss is a sign of love and not a weapon, and Ivy believes that they will not be able to defeat the egg and break the curse without it. Ivy, Zach, and Ivy’s childhood friend must go on a journey together to try and break this curse, and slowly Ivy learns the truth about her history and about Kisses and Love.
The romance in this story was pretty clear from the start, but it didn’t feel forced. I felt able to learn more about Ivy and Zach without seeing them all over each other in every scene. Also, I was happy to see that there was no love triangle between Zach and Ivy’s childhood friend with Ivy at all. It just felt natural, which definitely fit the theme of “finding out what love is” quite well.
The character development was immense. Zach and Ivy were polar opposites who were both quite stuck in their ways. They had to learn about each other’s likes, dislikes, lives, and personal beliefs before getting close to each other. It was interesting to learn about both the Romantica and Royal versions of historical stories in this way.
The world-building was also unique. I wanted to learn more about the darkness and the new creatures that appeared at every turn in this story. The world seemed to be so big even though the story in itself didn’t seem that long. The inner workings of the world were described in detail, but I would like another novel in this saga to explore it even more.
The action scenes were all intense, and Ivy was definitely no damsel in distress. I was on the edge of my seat for almost all of these fun scenes! The plot was generally smooth, with no severe slow-downs or random scenes. I read it mostly in one day, but it was long enough for me to not be able to read it in one sitting.
I didn’t notice any grammar editing errors in my advance copy of this novel, and I didn’t see any formatting errors either.
I would recommend this book to lovers of YA fantasy-romance novels.
I received an advance copy of this novel and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 6/5
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.
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