A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating

a stolen kissA Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating (Stolen Royals #1)
Published March 1, 2016 by Swanifide Publishing, 346 pp.
Copy from NetGalley.
Summary:

A stolen kiss. An unstable curse. One big mess in the making.

Derric Harver never expected to amount to anything more than the palace stableboy, but when Princess Maria’s curse keeps her from accepting a prince’s proposal, she turns to him for help, and he doesn’t dare refuse.

With the help of a lady’s maid and a prince, Derric and Maria embark on a dangerous adventure to find the sorceress who cast the curse. Along the way they battle deadly creatures and make new friends–all the while struggling with the undeniable chemistry between them. Reaching their destination won’t be easy, but the true danger peril in the truths they’ve fought for years to keep hidden.

A Stolen Kiss is the first in the Stolen Royals Series–an adventure with magical creatures, dangerous lies, and being true to the power within

How goes it?

This was a pleasant surprise! Sure, it’s a bit juvenile for me but very enjoyable. I’d say this would be best for a younger set of YA readers. Also, Wattpad is taking over print (this is originally from Wattpad). There are quite a few published novels out where I am now, that are also from Wattpad. While I don’t mean to belittle the works that are released locally, I find that most of them would benefit from a good editor. Or just an editor, in general.

But this, though, this is gold. Don’t let the summary fool you, the ladies are the stars of the show here.

A Stolen Kiss follows Maria, and Derric, and their party of 4 on a journey to break Maria’s curse that turns her into a swan. While it’s been dormant for a couple of years, when she’s about to be engaged to a prince, it’s activated again. On a quest they go – through a forest with various beasts and entities, across the mountain, and into hostile kingdom territory. Shenanigans ensue.

It sounds simple, and it is, but it’s peppered with moments of humor, lots of heart (this genuine friendship between Maria and Sarah! That Derric/Humphrey bromance!), and the best part: female empowerment. The females here are great.

Here is Ygritte, a centaur from a matriarchal uh centaur herd, spilling truth tea:

“Humans. Your females are capable of so much, and yet they try to convince you that you are nothing. Without you, the human race couldn’t exist. It is about time you start realizing your own amazing talents, Maria Regalla, Princess of Opea, because no one else can give you self-worth.”

Gilda, a sorceress, on when the royal couple was disappointed that they had a daughter, schooling them in the fact that gender has nothing to do with capability:

““I gave you Maria,” Gilda said with a sneer. “You asked for a child capable to rule, and I gave you what you wanted. Where’s my thanks? When your daughter was born, there were no parades, no celebrations. You mourned her femininity as I mourn your stupidity.”

And Maria, going after what she wants because damn it Derric is a noble idiot:

““Then don’t be king. Come back and just be mine.””

JUST. BE. MINE. Not “be with me,” BE MINE. Maria, girl, get it.

This starts out reading almost like a parody, because some parts are a bit over-the-top, and the humor reads a bit too modern for the era I assume it’s in, but once they go on their journey you forget that soon enough.

TL;DR

4

4 paper planes because I enjoyed reading this, much more than I actually thought I would! Also, great ladies are here. This is good for a light, quick read.

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