Who among us doesn't love when their favorite characters finally smash their lips together and right all the wrongs in the world? In all the years that books (or plays and poetry) has been written, there are some truly amazing literary kisses.
Westley and Buttercup from The Princess Bride by William Goldman
"There have been five great kisses since 1642 B.C. when Saul and Delilah Korn’s inadvertent discovery swept across Western civilization. (Before then couples hooked thumbs.) And the precise rating of kisses is a terribly difficult thing, often leading to great controversy, because although everyone agrees with the formula of affection times purity times intensity times duration, no one has ever been completely satisfied with how much weight each element should receive. But on any system, there are five that everyone agrees deserve full marks. Well, this one left them all behind."
Scarlet and Rhett from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
"Scarlett O’Hara, you’re a fool!"
Before she could withdraw her mind from its far places, his arms were around her, as sure and hard as on the dark road to Tara, so long ago. She felt again the rush of helplessness, the sinking yielding, the surging tide of warmth that left her limp. And the quiet face of Ashley Wilkes was blurred and drowned to nothingness. He bent back her head across his arm and kissed her, softly at first, and then with a swift gradation of intensity that made her cling to him as the only solid thing in a dizzy swaying world. His insistent mouth was parting her shaking lips, sending wild tremors along her nerves, evoking from her sensations she had never known she was capable of feeling. And before a swimming giddiness spun her round and round, she knew that she was kissing him back.
Peter and Wendy from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked, but Peter did not know what she meant, and he held out his hand expectantly.
"Surely you know what a kiss is?" she asked, aghast.
"I shall know when you give it to me," he replied stiffly, and not to hurt his feeling she gave him a thimble.
And while these are all wonderful examples of classic literature kisses, it's time they took a back seat and allowed a more recent kiss to be in the spotlight. The honor of The Winning Kiss belongs to the toe curling and swoon inducing kiss between Eleanor Fitt and Daniel Sheridan in A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard. After Daniel followed up a breathtaking kiss in Something Strange and Deadly with "I made a mistake" and telling Eleanor he did not love her (liar!), we had to endure almost an entire novel of romantic tension before we were finally gifted with the following:
"Wait," he breathed.I mean . . .
I paused, glancing back.
And in three long steps he reached me. Then, his hands trembling, he cupped the sides of my face, and I swear his chest was so still, he could not have been breathing.
I know I wasn’t.
He ran his thumbs along my cheeks, down my jaw, over my lips. And his eyes seemed to scour every inch of me. Then, ever so slowly, Daniel Sheridan lowered his head and grazed his lips over mine.
And I felt as if my heart might explode.
Yet despite that—despite the fragile perfection of his touch—it wasn’t enough for me. It could never be enough. He smelled of sweat and blood and gunpowder. Of caves and torchlight and everything we had been through.
I loved him, and I would not let him walk away—not this time. So before he could draw back or change his mind, I pushed forward and kissed him again. Hard.
A low groan broke from his mouth, and now I knew my heart exploded. My brain, my skin, my lips—everything burned with feverish need.
His hands dropped to my waist, pulling my whole body to his. And now he kissed me, determined at first and then almost desperate. No matter how many times we pressed our lips together, it was not enough.
Then came the nip of teeth, a flick of tongue, and my knees turned to jelly. I almost fell backward.
But he would never let me fall. He crushed me to him, his body hot through his clothes—hot through my clothes. Then he guided me backward and pressed me to the door.
And all I could think—all I could feel—was that I needed more. More of him, more of Daniel.
His stubble scratched my face raw. I did not care. I was too lost in the feel of his lips, of his tongue . . . of any feeling that proved we were alive.
His lips left mine, but before I could beg him to stay, his mouth was tracing along my neck, biting and possessive, and now it was my turn to groan. I could barely breathe, my heart hammered too hard against my lungs, and I certainly could not see straight.
Now granted Eleanor and Daniel also had more amazing kisses in Strange and Ever After, but this kiss made me put down my book for a moment and just bask in the post-kiss glow! And if you haven't brought Susan Dennard's series into your life, hopefully that scene will be enough for you to correct your erroneous life mistake and buy (because this is a series you need to own) all three books and binge your little heart out.
If you need further convincing, which I don't know why you would, check out my reviews:
Looking for more? Be sure to check out the heart stopping kiss between Kestrel and Arin* in Marie Rutkoski's The Winner's Kiss when it releases on March 1!
Title: The Winner's Kiss
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #3
Published By: Farrar Straus & Giroux on March 1, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
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?
Read my reviews for the first two books in The Winner's Trilogy to get yourself more excited for The Winner's Kiss:
*No, I don't know if this is for certain or not, but I hope with every fiber of my being that this statement proves to be accurate.