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 peril lies 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 secrets, and being true to the power within.
Sissy: This is the third “fractured fairy tale” we have reviewed this month. We didn’t really plan for April 2016 to be the month of fairy tales. It just kind of happened that way. Each one of the stories had different and interesting traits that appealed to us. What is it about A Stolen Kiss that I liked? First of all, on the outset you may think it is a Swan Princess retelling (and there IS a strong swan element going on). However, début author Kelsey Keating has gone above and beyond any recognizable existing fairy tale and built her own world and saga, filled with magical creatures, convoluted relationships and confusing spells galore.
Bubby: As I was refreshing Sissy’s memory on the particulars of A Stolen Kiss (she’s old. I have to remind her of stuff all the time…), it occurred to me that someone listening would think this story was very confusing and difficult to read. Let me assure you, that is not the case. Yes, there are a lot of revelations that contradict what you THOUGHT you knew, but it’s all so good. Only a handful of characters really matter in the end – Prince Humphrey, Princess Maria (these two are betrothed), quasi-stableboy Derric Harver, his sister Sarah and Derric’s mother the Sorceress Gilda. There are a bunch of other characters running about creating atmosphere and havoc but with the exception of the villain and a love interest whose identities I shan’t reveal, they’re just the croutons in this magical salad. Who wants a simplistic, predictable plot anyway? Where’s the fun in that? I want surprises, betrayals, romance and magic! It’s all here!
Sissy: That is certainly true. Your creative verbage “…croutons in this magical salad” is excellent, by the way, and I’m glad you are the nut in my life’s brownie. Even when you call me old and forgetful right after I have corrected your faulty grammar. If I wasn’t so “old” I might pinch you. Some of A Stolen Kiss’s “croutons” were my favorites, you know. Ellis, the shapeshifting beast, comes to mind. Also Alyssa, the unfortunate girl stuck in a mirror, was sprung on us in all her delightfulness at just the right moment. Some characters you thought were evil turn out to be good and vice versa, and some are just flawed, misunderstood individuals who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Quite a quirky cast is found in this realm of enchantment!
Bubby: I love Alyssa. She is fierce and spunky. I want to be her when I grow up.
Sissy: And when will that be?
Bubby: I haven’t decided yet. Not today. Anyway, I have to talk about the ending. Once all the magical mayhem was over, and everyone took their rightful places, I felt a little let down. Certain things hadn’t turned out the way I wanted them to. And then, and then it happened. My magical happy ending came, and it was so worth the wait!
Sissy: The ending is fantastic! I do love princess Maria and how she matured into the girl who could give us a great ending. But I’ll admit that my favorite is Derric. His transformation was the best. You will be most satisfied with the way things are wrapped up for all the characters, I’m sure. What a fun read! Get out of the doldrums of reality and jump on the whimsical, otherworldly ride that is A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating.
Bubby: When this kind of writing comes from a début author, I can’t help but be excited about how good the sophomore effort is bound to be.
Click HERE to buy A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating