Amazon

Readers' Favorite

April 13, 2016

K is for Kiss and Tale #AtoZChallenge

by Alison DeLuca




In books, as in cinema, one of the most exciting scenes comes after a lot of tension: the Kiss, in all its swooning glory. We’re celebrating K for Kiss here at Girl Who Reads by looking at some sublime kisses from popular fiction and literature.

But before we get into it, look at all the different kinds of kisses there are between would-be lovers. One of the most exciting is the angry kiss, with all its drama. ‘How did I ever get here, kissing you of all people? I hate you…but I want you too…’
 
The Kiss by Klimt image courtesy of wikipedia
And then there's the desperate or forbidden kiss. Either he’s in a relationship, or she’s betrothed to the king, or we are simply not allowed to even associate with each other, and yet here we are, in a corner liplock. Paranormal lit plays into this type of forbidden love – the heroine (or hero) really shouldn’t be kissing a vampire, but she just can’t help herself.

Maybe no romance will ever reach the brutality of the passion between Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. As much as I disliked them, I really wanted them to get together – especially after scenes like this:

“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.“Stop–please, I’m faint!” she whispered, trying to turn her head weakly from him. He pressed her head back hard against his shoulder and she had a dizzy glimpse of his face. His eyes were wide and blazing queerly and the tremor in his arms frightened her.“I want to make you faint. I will make you faint. You’ve had this coming to you for years. None of the fools you’ve known have kissed you like this–have they? Your precious Charles or Frank or your stupid Ashley–”“Please–”“I said your stupid Ashley. Gentlemen all–what do they know about women? What did they know about you? I know you.” 
image courtesy of Wiki commons
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.

Buy Gone With the Wind at Amazon

Did I say forbidden? Holy cow, I was sucked into the naughty promise of Cassandra Clare’s City of Glass. This scene made me melt:

He bent down, his lips against her cheek, brushing it lightly—and still that light touch sent shivers through her nerves, shivers that made her whole body tremble. "If you want me to stop, tell me now," he whispered. When she still said nothing, he brushed his mouth against the hollow of her temple. "Or now." He traced the line of her cheekbone. "Or now." His lips were against hers."Or—"But she had reached up and pulled him down to her, and the rest of his words were lost against her mouth. He kissed her gently, carefully, but it wasn’t gentleness she wanted, not now, not after all this time, and she knotted her fists in his shirt, pulling him harder against her. He groaned softly, low in his throat, and then his arms circled her, gathering her against him, and they rolled over on the grass, tangled together, still kissing.
Buy City of Glass at Amazon

Although it’s become unfashionable, I’ll always be a Romione shipper, or someone who loves Ron and Hermione as a couple. Their kiss in the Deathly Hallows was inevitable, funny, and even heartbreaking in the end:
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermi- one’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broom- stick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.“Is this the moment?” Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. “OI! There’s a war going on here!” Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other. “I know, mate,” said Ron, who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a Bludger, “so it’s now or never, isn’t it?
Buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Amazon


I prefer a dose of reality in my romantic fiction. Fingersmith addresses the delicate issue of morning breath and overcomes it in a girl on girl kiss scene. If you haven’t read Sarah Waters’ book, you must. Sue Trinder and Maud Lilly’s passion grows like a defiant weed, breaking the bricks above them as it flowers: 

“I felt that thread that had come between us, tugging, tugging at my heart - so hard, it hurt me. A hundred times I almost rose, almost went in to her; a hundred times I thought, Go to her! Why are you waiting? Go back to her side! But every time, I thought of what would happen if I did. I knew that I couldn't lie beside her, without wanting to touch her. I couldn't have felt her breath upon my mouth, without wanting to kiss her. And I couldn't have kissed her, without wanting to save her.” 
Daisy Buchanan is  a selfish character yet painted with beauty. Immoral even in love, Fitzgerald depicts her and Gatsby so tenderly it nearly overcomes the violence of the novel's ending:
"His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete." 
Buy Fingersmith at Amazon

Cruel Beauty reflects Beauty and the Beast as well as the Persephone myth. There are many kisses in the book, but one of my favorites happens off-stage:
“Ignifex's eyes widened a fraction. "He's a coward and a fool," he repeated distantly, as if he had learnt the words by rote. Then his gaze snapped back to me. "Why shouldn't I know my own shadow?""He got better than you at kissing somehow," I said. "Don't you ever wonder how?"If Shade was really the prince-and I still thought he was-then perhaps he could stir up some of Ignifex's memories.Maybe I wanted him to be jealous, too.Ignifex opened his mouth to speak, but I cut him off. "You can meditate on that for a while. I need to go look for ways to defeat you.” 
Buy Cruel Beauty at Amazon

Cranky old James Joyce never made his books easy to read, but the kissing scene in Ulysses is so beautiful it actually became a song decades later.
”..I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain”
Buy Ulysses at Amazon

Don’t forget sad kisses. I’ll never forget the tragic embrace in The Book Thief, teased throughout the book and arriving (spoiler alert) too late. This line will never fail to give me chills: “How about a kiss, saumensch?”

Buy The Book Thief at Amazon



I know I’m probably the only person to have read and loved Mary Stolz’s book, To Tell Your Love. With its clunky title, out-of-print status, and 1950’s binding, the novel won’t head a Goodreads list anytime soon. But if you want to read the perfect and timeless description of what a broken heart feels like in the middle of a hot New Jersey summer, To Tell Your Love is the book for you. It’s filled with quiet emotion that rages inside one girl, about to go to college, depicted with assured and gimmick-free writing: 
Image courtesy of The Decophile
“But she leaned against the pillar and wondered why he didn’t come. Then, when she turned, walked into his arms. Oh, the wonderful, sudden, good-smelling closeness of him, the quiet, dear nearness of him. The churning ache subsided as she stood, very still, in his arms. In the dark mass of trees that ringed the lake, sudden fireflies winked firefly gold. Anne sighed and lifted her head, because he had never kissed her, and now he would.”
Buy To Tell Your Love at Amazon

 And there are many other embraces, the desperation of Heathcliff and Kathy on her child/deathbed, the fever of Jane and Mr. Rochester under the tree about to be struck by lightning,the  yearning and desire between Achilles and Patroclus in The Song of Achilles. This small collection barely scratches the surface. What is your favorite kiss between fictional characters?



Alison DeLuca: features writer. Alison is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey. Connect with Alison on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and her blog.



Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

9 comments:

  1. Nothing like a kiss. Nothing like a first kiss. And Nothing like the prelude to a kiss. Love how one want to be the character being kissed. :)

    Cheers,
    Seena
    Mine is also about a Kiss but from inside the belly.
    #AtoZChallenge - K is for Kicks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How wonderful! Heading over there now to read it.

      Delete
  2. The first kiss that I ever read about in a book were Rhett and Scarlett so everything since then has to measure up to that kiss. Thanks for starting out with the best! Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there's nothing like Rhett's embrace. I read this scene in ninth grade and never forgot it!

      Thanks so much for the comment!

      Delete
  3. Mmmm, I agree. Nothing like a well-timed kiss to make your heart flutter.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge http://www.kathleenvalentineblog.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Heading over now to read about Imaginary Friends - how fun is that????

      Delete
  4. Oh, all the feels! And you made my TBR pile bigger :D And that amazing kiss from City of Glass <3 definitely one of my favourites ;) :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Right??? I read that series last summer - once I started, I couldn't put the books down.

    ReplyDelete

Shareahollic

Amazon Studio

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...