Can We Talk About the Romance? Swoon-Worthy Lines in Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom

Hey there! Today, I have another Loving the Lines for you! Loving the Lines is dedicated to books and series with stand-out quotes that need to be shared. I’m often moved by passages and lines from the books I read, and I thought this would be a great way to show the love!! Many thanks to all the wonderful writers who inspire, empower, entertain, and make people think. Today, that author is:

Leigh Bardugo 

I love the Shadow and Bone series and the Six of Crows Duology and will basically read anything Leigh Bardugo writes.

Bardugo’s work actually inspired four posts on my blog, as well as today’s post:

There’s also a new series set to release soon. Have you seen the teaser trailer yet?

Doesn’t it look fantastic!! I can’t wait! Just those little snippets of the characters from Six of Crows!! Kaz and Inej and Jesper, oh my!! And the Darkling, Mal, and Alina!!! Fabulous casting!

There are so many powerful scenes in both series, but for today I’m focusing on:

My Favorite Romantic Lines in Crooked Kingdom.

Let’s check them out! Hopefully, they’ll make the show!

Kaz & Inej:

She could feel the press of Kaz’s fingers against her skin, feel the bird’s wing brush of his mouth against her neck, see his dilated eyes. Two of the deadliest people the Barrel had to offer and they could barely touch each other without both of them keeling over. But they’d tried. He’d tried. Maybe they could try again.

She felt his knuckles slide against hers. Then his hand was in her hand, his palm was pressed against her own. A tremor moved through him. Slowly, he let their fingers entwine. For a long while, they stood there, hands clasped, looking out at the gray expanse of the sea.

I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.

She smiled then, her eyes red, her cheeks scattered with some kind of dust. It was a smile he thought he might die to earn again.

His knuckles brushed against her skin and lightning cracked through him, left him paralyzed, rooted to the earth. His heart should not be making that sound.

He watched the pulse, the evidence of her heart, matching his own beat for anxious beat. He saw the damp curve of her neck, the gleam of her brown skin. He wanted to … He wanted.

Nina & Matthias:

There is no one I want more; there is nothing I want more than to be overwhelmed by you.

“I am grateful you’re alive”, he said. “I am grateful that you’re beside me. I am grateful that you’re eating.”

She rested her head on his shoulder. “You’re better that waffles, Matthias Helvar.”

A small smile curled the Fjerdan’s lips. “Let’s not say things we don’t mean, my love.”

“Meeting you was a disaster.”

She raised a brow. “Thank you.”

Djel, he was terrible at this. He stumbled on, trying to make her understand. “But I am grateful for that disaster. I needed a catastrophe to shake me from the life I knew. You were an earthquake, a landslide.”

“I,” she said, planting a hand on her hip, “am a delicate flower.”

“You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.”

I have been made to protect you. Even in death, I will find a way.

“This isn’t about romance. A proper kiss, a proper courtship. There’s a way these things should be done.”

“For proper thieves?” The corners of her beautiful mouth curled and for a moment he was afraid she would laugh at him, but she simply shook her head and drew even nearer. Her body was the barest breath from his now. The need to close that scrap of distance was maddening.

“The first day you showed up at my house for this proper courtship, I would have cornered you in the pantry,” she said. “But please, tell me more about Fjerdan girls.”

“They speak quietly. They don’t engage in flirtations with every single man they meet.”

“I flirt with the women too.”

“I think you’d flirt with a date palm if it would pay you any attention.”

“If I flirted with a plant, you can bet it would stand up and take notice. Are you jealous?”

“All the time.”

She went up on tiptoe, and that easily, her mouth was against his. It was barely a kiss—just a quick, startling press of her lips.

Before she could even think of moving away, he had hold of her. He knew he was probably doing everything wrong, but he couldn’t bring himself to worry, because she was in his arms, her lips were parting, her hands were twining around his neck, and sweet Djel, her tongue was in his mouth. No wonder Fjerdans were so cautious about courtship. If Matthias could be kissing Nina, feeling her nip at his lip with her clever teeth, feel her body fitted against his own, hear her release that little sigh in the back of her throat, why would he ever bother doing anything else? Why would anyone?

“What are you looking at, Matthias?” The low thrum of her voice vibrated straight through him.

He kept his eyes on the ceiling, whispering softly. “Nothing.”

“Matthias, are you praying?”


“For restraint?” she said sweetly.

“You really are a witch.”

“I’m not proper, Matthias.”

“I am aware of this.” Miserably, keenly, hungrily aware.

“And I’m sorry to inform you, but you’re not proper either.”

His gaze dropped to her now. “I—”

“How many rules have you broken since you met me? How many laws? They won’t be the last. Nothing about us will ever be proper,” she said. She tilted her face up to his. So close now it was as if they were already touching. “Not the way we met. Not the life we lead. And not the way we kiss.”

Nina, I am with you because you let me be with you. There is no greater honor than to stand by your side.

Jesper & Wylan:

“Jes, I’ve thought about this-“

“Thought of me? Late at night? What was I wearing?”

“I’ve thought about your powers,” Wylan said, cheeks flushing pinker.

Periodically, the Tailor would stop and stretch and give Wylan a mirror so that he could consult on what looked right or wrong. An hour later, Wylan’s irises had gone from gold to blue and the shape of his eyes had changed as well.

“His brow should be narrower,” Jesper said, peering over Genya’s shoulder. “Just a little bit. And his lashes were longer.”

“I didn’t know you were paying attention,” murmured Wylan.

Jesper grinned. “I was paying attention.”

He felt greedy for something. He’d wanted to kiss Wylan since he’d first seen him stirring chemicals in that gruesome tannery—ruddy curls damp with the heat, skin so delicate it looked like it would bruise if you breathed on it too hard. He looked like he’d fallen into the wrong story, a prince turned pauper. From then on, Jesper had been stuck somewhere between the desire to taunt the pampered little merchling into another blush and the urge to flirt him into a quiet corner just to see what might happen. But sometime during their hours at the Ice Court, that curiosity had changed. He’d felt the tug of something more, something that came to life in Wylan’s unexpected courage, in his wide-eyed, generous way of looking at the world. It made Jesper feel like a kite on a tether, lifted up and then plummeting down, and he liked it.

“A chemical weevil,” said Jesper, “But Wylan still hasn’t named it. My vote is for the Wyvil.”

“That’s terrible,” said Wylan.

“It’s brilliant,” Jesper winked. “Just like you.”

Wylan laid his hand on Jesper’s shoulder. “Stop.”

Jesper didn’t know if he wanted to jerk away or pull him closer.

“Just stop,” Wylan said. “Breathe.” Wylan’s gaze was steady.

Jesper couldn’t look away from that clear-water blue. He forced himself to still, inhaled, exhaled.

“Again,” Wylan said, and when Jesper opened his mouth to take another breath, Wylan leaned forward and kissed him. Jesper’s mind emptied. He wasn’t thinking of what had happened before or what might happen next. There was only the reality of Wylan’s mouth, the press of his lips, then the fine bones of his neck, the silky feel of his curls as Jesper cupped his nape and drew him nearer.

This was the kiss he’d been waiting for. It was a gunshot. It was prairie fire. It was the spin of Makker’s Wheel. Jesper felt the pounding of his heart—or was it Wylan’s?—like a stampede in his chest, and the only thought in his head was a happy, startled, Oh.

Slowly, inevitably, they broke apart. “Wylan,” Jesper said, looking into the wide blue sky of his eyes, “I really hope we don’t die.”

Aren’t these quotes fantastic?! Which sound the most swoon-worthy to you? Comment below!

18 thoughts on “Can We Talk About the Romance? Swoon-Worthy Lines in Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom

  1. I did not know I needed this post. But I did. I am now satisfied forever. This is AMAZING! I will now go read your other Bardugo related posts <3

  2. I’m fully on board the Leigh Bardugo train! I read The Ninth House not too long ago and loved it! I will be reading Shadow and Bone soon to start the Grishaverse. I loved the quotes you pulled out. I am excited to begin.

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