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Guns & Smoke Blog Tour: Paranormalists

Please be sure to check out the original post here!

As Guns & Smoke is a Dystopian/Western Romance novel, we thought it would be fun to come up with a list of our top ten favorite Dystopian couples.

1. Tris Prior & Tobias “Four” Eaton from Divergent.

-Anytime I think of my favorite Dystopian stories, Divergent is one of the first that comes to mind. The romance between Tris and Four isn’t apparent in the beginning of the story. I love that it is a story that builds slowly with time. I also love that they don’t realize just how much they have in common until much later. I feel like they really got to know each other as they were in Dauntless, before realizing that their histories intertwined so much.

2. Katniss Everdeen & Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games:

-In the beginning of The Hunger Games, I struggled with the love triangle. I wasn’t sure who I would have preferred Katniss to end up with. Then, in Catching Fire, Peeta stole my heart with “...but the baby” and I was done. What I love so much about Peeta and Katniss is that they learned to love each other despite their flaws. Two seemingly different people from different parts of town that are thrust into an arena to fight for the death, only to find that they can come together to break down the system? Yes. Absolutely. Still hate the mind jacking they did on Peeta!

3. Clarke Griffin & Bellamy Blake from The 100:

-Well, my son’s name is Bellamy if that’s any indication of how much I love this couple. LOL! Actually, he wasn’t named for the character in this book series but, it’s a pretty great segue into all the reasons I really loved this couple. I loved how much they complemented each other, and regardless of all the things they had to overcome, or morals they had to bend… they stood by each other. In the end I’m really happy they got their HEA in the book series, I was so disappointed that it never happened in the TV Series!

4. June Iparis & Daniel "Day" Altan Wing from Legend:

-I have so many thoughts on this couple. They go from enemies to lovers in book one, to uncomfortable allies with a sizzling attraction in book two, then in book three… it’s heartbreaking. To see how broken and battered they both were, how sick Day was, literally dying, and by the end of book three… God! It was so bittersweet my heart was left aching after reading this trilogy. The epilogue did a really good job of leaving it open-ended enough, with a happily-for-now that I really believed they would find a way to each other again. Marie Lu wrote a fourth book called Rebel in which June didn’t get a perspective (which… I mean… I get it. It wasn’t June & Day’s book but still…) I wrote about it on my Goodreads, how I really only read the fourth one to see if June and Day got their HEA finally, and they did… but without June’s perspective it fell really flat. So I was pretty disappointed. I kind of wish I’d left it off at the trilogy, because their romance was beautiful.

5. Cassia Reyes & Ky Markham from Matched:

-When I first read Matched, I remember how in love I was with this series. It was such a surprise to me. I always wished that this series would have gotten more popular. The thing I like the most is an unexpected love story. One that even surprises the main character. This is definitely what happens with Cassia and Ky! I love that once they realize the spark is between them, they go to whatever lengths possible to get back to one another.

6. Lilac LaRoux & Tarver Merendsen from These Broken Stars:

-Ah! This book has not gotten the acclaim that it deserves. It beautifully melds a futuristic, world-hopping adventure into a Dystopian world. Seeing these two characters from two different classes literally forced to survive on a hostile and strange deserted planet together screamed Robinson Family Crusoe in space to me. The black moment in this book had me in literal tears. They didn’t deserve it. Not one bit. I’ve shamelessly re-read this book at least twelve times.

7. Thomas & Teresa from The Maze Runner:

-Do they love each other? Do they hate each other? Are the motivations real or are they using each other? These two characters from The Maze Runner series really had my head wound up. I could never quite figure them out, but amidst the backdrop of the intense, action-packed plotline and dire stakes… it kept me reeling for more from them. Definitely a good dystopian couple if I ever saw one.

8. America Singer & Prince Maxon from The Selection:

-This was another Dystopian story that I wasn’t sure where the main character would end up. I genuinely thought America would end up with her childhood best friend, but I was incredibly surprised by the fake dating to surprise lovers trope. I had never really liked it before reading this. Maxon is just such a good hearted person, and I think he knew from the start that he was lost to America.

9. Mare Barrow & Tiberias "Cal" Calore VII from Red Queen:

-I have some feelings about this one. Namely, that this pair didn’t get a Happily Ever After in War Storm. It was obvious from the first time Mare and Cal met (before the arena) that they were completely into each other. They had amazing chemistry, as evidenced by their private meetings in Red Queen all of the way through War Storm. I love Cal because he was one of those good hearted guys that genuinely thought the best of people, only to have it come back on him. They deserved a HEA!

10. Bonnie & Jesse James from Guns & Smoke:

-Ah! My favorite dystopian couple of all time! Bonnie and Jesse are two broken, grieving people desperately trying to survive in a harsh and unyielding world. Where any slip up no matter how small can see you stripped of your freedom or your life. I think what’s really beautiful about their romance is that it’s intimate before it’s ever really physical. It’s about the little moments of earning trust, confiding in one another, standing up for each other. It’s about how they edge toward each other and make each other feel safe in a world that is categorically unsafe all the time. It’s heart-pounding, awe-inspiring, and healing in all the ways that feel real and necessary in a relationship. I can’t wait for the world to indulge in their romance and hopefully they’ll be wanting more after book one… because there’s a lot more to come!Guns and SmokeThe Fool’s Adventure Series Book OneLauren Sevier and A. Smith Genre: Dystopian/Western RomancePublisher: Lauren SevierDate of Publication: July 10, 2021ISBN: 978-1734402346ASIN: B08RW6JNGGNumber of pages: 364Word Count: 134,000Cover Artist: Stefanie Saw Tagline: Life should be about more than just surviving. Book Description: In a world where safety is a luxury and honor is found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun dangers lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them. Bonnie is an outlaw on the run. Beautiful but dangerous; her dark past stalks her like the crater beasts that roam the desert. As the notoriously cruel outlaw Jones sends his henchmen to track her down and retrieve the gun she stole from him, Bonnie hopes she can stay one step ahead. Because if he catches her, a fate worse than death awaits. Jesse always dreamed of leaving the farm to explore the ruins of the big cities he'd heard about his whole life. He just never imagined he'd be forced to flee after strange men burned down his rural mountain town and murdered everyone he loved. Responsible for his kid brother and searching for an uncle he's never met before, he isn't sure he can navigate the perils of life among con artists and thieves long enough to find him. Their two paths collide as they find themselves thrown together on the adventure of a lifetime. Together, they may just discover that life is about more than just surviving.

Excerpt #1 One small change in position and now each of my soft curves was pressed intimately against the tall, hard length of his unyielding body. His blue eyes blazed in the dim light of the alley, reading something on my face that urged him on. This was supposed to be my trap. His hands were buried in my hair now, a thumb tracing over my cheek to land on my bottom lip. I knew what he wanted. Parting my mouth, I wrapped my lips around the pad of his thumb, my tongue flicking against it before sucking softly. A deep thunderous sound rumbled through his chest to shake me down to my bones. His hand in my hair slid to the back of my head, pulling my mouth closer to his. He wanted me to kiss him. He wanted this to be more than a transaction. He wanted me to want him back. I brushed my nose against his, and he stilled. All other motion and sensation forgotten as his eyes landed on my mouth, inching closer to his. I drank in the taste of his breath, a faint echo of the taste of his lips from before. My head tilted to the side, and he brushed the hair away from my face to see me more clearly as I angled toward him. He swallowed down whatever desperate words were on the tip of his tongue, and I took his chin in my hand, mouths open and millimeters apart. Click.

About the Authors:

Lauren Sevier and A. Smith are longtime friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns and Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night.

Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series.

The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia.

Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on TikTok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!

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