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Posted March 30, 2013
For Love of Candy!
Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of Europe with her Aunt and Uncle. She is so excited to share all the wonderful sites she has visited with her parents. But just as they pull up to her house her Aunt informs her that her father has had a spell with his heart and is bedridden. All the excitement left her now she is left with fear of the possible lose of her father. The two were more than father and daughter they both had a passion for making candy. She worried what would happen to the candy factory without her father. When she enters the house crying and greets her mother all was confirmed about her father's health. Her mother informs her the candy factory must be sold for fear of losing everything. Luch thought surely there was something she could do to save her beloved candy factory.
Lucy is obligated to attend a party with her mother and while at the party she overhears several girls commenting on that Lucy was a mean and deceitful person. After all she had been through since she returned from her tour she left the room and hid while she cried. Was she really all they said? The next thing she knew a handsome man she literally ran over while walking down the sidewalk the other day is there trying to comfort her.
Charles Clark witness a murder and is implicated in the crime. Since he was only an onlooker he was released from jail but not until his face was plaster on the front page of of a Chicago newspaper for everyone to see. His mother and her future husband, whom is a cop, inform him he is to go live with his father. What can they be thinking? He has been estranged from for twelve years.
When Charles arrives at a mansion the driver tells him that this is his father's residence. Which means his father has done very well for himself while he and his mother and sisters basically did without things such a food and proper shelter. His seems father more than happy to see him and offers him a job at his father's very successful candy factory, as his heir to the business. The working conditions were horrific and not efficient for the workers and even worse, there were children working there. One of Charles's first assignments was to help plan the downfall of his father's competitor Mr.Kendall and his candy factory. As he is in town on errands a beautiful you woman literally runs him over and when she leaves he can't get her off his mind.
What will happen when Lucy and Charles find out who they have just formed a bond with?
This book kept my attention to the very end. I would love for their story to continue! The author wrote of deception, ruthlessness, romance, family ties, second chances, reconciliation and redemption. This is a great lesson in overcoming misconceptions, trials and tribulation.
The only downside of the book was I kept craving candy for some reason, especially taffy!
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House/Litfuse Publicity Group for review.
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Posted September 2, 2014
Posted September 1, 2014
Both main characters seemed to have unbelievable aspects, hard to believe someone could be there and just stand by as a witness to a murder and just be able walk away from it. And seeming to have more concern about what that truth would do to his reputation, than it had on his conscience. Also hard to believe that a person would not dig deeper into the reasons her dad lost his candy recipe for another to produce, especially with the hints continually being thrown at her by her mother. Both characters seemed so immature and the romance plot of the story was so predictable. Also very hard to believe another character, with such (promoted in story) high social and moral standing, would fall head over heels for a bar girl on first sight, especially in those days, someone on such a different social level than him. My summary is so much unbelievable and predictable content.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2013
Plot: I was a little disappointed with the plot. The story wasn't as interesting as I thought it was going to be. There were some twists, which made it interesting, but overall, I wasn't too impressed.
Characters: I didn't think that the characters were all that interesting. They did have some depth though, which was good. They also evolved by the end of the story and you could tell that they had grown.
Themes: This story didn't really have a theme to it. It was simply a romance novel. There wasn't really anything to be learned from this story.
Emotion: I was disappointed by the lack of emotion in the story. The plot left a lot of potential for some good emotional involvement, but, unfortunately, it was lacking.
Overall: I really enjoyed the way that this book was written in first person narrative by both of the main characters. It made for a more enjoyable read as you saw the story from both points of view at the same time. This wasn't a bad book, I just feel that it was lacking and that it didn't quite measure up to it's potential.
---I received this book for free from the publisher for this review.---
Posted October 30, 2013
I almost always love Siri Mitchell’s books, mostly because she writes some of the few historicals in the CBA market written from first person point of view. I’m still not quite used to this switching back and forth between hero and heroine though. I mean, I liked seeing Charlie Clarke’s side of everything and all, but I like better when an author is able to let the reader get to know the hero from the heroine’s perspective. It’s more challenging, but so worth it in the end, if done well.
I really liked both Charlie Clarke and Lucy Kendall and felt that they had a meaningful friendship from the beginning of their tumultuous acquaintance. However, it kind of bothered me that the main focus of the book was upon the feud between the candy businesses of Saint Louis instead of the main characters whose lives were being messed up because of the feud. I felt that the scenes were a bit sporadic and the reader was left in the dark as to how the scenes actually affected the main characters. And I know this might seem silly, but I didn’t really feel that the cover depicted Lucy, Charlie, or the story inside the book very well.
Overall, I enjoyed this book—which is saying something coming from this picky reader. I just felt that I was ‘reading a book’, when what I really wanted was to be so engaged in the words, the characters and the story that I could forget I was actually ‘reading a book’. I wanted to get to know Charlie and Lucy so much more, to know more of WHY they were saying what they were saying and WHY they were doing what they were doing.
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchanged for my honest review.
Posted July 22, 2013
I’ve definitely enjoyed several of Siri Mitchell’s books and Unrivaled was no exception. This was a sweet story – in more ways than one!
Unrivaled is the story of Lucy, a candy maker’s daughter, who comes home from England ready to create a candy that will blow all other candies away and save her family’s business. There’s just one problem – their rivals, Royal Taffy, are out to blow their candy shop out of business. With her father sick, Lucy must find a way to save the business without him. In steps Charlie, a handsome new man in town. Abandoned by his father at a young age, Charlie now finds his father wanting him to help him in his thriving business – Royal Taffy. Seeking his father’s love, Charlie agrees to do anything in order to help his father’s business. Even helping to sabotage the beautiful Lucy’s family shop.
Will Lucy and Charlie ever learn to get along? Or will their differences keep them distant from each other? Pick up this sweet tale to find out what happens between these two young people who only want to help their father’s succeed.
Reading about candy definitely made my mouth water! I suggest picking up some candy to read along with this book. I definitely enjoyed this book very much. The characters became real to me as I entered their world and I was sucked into the story. I enjoyed learning about the process of creating candy and seeing the rivalry between two different candy businesses. This book is another great read from a great author!
I received a free ecopy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I received no compensation for this review and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions stated are my own.
Posted May 30, 2013
It took less than a page for me to find myself transported to 1910 St. Louis alongside Lucy Kendall and deeply interested in Unrivaled! Lucy’s spirit and determination made her an easy character to root for. I loved that she didn’t waste time moping but instead sprang into action.
Unfair as my judgment was, I hadn’t initially expected to like Charlie. Siri Mitchell did an excellent job crafting his character, however, and it wasn’t long before I found myself sympathizing with Charlie and even taking his side over Lucy’s! The main characters start out as opposite as chocolate and vanilla, but as the story progresses, it becomes clear that maybe they both share swirls of flavor.
Besides cheering and groaning over Charlie and Lucy’s push and pull relationship, I loved getting to look over their shoulders and glimpse the not-always-sweet business of candy making, as well as St. Louis’s sophisticated but mostly shallow society.
Siri’s writing style is as smooth as rich melted dark chocolate, and this is one of the most flavorful stories I’ve read quite a while! Her setting, descriptions, characters, and plot twists make Unrivaled the recipe for a book worth reading. I recommend it especially to fans of historical fiction, rocky romances, and strong (sometimes headstrong!) characters. My only warning: This book will cause sugar cravings, so keep some treats stashed close by!
I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for my review.
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Posted May 18, 2013
Seems I'm the odd reviewer out of the rest on this one...
The premise was good, but the story and characters didn't add up to good reading for me. I am not impressed with the immature protagonist and never did come to any 'liking' of her. Tantalized by the great cover, disappointed by the lack of character content. She was childish and mean, devious in her attempts to keep her father's candy company afloat, and never questioned blatantly obvious discrepancies between her mother's comments and her own understanding of their loss of the candy recipe that made another family rich... She agreed to a marriage of convenience without any depth of feeling and all emotions seemed entirely surface. No questions about her fiance's activities or where he spent his time - Waaaay too naive to keep my interest. I was constantly putting it down in frustration, then picking up later just to keep my commitment to read and review. Sorry to say it was so...
I received Unrivaled gratis from the publisher in exchange for my review without obligation.
Posted May 17, 2013
This book had it's sweet and it's sour parts, just as there is sweet and sour candy. I found Lucy's stubbornness in not giving up
to be partly irritating, and some of her tactics for keeping her father's company were criminal-like. However, this is a story of growth ,
and she does learn from her mistakes.
Another problem I had with it was that my copy of the book had quite a few typos in it. which ruined the flow of the story at times.
I have not read a book from Bethany House with so many typos before, so maybe it was just my copy.
As for the romance, I will say that though it wasn't exactly what I call completely realistic , the book did have it
a realistic feel to it. It tells the story of two people's imperfections and it mixes in the sweetness of romance with the bitterness of facing
the consequences of bad actions. Quite believable to me.
With thanks to the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Posted May 14, 2013
The rivalry between City Confectionary’s Fancy Crunch and Standard Manufacturing’s Royal Taffy in 1910 St. Louis is turning the candy world upside down. The Kendalls and the Clarkes used to be part of the same company, but at this point they resemble the Hatfields and McCoys. The animosity now extends to the children of the founders.
Through a chance meeting Lucy Kendall meets Charlie Clarke. At the time they don’t realize who the other is and a spark of interest begins to grow. Soon enough it becomes known and even though the attraction is mutual they just can’t seem to put aside the hurt and resentment of the past.
This is a story of jealousy, stubbornness, and revenge. It is also a story of caring, yielding and forgiveness. Once again Siri Mitchell transports us back in time with the sights, sounds and smells of the time period. She is a gifted writer that can paint a complete picture with words. I enjoy her ability to give a very detailed account of the timeframe without losing the magic of the storyline. I learn so much from her novels through the narrative and through the author’s notes at the end.
If you enjoy historical fiction I think you will delight in Unrivaled. My only warning is that this is a story about candy . . . better stock up on some before you pick up the book. You are definitely going to want some by the end.
Posted May 10, 2013
Lucy Kendall, a beautiful, privileged young woman, returns from a whirlwind year in Europe with her aunt and uncle. She feels the trip has changed her life, but nothing like what transpires when she returns to her home in St. Louis, Missouri. She finds during her absence her father has suffered a heart attack and is bedfast, all her peers have married except one, and her mother wants to sell their candy business, City Confectionery.
During her trip she gathered the most luscious candies she could find, planning to use them to create the best candy recipe ever to save her father’s struggling business. She begs her mother to give her a chance. Her mother gives her one month to work nothing short of a miracle. The catch is she must fulfill her obligations in society as debutante which is further complicated by being elected as Queen of Love and Beauty.
Charlie’s Clarke’s life was the exact opposite of Lucy’s, abandoned by his father at a very young age, living in poverty and becoming involved in crime to support his mother and siblings. He is sent to live with his very wealthy father whom he has not seen in 15 years. His father just happens to be the owner of Standard Manufacturing, the nemesis and competitor that is driving Lucy’s family out of business. Story also has it that Mr. Clarke conned Lucy’s dad out of his original recipe for Royal Taffy, the number one selling candy of the time! With bitterness toward his father, and the social shock suddenly being thrown into high society, Charlie is struggling this is own issues.
As if making all the public appearances and working on her candy recipe isn’t enough, things get even more complicated for Lucy when she meets Charlie (not knowing who he is) and finds herself falling in love with him. Charlie’s feelings match hers. That is until Lucy finds out whom he really is!
Lucy goes into full blown attack mode to save their company. Charlie not wanting to comply but desiring his father’s praise, does everything he can to stop her every effort. The ensuing battle is hilarious, with each one trying to outmaneuver the other. All along, they are fighting the strong attraction for one another and growing more frustrated by the moment.
While this book is a wonderfully entertaining, filled with romance and a lots of humor; it offers much more. Historically I was able to see a blossoming, and rapidly changing era. Ms. Mitchell allowed me to see the early 20th century through the eyes of both the wealthy and the poor. It held a surprising reminder of the great gulf that lay between the two social groups during that time. The conditions in the factories and the child labor was appalling enough without realzing how some business owners had no compassion or concern for their workers, especially the children.
As the story unfolds I saw Lucy and Charlie mature and grow as young adults; each one being forced to harshly examine their self. They faced their character flaws and faults, but most importantly desired to change. Lucy was a beautiful example of how we can become so focused on our desires we can sacrifice our values and end up making impulsive and sinful choices all in the name of ‘winning”. Charlie reveals that our past does not define who we are in the present, and we must not only seek God’s forgiveness but also forgive ourselves.
You will laugh, cry and even feel angry at the escapades of Lucy and Charlie. The book is 391 pages but you will find it difficult to put it down, and when you come to the end, you will be wishing for more! A very good book.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted May 9, 2013
I have read all of Siri Mitchell's books and this one was one of the more disappointing ones. I couldn't connect with the characters and the plot was slow. I found myself having to skim major parts of the book because I just wasn't into it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2013
Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell wa a very enjoyable read. I enjoyed being taken into the world of candy making, which was a totally unique plot line. This is a book about love and forgiveness. I found myself not being very forgiving of Charlie's father, who left his family when Charlie was only seven, which left Charlie with old wounds to heal with his father. Lucy was a very headstrong young women that I admired. This was the first Siri Mitchell book I have read and it will not be the last. I give Unrivaled a 4 out of 5 stars.
I received this book from Net Galley and Baker Publishing for my honest review.
Posted April 17, 2013
Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of the Continent, her luggage filled with the latest fashions and a mind fired by inspiration. After tasting Europe's best confections, she's sure she'll come up with a recipe that will save her father's struggling candy business and reverse their fortunes. But she soon discovers that their biggest competitor, the cheat who swindled her father out of his prize recipe, has now hired a promotions manager -- a cocky, handsome out-of-towner who gets under Lucy's skin.Charlie Clarke's new role at Standard Manufacturing is the chance of a lifetime. He can put some rough times behind him and reconnect with the father he's never known. The one thing he never counted on, however, was tenacious Lucy Kendall. She's making his work life miserable ... and making herself impossible for him to forget.
Putting the romantic slant aside, this was an overall good book. Rivaling candy companies trying to stay in business. One's future depends on it and the other's pocket depends on ousting the competition. Side stories run along the lines of formed friendships, healing past wounds and learning how to be humble and put pride aside. With unexpected turns along the way, the book keeps you hooked up until the end.
Bethany House sent me this complimentary copy to review. Opinions expressed are my own.
Posted April 15, 2013
Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell was one of my favorite reads in March! This is a story of two business rivals in the candy industry trying to succeed. Neither expect to find the other so attractive and infuriating at the same time! Lucy Kendall must do everything she can to help her father’s dying company while Charlie is learning the ropes to why his father is number one in the candy business.
When Lucy learns of her mother’s plans, she is crushed but more determine to make her rival’s company pay for their thieving ways. Can anything sweet ever come out of their rivalry? You’ll just have to find out!
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Posted April 11, 2013
UNRIVALED by Siri Mitchell
Who knew candy could be such a cutthroat business? Nineteen-year-old Lucy Kendall has returned home to St. Louis after a year abroad with her aunt and uncle. She’s been inspired by Europe’s top confections. However, surprises await her when she returns home. Her father is bed-bound after a heart attack. On top of that, her mother is trying to sell his (and Lucy’s) beloved candy company, City Confectionery. They cannot compete with their biggest candy competitor, Standard Manufacturing, whose mainstay candy is made using a recipe Lucy’s father created. Lucy is determined to save her father’s company, and she’ll work to undermine Standard. It’s too bad that the Standard owner’s handsome son has moved to town. Charlie Clarke can now lead a life he only dreamed of. Charlie’s feelings toward Lucy are strong, but Lucy can’t love the enemy. Can she? She’s so passionate (and pigheaded) about candy. Is she only single-minded or can she learn to see beyond herself?
This novel is nicely written, and I appreciate the obvious research that went into making this book historically accurate. There is a lot going on: faith, scheming, love, worry, rivalry, and the main characters are from totally different backgrounds. Mitchell handles it all deftly, but I admit that the book started off slow for me. I recommend this book if it suits your interests: Christian fiction, historical fiction, a cutthroat candy business. This is a fine book, but it didn’t wow me.
-- Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are expressly my own.
Posted April 8, 2013
I had never read Siri Mitchell before, but a friend had told me that she loved her books, so I decided I would give it a try. I read "Unrivaled" and I have to be honest and say that I was not impressed. It had its good moments, but I felt like I only kept reading to see if there was something exciting coming up, but I was always disappointed. I am very picky about the books I read and I need to be captivated within the first few pages, and this book just didn't do it for me. Also, I didn't feel there was a solid plot; it felt really rushed. There was no climax to the book that I noticed. It was just...average. I felt like those things that should have been a big surprise either weren't built up enough to make me say, "Wow, I did not see that coming", or weren't emphasized well. Overall, I was not pleased with this book and I would probably never read it again.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 7, 2013
Lucy returns from a trip abroad, with candy that she wants to help with her family with their confectionary candy. Charlie is being sent from the Southside of Chicago to his dad.
Both Lucy and Charlie's paths intersect with each other on numerous occasions from the Christmas time window to the meetings at the balls held throughout society. Many things you think would make them rivals but yet they worked together in such a way that made them teammates in the end.
Posted April 6, 2013
The back cover says “Falling in love could be a recipe for disaster.” I didn’t read that until I had finished the last pages of the novel and this quote sums it up in a nutshell… or should I say in a caramel. I was instantly drawn to the two main characters and the way in which the novel was set up … alternating Charlie’s experience with Lucy’s chapter by chapter. I found both Charlie and Lucy to have genuinely likable personalities and both would be someone I would befriend!
And Winnie Compton…. To be like Winnie Compton. Lovingly straightforward with her thoughts and helping lead Charlie to the Lord. I loved her lines to Charlie on page 197:
Winnie: Haven’t I seen you in church, Charles Clarke?”
Charlie: “Every Sunday” Whether I wanted to be there nor not.
Winnie: “Don’t you listen?” “… No”
She threw up her hands. “Well, why on earth do you go?... You don’t have to be what you used to be…” And she goes on to explain that we can NEVER do enough to earn God’s love. That sin is sin and you just have to accept His love and forgiveness… Regardless of the nature or seriousness of the sin, you still don’t get to go to Heaven unless you are His child.
There were many quirky, unexpected one-liners that literally made me laugh out loud! One was found on page 283 where the author deliberately allowed for creative license rather than obey grammatical rules. Peeking into Lucy’s thoughts, Siri Mitchell wrote “Father was right. Girls shouldn’t meddle in business. And Winnie was right: I was mean. But Charles was the right-est of them all: Maybe I really did have a cold, black heart.”
Best of all is that I wasn’t reading a predictable, romance-y type novel. Yes, there was romance but there was a solid plot full of a richly developed cast of characters from poor to working class to the well off! I haven’t read a novel in a while that was as enjoyable as this one!
I received this book from Bethany House free for my fair and unbiased review.
Posted April 6, 2013
Siri Mitchell in her new book "Unrivaled" published by Bethany House takes us into the lives of Lucy Kendall and Charlie Clarke.
From the back cover: Falling in love could be a recipe for disaster
Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of the Continent, her luggage filled with the latest fashions and a mind fired by inspiration. After tasting Europe's best confections, she's sure she'll come up with a recipe that will save her father's struggling candy business and reverse their fortunes. But she soon discovers that their biggest competitor, the cheat who swindled her father out of his prize recipe, has now hired a promotions manager-a cocky, handsome out-of-towner who gets under Lucy's skin.
Charlie Clarke's new role at Standard Manufacturing is the chance of a lifetime. He can put some rough times behind him and reconnect with the father he's never known. The one thing he never counted on, however, was tenacious Lucy Kendall. She's making his work life miserable...and making herself impossible for him to forget.
Who knew the candy business could be so antagonistic? Lucy Kendall and Charlie Clarke are the children of candy business entrepreneurs. Both of them are trying to make more of the parent's company, especially Lucy who had dreams of adding new candies to the lineup. Now their competition heats up in more ways than either of them ever expected. "Unrivaled" is more than just a love story it is a story about family and fathers. Charlie just wants to connect with his father, Lucy works to help the company while her father recuperates. Ms. Mitchell provides a story that has many layers to it, sort of like a literary lasagna, a layer of pasta, a layer of meat, then the cheese, then the sauce. Her story has faith, competition, restoration, family and romance all cooked to perfection. This is a book about what is important in life. Ms. Mitchell knows how to create characters that live on the page and that we get to know and love. Get ready for an exciting read that will keep you flipping pages and keep you emotionally involved.
A "sweet" giveaway from @SiriMitchell - Kindle Fire and Vintage Candy! Plus RSVP for 4/18 Facebook Party!
Celebrate Unrivaled with Siri Mitchell by entering to win a Kindle Fire and joining her on April 18th for a Facebook Author Chat Party!
One "swooning" winner will receive:
A Kindle Fire
Vintage Candy Kit
Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell (one for you and one for a friend!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 17th. Winner will be announced at the "Unrivaled" Author Chat Facebook Party on 4/18. Connect with Siri, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books, vintage candy kits, and more!
So grab your copy of Unrivaled and join Siri on the evening of the April 18th for a chance to connect with Siri and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)
Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."