Lucy Kendall always assumed she'd help her father in his candy-making business, creating recipes and aiding him in their shared passion. But after a year traveling in Europe, Lucy returns to 1910 St. Louis to find her father unwell and her mother planning to sell the struggling candy company. Determined to help, Lucy vows to create a candy that will reverse their fortunes.
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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.---
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.
This was my first book by Siri Mitchell and so I went into it with very few expectations. I was pleasantly surprised to find it well written with good characterization and detailed research. I learned a lot about candy and factories in the 20th century. Now our main characters, Charlie and Lucy, were mad at each other for most of the book, constantly rivaling and trying to undermine each others businesses. They were pretty good at it, except for when they kissed in the middle of the story and admitted their growing attraction. It may not have been the most wildly exciting romance I've ever read, but I think Siri did a great job! I'd read one of her books again, although I'm not certainly not rushing to add her to my list of favorite authors. To any fans of historical fiction, I'd say this will be well worth your time.
"Unrivaled" by Siri Mitchell was given to me for free from Bethany House Publishers. The time is 1910 and Charlie and Lucy are knee deep in candy. Charlie was abandoned by his father at the age of 7 and after living in poverty his whole life, goes to live with his father at the age of 21, discovering that his father has become a millionaire and the owner of a candy company. Lucy is the daughter of their competitor. The two meet and start a love/hate relationship as is typical with romance novels. The story is fairly predictable for the most part. There is a twist at the end that I didn't see coming. I did like how the point of single mothers or mothers running the show due to incapability is shown throughout the novel. The novel goes back and forth from each chapter showing the point of view of Charlie and Lucy. I liked the Charlie viewpoint a lot better. I wish the whole book had been told through his eyes. I liked it, but did get a little tired of hearing about candy. I give it a B-.
Lucy Kendall was sent abroad with the hope that she would return ready to take on the expected life of a lady - and hopefully snag a husband. However, as the daughter of a candy maker she instead finds inspiration in every decadent bite of Europe's best confections and returns eager to jump into the candy making business with her father. Not exactly lady-like.
Set in St. Louis around 1910, this story surrounds the lives of Lucy Kendall and Charlie Clarke. Their father's own competing candy manufacturing companies - though neither of them knows this when they first become attracted to each other. Sparks of a different kind fly once the truth is out! I found the story to be unique in that for once the heroine doesn't make all the right choices. Motivated to protect her ailing father's business you are at times shaking your head at some of the things Lucy chooses to do to try and save her father's business.
Not that Charlie always knows the right thing to do either, but having grown up without his father he's learned a few things about making choices that affect the people he loves. This is a sweet story, full of delectable descriptions and daring deceit. Will one family put the other out of business? Or, will the next generation of candy makers learn to work in harmony? You'll have to read this enjoyable story to find out!
Sometimes things have to get worse before life can get better. Charlie Clarke and Lucy Kendall are both at low points in their lives. Charlie finds himself behind bars for another man's crime and reluctantly agrees to work for his father as a way of creating a new start. Lucy returns from Europe to find her father gravely ill and his candy business, City Confectionery, near closure. Determined to create a new candy that will trump Royal Taffy, the candy recipe that was stolen from her father by the owner of Standard Manufacturing, Lucy's endeavors put her directly at odds with Charlie, the new promotions manager at Standard Manufacturing and son of the recipe thief. Any attraction and relationship between two people from such opposing stances seems impossible; yet, Lucy and Charlie find themselves drawn to each other over and over again. Read more in Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell.
I enjoyed reading Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell. The chapters alternated between Lucy's and Charlie's points-of-view (pov) and, contrary to my expectation, Charlie's pov was actually my favorite. Lucy's immaturity was annoying at times – Charlie probably thought the same thing about her quite often – but the character growth that she experienced soothed the irritation. The story line was intriguing and I liked reading about the actual candy-making process. I'm not sure if there is a sequel planned, but I did feel like there were a few open ends that weren't fully resolved. In spite of that, I found the ending to be a sweet treat and I do recommend this book to anyone looking for a clean, sweet romance.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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."
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.
This is the first book I have read by Suri Mitchell and it will not be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed the story from beginning until end. The characters were great, interactions not always what I expected, but as each chapter ended I couldn't help but want to keep reading.
A fun light hearted read.
I was sent this book through The Book Club Network, with no strings attached.
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.
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.
Siri Mitchell has written a very sweet story about romance and candy! Unrivaled is the story of two heirs to the candy making industry. How they manage to mix up a very delicious tale is one you will enjoy reading!
First, we have the candy lady. Lucy has just returned from a year-long tour of Europe. She hopes to invent a delicious new candy that will make her father's candy factory once again the leader in the candy making world. But to her dismay, her father has had a life-threatening heart attack, and is about to lose his factory to his rival. Then, Lucy is selected to be the "Queen of Love and Beauty". How will this help her to save her father's candy factory?
The candy man, Charlie, on the other hand, is first seen as an inmate in the local jail, accused of murder. He is acquitted, and his father - who long ago deserted the family - sends for Charlie to come to St. Louis to help him run his candy factory. Charlie's father is not a very nice man, and it seems that he is trying to take Lucy's father's candy factory away from her.
This sticky story is a sweet tale of taffy like problems, creamy chocolate romance and a few nougats of nutty situations, altogether a book of delicious treats, just waiting for you to enjoy. For another addicting book by Siri Mitchell, don't miss Unrivaled. PS, Don't forget a couple of pieces of chocolate to enjoy while you read this addicting, sweet book!
When Lucy returns from her European trip with her aunt and uncle, though her mom really wanted to be the one to take her, she discovers her dad is ill in bed and she starts on her quest to terrorize Royal Taffy AND find a new recipe to save her dad's company. That is when all the fun begins. There is candy swapping, advertising poster problems, and a spy.
I was really hoping to like Lucy since that is my nick name but: Lucy was all about her and what she wanted and couldn't see past her own wants. She was very immature. She stooped to doing childish things to try and get her competitor down. I found her to be conniving.
I didn't trust Lucy's mom or Charlie's dad from the get go. Apparently Lucy's dad, who had a heart attack and was actually a very minor character, was not a good business man. So the company is being sold unless Lucy comes up with that new recipe.
The story started out good but got boring in the middle and just never picked up for me. On the other hand, I loved Charlie's character and he was the reason I kept reading. Charlie is a good guy who grew up with out his father and now his father wants to help him by giving him a job at his candy plant. Mr. Clarke often sends Charlie out to do things to help drive in more sales for Royal Taffy. Charlie has to contend with Lucy, who he is attracted to, aah romance.
The plot was a good idea and it is the first book I have read around candy. I wasn't crazy about the ending and would have liked to have known more about how things turned out. I liked that the author had included some actual history, especially of President Roosevelt. It was well written and I did notice one editing error, words in the wrong order.
Its an ok story and its not one on my read again list, but I would try out one more book by the author.
I received this book for free from the publisher for an honest review.
I chose to read Unrivaled because I thought the story line was pretty good, and it intrigued me. The cover art also pulled me in. Basically, Lucy Kendall has returned from an European adventure, to return home to discover that her beloved father is ill in bed. The company business, the candy factory, is having trouble. In turn, her mother, who has always hated the candy business is planning on selling it. However, Lucy loves the business and is determined to find a new recipe to bring the factor back to its original pride, that is, if she can take on the rival candy company, whom her father says stole their original recipe.
All in all, the story plot worked well, it's just the little things within the story that can sometimes get annoying. Such as the way Lucy would act sometimes. Despite these being merely characters in a book, I couldn't help but cringe at some of the decisions she made. Often times, they seemed a bit ridiculous. Such as the scene in the store window and giving out gifts. The story just seemed to hopscotch around, leaving me going back to reread what I must have missed.
Pleasant enough, can say I read it, but no interest in reading it again the future.
I received this complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers to provide an honest review.
Lucy Kendall takes it for granted that she is going to take over her father's candy business. Back from the European trip that was supposed to mark that she'd "grown up", she finds that life at home is in absolute disarray. Not only is the candy business dying a slow death, her father is no longer able to keep the factory alive. While they are currently producing the candy that saved them from closing down when their bestselling candy recipe got stolen by the Clarke family, things aren't looking good for the future. Lucy is determined to keep the business alive and create a candy that will change everything for the better.
But Charlie Clarke is also determined. He wants to connect with the father who walked out of his life and never looked back. Charlie wants to give him a second chance, but in order to do that, he must find out how his father acquired his company and the famous candy recipe that the Kendall's used to produce. When the truth is discovered, will it be too late to salvage the relationship with a girl he only knew as Lucy? And will Lucy be able to succeed in creating an unrivaled candy that is going to save her family?
When Anne Matter said she ate a whole pan of brownies the day she read this book, I secretly scoffed that any reading material could make you hungry for candy. She was clearly on the right track. Mitchell takes you on an amazing journey into the hopes and dreams of two families in St. Louis in 1910. The way she describes everything makes you feel as if it is real, and all you have to do is reach out your hand and touch it. It is amazing how far people will go for their families and to save their livelihoods, but Mitchell portrays it in such a way that you sympathize with both sides. A fresh Romeo and Juliet story that will delight and inspire you to believe that the greatest commandment is to love.
This book was provided for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
What happens when desperation meets desperation with a bit of candy making thrown in? You get Unrivaled, Siri Mitchell’s latest offering; a story about two desperate people. Exhibit A- desperate person- #1-a lovely young woman named Lucy Kendall who has just returned from a tour in Europe where she was hoping to gain inspiration from the fine confectioneries there in order to come home and create a new Pièce de résistance for her Father’s Candy Company-. Regrettably, her Father’s business has been going downhill for a while and Lucy’s great love for her Father and his candy company closing weighs heavily on her heart. Exhibit B- desperate person #2- Charlie Clarke who is new in town and just happens to be the son of a rival Candy company who is systematically running Lucy’s Father’s company out of business. Charlie grew up with a huge burden on his shoulders as his father whom he is now trying to become reacquainted with left him and his mother and sister when he was a young boy. This has created much hurt and many high walls between his Father and him. But now his father is trying to make amends by having Charlie work for him in his Candy business. Charlie is also trying to put his past behind him as he didn’t make the best choices and even had a run in with the law in Chicago before coming to St Louis where this novel takes place.
As this novel progresses, of course we have Charlie meeting up with Lucy and there is an immediate attraction between the two. You might say sparks were flying. However once the pair discovered who their parents were, we go from sparks to full-fledged fireworks! As each person tries their hardest to a) not be attracted to the other and B) try and run the other out of business, things continue to heat up and the back and forth between the two as they try to outmaneuver the other gets pretty intense.
Overall, I would say that I liked this story; I do believe each character goes on their own personal journey and grows as a result which is always what we want our characters to do. Where I had a little trouble with this story is I felt that the hero of the story tended to be more likable than the heroine. That’s a little problematic for me as I always want to be rooting the girl on (sister power!). Honestly I felt that the business dealings with each other got a little too underhanded and their tactics a bit too much and went on a bit too long and as a result, I found it a little unbelievable that all of a sudden at the end Boom!, they magically reconcile. That being said, Charlie is a pretty charming “rogue turned good “character and I greatly enjoyed reading his portions. ( Note, the book alternated first person point of view between Charlie and Lucy, which I did find interesting.)
So again, overall a good Historical Fiction Romance filled with candy making, intense business dealings and a pretty lovable hero to round things out.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
This was a very interesting story! The plot was well done and full of twists and turns to capture and hold the reader's interest. I enjoyed both of the characters immensely. My favorite character was definitely Charlie Clarke. I found him to have great depth as a character and he never ceased to surprise! My only qualm with this book is the use of the spiritual themes. I didn't feel as if the characters truly turned to God. They realized they made mistakes, and there is a scene in a church. However, I felt that it was superficial. I still feel that the story was very sweet as a whole. I will have my eye out for more from Siri Mitchell. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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.
This book took me by surprise in that it was a story of corporate competition in the saccharine sweet world of industrial candy making. It seems as though Royal Taffy has totally taken over the minds and actions of the characters as well as all the billboards and signage of the city in its effort to be the one and only beloved candy consumed by the populace. Whilst its smaller competitor makes a quality product, they simply don't have the drive, know-how, and funding to adequately oppose Royal Taffy.
Within the drama of the candy industry we have a not-so-sweet romance trying to blossom. Lucy's father was the developer and owner of Royal Taffy but lost it all in a take-over. Charlie comes on the scene as the long-lost son of Royal Taffy's wealthy owner. Lucy and Charlie are explicitly drawn to one another but also find themselves at constant war with each other mainly over their connection and involvement in the candy industry.
There is, however, a deeper and more personal struggle going on in their lives. It is a spiritual and moral battle confronting them. How will this corporate struggle, personal romance, and personal spiritual battle resolve?
This is basically a very light read and doesn't seem to have a lot of depth which makes it a very good read for relaxed/unwind reading. I grew a bit weary reading about Lucy's candy making and petty personality flaws but that is simply me and my take. It is a good book, very clean read (which makes it rank very high in my list of qualities), and employs flawed but redeemable characters. I have another of Siri Mitchell's books on my shelf to read and anticipate it will bring a few hours of pleasant enjoyment.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the author and publisher, Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own.
Lucy's life completely revolves around candy. Her father owns a candy company and has raised her in the kitchen. Who takes a trip through Europe and comes home with candies from various countries? Lucy does of course.
Charlie is reunited with his father. His father abandoned his family and has since become a wealthy candy company owner with a new wife and no heir to the fortune. Charlie leaves poverty & trouble in Chicago and becomes Charles in St. Louis. Charlie starts a relationship with a man who left him to fend for the family at a young age. He meets a mysterious beauty who smells like caramel.
This book is set in St. Louis when candy for the masses was still being made by hand. As a reader I was drawn into the world of making and identifying key tastes in candy. The love story was original and fun to watch. There are several times when you just want to smile as the rivalry gets taken in a awkward and hilarious direction. Life is full of surprises. I think I need to learn how to make candy now....
I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.
I really enjoy Ms. Mitchell's historical novels. She does a great job wrapping a novel around actual events and giving us a great look into history. This story takes place in St. Louis and brings together two rival candy makers. It shows the competitive nature that would arise between companies as well as a glimpse into the time before child labor laws. Lucy is in the midst of her debut into society but all she wants is to make candy for her father's floundering candy company. I enjoyed the tension between doing what was socially acceptable and what her passion for candy making wanted her to do. Which of course led to tension with the man she was attracted to yet her "enemy". I enjoyed this book and anyone who enjoys historical fiction will not be disappointed.
I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my review.