The premise of Unrivaled sounded good, but once you read it's just kind of.....bland. There really isn't any emotion in the relationships: Lucy and her mother, Lucy and Alfred, even Charlie and Lucy. I mean, Charlie is supposed to be falling in love with Lucy, but the book never really tells you why. It just keeps mentioning how he's attracted to her, but other than her spitfire personality, there is no real depth to why he does. It's a pretty predictable story.
The other problem is the main character. Charlie was a pretty good character, he had more depth ( his struggles growing up, battling his feelings toward his father, etc). But Lucy, whoa. There isn't really anything to like about her. She's mean, conniving, vindictive and hateful. She resorts to some pretty underhanded things to get her way, and the story doesn't really show any good to balance that out. She's a hard character to like.
All in all, an okay story. It just lacked that depth, that spark. It was predictable, as if it's just moseying along. As I said, bland. An okay book if you're looking to pass the time.
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.
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.