Friday, 29 March 2013

Rameau Friday: Unrivaled - Siri Mitchell


This is a sweet story.

Yes, it tells about two rivalling families making candy to the point where you start to drool reading the descriptions—or was that just me?—but it also tells about overcoming past mistakes and accepting second chances. Forgiveness. Things Christian fiction revolves around.

I know, it’s shocking, but sometimes I try to read out of my comfort zone and anything to do with religious fiction is way, way out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it pays off, other times it doesn’t, but look at that blurb:

Lucy Kendall always assumed she'd help her father in his candy-making business, creating recipes and aiding him in their shared passion.

A young woman wanting to go into business with her father and to make little bites of heaven? Yes, please.

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.

So here’s the conflict. Not only is her father unwell, Lucy lives at a time when when women in business were frowned upon. At least if you were of a certain social class it was a no no. There are also other more personal obstacles than figuring out the recipe for the next best candy or how to sell it. She has the spirit but is it enough to succeed?

St. Louis newcomer Charlie Clarke is determined to help his father dominate the nation's candy industry.

I was surprised to see that Unrivaled was told from two alternating point of views and that of the two, I liked Charlie’s voice better. In a way it was indistinguishable from Lucy’s voice, but his actions didn’t make me sympathise with the “bad parent” or want to pull my hair out like Lucy’s did.

Compromise is not an option when the prize is a father's approval, and falling in love with a business rival is a recipe for disaster when only one company can win.

I don’t think this is quite true. For someone who isn’t willing to compromise Charlie goes along with his parents’ plans and lets his life be turned upside down without a word of protest. Nor is his father’s approval the top most thing on his mind. Charlie’s more interested in learning why he left in the first place.

The rivalry itself was quite fun. Lucy especially did a few callous things to sabotage her competitor.

Will these two star-crossed lovers let a competition that turns less than friendly sour their dreams?

If you can’t guess the answer to that, let me introduce you to Agatha Christie, an author who’ll blow your mind. But in all seriousness, as long as we’re talking about the future in candy making their dreams look to be quite safe even if not in a way they imagined. As for the romance riddled with insta-love, the outlook isn’t as bright. I wasn’t exactly moved by the sweetness of that side of the novel, but that’s better for my teeth anyway.

It is a sweet story and I’m glad I read it but I’m ready to go back to darker themes.



I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

3 stars

Series: N/A
Pages: 400 (ebook)
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 9780764207976 (paperback)
Published: March 1st 2013
Source: NetGalley


34 comments:

  1. You're funny - "ready to go back to my darker themes". I must admit I was surprised to see this on your blog. Lol. It sounds good though and something I would like. It tend to drift towards more modern Christian fiction though. It's good to get out of the comfort zone once in a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Comfort zones are important but restraining too. I think my preference for historical fiction helped, but I never thought it a bad book. Just not exactly for my taste.

      I hope you'll like it.

      Delete
  2. I know what you mean, It takes a lot to get me to read Christian fiction, but I am tempted just because of the candy. I mean pages and pages of delectable candy making! Sounds awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Originally I wanted to try another book by this author, but I was having trouble finding it. So, when this—and all the candy!—appeared on NetGalley I requested it. I still want to read that other book.

      Delete
  3. I'm not into this genre so I will pass. Plus, I don't mind sweet, but sometimes it is too saccarine for my tastes. At least you wanted candy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least I got that :P

      Lucy makes a lot of toffee, but my favourite moments were when she was devouring the foreign chocolates.

      Delete
  4. If you can’t guess the answer to that, let me introduce you to Agatha Christie, an author who’ll blow your mind.

    I almost died laughing. You and your reviews, you are dangerous for my health!!! And now please let me go and brush my teeth - too much sugar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, dear. We need to get you more toothpaste. I would hate if my reviews led you to have fake teeth!

      Delete
  5. The candy shop would have drawn me too this, it sounds like a sweet afternoon read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm intrigued by the candy making. It seems like an interesting business for the time. Or maybe I just like candy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is more than likely. I know very few people who don't like candy.

      Delete
  7. The candy making business intrigues me, especially as I have become addicted to the game Candy Crush. But religion in books is not my idea of fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Candy Crush reminds me that aside from toffee, there was something called Fancy Crunch in the book.

      Sometimes religion is appropriate in books, especially in historical novels. But I don't like when it's the sole focus and motive for telling a story.

      Delete
  8. don't know if it's for me but it sounds like a nice one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's because it is. Not sure if it's your kind of nice though.

      Delete
  9. This sounds like a nice one, I've read a handful in this genre, and I find them to be comfort reads.
    Great review. What a pretty cover too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cover is pretty but I wish I'd know a bit more about fashion history to determine whether the dress is anachronistic or not.

      Delete
  10. I enjoyed this one as well. Here other books are just as good if you decide to step out of your comfort zone again! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still fully intend to read more from her, if I ever find the book that's been on my tbr list for ages.

      Delete
  11. loved the style of this review. I've tried a few Christian fiction books, and they were hit or miss for me. While this one is intriguing, I'll pass. thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Dissecting the blurb is my backup plan when I don't quite know what to say about the book.

      Delete
  12. I don't usually read religious fiction but the candy aspect and the female working in a time when that was not as acceptable definitely has me interested. Sometimes it's nice to change up our reading choices every now and then. Great review! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      Lucy wanted to work and keep their candy factory but in reality she ended up helping with the books or inventing new candy at the kitchen in home. I'm not saying she didn't work but neither was she given the chance to be as progressive as she could have been. Charlie on the other hand was shown to stroll the Clarke factories and apprentice for his job.

      Delete
  13. i love this author! i think she is one of the best in this genre.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I really didn't like this book despite my general love for Christian historical fiction-Lucy and Charlie were just too awful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can definitely understand why you'd have had problems with Lucy's character, but why with Charlie's? Or was it just how those two acted together. I remember the scenes where he was either in the factory or dealing with some factory business better than I remember the "wooing" of Lucy.

      Delete

Contributors

Copyright © 2008-2016 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell All Rights Reserved. Proudly powered by Blogger

  © Blogger template Starry by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008 Modified by Lea

Back to TOP