Friday, March 15, 2013
Unrivaled - a Review
Back to from a tour of Europe to find that her family's candy business is rapidly failing, Lucy Kendall wishes she could ignore her coming out in society and her position as St. Louis' Queen of Love and Beauty. Instead, she puts her energies to creating a new candy that will reverse their fortunes and surpass the recipe their rival swindled them out of. What she doesn't know is that her mother is planning to marry her off as soon as possible - and that a very possible possibility is the hopelessly dull Mr. Alfred Arthur.
After Charlie Clark gets into trouble with the law, his mother also insists something: that he reunite with his estranged father who is offering him a top position in his candy company. Charlie goes reluctantly, but determines to do his best. Unfortunately, his assignment is to put the rival candy company out of business. Unfortunately, that rival candy company just happens to belong to Lucy Kendall's family. And most unfortunately, sparks have already begun to fly between him and Lucy.
I decided to read Unrivaled because the idea of two rival candymakers falling in love just sounded so cute. Actually, the little candy shops in my mind turned out to be huge factories and the small-town life ended up being the top of high society, with Lucy herself being the Queen of Love and Beauty (and they did really pick one of those every year in St. Louis!)
The chapters alternate between Lucy's point of view and Charlie's. I must admit, I much prefered Charlie. Lucy got on my nerves a little; I couldn't relate to her and she didn't seem quite real, but Charlie did. With his father leaving his family desperately poor, he spent most of his life trying to support them, and then he's suddenly sent off to reunite with his now-fabulously-wealthy dad. Small wonder he doesn't care for him at first (I didn't either; Charlie's dad seems like a heartless oaf without moral principles,) but I found Charlie's efforts to forgive and his friendliness very endearing. Not as endearing from Lucy's point of view, of course, but considering they hated each other most of the time, that's not surprising. The side characters are loveable too. Lucy's sick father is a dear, and so is the maid that has a sweet little part in the story.
However, I'd have to say that Unrivaled has a quite few of my personal Christian fiction pet peeves (for example, the 'modern' heroine, the matchmaking mother, the kissing between people who think they hate each other, etc.) But inspite of this, it was a very enjoyable read! I guess it takes real talent to make me enjoy my pet peeves! :D
So what would I say? Though it's not great literature, Siri Mitchell's Unrivaled is a very fun book and if you'd like a story about candymakers and high society romance in the early 1900s, you should have a look at it!
My rating: 8 out of 10
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
And (obviously) my opinions are completely my own and I was not compensated for my review. Other than the fact that I got a book. I like books. :)