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Unrivaled (Against All Expectations)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  584 ratings  ·  155 reviews
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 fat...more
Paperback, 387 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers
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This review can also be found on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell-blog.

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...more
Karen Witemeyer
Siri Mitchell has a unique storytelling style. In Unrivaled, she produces a tale reminiscent of the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan classic, You've Got Mail--Big, powerful candy company tries to take out the small family-run confectionery. The plot line was fun with all the turn of the century candy making and had a few twists thrown in toward the end for good measure.

The story is told in two, first-person narratives, alternating between Lucy and Charlie. This is not my personal preference for romance novels...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read most of this book in one sitting. Once it hooked me I found it quite engrossing. It had a few mysterious elements to it as well as some rags to riches themes. Perhaps the most touching was the desire of a son for his father's love. The heroine was a bit harder to bond with because she was pretty self-centered and prickly, but she had her moments when you felt sorry for her. At the same time I had a hard time connecting with her. I think she'd spurned the hero one too many times, which mad...more
At first I thought this was going to be a pretty interesting and romantic tale as Siri Mitchell's books usually are but as the story progressed I found myself becoming more and more detached from the characters and story. Both hero and heroine were ruthless! I know that the candy business and really any business in general in the early 1900s required some bit of cunning but Charlie and Lucy were cutthroat! I really didn't see how their relationship ended up the way it did and so quickly with eve...more
Bluerose's  Heart
3.5 stars

When Lucy returned from a tour of Europe, she found her father in bed recovering from a heart attack. She also discovered her mother plotting behind his back to sell their beloved candy business. Of course, her mother is only thinking of the stress the business has caused him. Lucy makes a deal with her mother to give her a month to come up with a new candy that will steal the hearts of everyone away from their biggest competitor, Standard Manufacturing. Standard's best-selling candy, R...more
Lydia (Overweight Bookshelf)
Full review here: http://www.overweightbookshelf.com/20...

I love the novelty and originality of setting bitter rivalries in the candy industry. The strength of this novel lays in Siri's due diligence in accurately portraying the complicated process of candy making in the early 20th century as well as the ingenuity behind the recipes. Unfortunately, amidst all the sugars and confections, there was noting saccharine about the lengths Lucy and Charlie went to solidify their dominance in the marketp...more
Yikes - I normally like Siri Mitchell, but the heroine was completely and utterly unlikeable. What a bitch.
Age Appropriate For: 12 and up for reading level and romance

Best for Ages: 16 and up

I didn’t think that Siri Mitchell could match The Messenger, but she managed to with Unrivaled.

One of the reasons I was so eager to read this book was the fact it was set around candy making and candy factories. I had never read a book with candy making as a main part of it. The candy making parts of the book were obviously well researched, and were delightful. They felt very real, but not so much detail that I...more
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...more
From author Siri Mitchell comes a fresh new story… a delicious tale of candy-making and one man and woman who fall for each other quickly, yet whose fathers happen to be longtime rivals.
Unrivaled was a delightful tale of making candy and the sweetness of love, yet sobered by the truth of what bitterness and a “must-win” attitude can do to a person. The plot is twisted up with lies, deception, and dirty tricks, yet softened with a beautiful love story that might end the two candy-makers’ squabb...more
Review on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3QRQVU7...
Review on my blog (to be posted 4/1): http://christianbookshelfreviews.blog...

4.5 stars.

Unrivaled was a tantalizing read! Having also read and enjoyed one of Siri Mitchell's previous novels, The Messenger, I knew she wrote good books and I look forward to reading more of them. :)

I loved how unique Unrivaled's story was! I haven't read many, if any, books with candy making being a central theme. It was fascinating to read about all of the...more
Michaela Hoover
I recently received this book as a free review copy from the publisher in return for my honest review about what I thought about it.


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 discover...more
Margaret Metz
I am such a fan of Siri Mitchell that her books are nearly always on my "must have" list -- even before I know what they're about or what the reviews are like. This one does not make my favorites list though. The premise is good but it lacks . . . the depth that is normally present in her books. Her books are normally rich with material on theme, symbolism, character growth and qualities, historic information . . ..

There were two gems in this one: the candy descriptions and information (recipes...more
Back from a whirlwind tour in Europe where she dined with some of England’s most prominent and has trunks full of the latest fashions, Lucy Kendall can think of nothing better than returning home to her home and father. As a candy maker, Lucy grew up under his teaching and is a dreamer as a result. Upon her arrival, she is told by her mother that her father suffered a heart attack and plans are underway to sell their failing confectionary. Horrified, Lucy refuses to see her father’s business sol...more
I've really enjoyed most of Siri Mitchell's previous novels, so I was looking forward to reading her latest one: Unrivaled. Not only is the cover very pretty (the girl looks like Lady Sybil!), but a plot involving candy is, of course, attractive to someone who happens to have a big sweet tooth. :)

I hate to say it, but honestly this book was a bit of a disappointment for me. It's difficult to explain why exactly. I feel like I never got really drawn in and attached to the story or the characters...more
Of all the books Siri Mitchel has written, this one is the funniest! she comes up with characters who put their foot in their mouths or kick themselves in their behinds and then are bewildered by their own behavior.
Lucy Kendall wants to save her father's candy business while Charles Clarke is the son of the owner of the opposing business. Lucy believes Charlie's father stole the original candy recipe from her own father. Charlie has no reason to believe but either can he make the fetching Lucy l...more
Emily Mason
This book was a delightful and sweet read! There were so many twists an turns along the way that made me want to keep reading and guessing at what will happen next! The two main characters, Lucy and Charlie are both very complex characters that develop and change throughout the book. Charlie has such a complicated and dark past that really shocks you but he changes so much throughout the book, I loved watching his character change.Lucy is so relatable and I found myself really connecting to her...more
I only gave it 3 stars, because I don't think it started getting good till about 50% in. Usually by then I've given up on the book.

It wasn't amazing. I thought the Christian aspects of it were just thrown in there a little, and didn't really add too much to the story. Or even play much of a role on how the characters changed. The friend Winnie did that.

The first half was too bogged down with actual candy making (just made me want a rolo, or something with caramel), business, and mean rivalry/r...more
Melmac MacDonald
No pun intended, this was a sweet read. Lucy and Charlie are adorable as individuals and even more so as they begin to fall in love. I very much enjoyed this book. The candy aspect was fresh and new and extremely engaging. The time period and setting is also somewhat new and exciting. Lucy's parents are a completely conundrum to me but I enjoyed her. Watching her "grow up" and come into herself was a delight. Charlie is just a sweet as pie and completely at odds with the guy we first meet who is...more
Thank you to Bethany House for my review copy. I loved the theme of candy and company rivalry. I started with liking Lucy who was determined and strong willed. Her antics of holding on to her father's buisness were at times childish. I did like the portrayal of Lucy's mother not being overly meddling to the point of annoyance. I loved how Charlie learned and built his relationship back after being hurt and angry over his father leaving of the family. In the end Lucy and Charlie come together aft...more
Unrivaled was a pleasant read, but left me unfulfilled regarding my typical expectations for Miss Mitchell. It is a sweet story filled with details regarding St. Louis and the candy industry, but was little more than that. Lucy is a fairly two-dimensional character. Her internal struggles are alluded to more as past sin than current struggle, so the eventual personality victory falls a bit short. I enjoyed Charlie's character more, as he was more fleshed-out. The constant external and internal s...more
Lydia Sharp
Loved the time period and the rivalry between the hero and heroine's candy businesses. I did not like how the romance was handled--basically nonexistent until the final third of the book and then it felt overdone and rushed. I also didn't care for the heroine's personality; she is a brat, for lack of a better word, and hard to like, so I wasn't sure why the hero liked her either. The hero, on the other hand, was very easy to like. His reasoning for doing the things he did and acting the way he a...more
Yearning To Read
Oh my gosh this looks so cute I can't even believe it!! :D YAYAYAYAY!!! It reminds me of "Truly Scrumptious"! ;)
4.5 stars. this is the first one of Siri Mitchell that I really liked:)
Paula  Phillips
Growing up was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory your favourite movie ? Did you ever dream about becoming a chocolate or candy maker when you were older ?

Historical Christian authoress Siri Mitchell has re-ignited a childhood dream of many in her new book Unrivaled. Set in about 1910, the novel meets Lucy whose father owns a confectionery business and if she doesn't perfect the "perfect recipe" then her family's company is down the toilet as they are nearing bankruptcy.

All is going well ti...more

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I read this author's She Walks in Beauty and I really enjoyed it so I was pleased to check out another title from her. My interest was further piqued about discovering that it was about candy makers in early twentieth century St. Louis. I don't think I've read many (any?) books set there so it would mean a new setting for me.

Lucy is the daughter of a brilliant confectioner but poor businessman who lost his candy compan...more
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...more
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 whirlwind trip throughout Europe, or The Continent, s...more
Lucy returns home from Europe only to find that her father's candy company is about to be sold. She makes it her goal to save the company from the competition, only to discover that the competition is always mysteriously one step ahead of her. Meanwhile, she must choose whether to marry for the sake of her family, or follow her heart.

At first, this novel did not really capture my attention. I stayed with it to read about the candy, to be honest with you. But about halfway through, the pace picks...more
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Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listeni...more
More about Siri Mitchell...
She Walks in Beauty The Messenger A Heart Most Worthy A Constant Heart The Cubicle Next Door

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“Your past is not as important as your future. Did you know that? Can't change anything about what you've been, but you can change who you'll become.” 9 likes
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