I got this book months ago and read it almost right away because the summary just grabbed me. Once you read said summary for this book, y’all are going to think I’m crazy for recommending it. BUT I hope you give it a chance because it really is a cute, sweet story, though kind of silly, but isn’t that what most fairy tales are anyway?

Emmeline Thistle has always had a mysterious bond with cows, beginning on the night of her birth, when the local bovines saved the infant cast aside to die in the forest. But Emmeline was unaware that this bond has also given her a magical ability to transform milk into chocolate, a very valuable gift in a kingdom where chocolate is more rare and more precious than gold or jewels. Then one day Owen Oak, a dairyman’s son, teaches Emmeline to churn milk into butter-and instead she creates a delicious chocolate confection that immediately makes her a target for every greedy, power-hungry person in the kingdom of Anglund. Only Owen loves Emmeline for who she truly is, not her magical skill. But is his love enough to save her from the danger all around her?

In a departure from her contemporary teen romances, Suzanne Selfors crafts an irresistible re-imagined fairy tale that will tempt readers with a delicious story of love that is sweeter than the richest chocolate.

In case you can’t tell from the summary, this is a retelling of the Ugly Duckling with Emmeline as the Duckling. This poor girl didn’t have the best life growing up, but she perseveres through with her father and her favorite cows, who are pretty much her only friends. I felt so bad for Emmeline at the beginning of the story. As the book progresses, her circumstances change, especially when her special gift is discovered.

Btw, magically making chocolate from milk has to be the best superpower EVER. It may not be good enough to save the world, but it would save me from rampaging villages when I start having intense chocolate cravings.

Owen was adorable. The book does switch point of views once we reach the point in the story where Owen shows up, so we get a back story on him as well. The things he goes through for Emmeline, once he starts to like her, is just… *sigh*. I guess it’s romantic, although I’d rather he didn’t have to go through all that just to get the girl, but it’s a fairytale, so there’s always hardships for the otherwise happy couple.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but there is a lot more to this story than Emmeline magically making chocolate. There’s adventure and romance and devious schemes and near misses and heartfelt moments. It’s deeper than the summary lets on, which was great to discover since I went into it apprehensive of what kind of story could be taken from the Ugly Duckling. Suzanne Selfors did a great job here and I look forward to reading more from her. (Btw, her book Mad Love sounds really cute, too. I’ve already made a note to read it.)

The Sweetest Spell comes out August 21st from Bloomsbury. And I liked this book so much I’m giving away my ARC copy!

To enter for a chance to win this ARC: Comment on this post with what you would do if you could suddenly make chocolate from milk.

Would you open your own chocolate store? Hoard the gift for only your use? Start performing this magical trick at bridal or baby showers? Let me know in the comments and I’ll randomly select one person to win this book!

Giveaway ends Monday, August 13th at 11:59PM CDT. US/Canada residents only.

Good luck!

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