Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller

Borrowed Souls

Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.Renting souls is big...

Title:Borrowed Souls
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1940456827
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:312 pages

Borrowed Souls Reviews

  • Amanda Bonilla

    Fans of UF aren't going to want to miss this debut novel by Chelsea Mueller! The world building is rich and vibrant and the characters are multi-dimensional. The story is faced paced and engaging with tons of great action, snarky dialog, and just enough steamy romance to make it well-rounded story. If you're a fan of the Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price, or the Mercy Thomson series, by Patricia Briggs, you'll love BORROWED SOULS. I can't wait for the next installment!

  • TheGeekyBlogger

    Read for Review (Edelwiess)

    Overall Rating: 4.25

    Story Rating: 4.00

    Character Rating: 4.50

    Borrowed Souls delivered on damaged characters that handle their sh*t in adult a** ways! We need more of this in Urban Fantasy! Oh the action, drama, and magic were all there too!

    How much do I love when adults act like adults even when they are screwed up or in screwy situations? TONS! Callie and Derek are those kind of characters that I can totally get behind. Do t

    Read for Review (Edelwiess)

    Overall Rating: 4.25

    Story Rating: 4.00

    Character Rating: 4.50

    Borrowed Souls delivered on damaged characters that handle their sh*t in adult a** ways! We need more of this in Urban Fantasy! Oh the action, drama, and magic were all there too!

    How much do I love when adults act like adults even when they are screwed up or in screwy situations? TONS! Callie and Derek are those kind of characters that I can totally get behind. Do they disagree? You betcha! Do they sometimes not communicate? Sure but eventually (and I am not talking half a book later) do. Do they have chemistry? OFF THE WALLS! Do they handle their sh*t even when they don't want too? YES! From the beginning, you know this about Callie! She just steps up to the plate every dang time. She doesn't whine about it. She doesn't shirk her duty (even when maybe she should *side eye to brother*). She just does it even though she is dealing with her own crap (you know bills, being broke, ect). There is something really real about Callie that I think most people can identify with and Derek ---well he is just a hunk of "OMG you can come stay in my house anytime" AWESOME! He has his own stuff to deal with. I HIGHLY recommend this to Urban Fantasy readers who love Charles/Anna from Alpha/Omega by Patricia Briggs (my favorite handle their sh*t adult couple in UF) or anyone else who loves Urban Fantasy.

  • Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)

    Callie’s brother Josh is in trouble and the only way to get him back alive is to do the bidding of drug lord Ford. For her task, Callie must borrow a soul from the Soul Charmer and commit a crime. But it’s not that easy. The Charmer insists Callie work for him for two weeks in exchange for the soul saying she doesn’t have enough cash to outright loan it. The Charmer is intrigued by Callie’s soul, and Callie may be getting way more than she bargained for.

    In Ms. Mueller’s fascinating new Soul Char

    Callie’s brother Josh is in trouble and the only way to get him back alive is to do the bidding of drug lord Ford. For her task, Callie must borrow a soul from the Soul Charmer and commit a crime. But it’s not that easy. The Charmer insists Callie work for him for two weeks in exchange for the soul saying she doesn’t have enough cash to outright loan it. The Charmer is intrigued by Callie’s soul, and Callie may be getting way more than she bargained for.

    In Ms. Mueller’s fascinating new Soul Charmer series, souls are pawned for cash or other favors. The Soul Charmer is able to wield “soul magic,” allowing him to take souls from and place souls in bodies. One can trade their for a short time to get cash, or borrow another to sin without repercussions on your own soul. The mythology is completely unique and unlike anything I’ve read before, which is one of the reasons I was drawn to Borrowed Souls.

    As the first book in a new series, there is a lot of world-building, but it’s not heavy-handed or shared via info-dumping. The author leaves clues about the world in dialogue and descriptive scenes. The reader learns about soul magic as Callie is exposed to this dangerous trade. Callie is rather naive at times, even though she comes from a rough childhood and her mom is a bit of a con artist. I like that Callie has to work for her badass UF heroine status; she’s not born with powers or have innate fighting abilities. Try as she might, Callie just can’t be mean, which gives her a soft edge. Callie makes mistakes, sometimes costly ones, but she seems to learn from her situation and move forward.

    Callie works as part of a soul repo team for two weeks to earn a day use of a soul. The Soul Charmer pairs Callie with Derek, the muscle to shake up those who are delinquent on returning borrowed souls. Derek is the strong, silent type, but Callie forms a bond with the big guy fairly quickly. She also has difficulty hiding her attraction to Derek, and soon the pair find themselves a couple. I LOVE Derek. He’s kind and good, giving someone for Callie to trust. She’s got so little good in her life, and Derek fills all the nooks and crannies without taking over her life. He’s patient and understand, something Callie hasn’t experienced before.

    While I love this new world and mythos, I struggled a bit with the storytelling. I think what is niggling at the back of my mind while reading Borrow Souls was that there were things that happened and they just weren’t fleshed out enough for me. For example. After Callie accidentally burns Bianca and then the next day goes to her own place of employment, two therapists jump on her for burning Bianca. How did they even piece all that together?! Too often there were unfinished thoughts or conversations, with much left hanging. I questioned if I was supposed to understand what happened, or did the author purposely leave things open-ended.

    In the end, I am completely fascinated by the world of soul-swapping and ambiguous magic. Callie is a wonderful UF heroine because she has to earn her badassery the hard way, working her butt off to survive and protect those she loves. I love Derek’s role as protector and lover - Callie deserves to have some good in her life, even if she doesn’t think she does. The world building is strong, leaving a few holes that should be fleshed out in future titles. At times the writing is a bit underdeveloped, but overall a good story. I look forward to what happens next in Ms. Mueller’s compelling Soul Charmer series.

    My Rating: B- Liked It, but I had a few small issues

    Review copy provided by Edelweiss/Author

    Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

  • Carmel (Rabid Reads)

    More and more romance has been making its way into Urban Fantasy turning it into a lesser version of itself. Chelsea Mueller grabbed the wheel, and steered the genre back into the correct lane with BORROWED SOULS. Callie & Derek do form a connection however, the focus remained on the bold, gritty roots that make this branch of Speculative Fiction so compelling. This author's years of experience as a book reviewer were put to good use in her writing debut.

    Correlations

    More and more romance has been making its way into Urban Fantasy turning it into a lesser version of itself. Chelsea Mueller grabbed the wheel, and steered the genre back into the correct lane with BORROWED SOULS. Callie & Derek do form a connection however, the focus remained on the bold, gritty roots that make this branch of Speculative Fiction so compelling. This author's years of experience as a book reviewer were put to good use in her writing debut.

    Correlations can be drawn between this universe, and Stacia Kane's DOWNSIDE GHOSTS with the nature of the story line, the heroine's susceptible personality, and the flawed protector. This observation isn't meant as a critique, but rather a compliment because I happen to really enjoy the aforementioned series, and similarities aside, this title distinguished itself with its inventive premise and well-built characters. Plus, Mueller is just getting started!

    Soul magic was loosely explained however, I still have so many questions like... Where does the Charmer get his wares? Why was he able to do something to Delgado that didn't work on Derek? What happens after the six-month self-life has elapsed? Needless to say, the author has a lot of world-building left to do, and I will DEFINITELY be snatching up the next installment. Theories aside, the plot was provocative, and I was happy with the direction that things seem to be taking.

    I instantly connected with Callie; she's barely making ends meet, and is being taken advantage of by her family, but deep down she's a good person. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and although she's not proud of her actions, they were relatable because everyone's found themselves stretched to their breaking point for a loved one. I admired her spunk and tenacity, and look forward to watching her adapt to her new circumstances including her relationship with Derek.

    You should spend your hard-earned money on BORROWED SOULS this week! Available for pre-order.

  • Jeffe Kennedy

    It's not easy for a debut author to get a traditional publishing deal for an urban fantasy novel in the current market, but I can see why Chelsea Mueller did! BORROWED SOULS is a terrific take on an alternate modern day Earth – one just barely off-center of the world we know. The movement of souls from bodies can be affected by magic, the Catholic Church acts as an authoritarian guardian enforcing the rules of a soul’s ascension to heaven – and an underworld drug scene has evolved around the hig

    It's not easy for a debut author to get a traditional publishing deal for an urban fantasy novel in the current market, but I can see why Chelsea Mueller did! BORROWED SOULS is a terrific take on an alternate modern day Earth – one just barely off-center of the world we know. The movement of souls from bodies can be affected by magic, the Catholic Church acts as an authoritarian guardian enforcing the rules of a soul’s ascension to heaven – and an underworld drug scene has evolved around the high of borrowing someone else’s soul, to save one’s own from sin.

    This is a terrific world with an unlikely heroine, quiet and determined, with a pure heart and fiery will to protect her family. The hero, Derek, is big, tough, morally ambiguous and utterly delicious.

    I think this is the start to a fabulous new series. Definitely recommend!

  • Melliane

    I knew the author, Chelsea Mueller, through her Vampire Book Club blog. I also knew she was writing and Borrowed Souls is her first book. As soon as I heard of it, I was immediately intrigued by the story. I was therefore very curious to get into this title.

    Callie did not have an easy life and yet her brother was always there for her when she was little and when she needed someone. Yet, since that time, things have changed and it is her turn to help him. Alas

    I knew the author, Chelsea Mueller, through her Vampire Book Club blog. I also knew she was writing and Borrowed Souls is her first book. As soon as I heard of it, I was immediately intrigued by the story. I was therefore very curious to get into this title.

    Callie did not have an easy life and yet her brother was always there for her when she was little and when she needed someone. Yet, since that time, things have changed and it is her turn to help him. Alas, her help is constant and she doesn’t have anything anymore as she gave her all her money. But now, once again, troubles return and it is with the mafia that she must now manage the problems of her brother. Indeed, while he is retained, she must « rent » a soul in order to commit the crime they desire her to do. But without money, it is much more complicated than expected. Only one solution is emerging and Callie finds herself obliged to work for the Charmer, the person who holds the souls in order to pay her loan. By teaming up with Derek, our heroine will have to prove her worth by helping to recover the souls that the customers have not brought back.

    I had a good time with the story but it’s true that I had a bit of trouble hanging on it at first. I do not really know why but I was not as caught as I would have thought. Yet, while little by little, I got into the story, I also had more facilities to connect to the characters. We understand Callie and her desire to help her family despite that it is one-sided … It is sad to see all the energy and all the efforts she puts to help her family while nobody care. Yet her meeting with Derek will change everything. It was quite difficult to decide on this man. Being the Charmer employee, we do not know if he is really trustworthy but it’s very, very nice to finally see someone trying to help and protect Callie, because she really needs it. With him, she will finally have someone who can take her side.

    It was a good reading despite this rather complicated start and I had a great time with Callie and Derek. There are still a lot of questions about the author’s universe and especially about magic or even the characters like Derek, Zara (the mother) or Josh (the brother). I’m curious to learn more!

  • Kelsey Perry

    I thoroughly enjoyed Borrowed Souls. The book was very creative and I loved the New Mexico setting Mueller created. It was eerie and rundown, the perfect place where someone would be able to borrow souls for illegal activities.

    The characters were well-developed. Callie, the heroine, was realistic and flawed - she didn’t make me want to slap her (as most heroines do). Derek, the sexy love interest, was just the right amount of mysterious, tough, and sweet. There was no instalove, but I wish ther

    I thoroughly enjoyed Borrowed Souls. The book was very creative and I loved the New Mexico setting Mueller created. It was eerie and rundown, the perfect place where someone would be able to borrow souls for illegal activities.

    The characters were well-developed. Callie, the heroine, was realistic and flawed - she didn’t make me want to slap her (as most heroines do). Derek, the sexy love interest, was just the right amount of mysterious, tough, and sweet. There was no instalove, but I wish there was a little more tension and build-up to their relationship. I will be curious to know how the author handles them in the next book.

    Overall I recommend this book, especially to those who enjoy the paranormal / urban fantasy genre (like

    and

    - some of my other favs). I will definitely keep my eye out for the second in this series.

    Note: I received this book in a free giveaway on Goodreads, but the above is my honest opinion.

  • Chris  Carroll

    Pretty unique story. I have to think about this one... copy rec'd for review consideration

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I had no idea what to expect with this book. I dabble very lightly in paranormal and urban fantasy books. I always feel like I have to say prayers as I read them. Several times I have been surprised by a novel in this genre and happily this book is one of those.

    Written with a contemporary storyline, the author gives us a unique and somewhat creepy story about renting so

    Pretty unique story. I have to think about this one... copy rec'd for review consideration

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I had no idea what to expect with this book. I dabble very lightly in paranormal and urban fantasy books. I always feel like I have to say prayers as I read them. Several times I have been surprised by a novel in this genre and happily this book is one of those.

    Written with a contemporary storyline, the author gives us a unique and somewhat creepy story about renting souls. At first I was a little mystified but the author certainly reeled me in with her unique storytelling ability in this intriguing story.

    With a bit of romance thrown in that included a hot muscular meat of a man, the story took on a nice balance. Amazing imagination with spectacular description, this story left me feeling many different emotions. And that’s a good thing.

    This author was a surprise and she is one that I will look for again.

    full review -

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