Review: Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller

Reviewed by Jen

Chelsea Mueller takes a common urban fantasy trope and gives it a fresh spin with her debut novel. It’s the story of an average girl who gets sucked into the world of magic only to find there is something special about her that she never knew existed. But while that may sound familiar, the particulars are cool, the worldbuilding is unique, and the romance hit all the right notes, giving me a book I really enjoyed.

Callie is a pragmatic 20-something who has had to bail out her meth-head brother too many times. Still, she has to do it again or his dealer will start sending him back to her in pieces. She doesn’t have the money. She used it all to pay off his last debt. But she can work off the debt in trade. The dealer wants her to borrow a soul to steal something from the police station.

Yes, you read that right. In this world, souls are for rent, which means people can sin all they want without it getting in their way of going to heaven. Callie wants nothing to do with that kind of shady business, but a borrowed soul is the only thing that can help hide her identity while committing the crime. To make matters even worse, the Soul Charmer doesn’t rent his souls for free –and we already know Callie has no money. So she has to go to work for the creepy magician to earn the merchandise. The story follows her on her two week stint collecting souls that were never returned and stumbling onto something that could be even scarier than her new employer.

The pacing here was great. The story moved quickly, but not so fast it gave me whiplash. I liked Callie and her no-nonsense approach to doing whatever must be done to save her scummy big brother. And then there is the love interest. I really liked Derek. He was Callie’s assigned partner on her soul collecting gig. He’s the Charmer’s scary muscle, but he’s more than that too. He’s protective and loyal and super-sexy. I’m not sure why no one snatched him up before Callie, but I got the distinct impression that no one has ever looked past what he does for a living. These two are great together and their love scenes hit the spot. (I especially appreciated how Callie knows what she wants and takes the lead.)

The book has a good concrete ending, but it also leaves threads open for the series to continue. I can’t wait to learn the secrets of what makes Callie so special… and Derek’s relationship to the Soul Charmer. It’s got to be family. Son, maybe?

I can definitely feel the influence of Stacia Kane here. In a good way. It’s not Downside at all, but something about it feels reminiscent of it.

I’m already looking forward to book two. Would recommend for fans of urban fantasy.

Rating: B+

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Borrowed Souls
by Chelsea Mueller
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Talos


  1. “It’s not Downside at all, but something about it feels reminiscent of it.” YES!! I really enjoyed this one.

  2. Thanks for this review. Based on it, I picked this one up with a Kobo coupon because neither of my local libraries had it. I liked it!! I’m excited to see where the series goes.

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