By Kelly Bridgewater
Back Cover Copy:
Camille Iverness can take care of herself. She’s done so since the day her mother abandoned the family and left Camille to run their shabby curiosity shop on Blinkett Street. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille has no choice but to accept help from the mysterious stranger who came to her aid.
Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content working as a village apothecary. But when his brother’s death made him heir just as his father’s foolish decisions put the estate at risk, only the sale of a priceless possession—a ruby called the Bevoy—can save the family from ruin. But the gem has disappeared. And all trails lead to Iverness Curiosity Shop—and the beautiful shop girl who may or may not be the answer to his questions.
Curious circumstance throws them together, and an intricate dance of need and suspicion leads the couple from the seedy backwaters of London to the elite neighborhoods of the wealthy to the lush, green Surrey countryside—all in the pursuit of a blood-red gem that collectors will sacrifice anything to possess.
Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear. But when a passion that shines far brighter than any gem is ignited, each will have to decide how much they are willing to risk for their future, love, and happiness.
I truly enjoy Sarah E. Ladd’s writing. Her books may be from the Regency era, and I usually don’t pick up books in that era, but Ladd’s writing and her gift in storytelling make me anxious for her next books. Ladd has a unique way of transporting me to this time and place.
In her newest book, The Curiosity Keeper, Ladd transported me to the early nineteenth century with her details of downtown London. I smelt the dirt lining the streets. I heard the fight at the saloon and brothel across the street from Camille’s father’s shop. I imagined the overcrowded shop full of junk and collectables intermingling in the dusty room. I felt like I was truly there, which is what a good writer does.
James and Camille, the hero and heroine, lingered around in my head long after I finished the story. James is a man who just wants to heal people but gets caught up in the affairs of his father with the missing ruby. He is sweet, caring, and intelligent. I truly enjoyed meeting and learning more about James. As for Camille, I really liked her too. She placed her parents on this pedestal, like most children do, but realized parents can make mistakes too. Camille is caring, innocent, and brave. A great combination to fit with James.
The conflict in The Curiosity Keeper has a little mystery to it. Where is the ruby? Why does everyone want it? From the first chapter, I am drawn into the story, wandering along with Camille, where is the ruby? The story kept my attention and held on. I finished the book in less than one day. It was a great plot with a twist at the end that I did not see coming. As for the romantic tension, the romance really didn’t make an appearance to about 70% into the book. It was not the driving force of the novel until later. Which I liked, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed seeing James and Camille interact without falling head over heels on the first page.
I recommend this book for anyone who is fans of Julie Klassen’s latest book, The Secret of Pembroke Park. They are similar with the time period and the mystery. Both are great books!
Unique and thrilling, Sarah E. Ladd’s latest book, The Curiosity Keeper, has a mystery populated with a hero and heroine worth spending time with while transporting the reader to early nineteenth century London.
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson through Netgalley and the opinions stated are all my own.
|Taken from Sarah's Amazon's Author Page|
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What draws you into a Regency story? Is it the location? Is it the clothes? Is it the mystery?