“It is not just a ruby, as you say. It is large as a quail’s egg, still untouched and unpolished. And it is rumored to either bless or curse whoever possesses it.”
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. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille must allow a mysterious stranger to come to her aid.
Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content to work as the 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 be the answer to his many questions.
Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, these two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear. But when a passion that shines far brighter than any gem is ignited, they will have to decide how much they are willing to risk for their future, love, and happiness.
Thomas Nelson | July 2015
It is a truth
universally acknowledged that I love Regency novels, especially Regency novels with hair-raising suspense and breath-stealing kisses. Still, I am picky, and there are only a handful of Regency authors that I truly enjoy. Sarah E. Ladd is definitely one of them!!
I first discovered Sarah Ladd with her debut series, Whispers on the Moors, and I’ve recommended her books here on the blog for others of you who love Jane Austen. I am quite happy to report that The Curiosity Keeper is just as beautiful and engaging as the Moors trilogy, though I am not in the least surprised.
One of the things that struck me most about The Curiosity Keeper was the parallels between the curiosities in the shop (or Mr. Gilchrist’s collection) and the characters. As Camille herself said to Jonathan, “Old things tell a story… just as the lives of people do.” Much as many of the curiosities were more valuable than they first appeared, so were the characters.
Camille – She may seem to everyone else to be just a shopkeeper’s daughter, but in reality she has the heart of a lady. I loved her strength despite the events that crushed her spirit. Jonathan – To society and his family, he is the heir to Kettering Hall; to the village of Fellsworth, he is also the apothecary who lives in a humble cottage. His integrity and depth of character won my affection right away.
Conversely, while some characters appeared to be priceless at first glance, their true selves were common and coarse. You will have to discover these for yourselves as you read The Curiosity Keeper.
Bottom Line: Sarah Ladd delivers another breathtaking story of suspense and romance, with characters who step off the page and into your heart. You will be captivated by Camille’s story – your emotions engaged – as you cheer and swoon and even shed a few tears along the way. Fans of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Julie Klassen, and Carrie Turansky will find a new favorite in Ladd’s books. The Curiosity Keeper is a marvelous place to start your collection.
In fact, author Carrie Turansky is giving away a copy of The Curiosity Keeper (as well as Not By Sight by Kate Breslin) this month for people subscribed to her newsletter. For more information on how to enter, click here.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion
About the Author:
Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.