Sweet romance, intriguing mystery, and rich descriptions combine into compelling historical fiction in Sarah E. Ladd's latest release. "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.
I read each of Sarah Ladd's great Whispers of the Moors novels as they released. If The Curiosity Keeper is any indication, her new Treasures of Surrey series is sure to be just as wonderful!
The Curiosity Keeper features two extremely likeable yet flawed main characters, Camille and Jonathan. I found Camille's background to be fascinating, and I loved the way Ladd slowly unfolded the story of Camille's family. I felt for Jonathan as he strove to be the man he knew he was meant to be while still yearning for the approval of his father. Really, the family dynamics of both the Iverness and Gilchrist families were the most interesting aspects of the novel for me.
The romance is sweet, if understated, and the mystery is compelling without being heart pounding. (If you're wondering, I think both of those things are good.) I loved seeing how everything with the Bevoy unfolded and learning how both families were involved.
The Curiosity Keeper is a very enjoyable read. I'm sure Recency fans will love it! 4-1/2 stars.
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.
Visit Sarah online: website, Facebook, Twitter. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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