Book Review

The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd

Stories with unique settings and plots truly are gems. The title of this particular novel captured my interest. Then of course the stunning cover pulled me in even more. But the story that is in between the covers is definitely worthy of that beautiful cover. This was a novel that was definitely worth savoring and really enjoying.

**I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

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 whomever 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 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.

“Old things tell a story, Mr. Gilchrist, just as the lives of people do…They preserve the past and remind us of how far we have come.”

-Camille Iverness, The Curiosity Keeper

 

I found myself frequently swept up into historical England in this tale that is part mystery, part love, and all fantastic storytelling.

Sarah E. Ladd certainly has a talent for transporting the reader into the setting of this book. While reading, my imagination was vividly alive with the smells and sights that the characters were experiencing. It is also only fitting that if the settings are that real, that the characters pop off the page even more. Camille Iverness was a wonderful heroine to get to know. Her story was the heart of this story and with it, I found entertainment, sadness, happiness, and a wonderful message about worth and value. Opposite her, was Jonathan Gilchrist. Another great character. I found him to be quite interesting as both an apothecary and a man who was heir to an estate. Surrounding them is a cast of individuals who could probably get their own stories.

I adored this book and highly reccommend it.

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.

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