Book Review

‘The Curiosity Keeper’ by Sarah E. Ladd

tck selSTORY: “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.

REVIEW: London 1812

Camille and her father, James Iverness, own and run the Iverness Curiosity Shop.  It is filled with all kinds of unusual items that many collectors enjoy purchasing for their collections.  Lately, James has angered some of his customers who say he has cheated them which makes Camille very frightened both for her father and for her own safety.  Camille lived on a lovely estate as a child but when her grandfather died, her father sold the property and invested the money in the Shop.  At the same time, Camille’s mother left for Portugal to care for her ailing mother who is now better but her mother never returned.  After eleven years in London, all Camille ever gets is an occasional letter from her mother and spends all of her time keeping the books at the Shop.

Fellsworth Surrey England 1812

Jonathan Gilchrist is the second son of Ian Gilchrist of Kettering Hall.  His mother passed away four years ago and his old brother passed away two years ago leaving Jonathan and his sister, Penelope. Jonathan’s passion is caring for people and is the village’s apothecary choosing to live in his shop rather than at Kettering Hall.  One place where he volunteers his talents is at Fellsworth School.

Ian Gilchrist has always been a huge collector of unusual items some of which he has purchased from James Iverness.  When he discovers that a huge ruby known as The Bevoy has been stolen from his collection, he summons Jonathan and demands that he begin a search for it.  Due to some bad financial decisions, if it is not found, the family stands to lose Kettering Hall.  Thinking that James Iverness might be behind this, he ventures to the shop only to witness a robbery in place where Camille ends up being stabbed.  Jonathan takes her back to Kettering Hall and treats her wound.  When she tries to venture back home, she overhears her father say that she has stolen the ruby.  She flees back to Jonathan who then helps her get a job at Fellsworth School teaching bookkeeping skills to some of the students.

Camille’s life becomes precarious as she hides out from her father.  She loves her new job and soon becomes a caregiver to some of the students who have come down with Scarlet Fever.  Having had the disease and survived it, she is the perfect caregiver.  At the same time, she and Jonathan see one another more often and become closer.

Can there be a future for them?  What about her constant worry that her father may come for her? What has become of the missing ruby?

This is a sweet romance and a good mystery.  The author has managed to marry the two themes quite well for a great story.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher


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