Born into two different classes, James and Camille shouldn’t even know each other. But when the pursuit of a missing ruby brings them together, much more than a mere acquaintance is ignited.
The daughter of a curiosity shop owner, Camille would never be considered a lady. Nor does she want to be. With a fiery personality, she dreams of adventures far beyond the walls of her family’s modest business. But when her father thrusts a mysterious box into her hands and disappears, her whole world-dreams and all-shifts.
James is an apothecary, tending to the health needs of the town of Bentworth. His father, a well-known explorer and collector, is quite wealthy from the spoils of his adventures until one risky gamble and a stolen gem leave him on the edge of ruin. Seeking his father’s approval, James picks up the hunt for the stolen ruby, leading him to the door of Camille’s curiosity shop.
With both of their lives in danger as the ruby remains at large, James squires Camille away to the Bentworth School, believing that would be the last place her pursuers would look for her. They both find their hearts and dreams heading in a new direction, but before they are free to embrace their future they must solve the mystery looming around them. The more they uncover, however, the harder it becomes to know whom to trust. And they begin to realize that recovering the ruby may require a great sacrifice: their newfound love and maybe even their lives.
Readers of Regency fiction will delight in Sarah Ladd’s newest novel, The Curiosity Keeper. This book marks the beginning of the author’s Treasures of Surrey Series. It’s intriguing blend of romance and mystery, along with Ladd’s expressive prose will certainly entice me enough to return for the second installment in this series.
Audiences will be inspired by the faith and resilience of the two main characters. Camille Iverness hails from Blinkett Street, a shadier part of London. Despite having an absentee mother and a father whose time is consumed by his business dealings, Camille is refined, business savvy, and quick witted. Unfortunately for Jonathan Gilchrist, she is also slow to bestow her trust in others. Jonathan, heir to the Gilchrist estate, is thrust into Camille’s life when his father sends him in search of an extremely valuable item – the Bevoy – which has been stolen from their home at Kettering Hall. Despite his family’s status and accumulated wealth, Jonathan is not enamored by the trappings of high society life. He is a humble man. He is a gentleman of the most respectable character who puts the needs of others before his own – as evidenced by his role as the town apothocary. Perhaps this is why he is willing to disregard social decorum to associate with – in fact, to befriend Camille. I am certain that you will be drawn to the heart of these characters.
This was my first exposure to Sarah Ladd’s storytelling. I was impressed by her graphic depictions of each scene, as well as the development and interplay of her characters. I much prefer the way she chose to slowly kindle the attraction between Jonathan and Camille as opposed to a “love at first sight” scenario – which I am quickly tiring of. Furthermore, I was thrilled at the unpredictability of the story, shown by my surprise when the perpetrator of the theft was finally revealed.
**I received this book free as a member of the BookLookBloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”
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. Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor