Monday, September 21, 2015


Brittany McEuen reviews The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd.

The Short Version from

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.

My review:

I enjoy taking a break from my busy life and diving into a time period very unlike my own. This is one of the things about regency era fiction that I find so enjoyable. The story and situations are a bit slower paced, and the behavior expectations for both men and especially toward women are very high. Throw in some mystery or suspense and I’m a happy reader.

That is the case in The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd. I really enjoyed this trip back in time. The book is filled with interesting characters, from the main characters Jonathan Gilchrist and Camille Iverness, to the many side characters that who made me cringe, doubt, or a combination of both.

The romance is subtle as is the suspense. The danger to Camille Iverness is clear and shows up early in the story. It is interesting that a couple of the key players behind the mystery of the missing gem become known to the reader immediately, yet the author kept me guessing about a few of the others. I did have a pretty good idea as to who was behind it all, but watching Jonathan and Camille discover all of the players and the reasons behind the mystery of the missing ruby was highly entertaining.

If you are a fan of regency, I’d recommend The Curiosity Keeper. And if you are a fan of suspense, the curious happenings in this story will enhance your enjoyment of this tale from a time gone by.

About reviewer, Brittany McEuen:

I am a busy homeschooling mom to four children, ranging from kindergarten to high school. I’m happily married to my high school sweetheart and am an avid reader and book reviewer. I feature book reviews, giveaways, and occasional author interviews on my blog, Britt Reads Fiction. You can also connect with me on Pinterest and Goodreads.

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