The Curiosity Keeper


The Curiosity Keeper
Sarah E. Ladd
Thomas Nelson

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.

   If my previous experiences reading Sarah E. Ladd's books hadn't encouraged me to try this novel, the title alone would have. The Curiosity Keeper-- sounds intriguing and Dickens-ish, doesn't it?

   Both sweet and mysterious, if a bit slow-moving, I very much enjoyed this novel. I do admit it took me a few good chapters for it to really suck me in, but I really grew to enjoy the characters, especially the secondary ones. My favorite was Jonathon's father- but then again, given my taste in favorite characters, that's not surprising.

   I think what I liked most about this book was its sense of place. While the main characters were perfectly adequate to tell the story, I personally loved the setting of the curiosity shop, as well as the Gilchrist home. It gave the book a very different "feel" than most regencies. As I mentioned before, it reminded me of a Dickens BBC adaptation. And I could certainly appreciate the old, antique, and "odd" curiosities several of the characters were enamored with. (another reason for my affinity for the elder Mr. Gilchrist, perhaps?)

   Though this novel definitely moved at a slower pace than I generally prefer, I have no qualms wholeheartedly recommending it to Regency lovers. Overall, this was a book I was pleased to find available for review, and I'm already looking forward to the next book in this series.

Rating: 8

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Well, this sounds interesting! Your blog looks delightful. You know, it would be very cool if you put your rating of the books in the labels, or had a linked list somewhere; it would be useful when looking for good books!


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