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.
Though only the second Sarah E. Ladd book I have read, The Curiosity Keeper managed to confirm that all my high expectations of Ladd’s novels are not ill-founded. With her typical and captivating Regency presence, Ladd tells an engrossing historical tale of romance and mystery. Camille Iverness, the daughter of a curiosity shop’s owner, and Jonathan Gilcrest, an apothecary as well as the heir to his familial estate, cross paths in the dangerous pursuit of an elusive yet world-renowned ruby. As surprising and shocking truths come to light among the greed and deceit, I heartily enjoyed following Camille and Jonathan through it all. All in all, a novel that definitely kept me intrigued from start to finish, The Curiosity Keeper will surely please Ladd’s fans. I recommend it and look forward to seeing where the Treasures of Surrey series goes next.
Thanks to BookLook Bloggers, I received a copy of The Curiosity Keeper and the opportunity to honestly review it. I was not required to write a positive review, and all 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.”)
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. Visit her on her website, Facebook and Twitter.