“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 whoever 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. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille must allow a mysterious stranger to come to her aid.
Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content to work as the 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 be the answer to his many questions.
Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, these two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear. But when a passion that shines far brighter than any gem is ignited, they will have to decide how much they are willing to risk for their future, love, and happiness.
Sarah E Ladd starts her new Treasures of Surrey series with a tale of intrigue, danger, and deception set during the Regency period in England. Jonathan is an apothecary and Camille works in her father’s shop, but both are descended from landed gentry. The difference is that Camille’s father has already squandered the family inheritance while Jonathan’s father is only on his way to doing the same. Despite initial appearances, our two leads have much in common. They meet when an associate of Jonathan’s brother directs him towards her shop, but Camille knows nothing about the possible receipt of stolen goods.
For me, this book is marked by a heartbreaking twist that I never saw coming. It’s a definite page turner, and I wanted to get to the end to see how the drama would play out. (I wasn’t worried about the romantic elements as you rarely get an unhappy ending in books of this nature.) Who had the ruby? Why did they want it? Was there a personal vendetta involved? Most of my questions were answered, although I’m not sure of the entire answer to that last question. A couple of characters felt flat, but I found I had sympathy for both Camille and Jonathan’s sister, Penelope, who learned lessons they should never have had to endure. I hope Penelope features in a later book in this series.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my complimentary copy of The Curiosity Keeper, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read The Curiosity Keeper? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 07 July 2015
Page Count: 352