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The Curiosity Keeper (A Treasures of Surrey Novel Book 1) Kindle Edition
Set in the same time period and location as Bridgerton and Poldark, this Regency romance brings together a wealthy heir and a mysterious young woman as they search for secrets behind a missing a ruby.
Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. 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.
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.
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.
Praise for The Curiosity Keeper:
“A delightful read, rich with period details. Ladd crafts a couple the reader roots for from the very beginning and a plot that keeps the reader guessing until the end.” —Sarah M. Eden, bestselling author of For Elise
- The first book in the Treasures of Surrey Regency romance series (books do not need to be read in order)
- Book One: The Curiosity Keeper
- Book Two: Dawn at Emberwilde
- Book Three: A Stranger at Fellsworth
- Book length: 89,000 words
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs
- Chaste, kissing-only Regency romance
“Beautifully written, intricately plotted and populated by engaging and realistic characters, The Curiosity Keeper is Regency romantic suspense at its page-turning best. A skillful, sympathetic and refreshingly natural author, Ladd is at the top of her game and should be an auto-buy for every reader.' -4 1/2 starred review and July 2015 Top Pick! (RT Book Reviews) --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00PYSLYKI
- Publisher : Thomas Nelson; Illustrated edition (July 7, 2015)
- Publication date : July 7, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 1540 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 338 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #610,852 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Jonathan travels back to London to call upon his late brother's best friend, Henry Darbin, now a private investigator. Darbin's initial investigating leads the two to suspect the Bevoy Ruby may be an item in the Iverness curiosity shop, Camille's father having a reputation around town for being a bit of a shady businessman. Camille and Jonathan meet when he comes to her aid after a cloaked man attacks and stabs Camille. Convinced that it's not safe for her to stay the night at her home, Jonathan convinces Camille to come to the London residence he shares with his sister, Penelope.
At first, Camille only means to stay the night, but when a threat to her very life is revealed, it is decided that she will travel with Jonathan and Penelope back to Kettering Hall. P.I. Darbin doesn't like how close Jonathan is keeping Camille, but Jon reasons that she is the closest link they have to discovering the location of the ruby --- though she repeatedly insists up and down that she has absolutely no information about this gem. Jon also notes that, having recently been attacked, she is a woman in distress, so he is compelled, as a gentleman and a medical professional, to be of assistance where and when he can.
Jonathan and Camille get to know each other a little better once she sets up residence in his childhood home. On his suggestion, Camille applies for work at a nearby school. The Gilchrist family have long been patrons of the school, and Jonathan hopes to use his influence to nab her some sort of position on the staff there, even though she has minimal experience in that environment. Jon comes to see Camille --- at least in some small way --- as a kind of kindred spirit, mostly in the fact that they've both struggled with strained relationships with their respective fathers, a fact made undeniably evident when Jonathan witnesses James Iverness throw his daughter out on the streets the day after her attack.
Aside from the attack near the beginning of the story and some intrigue near the end, when certain characters reveal a secret side to their personalities (as well as secrets surrounding the Bevoy itself being revealed), very little in the way of action happens in this story. It's pretty much kept to a scene change or two punctuated by numerous slow, quiet conversations.
The dialogue has an odd flow at times. It was particularly noticeable with Penelope. Though, yes, she is a woman of "high breeding", as they say, her words from time to time came off a little stiff and overly formal for the company she was addressing, especially since her character is a young woman, not an elderly, stuffy dame type.
Jonathan is an admirably stand-up kind of guy, with a good moral code, despite his family's objections to him working in a "lowly" profession. The proposed romance between him and Camille was certainly under-developed. It was a good friendship at best, considering they hardly spent any "alone time" together, and the time they did spend in each other's company was strongly platonic in nature, hardly any signs of flirtation ever.... beyond the occasional slight grin across a room. There's some opportunity for them to grow close at one point when Camille works as Jonathan's assistant during a scarlet fever outbreak, but even then we see only the faintest roots developed for the bond one might expect to lead to forever love.
All in all, a mystery set up to be potentially captivating... and while entertaining, the plot ultimately suffered from being built on several underdeveloped points that never quite hit satisfactory fruition.
Let me start off by saying that Sarah’s historical facts were, as always, impeccable. I felt as if I had been transported to Surrey as it was in 1812, and that made the story all that much better. On top of that, the mystery of the Bevoy was captivating, and I never saw it ending the way that it did. While it was cleverly written so as to keep you guessing, it also worked out in such a way that I couldn’t have imagined, in a way that was very unique and interesting. To top it all off, Sarah pulled the whole story together with some of the most perfect characters, whether heroes or villains.
Camille Iverness is by far one of my favorite heroines. Always strong and courageous, she faces everything that is thrown at her with remarkable calm and levelheadedness, focusing on how to fix the problem—where to go next—rather than the pain and trouble the situation causes. Full of compassion and forgiveness, she embodies many of the things I long to be, and her fire and determination is also something to be admired. While no one is perfect, not even Camille, she is easy to love despite her flaws, and I am happy to tell you she overcomes them in the end. How could it be a good book otherwise?
Jonathan Gilchrist is another character to love. Always eager to serve, his compassion and servant’s heart make him incredibly endearing, and his determination to serve his family despite his reluctance prove he is a man of worth. Although he already gives you many reasons to love him, the way he treats Camille trumps them all. I cannot imagine a sweeter, kinder gentleman than he, and I know that if I had been Camille I would have snatched him up immediately. Of course, there were other situations to be considered, and women in 1812 didn’t do that sort of thing (and even now I still believe the man should do the chasing), but he is the kind of man you don’t find every day.
Clearly this novel deserves all five bookmarks, so that is what I am giving it, as well as a permanent spot on my all-time favorites list—although, now that I think about it, all of the spots are permanent. Anyway, this book was well worth purchasing, and comes highly recommended. Really, I would recommend any of Sarah’s books, but especially this one, and the second in the series—Dawn at Emberwilde—which releases next May. Sarah writes wonderful historical novels that will keep you captivated until the last page that I can almost promise you will enjoy.
(This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)