Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Reviewer's Bookshelf: The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah Ladd

Book Summary (from Goodreads): 
“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 whomever 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 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 thoughts...
The Curiosity Keeper is the newest book by award winning author, Sarah E. Ladd.  I was very excited to see this new series because I had enjoyed some of Ladd's previous novels.  This book did not disappoint!

The story begins with high energy, danger, mystery, and excitement.  I couldn't turn the pages fast enough as Camille and Jonathan's paths began to cross in the midst of Camille being assaulted and robbed.  Camille is not a stranger to hardship, and bears it well, but some betrayals are too difficult to bear alone.  Camille has to basically turn to the only man she can trust, even though she barely knows him....Jonathan Gilchrist.

The pacing of the story mirrors it's locations.  The scenes in London are intense, with danger at every turn, and high energy.  The city is also a place where survival skills are a necessity.  Even those who are wealthy must learn to apply their wits, manage their resources well, and stay in society's good graces to maintain their way of life.  When Camille and Jonathan travel to the countryside, the pace of the novel slows dramatically.  Camille and Jonathan both find peace in their surroundings.  Then the pace picks back up again at the end of the novel.  While this book did have some of the traditional elements of a story set in this place and time, there were many surprises in the book. This definitely kept the story engaging, even when the pace became a little slower. 

Camille was an interesting character, forced to grow up too soon due to her mother's disappearance and her father's neglect.  She's smart and independent, but there seems to be a longing inside of her to be taken care of.  Jonathan stands out from his family as he doesn't have the haughty, deserving attitude of his father and sister.  He has a heart for helping others and wants to try to help his family even though he truly desires to separate himself from their lifestyle.  

I would definitely recommend The Curiosity Keeper.  It will keep you guessing and take you on a journey of love and mystery.

**I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher to give an unbiased review**