The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah Ladd has everything I love in a novel. It’s set in England in the early 1800’s. The heroine, independent yet vulnerable, is in peril. The reluctant hero, truly noble, is being thwarted at every turn. A great mystery must be solved or all will be lost for both—and for the people they love. A sweet romance results from the struggle. And . . . best of all . . . I hope and suspect . . . a new story is subtly introduced, giving me another great book to look forward to. (I really do want to know what will become of . . . I’d better not mention her name and risk spoiling the outcome for you.)
This story opens in London where Camille Iverness runs her father’s curiosity shop while he transacts mysterious business elsewhere. Not located in the best part of London, Camille longs for the countryside where she grew up—and for the love she knew while living on her grandfather’s estate. Her mother has been absent for eleven years, using the excuse that she’s caring for her once-ailing, but now healthy mom in Portugal. Camille feels the abandonment but has learned to take care of herself.
Jonathan Gilchrist knows abandonment of another kind. As the second son, he was free to pursue a satisfying career as the village apothecary with his father’s focus only on the heir. When his brother died, however, Jonathan found himself burdened with expectations he had no interest in and pressured by a father who cared only for the family’s status and wealth.
Camille and Jonathan meet when a stolen jewel becomes a mutual threat. Though strangers, they must rely on each other to solve a crime and save their futures.
Ladd tells an intriguing story that reveals the pitfalls of serving wealth rather than what really matters and the blessings of discerning what is trustworthy and worth holding onto. I recommend this book and thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.