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The Curiosity Keeper (A Treasures of Surrey…
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The Curiosity Keeper (A Treasures of Surrey Novel) (edition 2015)

by Sarah E. Ladd (Author)

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948185,371 (3.82)3
Member:lanehillhouse
Title:The Curiosity Keeper (A Treasures of Surrey Novel)
Authors:Sarah E. Ladd (Author)
Info:Thomas Nelson (2015), 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Curiosity Keeper (A Treasures of Surrey Novel) by Sarah E. Ladd

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed Sarah Ladd’s debut ‘Whispers on the Moors’ Trilogy, so this first book a new series was greatly anticipated. I heard good things, saw good reviews, liked the author anyway, and appreciate Regency Fiction perhaps a little more than I used to.
The Curiosity Keeper was not by any means a bad novel. It has most of the elements known and loved in Regency Fiction- alongside a measure of mystery and intrigue- yet- and this is purely my personal opinion- I couldn’t really like it in the way I did The Heiress of Winterwood, The Headmistress of Rosemere by the same author.

It’s hard to pin down what this story seemed to be lacking for me- but dare I say, it just seemed rather dull and a little predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go in for stories that rely entirely on action at the expense a solid plot, or good characterisation- but despite some exiting scenes, it just seemed to trudge along- and I was able to guess (correctly) the location of the Ruby everyone was looking for quite early on.

Also, I don’t think I ever really found myself connecting with the major characters. Yes, Johnathon was your typical Regency hero- dashing and handsome, who wanted to make his own way in life but had a strong sense of duty and honour- yes Camille was strong and beautiful yet vulnerable, but again, there just seemed to be something lacking.
This is a worthwhile read, and I would certainly have no trouble recommending. The lack of the sort of silly, mushy romance that gets on my nerves could certainly be counted as a plus. It just isn’t a favourite, nor do I think the author’s best.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson via Booklook Bloggers for review. I was not required to write a positive one and all opinions expressed here are my own.
( )
  Medievalgirl | Oct 4, 2016 |
The Curiosity Keeper
Sarah Ladd

Book Summary: 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.

Review: Great story telling. I really was hesitant to start this book, because I loved the last series so much I wondered if this one would be just as good. It was! I loved Jonathan’s father so well written and full of himself yet life changes people and he was no exception. Camille was a real strong person along and Jonathan was a great white knight. He was quick to rush in and save Camille. There were some mild surprises and one big one!!!
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. 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. ( )
  Robin661 | May 29, 2016 |
The characters in this book were immediately relatable. It’s actually kinda hard for me to put into words; almost immediately I felt like I knew these people. It can’t be summed up in saying that the author does a great job in giving her characters both vices and virtues. She does, yet there’s an element to these characters that make them feel real to me. Almost as soon as I started reading, I felt like I could have met these people on the street and found common ground with them. I enjoyed exploring all the depths of these people as they found their way through romance, mystery, and finding their way in the world.

The author’s attention to historical detail was a real treat. Intimate details on shops in Regency England, the educational system, medical care, and the differences between the various classes kept this history lover jigging in her heart. The author makes sure to bring the setting to life all the while telling a great story to balance it out.

I’m happy to see another Christian fiction author who knows how to balance her religious elements with her actual story narrative so one doesn’t overpower the other. The religious presence is very definitely felt in the lessons of the story and in frequent mentions of God and his power. Yet, the reader isn’t preached at on soapboxes of morality. The story is able to stand as itself, a fantastic tale of love and learning what’s important in life.

I’ve found me another Christian author I adore!! With great characters, story, balance of elements, and research, she’s able to craft a tale I can enjoy and learn from. I’ll definitely be checking out more of Ms. Ladd’s works; I think I’ll be ranking her up with Elizabeth Camden and Tamera Alexander as a favorite Christian author if her writing holds true in other books.

Note: Book received for free from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for free review. ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 13, 2016 |
Title: The Curiosity Keeper (A Treasures of Surrey Novel #1)
Author: Sarah E. Ladd
Pages: 341
Year: 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Camille Iverness is a young woman who works in her father’s shop. She keeps the books and deals with any customers who visit the shop. Her father takes care of providing the inventory. He, however, has many “side” transactions that Camille is not privy to the specifics of, but knows they are on the shady side of the law. One night she is attacked in the shop by a man looking for a ruby. She knows nothing about this gem and fears for her life when a young man comes to her rescue. As events progress, he offers to find her a job in the country to get her out of the London city environment. She accepts.
Jonathan Gilchrist is the second son of a wealthy gentleman. He has followed his maternal uncle in the profession of being an apothecary. His father doesn’t approve of such a lowly profession, but Jonathan gets satisfaction from helping people and enjoys what he does for a living. With his brother’s death, Jonathan is now set to inherit the country estate. His father expects him to take an interest in his inheritance, but Jonathan refuses to give up his apothecary business. His father informs him that due to a deal gone bad he will have to sell a valuable jewel from his collection of rare and unique items. The jewel, however, has been stolen and Jonathan is tasked with recovering it or the family estate will be forfeit. Jonathan travels to London to the shop where his father originally bought the gem only to interrupt an attempted robbery of a defenseless woman in the shop. He rescues her, tends her wound and refuses to leave her in dire straits. He offers to take her to the country and find her a job to give her a fresh start. The job she finds allows her frequent meetings with him and a romance blooms.
This book started out well, but fell flat after the first few chapters. There wasn’t a lot that happened in the book to hold my interest. I did like the lead male character as he was comfortable in his own skin and didn’t feel the need to impress others. He followed his own heart with regard to his profession. I also liked the independent streak in Camille’s character. The other characters in the book were unremarkable with the exception of Jonathan’s sister, Penelope, who appeared overly concerned with what society thought and her position among said society. Hopefully, future books in the series will have more to maintain this reader’s interest. I do plan on reading the next book in the series to give the series a chance.
My rating is 3 stars out of 5.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.” ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Aug 6, 2015 |
For fans of well-written Regency novels, you cannot go wrong with a book written by Sarah Ladd. The Curiosity Keeper is her 4th novel and the first in her new Treasures of Surrey series. Combining rich historical detail, a mysterious stolen gem and characters to cheer for, this romance is one that I can recommend.

Camille Iverness is confined to the curiosity shop her father keeps. Surrounded by strange, yet valuable wares and hemmed in by the dirty streets of London, Camille yearns for the open countryside of her youth. After being attacked in the shop, she finds herself in the company of a young gentleman nothing like the men she is accustomed to. But his search for a stolen ruby and her father’s shady business dealings may keep her from the fulfillment of long held dreams.

While Ladd does a good job of creating a decidedly seedy London and a bucolic Surrey village in The Curiosity Keeper, the characters are what really make this novel. Both Camille and Jonathan Gilchrist are children at odds with their families. Both desire independence and cultivate an aura of confidence and calm, but they really long for the intimacy denied them. Both are unconventional for their time, yet both seem very natural in their reactions and feelings. Without divulging too much, I also found the ending is a bit unconventional, and definitely refreshing — extremely fitting for Camille and Jonathan’s story. The mystery of the stolen ruby provides a great framework to explore the characters’ true values and is perfect for the developing romance. The faith message is natural, without being preachy, and I loved how Ladd ties in the legend of curses and blessing surrounding the ruby with God’s word.

The Curiosity Keeper may be a Regency romance, but it owes a lot to the gothic elements found in the novels of the Brontes and Wilkie Collins. So if you are a fan of those classics, you will probably love this one as well. The best part is that this is book 1 in a series — more stories to come. Yay!

Recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

(Thanks to Litfuse and Thomas Nelson for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Jul 31, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0718011783, Paperback)

“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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 23 Mar 2015 10:48:39 -0400)

"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. "--… (more)

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