Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review + GIVEAWAY: The Curiosity Keeper

The Curiosity Keeper
By Sarah E. Ladd
Treasures of Surrey, #1
Thomas Nelson, 2015


“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.

My thoughts

The Curiosity Keeper is a good beginning to Sarah Ladd's new series, Treasures of Surrey. Set in 1812 England, it opens in the Iverness Curiosity Shop in London, then moves to the beautiful rural community of Fellsworth. Regencies are a favorite genre of mine and Sarah did an excellent job at conveying a sense of place. There's action, drama, mystery, romance, and a sweet ending.

Jonathan and Camille seemed like a good fit for each other and I really liked them both, but although there was a good bit of character depth, I was never able to connect as deeply with them as I had hoped and I'm not sure why. Maybe because I longed for more scenes with interaction between them, for I didn't feel a part of their developing romance. However, this is still an excellent story and it was fun to watch Camille use her strength and self-reliance skills to take care of herself at a time when women didn't have many opportunities. 

The mystery element was done well, because even though I suspected who one of the bad guys might be and was proven right, there was a twist that I never saw coming. And one of my favorite parts was the growing friendship and respect between Camille and Jonathan's father, Ian.

I love the way The Curiosity Keeper shows a contrast between the upper and working classes, and between the wealthy estates and unsavory areas of London - and while a lot of Regencies focus on high society, Jonathan and Camille use their medical and teaching skills respectively to help others. Spiritual themes are subtle, but always shining through is the idea that God is faithful to bring about good from the not-so-good circumstances in our lives - and that's something to which readers can relate.

The Curiosity Keeper was an enjoyable read overall and I look forward to more stories in this series. Recommended to fans of historical romance.


Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for “The Heiress of Winterwood.” She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

Find Sarah online at, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Litfuse landing page:



To enter the drawing for The Curiosity Keeper . . .

1) If you're on Facebook, please go to Sarah Ladd giveaway and share about this giveaway ("likes" to my FB page are not required, but very much appreciated)

2) Answer the following question:

Do you have a favorite Sarah Ladd book or another
Regency author/title that you would recommend?

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Monday, August 3. Winner will be chosen by and contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US residents

Congratulations to Jessica Jorn! I hope you enjoy The Curiosity Keeper very much. More great reviews and giveaways are in the works, so everyone please come back and tell your friends. Thank you to all who entered.

Blog linkups:
Literacy Musing Mondays


  1. Hello Carole! Lovely review of THE CURIOSITY KEEPER. It's at the top of my wish list.

    1. Thank you, Caryl. I'm pretty sure you will enjoy Sarah's lovely book. Be sure to come back and enter the giveaway.

  2. I haven't read any of her books and I love the regency era. I'm sure this book is calling my name. Lol

  3. Hey Carole, I shared the giveaway on facebook. I've not yet read any of Sarah's books. I'm fairly new to reading books in the Regency era. Who are some authors you recommend?! Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Unfortunately I've never read any of Sarah Ladd's books, but I would love to! The Curiosity Keeper sounds great! Of the Regency novels I've read, I would highly recommend Kaye Ducas' series: The Ransome Trilogy. They are some of my favorite books! Thanks for the interview! Mdp94 (at) bellsouth (dot) net

  5. I really liked The Headmistress of Rosemere and A Lady at Willowgrove Hall. I haven't read her first book yet or The Curiosity Keeper, but they are on my "wish list."


  6. Sounds like an intriguing story! And I love, love, love Regency fiction!!! Julie Klassen is the author who first introduced me to that time period & I would recommend ANY of her books :-) I haven't yet read any of Sarah's books, although I've seen them on Amazon and put them on my want-to-read list. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of "The Curiosity Keeper"
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. All of your books are on my TBR pile.

  8. I would love this one! Thank you for the giveaway!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  9. new author to me

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  10. I own the Whispers on the Moors series from Sarah Ladd. When the first book, The Heiress of Winterwood, came out, I was drawn to the cover and synopsis due to being a huge Jane Austen fan.

  11. If I've read any Regency books, it's been too long for me to remember. I keep eyeing Regina Jennings books, but your cover has me wanting to learn more about The Curiosity Keeper!

  12. I have so many review books right now to read. I concentrate on creative nonfiction and poetry, but I love reading your reviews of Christian romances. I hope to read a few when I get my stack dwindled. Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays.

  13. I have not read any of Sarah Ladd's books yet, but they are definitely on my "Must Read" list. Thanks for your review of Curiosity Keeper. It's so nice & helpful to get honest input on books. I love Christian Regency fiction. I recently came across an author in this genre that I have so enjoyed. It is Mary Moore. I just finished her three books: The Aristocrat's Lady, Beauty in Disguise, and Accidental Fiancee. They were wonderful...full of suspense, intrigue and sweet, clean romance. I would highly recommend her books! I shared your Sarah Ladd Giveaway on my Facebook page. Thanks for the opportunity of winning a copy of Curiosity Keeper!


  14. I couldn't help being drawn to this book by the cover but then when I read an excerpt about it I really want to read it. I have not read any of Sarah Ladd's books but I most definitely want to. A regency author I enjoy alot is Julie Klassen !
    Thank you for the wonderful post today and the giveaway !
    Deanne Patterson
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

  15. I did read her first series and enjoyed it very much. The covers for this next series are gorgeous and entice me even more to read this series too. Great job!

    dianemestrella at gmail dot com

  16. Sharing this post. Your reviews are always good. :)

  17. Oh yes I really enjoyed her A Lady at Willowgrove Hall! It's my favorite of her's so far! Regency is one of my FAVORITE things to read! I highly recommend Before the Season Ends, The Secret of Pembrooke Park, A Reluctant Courtship, and The Dancing Master as well as A Lady at Willowgrove Hall! :)

    I shared!

    Blessings, Amada (pronounced:

  18. Have been wanting to read this!! I haven't read any of Ladd's books. However, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Julianne Donaldson's Edenbrooke and Blackmoore, and would highly recommend them for regency fans.


  19. I haven't read any of Sarah's books, but I REALLY want to! I do love Julie Klassen when it comes to Regency, though.

  20. I do enjoy a good historical romance and she writes good ones! !
    dkstevensneAT outlook(DOT)CoM

  21. I have not read any of Sarah's books but the title captured me and your summary and review drew me in!

    I shared on FB also.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  22. I absolutely looooved reading The Curiosity Keeper. I got a reviewer copy of it from NetGalley, but I would love to win a print version. I thoroughly enjoyed Sarah's other novels, but I would definitely have to say this is her best one so far. :)

    I also enjoy novels by Julianne Donaldson, Sarah M. Eden, etc. :)

  23. I quite enjoyed The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah. But my favorite regency author is probably Linore Rose Burkard. I've read a few of hers and enjoyed each one.

    Kim (at) yahoo (dot) com

  24. I would love to win this book it sounds wonderful!

  25. I loved the heiress of winter wood. The others are on my TBR pile.

  26. I loved the first 3 books by Sarah Ladd. They were wonderful. The Curiosity Keeper sounds awesome, too. It's on my list to read, so I'd love to win it. Someone else mentioned Julianne Donaldson and Sarah M. Eden. I love their books, too. They are wonderful authors.
    whthomas13 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  27. Thank you for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!

  28. Loved the Heiress of Winterwood and I like Julie Klassen's books.

  29. Sarah Ladd's books are on my to read list but I haven't had a chance to get them yet. I'd love to read this one!

    I absolutely loved Jessica Dotta's trilogy and I think that is the regency time period.

    thejorns at gmail dot com

  30. I've read several of Sarah's books, but would love to read the Curiosity Keeper.

  31. The Curiosity Keeper. What an interesting title and I love the cover.

  32. Just curios (anyone who sees this), who was the winner of this fabulous book?