by Sarah Ladd
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Page Count: 352
How got: free copy from Net Galley for review
Why read: heard good things about author and interesting story concept
“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.
Star Rating - 5 Stars
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.