My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
“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.
This is an intriguing tale with a variety of characters, each with ulterior motives that Camille can only guess at. I loved the setting of the gritty London streets since that's not the norm in Regency romances. Even though Camille can hold her own there, she is not comfortable in her surroundings and I was happy to see her take control of her future. The countryside is a stark contrast and Camille does not take it's beauty and freshness for granted. Jonathon and Camille are a perfect match for each other with their guileless gentility. I didn't feel like their romance had much passion, especially with their hesitancy to trust each other, but there was a definite feeling of hope, that they wanted to trust and love.
(Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing and Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
About the Author
About the Author
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.
Visit Sarah online: