When a famous uncut ruby is stolen from his father, Jonathan Gilchrist is put in charge of finding it, lest, given his father's debts, their estate be sold and his sister lose her dowry. The search leads him to a ramshackle curiosity shop, largely run by the proprietor's enchanting daughter. Certain that Camille Iverness knows more than she claims, Jonathan offers to help her when she is forced to flee. Is she the innocent she seems, or does she truly hold the key to the ruby?
To my pleasure, this story has leanings toward a Gothic romance: a twisty, dark mystery, an independent heroine, and a precious stone men will do anything to possess. While the romance, of course, goes as expected, I enjoyed the unpredictability of the plot surrounding it. Is Camille's father the villain the Gilchrists believe him to be? What will Camille do when she flees London? How will they find the ruby when no one seems to know where it is?
Besides enjoying the main characters, I liked how the author depicts Penelope Gilchrist--somewhat selfish and entitled, yes, and prone to manipulation, but not irredeemable. There is a heart under there, but insecurity and fear often overrule it. I hope there will be a book about her in the future; given a chance to grow up a little more, she could become a character worthy of her own story.
I really liked the ending. How to put this without writing any spoilers? Hmmm. I liked the ending because it left me slightly dissatisfied, yet not disappointed . . . like the difference between quenching one's thirst with straight water and water with a hint of lemon - both are good, both rehydrate, but straight water leaves one thirsting for a little bit more. It's good to know the author has more books coming! 4.5 stars!
Thank you Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing an e-book for review; I was not
required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.
Treasures of Surrey
1. The Curiosity Keeper
2. Dawn at Emberwilde
3. A Stranger at Fellsworth