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  • Writer's pictureGena Bessire

Book Review: The Cloverton Charade by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Blurb:

A long-held family feud reignites when two rival antiquities brokers arrive at the same house party in Regency England.

Olivia Brannon knows her goals are unconventional. As a young woman in Regency England, her best bet--according to society--is to marry well and secure a steady future for herself. But Olivia has never been interested in convention. She'd prefer to follow in her deceased father's footsteps and journey to foreign lands in search of rare and valuable antiquities.

Eager to make a name for herself in the antiquities world, Olivia jumps at an invitation to join a wealthy widow at the famed Cloverton Hall to evaluate her private antiquities collection. Secrecy of the task is vital, and in order to conceal her efforts Olivia must pretend to be a house party guest to avoid suspicion and to explain her presence.

Lucas Avery, whose father was a rival of Olivia's father, has also arrived at the Cloverton Hall house party, hired by the new master of Cloverton Hall--the widow's nephew--to appraise the renowned Cloverton Hall collection. When Lucas discovers Olivia masquerading as a party guest while covertly conducting her own assessment, he's keen to renew the family rivalry. But as their paths frequently cross, he's unprepared for the effect the refreshingly honest--and beautiful--Olivia has on him.

Yet all is not as it seems. Both Olivia and Lucas are shocked by the astonishing discovery of counterfeit pieces, and when the unexpected occurs, everyone is a suspect . . . and Olivia and Lucas both must choose whom they will trust.



With a feuding family, competing businesses, and presumed valuable antiques that turn out to be counterfeit, who is pulling the strings to make it happen?

In The Cloverton Charade, Olivia Brannon wants to be a respected antiquities dealer in an era where women look for social standing through marriage. Her late father taught her everything he knew, but her uncle inherited the family business and doesn't trust her to use her skills. Mrs. Milton, a widower, stops at Olivia's family shop to ask her to come secretly evaluate her private collection for sale. Olivia jumps on the chance to prove herself to her uncle and be independent. At Cloverton Hall, while masquerading as Mrs. Milton's companion, she bumps into Lucas Avery, her father's ex-business partner's son. He is there to evaluate the renowned Cloverton Hall's collection for the new owners. There is bad blood between their families since Lucas's father betrayed her dad years before, but Olivia sees a different side of Lucas that intrigues her and makes her wonder if he can be trusted.

Fun read by Sarah E. Ladd. I love the enemies-to-more trope. When Lucas and Olivia realize something strange is happening at Cloverton Hall, they seek each other out and begin to work together. They share their combined knowledge and find that in doing so, respect and admiration grows between them. Can they mend their family's relationship while working together to uncover who is replacing valuable antiques with counterfeit pieces?

Request The Cloverton Charade at your local library, preorder it at most retailers, or find it for sale on Amazon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Fiction. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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