Wednesday 20 March 2024

Book Review: The Cloverton Charade by Sarah E. Ladd (Historical Romance)

Title: The Cloverton Charade
Author: Sarah E. Ladd
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 3 September 2024
Pages: 352
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: ARC via NetGalley

A house party in Regency England provides the perfect opportunity for two rival antiquity brokers to scope out a potentially valuable collection while trying to keep their attraction at bay.

Alicia Brannon's knowledge of antiquities is unparalleled, having learned everything she needs to know from her broker father. She longs to use that knowledge to make a future for herself, but as a woman, her options are limited . . . until the day a former client, who happens to be the previous mistress of Cloverton Hall, approaches Alicia about evaluating an obscure, private collection. But there is a catch: the evaluation must be conducted in secrecy to prevent the widow's nephew, the new master of Cloverton Hall, from having knowledge of it. Alicia sees this as her one and only chance to prove her worth, so she agrees to attend a house party at Cloverton Hall and conduct the evaluation covertly.

The younger son of England's foremost antiquities purveyor, Lucas Avery represents the future of his family business. When he learns that the new master of Cloverton Hall intends to liquidate his deceased uncle's impressive collection, Lucas is determined to be the broker who oversees the sale. The new master of Cloverton Hall invites Lucas to a house party on the estate, during which time he will have full access to the collection. Lucas jumps at the opportunity, for if successful, he stands to make a great deal of money, as well as solidify his family's future.

Alicia and Lucas both arrive at the house party under the guise of guests and quickly recognize each other as business rivals, raising their suspicions. After they conduct their individual assessments, it becomes clear to them both that some of the pieces in the collection are counterfeit. They reluctantly join forces to understand the scope of the deception. As their work brings them closer together, an undeniable bond begins to form. Then when one of the most famous pieces in the collection is broken during the house party, everyone is a suspect. Both Alicia and Lucas must decide how much they are willing to risk not only their professional reputations but also their hearts.


The Cloverton Charade was an historical romance with a fun premise. As far as the characters were concerned, I felt Alicia came across as more well rounded than Lucas; I felt we got deeper into her personality than his, whereas I would have liked a little more balance. In addition, their romance seemed a little sudden, with marriage proposed and accepted almost out of the blue after only the briefest of courtships. However, the story was entertaining and moved at a good pace throughout, and overall it was a pleasing read that I can recommend to fans of historical romance who enjoy a rivals-to-lovers twist. I am giving it four stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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