The Gentleman and the Thief
by Sarah M. Eden
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Pub Date 03 Nov 2020 | Archive Date 17 Nov 2020
Shadow Mountain Publishing, Shadow Mountain
From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he’s smitten. Even though he’s from a wealthy, established family and she isn’t, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.
Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father’s successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the “Phantom Fox.” She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.
When Hollis’s brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.
When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?
"The real joy in Eden's follow-up to The Lady and the Highwayman (2019) is the furthering of the overarching crime story and the work of the Dread Penny Society as Hollis and Ana pursue a chaste romance. Eden excels at exploring the realities of Victorian life and class differences. Once again, chapters of penny dreadfuls written by the characters are interspersed throughout, with Hollis' story about a school for ghosts offering particular delight. Fans of Eden's smart series will be thrilled and impatient for the next installment." —Booklist, starred review
"Gentility wears a burglar’s mask in The Gentleman and the Thief, a proper romance set in the criminal underworld of Victorian London....During a citywide crime spree, Ana and Hollis are drawn together by a shared caper and the pursuit of another thief, Four Finger Mike. Their romantic tension comes from the double masks they both wear...Her decisions about what to reveal, and when, result in a playful, will-they-won’t-they dynamic. In the absence of explicit sex scenes, the couple’s decisions about when to disclose their aliases are fraught and satisfying.
As Ana and Hollis lose their fears of being known, they discover the answer to the mystery and find a meaningful romance with one another. Charming, suggestive, and featuring rich historical details, The Gentleman and the Thief has the elements of a gritty, juicy penny dreadful." —Foreword Reviews
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 262 members
I loved The Lady and the Highwayman and have been looking forward to reading the next book by the same author. It didn't disappoint! Tons of heart, humor, and an interesting perspective on the 1800s from characters you don't always see in romances.
Now this is a charming and romantic story! A thief and a gentleman, what more could a girl ask for? Our two protagonists are Ana and Hollis, and the story is told from their alternating views along with the penny dreadfuls that Hollis writes. You are essentially getting three stories in one! Ana is a music teacher who doubles as a thief, reclaiming items that were stolen from her family when they fell from fortune. Hollis is a spy for the Penny Dreadful society trying to find who the thief who has been stealing items is. I found this to be a charming and easy read. Romantic and sweet while also adding elements of gothic stories and adventures. If I’m being honest, I prefer this one to the first book. I really liked the development in the relationship between the two protagonists and the reasoning behind their motivations. The story was fun and I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys a good romantic novel.
*thank you netgalley for sending me an early arc in exchange for an honest review *
As someone who loved The Lady and the Highwayman, I went into this latest Sarah M. Eden book with sky-high expectations, and boy, did this book deliver! Full of chemistry, twists and turns, and scenes and arcs you'd never find in other historical romances right now, this book is bold, passionate, and hits all the right notes. Five stars! Highly recommended!
This is a fun and entertaining adventure to jump into. The characters are well written and the previously established setting for the Penny Dreadful Society proves a great backdrop. I liked the characters of Hollis and Ana and found them to be really cute together on their adventure.
The only thing I would say I wasn’t crazy about is balancing a total of 3 stories within the book. I found that I often just wanted to get back to the main story so having two others was sometimes frustrating. One story within a story seems to be a batter balance for this kind of book.
A very enjoyable read overall and I’ll be on the lookout for future works by this author!
Love, love, loved this book! Saran M. Eden has done it again!! I love that I get 3 intriguing stories in 1 with this series. It leaves me wanting to read the book so fast so that I know how each story ends and wanting to read slowly so that they never end! So good!!!
I loved the first book in this series and had seriously high hopes for this one. Sarah does a well crafted story and always writes a good series. In the first book you have the start of the Penny Dreadful society introduced. Hollis is a member and writes stories, but is a member of the Ton of London. Ana used to be a member of the Ton until her family was cheated out of everything. These two meet in the first story and this is their adventure. It was a fun read, like the first book this includes Hollis writing a story that you get every couple of chapters. It also includes a story by King. So you really have 3 stories going on. In the first book their was only the 2 and the 2 stories were well woven together. Sadly I didn't like that there were 3 stories, it was too much. The stories had to do with each other but only slightly went along with the original story line. It was all just a little too much. Overall I enjoyed it so much and really am looking forward to this whole series.
This is a mystery with no religion. It is a proper romance with a couple sweet kisses.
So charming I almost didn't know what to do with myself. I love indulging in period dramas and lovers who spar and solve crimes. Almost like the regency's response to Nick and Nora. A ton of fun. Thank you for the ARC!
A lovely return to the Dread Penny Society. A sweet romance centered around a fun group of do-gooders. I’m a big fan of the author’s work and this one didn’t disappoint!
This latest installment of Sarah Eden’s penny dreadful stories was entertaining and enjoyable. This is the second book in the series and I would recommend you read the first. While the main characters in this story are different than those in the first there characters and plots that weave through both.
This story has a bit of mystery, two enjoyable short stories interspersed throughout, and a brief introduction to card playing in the Victorian era. I found myself watching YouTube videos to learn more about the games played in the book. Sarah does a great job researching her stories and this was no different. Her list of sources in the Author’s Note is impressive.
If you are looking for an entertaining story with romance and a touch of intrigue this would be a good book for you.
A great follow-up to The Lady & the Highwayman! I love that the heroes in these books aren't reformed rakes or scoundrels - it's nice to be reminded that there are just nice guys out there. The relationship between Ana and Hollis is sweet and both characters are given personalities beyond just the run-of-the-mill romance characters. Having them work through their problems rather than fight and "break up" just to have a big reunion at the end was also refreshing. I enjoyed watching Hollis prove himself to the rest of the DPS, especially since he kept his sense of humor through all of it. The best parts of the story come when Ana and Hollis team up after her secret is known to him. They prove to be perfectly matched.
It takes a talented author to make it seem effortless to write a full romance/mystery story and two penny dreadful stories and make them all page-turners. I often found myself as excited to read the next installment of one of the penny dreadfuls as I was to see what was going to happen next in the main story.
I will be waiting excitedly for the third installment in this fun and clever series!
Thank you so much for the advance reader copy of this novel. This was a delightful Victorian romance. I had read the first book but this could easily be a stand alone. I can't wait for the next book. Ana and Hollis were dliggtf as a couple and their interaction in the novel was tender. I loved he character of Very Merry and hope to see her again.. I also hope to find out who the deed master is and if Serena is found. Eden is such a talented author and appreciate this advanced reader copy. Fully recommend this book!!!!
This was a very enjoyable read for me. It was fast, entertaining, simple, and I didn't hate the characters. The rating is based on my personal enjoyment.
Hollis gambled his way through school and has been made all the better for it. He comes from a rich yet poor family (due to his father and grandfathers before gambling away their money) and his brother is trying to bring them back to a respectable financial standing. Hollis stays out of trouble and keeps appearances up for his brother's sake, but has two secret lives: one bing a writer, and one being a part of a secret organization that tries to help people and make London a better place. He is also infatuated with a teacher named Ana.
Ana is a music teacher and also secret thief. She was once a lady of high social standing, but times grew rough and she now fears society after their harsh reactions and behaviour towards her family. Hollis helps her regain some confidence in that aspect.
This was an entertaining read about catching thieves and attempting to stop a gambling ring while also trying to save a family member and children. The act of finding out more details and gaining proof was well written and never left me bored. There was always something to keep my interest.
The romance was not as focused on as I thought it would be, but I won't complain. I like their banter and the characters themselves, but I will say that I preferred the mystery and adventure of the story.
If I look at it with a more critical eye, there are quite a few things that didn't work well for this book. One being the two povs and how they were randomly switched back and forth, and how this technically had three stories in one book. The short reads are very enjoyable and I actually wish we got more of them throughout the book with more details and solutions, however they also took away from the tension and seriousness of the main story's conflicts.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this, but I do see why some have given it low ratings.
*Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC
Not long before picking up this book I read the first book in this series and was a little nervous that this second book would not live up to the first. I couldn't have been more wrong! I really enjoyed getting a closer look at Hollis and Ana's story. This book definitely was as good if not better than the first! Would highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a lighter fun read that also has some substance.
*I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for review. All opinions are my own.*
Between 3 1/2 and 4.
This is the second book in the Penny Dreadful Society. We already know Hollis and Ana as they were secondary characters in the first story, and now it's their turn.
Hollis is a gentleman of low means and writes penny dreadful stories under a nom-de-plume. He likes Ana, likes to spend time with her, and he's the one to recommend her as a music teacher to his brother's daughter.
Ana's family used to be in society but that all changed when her father's company was bankrupt, and she's been teaching at Elizabeth's school.
They both keep secrets from each other, but when the situation arises, they help each other too, and their relationship deepens.
As for the penny dreadful stories by Mr. King and Mr. Jones—I understand their purpose, and I liked them, but not sure the jumping around the three stories was effective. It created a lot of interruptions. It would work a lot better to have the main story and then the other two stories at the end.
I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
Another win for Sarah Eden! I was desperately hoping that this second book would feature Hollis Darby--and I got my wish! Hollis Darby has sworn off his not-insignificant gambling skills after seeing the damage the vice did to his family. Instead, he makes a living secretly writing Penny Dreadful stories and spends his time rescuing people as a member of the Dread Penny Society. Ana has sworn to right the wrongs done to her family after her father lost his fortune and London Society shunned them. She has a very specific set of skills to assist her in this. When trouble finds them, it will take both their skill sets to save the day.
I absolutely love Hollis and Ana. Hollis is genial and kind and ready to be the hero when needed. Ana is smart and sweet and effective in reaching her goals. Both characters are well-developed and likeable. The plot is well-paced and intriguing, with some danger and mystery involved. The Penny Dreadful stories peppered in throughout the chapters are again entertaining and unique, much as they were in the first book of this series. And as always, I'm on pins and needles about who the Dread Master could be (please, oh please, let it be someone related to the Jonquils, lol!).
I can't wait for the next installment!
Rated PG for mild violence
--some mild violence
I was provided this ebook free from NetGalley in return for an honest opinion
This is a sweet Victorian romance with some daring adventures worthy of the penny dreadfuls. Ana Newport, a music teacher by day and thief by night, and Hollis Darby, a secret penny dreadful author, work together to discover a gambling ring that is threatening Hollis's brother.
It's a very good sequel to The Lady and the Highwayman. And like the first book, the penny dreadfuls by Mr. King and Hollis Darby's nom de plume, Lafayette Plume are interspersed throughout the book.
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was such a fun story. We follow Hollis, a peer of the realm that writes penny dreadfuls in secret, and Ana, a fallen peer of the realm that now teaches music by day and steals as the Phantom Fox by night. As they get to know one another they also uncover a sinister plot marking those of the ton and taking advantage of helpless youth. The Dreadpenny Society has been on the hunt for the Mastiff, an unknown person that controls many of the street youth and is a criminal mastermind that is greatly feared. With the help of Ana and Hollis they are able to get further in their quest to ferret out who this mastermind is and they are able to thwart one of his schemes.
Hollis and Ana work well together and with those of the society. Their strengths quickly make them invaluable to the team and it sets them up to be of more use in further down the line. I’m looking forward to more from the dread penny society and I do so hope they unmask the Mastiff before he hurts more people or ruins for lives. This was a fun clean story with lots of action and intrigue with just the right amount of romance to make it sweet.
Sarah Eden is hands down one of my favorite authors. She has an amazing talent to balance tension and humor. Every time I thought my racing heart just could't take the suspense anymore I'd turn the page and smile at Mr. Higglebottom's school for the Undead, or a witty remark from a character. Her pacing flows the story from one page to the next so you just can't put it down!
Her writing consistently impresses me. A master of character development. I'm repeatedly invested in her characters; Hollis and Ana were no exception. There was a moment near the end of the book where I thought I knew what was coming next, and I desperately didn't want it to. I didn't want Ana to become the stereotypical damsel in distress. I should've known better. The anticipated plot point never came to be and I smiled even bigger at the strength of her characters and her ability to weave a tale. Even her stories in a story were well crafted and had me quickly turning the page. This is quickly becoming one of my new favorite series'.
Sarah Eden has been my favorite author for quite awhile now and I always look forward to stepping into one of her worlds. This Victorian novel is the second in the series but can be read as a stand alone.
One of the fantastic things about this series is the penny dreadful tales that take place throughout the story. They are so much fun and you get three stories in one.
Hollis was my favorite side character in The Lady and the Highwayman so I was delighted to find out he’d be the main character of this one.
I loved getting to really know and understand his character.
I love that Ana was the “Phantom Fox” a role you would not expect from her and nor do they.
The banter and chemistry between Ana and Hollis is delightful. I love their pairing and that we got to see plenty of Fletcher and Elizabeth as well.
Sarah does a great job of bringing attention to the hardships of this time period. The villains she has written are just the right amount of despicable and I love when the DPS, with Anas help, interrupt and break apart their dastardly plans.
Filled with plenty of action, mystery, and romance this story takes you on quite a thrilling ride. Thanks to Shadow Mountain for sending me a copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
The characters were charming in this romantic novel. I loved this author's ability to help her readers understand the trials that society was facing during that era. Her characters allowed you the ability to sympathize and cheer them to success. The story line was complex enough to keep all readers engaged. The inserting of the penny dreadful stories didn't feel as smooth of a transition as the first book could claim but it was still enjoyable.
I will admit that I love Sarah Eden's books! I have never been disappointed. I was excited to read this one, but felt a little lost with the characters. It was then I realized this was book two of a series. I quickly borrowed the first book from a library, and then all the pieces fell together. This is a different genre for her, and I loved it! I lived the intrigue, the side stories happening in between. This was so much fun! I can't wait for the next one!
I love this book! This is the second of the second of the penny dreadful society books and they are so very enjoyable. The inclusion of the characters' penny dreadful stories make it that much more fun. Hope there will be more!
Posted to Goodreads on 6/30
Although I didn't realize until about halfway through that this was the second book in a series, I truly enjoyed this book! The author does an incredible job developing characters as well as engaging in world building that feels authentic to the time period. The Gentleman and the Thief was an incredibly fun read, with a good mix of romance, action and mystery! I am excited to go back and read the first book!!
Note: Despite being a part of a series, this worked perfectly well as a standalone, and I had no trouble feeling engaged and excited about the characters and the plot line!
This book was so well written and intriguing and just draws the reader in. The heroine is the daughter of a merchant whose partner stole from the company, escaped with the funds and left her father to pick up the pieces. She now works for a school for urchin children and her father lives in a single room of the large house they still own. The hero is the younger son of a family who is part of the ton, but not titled. He is a secret writer of children serials and adult books and uses a 'nom de plume'. They meet at the school for urchins and they are attracted to each other. The heroine feels that she is too low in society and the hero feels that he lacks the means to support her. This sounds just like any other similar story, right? Well, keep reading because the story takes a hard left into secrets and intrigue and the reader happily follows along. I must say with all.of the story plots and twists, this author shows a master of storytelling dexterity that keeps.the story on point and makes sense. I can give a handful of authors who can't do that and I have read 4 this week so far. I will not reveal any more spoilers or cliff hangers, for I recommend that you obtain this story and read it. The twists and turns are gripping, but the plain writing of the settings and characters and realistic situations are sublime. And you know what, thinking back, I do not think there was a sex scene, or if there was, it was not the focus of the book. What a blessed change from the vapid choices that romance readers face. The characters were likeable and grew in the story. I give this book 5 stars and a hearty recommendation to read.
Recommended for fun, adventurous, clean reading - 4 STARS
This is my first time reading a book by this author and steps outside my normal choice of faith-filled stories. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Besides the book itself, there are 2 penny dreadful stories within this book. That was great fun as I found myself wanting to find out what would happen next within those!
London, 1865 - "Hollis Darby learned two things at the knee of his not-so-dear, long-departed, low-life, scoundrel of a father: how to gamble beyond what was advisable and how to be an utter disappointment to his family.
"FOR THE POOR AND INFIRM, THE HOPELESS AND VOICELESS, WE DO NOT RELENT. WE DO NOT FORGET. WE ARE THE DREAD PENNY SOCIETY."
Very Merry was a delight - "Holis dropped his face into his hands. "How often do you hide in this room?" She Shrugged. "I like scones.""
"Thieves. Missing brothers. Shady games of chance. London was many things, but it certainly wasn't boring."
I was gifted an eBook from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own without compensation or further expectation.
I have already posted to GoodReads. REVIEWS WILL BE POSTED TO MY BLOG, AMZN, B&N, BAM, GOOGLE PLAY BOOKS, KOBO CLOSER TO THE NOV. 3RD RELEASE DATE. Thank you :)
What an absolute delight of a book! Sarah Eden’s The Gentleman and the Thief is a quick and enjoyable read with characters that are so well developed and likable that they’ll feel like friends, and a plot that is so well done and intriguing it’ll pull you right in. I absolutely loved the DPS and their interactions. I enjoyed Hollis and Ana’s characters, interactions, and relationship. The events in the book moved quickly, but everything made sense. The overarching conflict was an intriguing one, adding drama, suspense, and mystery.
My only gripe with this book is that it should be made clear there is a book that comes before, where you are introduced to many of the characters and to that overarching conflict mentioned above. Despite this, I didn’t really feel lost, just left out of a good story. I don’t generally go back and read a previous book if I accidentally entered at a later book, but I may just do so here, purely for entertainment. I anxiously await the next book in this series, but I will caution the author not to drag this story out too long!
Another fun Dread Penny Society novel. I love how Sarah M Eden writes in such a way that the novel and the two penny dreadfuls in the book play off of each other so it isn't hard to follow each story. I love Hollis Darby and Ana Newports characters in this book. They both have secrets to hide. I know I am in for a treat each time I open the pages of a Sarah M Eden book. I would definitely recommend.
I absolutely loved this story. Sarah M. Eden has such a way with world and relationship building, and she shows her skill throughout this story. I was both engaged in the plot and invested in Hollis and Ana's relationship from beginning to end.
Ah, yes. The characters. What to say? Hollis is pretty two dimensional, isn't he? Rather dull, right? Hah. Not even. Hollis is a brilliantly talented man who everyone overlooks due to (1) his quiet dependability, and (2) station in life. He holds a (somewhat tenuous) position in society and many in the Dread Penny Society tend to write him off as less than useful in their more active escapades. In this story we learn that there is so much more to Hollis (Mr. Lafayette Jones) than what first meets the eye. The same could be said for Ana, but I won't go into that as I don't want to spoil the fun. Let's just say she is a lady of many talents.
Facades feature prominently in the story. A number of individuals appear to be fine at a superficial level, but we learn later that they are barely hanging on, either emotionally or financially. This is a timely reminder for us today: to invest in our relationships and not depend solely on outward impressions.
It is wonderful to see relationship growth between the two brothers and to also watch the Dread Penny Society's estimation of Hollis grow as the story progresses. The story has a great payoff in the end, and I really hope we get to see Hollis and Ana in future Dread Penny Society novels. It still feels like there is more to their story, and I want it all!
Side note: there is a scene in the novel where we get to view a card sharp at work and it is absolutely fascinating! I love the details in that scene; it's fast paced and absolutely engrossing.
I cannot wait for this title to release so I can grab a copy for my collection. Such a fun read.
Thank you, publisher and author, for granting me an advance copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Sarah has done it again. This novel was beautifully written. The characters we first met in The Lady and The Highwayman have returned for another great story. I appreciated the relationship that built between Hollis and Ana. I love that Sarah includes chapters containing penny dreadful written by Hollis (as Lafayette Jones) as well as a new one from Mr. King. Having these alternating chapters has been a new experience with this series from Sarah but it's been an absolute delight to experience the different stories all in one book. I loved the development of Ana's character as the story progressed.
3.5 ⭐️ out of 5 ⭐️
This was such an interesting premise. A music teacher moonlighting as a thief? A gentleman moonlighting as a penny dreadful writer/spy? Um, yes please. But to be perfectly honest this was just okay for me. They were a bit insta-lovey in some ways, but that didn't bother me toooo much.
It took me a while to get into the writing style and also I did frequently get confused by the various concurrent plots (within the penny dreadfuls and the actual)....I liked that it was trying to enrich the text and the story with what the DPS members were writing about, but I felt as though it almost detracted from the story a little bit.
Hollis and Ana were definitely well-matched and cute together, but I didn't feel as though their chemistry was as well built up as it could have been.
I will say though, that I will look into the first book in the series as I would love to see how Elizabeth first joined the DPS and got together with Fletcher!
Note: I was very kindly gifted an ARC of this novel by the publisher and author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
I really enjoyed this story about a gentleman hiding his true profession as a penny dreadful writer and a thief working to steal back the family heirlooms that were stolen from her. Hollis is the perfect gentleman, but he secretly spends his time with people Society has written off and works to save young children from terrible futures. Ana's family was once a part of the very Society she now works for, but when they fell on hard times, everyone turned away from her and they lost everything. She refuses to allow that to stand.
Together, these two will work to uncover truths, help those who need them, and perhaps fall in love along the way. They are adorable, and all the side characters are so great. I really enjoyed this story!
I enjoy Sarah Eden's novels and this series is especially fun because it's more lighthearted than her others. The characters are fun as is the plot. I will say that I don't necessarily enjoy the penny dreadfuls that are interspersed between the main story.
Undeniably clever, suspenseful, well-researched, and deftly written, but the romance was practically nonexistent, taking third place after the action sequences and the two penny dreadful stories. I enjoyed the hero and heroine when they were secondary characters in the previous book and feel like they deserved a better happily-ever-after than they got in this one. I also expected more resolution for the primary characters from the previous book, but nothing seemed to have changed for them. Perhaps that's more realistic and I was simply feeling more fanciful about their relationship. There are many unresolved threads hanging, although that may be because this is going to be an ongoing series. I was disappointed in the relative lack of witty dialogue that I usually so enjoy in books by this author. My expectations and excitement for this book were perhaps a bit too high, but it was still without question an interesting read.
At first, I thought it was a bit slow. But then, I looked down to see what percentage I was on and BA BAMM - I was already a third of the way through. I loved the plot of this book. Even though its a romance, there's a mystery at the core. The love story is adorable, especially with the dual-perspective.
I loved the author's choice to include the stories that Hollis and Elizabeth write! They were so cute and added a lot to the story - especially Hollis because the characters he wrote reflected his internal struggle.
My one qualm with this book is that there were so many characters and code names and I was a bit confused at some parts.
All in all, I would totally recommend this book if you're into historical fiction, cute romances, or even mysteries.
Thank you to the Publisher and NetGalley for an eARC!!
This was my first time reading anything by this author and I am so excited she has many more offerings! I’ve already added several to my TBR list and can’t wait to dive in!
This book was captivating from the very start and I couldn’t put it down. I loved the romance, the mystery, the wit of the characters and plot.
I was sympathetic to the street urchins and couldn’t help but want to see justice served and their abuser apprehended.
I loved reading the Penny Dreadful stories and I thought they were a very clever touch to an already engrossing story.
My only disappointment with this story was the fact that it is part of a series so it leaves you at a bit of a cliffhanger with not everything tied up in a pretty little package. I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of having to wait for the next book in a series to release but I do understand that it is necessary at times to fully tie a series together. For this reason I can only give four stars.
Highly recommend and I would definitely read again.
I was given this copy in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.
NOTE: This is book 2 in the series. It doesn't give away much, but will make more sense if you've read The Lady and the Highwayman.
Miss Ana Newport is a music teacher at Thurloe Collegiate School for Girls. Her father was once a successful businessman, but his partner's poor choices resulted in a loss of the family's fortune and good standing in society. Several years after being rejected and mistreated by the ton, Ana is taking action to recover sentimental items stolen from her family.
As a long-standing member of the Dread Penny Society (DPS), Hollis Darby knows he can do more than solicit donations for their cause. When he inadvertently stumbles across a secret gentleman's club, he finally gets a chance to prove his abilities and make a difference. Meanwhile, his affection for Miss Newport grows despite learning about her past and discovering her current activities.
BONUS! Two more "penny dreadfuls" are sprinkled throughout: "The Gentleman and The Thief" by Mr. King and "Higglebottom's School for the Dead" by Lafayette Jones (Hollis Darby). While they reflect -- and occasionally foreshadow -- parts of the main story, they each have their own happy endings!
The "penny dreadfuls" are so light and entertaining. Their unexpected twists kept me on my toes the whole time!
Between the "penny dreadfuls" and the emphasis on solving the mystery / catching Four-Finger Mike, the relationship between Hollis and Ana has less page time than would be expected in most romance novels. I would categorize this book as a mystery / crime-fighting novel with a hint of romance.
I loved the extension of the characters and underlying plot from "The Lady and the Highwayman"! It was fun to hear a little bit from Fletcher and Elizabeth again. I can't wait for the DPS to catch Four-Finger Mike and to learn the identities of the Dread Master and The Mastiff in future "installments"!
Some mild peril and very mild violence.
Language: squeaky clean!
Romance: clean; two semi-passionate kissing scenes.
Themes include: crime rings, gambling, cheating, financial ruin, theft, protecting children, keeping secrets, ghosts and mythological creatures.
Another winner in this series by Sarah M. Eden. I love the Penny Dreadfuls and the stories with just enough fanciful magic to make it fun. It is fun to sort through the three stories. It takes talent to put three stories interwoven in one book with pieces that overlap.
This book was pure enjoyment and escape for me. The mystery is really just coming together and I anticipate it reaching across the rest of the series. I loved getting richer details about characters that we were introduced to in The Lady and the Highwayman. I will certainly be adding this book to my shelves when it hits the bookstores.
The romance was perfect and fun as well. As the title suggests there is a gentleman and a thief that are truly perfect for each other and understanding of each other's flaws.
Hollis Darby may have paid his way through college with gambling, but now he makes a living by secretly writing penny dreadfuls. Gambling ruined his family and he is suspicious when his brother seems to be taking the vice up. The last thing he wants to see is his family ruined all over again. Meanwhile, he is courting Ana Newport, a music teacher who has sworn to get back what was once wrongfully taken by her family. When news of a thief leads Hollis to investigate, he is surprised to discover the sneaky thief is Ana. Together they work to bring down the illicit gambling den next door to Ana's family home.
This was a great addition to the series. Like the previous title, The Lady and the Highwayman, this also included excerpts of penny dreadfuls, one from Hollis and one from Elizabeth whose story mirrors Hollis and Ana's romance. I was happy to see those excerpts included since they were one of my favorite bits from the first book. The gambling and thief investigations also added some mystery and excitement to the romance. If you enjoyed The Lady and the Highwayman, you'll like this one.
The Gentleman and the Thief showcases Sarah Eden's masterful writing skills. With unique dialects, an immersive world, and well-written characters, this story is a great sequel to The Lady and the Highwayman. From the beginning, Hollis Darby and Ana Newport have romantic inclinations but their differences in situations create barriers that they have to circumvent as suspense, adventure, and danger threaten the world they hold dear.
Sarah Eden's books are always a favorite of mine and this one is no different. I loved how it went from the pure romance genre to adding adventure and mystery. These additions made this book page-turning (in a digital way). The skillful writing of dialogue and character perspectives added to the genre to make this one of Eden's best works. I loved reading this advanced reader's copy and can't wait for it to come out in November to share with friends and family.
Superb novel. The character development is spot on, the story arc is believable and easy to follow, and the story line engaging.
This was a sweet and fun story with loveable characters and a fascinating backstory. I loved the secret, ragtag team of short story writers who went around saving street rats and keeping the street safe. Ana and Hollis were so sweet and refreshing to read about. It is so common to find books where the main characters immediately fall in love with each other and only admire their significant others' bodies through vulgar descriptions until about 60% into the book they actually start loving each other for their personality. And while I am not berating those sorts of books or characters, it was so refreshing to read characters who genuinely respected each other and their morals and boundaries and started to fall in love with each other's personalities as they encounter each other more and more as the book progresses.
I was elated at the fact that I got three stories in one. I got to follow the penny dreadfuls written by 'Mr. King' and 'Lafeyette Jones' and also got to follow along with Ana and Hollis's story. I found myself on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what happens next for all of the stories.
The only reason I am docking a little bit more than a star of the book was how slow it was. The book doesn't really get interesting/pick up until around 60% of the book. Also, Ana being exposed as a thief comes at the 50% mark of the book and wasn't the angsty dividing factor of the romance as the description of the book made it seem, it was brushed off pretty easily by Hollis.
Overall enjoyable read
I was so excited to receive an ARC of this title from Netgalley! The previous installment in this series, The Lady and the Highwayman, is probably my favorite book I have read this year and I was so excited to see Fletcher (my love) and Elizabeth back in this book. But this is not their story. It is focused on Fletcher’s best friend Hollis Darby and Elizabeth’s friend Ana Newport. Their mutual attraction began in the first book, and as this story begins, the seed of their relationship is already planted.
In The Lady and the Highwayman, my focus was on the delicious romance and the adventure, while excellent, came second. This book was the opposite. The mystery of the gambling house and Ana’s exploits at thieving were the best parts of the story. For that reason, I didn’t fall quite as in love with this story. Ana and Hollis were both a little bland. They were sweet, but they didn’t have any fire. No suspense. No will they, won’t they. Apart from writing penny dreadful, being sweet to children, and good at cards, there is nothing much that stands out about Hollis. Ms. Eden’s books are usually dripping with chemistry.
That being said, this story was so much fun. It had me cheering for the good guys, loving the servant spy network, and celebrating every time Fletch made an appearance. I can’t wait for the next one! I hope Brogan will be the hero!
3.5 stars but rounded up. This is the second in the Proper Romance Victorian series and I had read and enjoyed the first "The Lady and the Highwayman". Hollis Darby is from a wealthy family whose father and grandfather had gambled away the family fortune. He now supports himself writing penny dreadful stories that are popular with the working class. Ana Newport is a music teacher at a school. She once lived in society until her father's business ended in bankruptcy and scandal. She has her own secrets.
The story to me is more historical fiction with a romance on the side. The main plot of the story is about the Penney Dreadful Society. The authors have banded together to help children get away from being exploited by villainous characters. They are looking for a child who has been pressed into stealing. And they take on a gambling operation as well. Much of the book is focused on these plot points more than on the blooming romance of Hollis and Ana.
In addition between each chapter there is a chapter from two penny dreadful stories. One about a ghost school written by Hollis. The second about the theft of goods from a country house written by Mr. King another penny dreadful author. The first story is for fun but the second can be related back to the main story. This device was used in the first book in the series as well. It is almost like getting three stories in one. I enjoyed it more in the previous book. This time, it felt like it interrupted the flow of the narrative. But I can see the author sticking to her format throughout the series.
Overall I liked the book. The Hollis and Ana were well thought out and they worked together for a fun adventure. I appreciated seeing the characters from the previous book as well. My enjoyment was enhanced by having read the first book. This adventure could stand alone but you wouldn't understand the Dreadful Society and the work they are trying to accomplish. My biggest negative was there was no development of the romance. Hollis is smitten at first glance. But how was the feeling reciprocated? Was the difference in station considered? (It was in Mr. Kings story.) The romance was very secondary to the plot.
I always appreciate that Sarah Eden writes clean books. No steamy scenes and only a few mild curse words. Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for the eBook in exchange for an honest review.
Loved this book and looked forward to the next one! Usually I don't enjoy Regency/Victorian Romances by American authors, (they come across as too modern and American), but this one surprised me. A great Victorian Romance/Mystery.
I love how Sarah Eden weaves together the story-within-a-story aspect of this novel. It's fun and charming and the whole premise of this series in general is delightful. Though I prefer her other family series—such as the Jonquils and the Lancasters (oh and her Irish series too!)—this series is a fun showcase of her talents!
What I Loved:
The Mystery. In Gentleman and the Thief, there is a mysterious string of robberies by children who are all too afraid of their handler to name him, and a rich man’s gambling den that no one can pinpoint and leaves men destitute. The Penny Dreadful gang knows there is something up, but can’t get their finger on it because of the society. Enter Hollis, the one of their order who is of higher birth and can get them in. I thought the mystery was pretty compelling, and tied in a lot of the great elements from the first book (social justice, access to education, etc). It also showed a different side of the society we came to enjoy in Highwayman.
Hollis and Ana. While a lot of other reviewers were disappointed by the lack of romance and build up from Hollis and Ana, I thought Hollis’ love for her from the very beginning to be really sweet, and I enjoyed that the mystery and their personal lives were just as important as their budding romance. Ana, a thief trying to steal back her family’s wrongfully taken possessions, is a flawed and compelling character, and Hollis’ yearning to fit in and dry sense of humor make both of them relatable and fun to read about. They also have a very different dynamic from Highwayman’s mains Fletcher and Elizabeth, but I liked that.
The Higglebottom’s School for the Dead Interlude. The penny dreadful that Hollis is writing under nom de plume Lafayette Jones was really fun, about boy ghosts learning how to haunt properly who stumble upon a living boy. Unlike Elizabeth’s Mr. King story, which is much more parallel to the story at hand, this was light and unrelated to the rest of the plot. While the format is inconvenient (see below), Higglebottom’s was good in its own right.
What Didn’t Work So Well:
The Broken Format. I touched on this a little with the last book, but I really don’t love the way the penny dreadful stories are interspersed with the main body of the book. Both Mr. King and Lafayette Jones stories seem to begin right at a “cliffhanger” in the middle of the main story, and it ends up just being a distraction. I personally think the reading would be easier if the stories were at the end as an excerpt, but I know other readers enjoy the parallels made in the King penny dreadful.
That is really all as far as overarching complaints. I have some minor complaints about the pacing, but overall, Gentleman and the Thief exceeded expectations for the second book in this series.
All in all, I am so happy with how Gentleman and a Thief turned out! I think a lot of issues other readers had with it was (a) the lesser romance than in the first book, Lady and the Highwayman, and (b) the fact that this wasn’t really properly marketed as a sequel to Lady and the Highwayman. So, as someone who read both, I highly recommend reading Lady and the Highwayman first.
I have read both books in this series and, while I liked the first one, I enjoyed this one far more. If you haven't read the first book in the series, I highly recommend you do so in order to understand the background of everything happening as there is a storyline running throughout the series.
Hollis and Ana are a sweet couple that fit well together in the daylight as their public persona and work even better in the shadows with their secret selves. I always love a story where the characters are completely comfortable with and accepting of each other. This is one of those stories. The more secrets that are revealed, the more devoted they become.
As always with this series, the supporting cast is superb. They are all unique and I look forward to getting to know them better in future books.
The "penny dreadful" stories interspersed within the novel are also a unique addition and worth reading all on their own.
When I first read The Lady and the Highwayman, I was completely enthralled with Ms. Eden's new Victorian book and hoped that she would make it a series...and thank heavens she did because The Gentleman and the Thief is just as delightful!! I was so happy to return to the world of penny dreadfuls and the society that helps save children from the cruel world around them. Hollis and Ana were wonderful supporting characters in the first novel and they really shined in this second novel. I love how Hollis wanted to do more to help than the Dreadfuls originally thought he could and how Ana is anything but the prim and proper music teacher. Honestly, there isn't a thing I would change about this novel, it was an absolute delight from beginning to end.
Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the eARC!
The Gentleman and the Thief is the second in the series, and holds to the format established in the first book, where you get the book you are reading and a bonus Penny Dreadful. In this case you get two Penny Dreadfuls included! Elizabeth is a support character in this installment as we learn more about another Penny Dreadful author and his life. Hollis Darby writing unter the name Lafayette Jones has his secret society and the secret that he authors these books. While Ana has a secret about her past that is causing some interesting situations in the present. I have enjoyed this series so far. Thank you #NetGalley for the chance to offer my honest opinion on #TheGentlemanandtheThief
Ah, good old Fletcher. I know he’s not the main character of this story, but he’s still one of my favorite characters, and he stole the scene just about every time he was in one. That being said, I really enjoyed getting to know Hollis and Ana’s story this time around. It was fun to see them figure out each other’s deep, dark secrets.
Just like with the first book in this series, I really enjoyed the Penny Dreadful stories. I’m looking forward to getting to know more of the Dread Penny Society, and highly recommend this series.
Once Hollis Darby met Ana Newport, he was smitten. Ana is an accomplished music teacher at a girls school, she spent part of her life among the upper classes, but her family was disgraced after her father lost his fortune through a ruthless business partner. Ana is determined to reclaim the things that were taken from her family and has spent years quietly removing them from the homes of the people who stole them. She is intelligent and strong-willed and every bit a match for Hollis Darby.
Hollis is a member of a family that was close to ruin due to gambling. His brother has been trying to raise the status and reputation of the family. Hollis, knowing his family cannot support him, has become a successful penny-dreadful author. Using an alias so no one connects him to the lower class literature, he enjoys bringing entertainment to children and adults alike.
Hollis and Ana are thrown together through a series of events; Hollis' brother needs a music tutor and Ana is selected for the position, Hollis is trying to track down a thief, and they are both out to protect the children of London from nefarious men and organizations.
This is the second in Sarah M. Eden's Penny Dreadful series, and it is just as delightful as the first. It is engaging, romantic and witty.
As the second book in this series this book was well written. I absolutely loved it. I hope we get a book for every member of the Penny Dreadful Society!
This is the second book in the Penny Dreadful Series. This book is like reading three books in one. There's a main story, and two Penny Dreadful Stories. Hollis Darby and Ana Newport, are both on the outskirts of society. Ana longs to help her father, feel like himself again, losing everything but his home has a way of changing her father. Hollis Darby has a secret, he is a Penny Dreadful author, trying to find his place. In society. I loved both Hollis and Ana and their adventures. This book has a little bit of mystery and romance. I really enjoyed it, this is my favorite, in the series so far.
The hero and heroine have secrets in this well-developed Victorian mystery romance.. Eden has a sure hand at creating likable characters and tangled plots.
This was difficult to get into and enjoy. Once you do, it's a little predictable but otherwise entertaining. It's not bad if you're looking for a historical fiction/romance/mystery book, though!
I found I really liked the previous book in the series, but this one wasn't quite as good. Eden's my favorite author so I've read nearly every one of her books. It is similar to her other works both in the plot and with the characters. I have to say, Ana was the only new/fresh character with the whole cast. Elliot was alright but he just blended in a little too well with the rest of her male characters.
As always, her pacing is quite well done. I really liked the climax. I don't think I've read a historical fiction that had a climax similar to this one ever before.
I wish she had put a specific date or even time period into her book. It would have helped me picture and put the whole story in the correct setting. From what I can tell we are past the French Revolution (1799) and sometime around the second Industrial Revolution (1870) but I'm not sure.
I did have to skip the stories included that she has her characters write. They're charming, of course, but they confused me from the main plot. I'm planning on going back and reading those eventually though. I do like the concept and idea of it. It must have been difficult to write 3 stories just for one book.
**Thank you Netgalley and the publisher Shadow Mt. for the ARC!!**
If you read the first book in the “Penny Dreadful” series and enjoyed it then chances are you will love this one as well.
I personally thoroughly enjoyed them both. I wasn’t expecting a sweeping sappy romance when I read the description I expected a mystery..... so when other people say there was very little romance I’m wondering why they were surprised. I love having the penny dreadful stories mixed in- it’s like reading 3 books at once. I was entertained and that’s the whole reason I read books so I give this book a thumbs up. Now I can’t wait for the next in the series.
***Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Expected release date November 3, 2020.***
4 - 4.5 stars
Shortly after receiving this ARC, I found out that this was actually the 2nd book in the Proper Romance Victorian series by Sarah M. Eden, so I went back and read The Lady and the Highwayman first. I loved the setting and the characters, so I was excited to move on to the second book.
The Gentleman and the Thief did not disappoint. I loved Hollis and Ana, and the mischief that they got into.
Can't wait for the next installment to learn more about other characters in the Dread Penny Society!! 🥰🥰🥰
Book two of "Proper Romance Victorian" by Sarah Eden. I just listened to the first book a week ago, so I had all the characters fresh in my mind and was ready to hear the next round of adventures. I liked this one even more than the first. I did enjoy reading more than listening, as it was easier to keep some of the characters straight. In this book we get to follow Hollis Darby and Ana Newport as they uncover a gambling ring, discover their less-than-proper hobbies, and see their relationship build. Hollis comes from a wealthy family that was almost ruined by his father's gambling. Ana was once a part of high society, but after her father was swindled, their family fell fast and hard. There is family intrigue, rescuing of abused children, the Dread Penny Society, and of course a sweet romance in the mix.
I loved that we are following a different set of characters each time, but still have the underlying story. I am really enjoying the Penny Dreadful books as well. Very clever stories that interweave with the story we are reading. And I especially love that it's clean!
I enjoyed this very much and look forward to the next installment!
Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!
This is the 2nd novel in the Penny Dreadful series by Sarah M. Eden. The first one was slow to get into and the incerpts of the penny dreadful serials thrown in threw me off but I loved how it tied together with the main story in the end. So knowing what I knew of the first book plus plot and characters- I was so excited to read this book!
We meet Ana and Hollis in the first book. Ana is quiet and it was great getting to know her and see her become more confident. Hollis, one to normally follow Fletcher, got to lead in a DPS mission.
Four Finger Mike eluded capture one the first book and something is going awry next door to Ana’s home. Could it be a new kingpin? Thefts have been happening to the upper crusts and in plain sight. Hollis’ brother hounds on him to uphold their family name but what about Hollis’s brother being seen with Headley? A known acquaintance of Four Fingers.
I really loved this book - all 3 stories that were told. The fantasy of the dreadfuls was fun and engaging, the returning cast of characters and meeting some new ones - I love Very Merry! Eden writes it well, so thoroughly researched that you’re transported and in Victoria England. Great suspense and romance.
The third book in the series was just announced and its Brogan’s story! Thank you to Net Galley for letting me read it. These are my own thoughts and opinions.
This was a solid 3.75 stars read for me. Both Hollis Darby and Ana Newport are on the fringes of the ton--he chooses to separate himself because he wants to write, and she's been forced out by economic circumstance. That very real imbalance aside, this is a love story about two people hiding their actions from society and their emotions from themselves. There are some truly funny moments, and the mystery, though predictable, keeps things moving.
For me, the best part of the book was the penny dreadful sections--I like how that thrilling mystery related to the main narrative (no spoilers!) and the way Hollis' writing told us more about his character.
Hollis Darby secretly writes penny farthing novels. He is a member of the gentry, but his father impoverished the family by his gambling. Hollis secretly supports himself from his writing. Ana Newport, music teacher, has her own secrets. A few years back, Ana's family suffered financial setbacks, and society was not kind to them, and many of their treasures were stolen. Ana, has kept track of which items were stolen, and who took them, and she is slowly recovering the items. With their secrets, both Ana and Hollis are "one foot in each world, never truly part of either." Yes, this is a love story, but also a satisfying story of taking down evil men cheating others at gambling.
Sarah Eden continues the story of the Dread Penny Society members in this delightful novel, brimming with engaging characters and delightful dialogue. The two parallel stories written by the Dread Penny society are such a fun touch. In this novel, I especially enjoyed the story "Higglebottom's School for the Dead," written by Hollis Darby, under the pen name of Lafayette Jones.
Favorite line by Hollis, "My dear Miss Newport....I would wait a lifetime for you." Sigh!
This is a great addition to her Penny Dreadful series! In the first book, you get a peek at Hollis and Ana, so I was really excited to learn more about them in this book. Eden does an excellent job of balancing mystery and romance with character development. I loved this book and can't wait for the next one!
Sick of being their contact in the upper reach of society, Hollis would love nothing more than to show the Dread Penny Society (DPS) that he can be trusted more. Working to gain their trust, Hollis investigates a string of thefts that are making the young urchins of the streets more vulnerable. Which busy trying to catch this thief, Hollis becomes more acquainted with Ana Newport, the music teacher at Thurloe Collegiate.
Ana has her own wishes and secrets. She is the thief Hollis is looking for. Only stealing what was previously stolen from her and her family, Ana's foray into the world of the DPS comes at the perfect time. Working with Hollis, they come together to solve crimes and to save the streets urchins.
I loved Hollis in the first of the Dread Penny Society series, (The Lady and the Highwayman,) and couldn't wait for his story to be told! I'm happy to say that it didn't disappoint! Another win for Sarah M. Eden! The Gentleman and the Theif is a fun story set in the victorian era, in the world of author's turned crusaders. Eden does a fantastic job of making these characters come to life and providing two penny novels in the middle of the story. that works well to make the plot flow.
Overall I found the book in a slow pace in some parts,but I enjoyed it. I did like that we saw the penny dreadfuls. I found myself looking forward into reading it . Ana and Hollis together are cute . Overall I loved that Ana is getting back every thing she lost even though is by stealing. Hollis overall is wonderful on the way he is how he is a spy on the penny dreadfuls. The reasons they fell in Love was with valid reasons. I was happy that I could review the book . I recommend if you want to read If you want a cute romance novel that includes a side story in between. So you get two view points and the penny dreadful story, which I really was happy 😃 to read.
I really loved this book by Sarah M. Eden. I loved that we were brought again into the world that we saw in “The Lady and the Highwayman”. I loved getting to know the characters from that book better. I also loved the Penny Dreadful stories that were in the book. I also loved getting to know Hollis and Ana. I loved that they weren’t what they appeared to be on the outside and I loved how that was one of the things they loved about each other. I love the adventure that was in this book and how they worked to solve a mystery. I look forward to reading more books by Sarah Eden and getting to know more about the Dread Penny Society.
I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors. A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.
This book was a fun sequel. I enjoyed revisiting the Dread Penny Society. This is a fun light read with a great romantic twist!
The Thief and the Gentleman was an absolutely delightful read. It reminded me of a pantomime play where the audience is asked to cheer for the hero and hiss at the villain. It is advertised as a Proper Romance, which it is, but it’s also way more than that. This book is a frolicking adventure with intrigue, mystery and a healthy dose of humour. The Thief and the Gentleman doesn’t take itself too seriously and expects its readers do to the same. It is pure entertainment that even the youngest readers can safely enjoy.
Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for this digital ARC copy.
An excellent mystery set in Victorian England. The hero writes penny dreadfuls and chapters of one of his and a second penny dreadful by another of the characters are interspersed with the main plot. I loved that many aspects of the plot reminded me of penny dreadfuls but in a fresh way.
I also loved the characters and the complicated plot of the book.
3.5* In Victorian "penny dreadful" (installment or serialized stories) style, Sarah M. Eden handily weaves three tales together. The reader is challenged to keep all the plot lines straight (and recognize reflections of the characters' strengths and insecurities from each storyline in the others) - it seemed that at times pieces got lost in the retellings. This builds nicely on The Lady and the Highwayman, and although reading that is not a prerequisite to enjoying this story, some of the overarching goals that direct the efforts of the protagonists and the villains they work to bring down are better understood with that background knowledge. I listened to that one on audiobook and the narrators' accents and inflections for the various characters in both books sounded in my head as I read this one. Eden's creativity on the storylines in this book were a highlight and it is always a delight to get to know her characters better!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
The Gentleman and the Thief
by Sarah M. Eden
Shadow Mountain Publishing
You Like Them You Are Auto-Approved
Pub Date 03 Nov 2020 | Archive Date 17 Nov 2020
This is the second book in this series and I recommend you read the first one before reading this one. This is a charming tale of romance and intrigue. I really liked it. 3 stories in one. Thanks to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for my ARC.
A very clever and fun story! I'm usually no fan of Victorians, but this charming adventure won me over very quickly. The characters are very intriguing, and there is a hint that the book could grow into a continuing series - it would be a shame if this is not the case!
Interesting installment in this series. I liked the characters and the intrigue. Part of it had my heart pounding as I worried for Hollis and Ana. I enjoyed how the two of them figured out the involvement of the other in their secret lives. But the intrigue continues so there must be more to the series. The additional stories from the Penny Dreadfuls that Hollis secretly writes was fun. Much lighter and fun than many Penny Dreadfuls which have that name for a reason. These were more just delightful than dreadful.
This series is different than most of Ms. Eden's books with double elements in the writing of intrigue along with the romance. So it is a change of pace. I do enjoy her books.
Violence: a little
*I received a complimentary ARC of this book and voluntarily chose to review it.
Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read this piece!
What can I say but WOW!
This is such a whimsical tale of love and secrets! Hollis Darby is known for this questionable gambling habits and being a charmer. Coming from a family of gamblers, Hollis tries his best to make a name for himself that doesn't tie him to the mistakes of his family name. Yes he gambled, but only to get into Eton when his father gambled away the family's fortune. Through his friend Fletcher--urchin turned high society man--Hollis is invited to join the Dreaded Penny Society. The DPS is led by writers of penny dreadfuls. Their aim? To use their reputations and money to aid the less fortunate.
Ana Newport is a recent pauper. Her father was cheated out of most of his high class earnings and it is up to her to steal back all that was stolen from her. This is a secret skill she hides from her family and her crush--Hollis Darby.
Intermingled in the main plot are two penny dreadfuls written by Hollis and Elizabeth--both so amazingly charming and perfect that they do not detract from the main story but enhance it greatly! This book is sooo worth the read and I look forward in picking up more of Ms. Eden's books!
I loved this book! And imagine my scream when I found out this was actually the second book in a series. What?? Now I need to go back and read the first book and definitely I'm excited for the next one in the series.
The storyline was so interesting and it flowed well, the characters were really interesting to follow and the setting was just stunning. It's witty, super fun, cute, addicting and everything I enjoy in this kind of novels.
The only reason for my 4⭐ is that I expected more of the romance. But that aside, this book was a delicious treat.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.
After hearing about how good Sarah M. Eden books were for years and years I finally picked up one of her books! I started with The Lady and the Highwayman and loved it so much that I immediately requested this one for review and it was just as good!
Pretty much from the first sentence I fell in love and it just kept getting better! The author is extremely talented at immediately drawing a reader in and fully immersing them in the story in the most organic way. One second you are in your house reading and the next you are walking the streets of London tossing a penny in the air.
I was charmed by Hollis Darby in the first book and was so excited to dive into his story. He cared deeply for those close to him and making sacrifices or putting himself in danger for them didn’t even give him pause. And Ana was kind and gracious but also had a spark in her that was fun to watch come out! I loved the relationship between the two of them, it built sweetly at the perfect pace and they were just adorable together! Their banter was also spot on, as was the banter with all of the other characters which is one of my favorite things about how the author wrote this series! I also completely adored the brotherhood of the Dread Penny Society, they were from all different walks of life but they shared a profession and a goal to help the less fortunate and it created a bond like no other. I loved the camaraderie between them that was truly like brothers and I am so hoping we get more and more stories about them! Since the big bad guy still hasn’t been caught I’m crossing my fingers that that means more books are coming!
Also the little Penny Dreadful chapters thrown in between the book’s chapters were fun and entertaining and a unique little addition!
In short this book was everything I wanted and more than I could have imagined and I am off to find more of this author’s books to read!
Ana’s family lost all it’s money to a con man and was pushed to the edge of polite society when she was young. Now she makes a living as a music teacher and plots her revenge against those who wronged her family. Hollis is a gentleman of society but just barely since his family is destitute, ruined by gambling debts of his father and grandfather. He seeks to improve his fortunes and those of others and maybe to catch the eye of a certain pretty music teacher.
The love story is sweet and has very few obstacles. Ana and Hollis grow closer as they seek to bring down a gambling ring that threatens their families.
A delightful read! Well written with some great characterisation, an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable storyline.
The Gentleman and the Thief is a sweet and fun Victorian Romance novel. I hadn’t read the first book in this series but I didn’t feel like I was at too much of a disadvantage reading the second installment. Little details would have been slightly clearer if I’d read the first, but this book could work as a standalone.
The character interaction is stellar, especially between the members of the Dreadful Penny Society. The relationship between Ana and Hollis is lovely and moves at pleasing pace. The plot is intriguing. I enjoy a riches to rags story that offers an uplifting ending.
I would recommend this novel to fans of delightful historical romance books.
Once again I read a book that was the 2nd in a series and have to go back to read the first book because the second was so good!!
I liked the premise of the book & the characters. I didn't think, at first, I would like the penny dreadfuls laced throughout but I did!! Kind of like books within books. Added a nice touch to the storyline.
Even though I hadn't read the first book, I don't think distracted too much from enjoying this one. It took me quite a ways through to realize something was a bit off.
Wondering what the next in the series brings!!
I received an ARC to prepare for this honest review.
This is a fantastic addition to the world of Penny Dreadful writers secretly working for the betterment of those less fortunate that Sarah M. Eden created, beginning with The Lady and the Highwayman. Both books can be read as stand-alones, but your enjoyment of The Gentleman and the Thief will be enhanced by having read the first. This story is one of taking pride in oneself and ones accomplishments, of courage under pressure, and of loving unconditionally. The hero wants to protect the heroine, but he never stifles her and never hold her back - he allows her to be strong and to be herself. This is turning into a very exciting Proper Romance series, and I can’t wait to see where we go next.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Sarah M. Eden takes us further into the life and times of the people in Victorian London and the Dread Penny Society.
Hollis Darby feels like the token high society member of the Dread Penny Society. Sure, he writes Penny Dreadful stories but feels like he gets light weight assignments in the Society.
Ana Newport works at Thurloe Girls School as the music instructor. She has secrets she doesn’t want known.
Hollis has been interested in Ana since he met her during the last doings of the society that introduced Fletcher and Elizabeth.
There is a little thief whose name is Very Merry, who makes their lives interesting. There are two Penny Dreadful stories told during the course of the book. The society continues to battle the evil men and networks they were fighting in The Lady and the Highwayman.
Hollis uses his skill in society and with cards to find a full place in the society. Hollis and Ana grow closer as befits a proper romance and knowing each other’s secrets cements their bond rather than tearing them apart.
I raced through this story. I didn’t want the pauses for the Penny Dreadful stories but I did want to know what would happen in them. A contradiction that just shows how well each portion was done.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book prior to publication.