Can they find happiness with each other amidst alter egos and danger? The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden (Review) @ProperRomance @ShadowMountn #dreadpennysociety #cleanromance #ProperRomance #newbook #victorian

The Gentleman and the Thief
(Proper Romance Victorian #2)
By Sarah M. Eden
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
November 3rd 2020 by Shadow Mountain


A gentleman scribes penny dreadful novels by night and falls in love with a woman who is a music teacher by day—and a thief at night.


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? 

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My Review

THE GENTLEMAN AND THE THIEF is another fun read from this author and series! Great characters, an entertaining plot with a bit of suspense, and a sweet romance are sure to delight readers. Definitely recommended to fans of the author, genre, and those looking for a uniquely creative story!

For those who read the first book, THE LADY AND THE HIGHWAYMAN, they will have already met the two characters who take the main stage in this book. For those new to the series, the author writes the story in such a way that you can still easily read this one on its own, although it will definitely be a more enjoyable experience if you've read the first book.

I loved getting to be with all these characters again and see Ana and Hollis work together on a new case. Out of the Dread Penny Society, Hollis is the only upper crust gentleman. He's got a bit of a chip on his shoulder about that as he really wants to help and be trusted with more important tasks. Ana is doing her best to live her life and restore what she can of what was taken from her family. They both have their secrets and vulnerabilities, but also their strengths. They get to show their mettle in this book. I thought the romance was sweet and heartfelt and enjoyed these two getting to know each other better. I also liked the suspense and how it slowly builds to a very climatic end. My one complaint would be that I thought the police should have been involved more, particularly the bow street runner the Society is friends with. I also was a bit surprised how easily the villains did things and some thing in broad daylight in neighborhoods well respected. Regardless, this was a very enjoyable read!

In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed reading this immensely. It was fun to read the two penny dreadful stories alongside the main story, to get to know these characters better, and get some glimpses into what might be coming next in the series. It's well worth the reading and entertaining from beginning to end. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, but also purchased a copy, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Book Trailer

Other Books in the Series

The Lady and the Highwayman
(Proper Romance Victorian #1)
By Sarah M. Eden
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 384 Pages
September 3, 2019 by Shadow Mountain


Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls school in 1865s Victorian London. She is also a well-respected author of silver-fork novels, stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories--the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Charles King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats, intelligent detectives solving grisly murders, and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks.

Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Charles King started taking all of his readers. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher s fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the social and political causes of their working-class readers. The group knows King could be an asset with his obvious monetary success, or he could be the group s undoing as King s readership continues to cut into their profits.

Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow-author, she is well-known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King s whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered. What neither author anticipated was the instant attraction, even though their social positions dictate the impossibility of a relationship.

For the first time Elizabeth experiences the thrill of a cat-and-mouse adventure reminiscent of one of her own novels as she tries to throw Fletcher off her scent. But the more time they spend together, the more she loses her heart. Its upper-class against working-class, author against author where readers, reputations, and romance are all on the line.

Read my 5-star review HERE.

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About the Author

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2019’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, The Lady and the Highwayman, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library.

Sarah is represented by Pam Howell at D4EO Literary Agency.

Other Proper Romance Books

  The Lady of the Lakes: The True Love Story of Sir Walter Scott (Historical Proper Romance #2) The Sheriffs of Savage Wells
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast Forever and Forever (Historical Proper Romance) A Lady's Favor My Fair Gentleman
Heir to Edenbrooke Lord Fenton's Folly A Heart Revealed 
(Books linked to my review or an Amazon affiliate link.)

Go enter to win a signed copy of the first book, The Lady and the Highwayman, here!

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