(Review) The Gentleman and the Thief, The Dread Penny Society Book 2 by Sarah M. Eden

Publisher and Publication Date: Shadow Mountain Publishing. November 3, 2020.
Genre: Historical romance. Inspirational fiction. Victorian era. Mystery.
Pages: 368.
Source: I received a complimentary ARC paperback from the author and publisher. I am not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of clean Victorian romance stories.
Rating: Excellent.

The Dread Penny Society series is 3 books. However, The Gentleman and the Thief is also a standalone story.
Book one in the series: The Lady and the Highwayman.

Book three in the series: The Merchant and the Rogue.

Link for the book at Amazon: The Gentleman and the Thief.
Link at Audible: The Gentleman and the Thief.
Link for the book at Barnes and Noble: The Gentleman and the Thief.

Link at Goodreads: The Gentleman and the Thief.

Author Info:
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.
WEBSITE TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Summary:
A standalone novel in The Dread Penny Society set in 1865 London
brimming with secrets, scandal, suspense, and romance.

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?

My Thoughts:
The setting is London, England. Victorian period-mid 1800s.

What I love most about the story is the additional Penny Dreadful stories (alternating in sections). There are 2 included inside the main story of The Gentleman and the Thief. Light gray pages set these additional stories apart from the main story that is white pages. The gray color helped me to differentiate. These 2 stories are A Ghost of a Chance by Lafayette Jones and The Gentleman and the Thief by Mr. King. These 2 stories are never more than 11 pages a piece (at a time). These 2 stories are entertaining, fun; and it felt like finding an extra Christmas gift under the tree.

In the main story, Ana Newport is a young woman with a sad past she has not managed to forgive. Her feelings and actions make her imperfect. I love imperfect characters like Ana because she is a likable person but is also imperfect and flawed. She needs help. She needs a solid trustworthy friend.

Hollis Darby is an admirable person. Ana is attracted to his compassion and kindness and so am I. Females love tenderness and he is strong in this trait. He is also hiding a secret which makes him imperfect, real, and believable.
I love the chemistry between Ana and Hollis. It is sweet, tender, and enchanting.

I love old sayings and expressions. The Gentleman and the Thief often includes them in the dialogue. For example, “I’ve a bee to tuck up your bonnet.” Page 122.

Over-all, a wonderful story I love!

Quote of the Week

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet
Until it joins some larger way.
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.”
J R R Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring. Mariner Books.