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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. LONDON 1865 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 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. LONDON 1865 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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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. LONDON 1865 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 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. LONDON 1865 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?    

30 review for The Gentleman and the Thief

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie Carpenter

    4.5* I'm loving these Dread Penny Society books. If you're just discovering them, do yourself a favor and read them in order. There are several great characters and you get to know more about them as you read the books. I keep wondering which characters will get their own story but know that whichever ones do, the books will be fun. There's some mystery and a touch of suspense here and there. Nothing too nail biting, but enough to keep you turning the pages faster and wanting to know what's going 4.5* I'm loving these Dread Penny Society books. If you're just discovering them, do yourself a favor and read them in order. There are several great characters and you get to know more about them as you read the books. I keep wondering which characters will get their own story but know that whichever ones do, the books will be fun. There's some mystery and a touch of suspense here and there. Nothing too nail biting, but enough to keep you turning the pages faster and wanting to know what's going to happen. Are they going to get out of there safely? Will they catch the thief? Which ghost is going to win or lose? (Ok, that last one is part of one of the penny dreadful stories in the book). When will their secret identity come to light? Who is the bad guy? All these questions and more will be floating around in your head while you're reading it. Just saying. And as an added bonus, you get three stories in one. We have the main story with Hollis and Ana alternating their POVs. Then we have two penny dreadful stories popping in throughout the book. I really have enjoyed the penny dreadfuls. Did you know that the author Sarah M. Eden has read penny dreadfuls and posted them on her facebook page? So if you don't know what a penny dreadful is, go check out more information from her on it. I'd heard about them years ago, long before this author started writing this series, but I've enjoyed seeing her create her own and put them into this series. Hollis and Ana were so cute. I really enjoyed watching them dance around each other and trying to keep their secrets safe. And Hollis is a little bit (or maybe a lotta bit) of a flirt. He cracked me up. I was highlighting his lines when he was in a playful bantering mood and in a flirtatious mood. Loved his character. Both he and Ana had hurts from their past and I really liked watching their growth as they worked through individually and together to overcome those hurts. But I really loved the combining of their skills to root out and best the bad guy. *Cue ominous music* Duh, duh, duhhhhhhh! I'm a fan! And the next character to have his story is Brogan. Woohooooo. Although I'm very hopeful that maybe his sister will get her story too? Or possibly she'll get some page time in his story and we'll get a couple different stories going on in that one and the penny dreadfuls. Am I making your head spin yet? Lol! Content: Clean. Some moments of peril. Some talk of gambling dens, human trafficking and alcohol, but nothing graphic. It fits in great with the story and the time period. Some sweet kisses but nothing further than that. I received a copy from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishing, via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own. Happy Reading!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    beth {hiatus} F.

    3.5 - 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 who 3.5 - 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!!** --- Woooo!! I got approved for an ARC from NetGalley! So excited!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cori

    Thank you, Netgalley, for the Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All views and opinions are my own. Secret societies, sneak thieves, gambling rings, human trafficking...I anticipated a nail biter full of adrenaline and shocking identityreveals. What we get is a cute, fluffy piece that wraps up tidily and stays well safe of the PG-13 line throughout the book. Anything wrong with that? Absolutely not. I think I was anticipating something with more bite. And that's my fault due to my pre-conceived Thank you, Netgalley, for the Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All views and opinions are my own. Secret societies, sneak thieves, gambling rings, human trafficking...I anticipated a nail biter full of adrenaline and shocking identityreveals. What we get is a cute, fluffy piece that wraps up tidily and stays well safe of the PG-13 line throughout the book. Anything wrong with that? Absolutely not. I think I was anticipating something with more bite. And that's my fault due to my pre-conceived perception going in. The story was soft and fuzzy, so if you're looking for something comfortable and cozy with cute romance, this is it. I'd rate this book a PG.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Randi Annie Framnes

    We follow Holly Darby, who tries to make himself more useful to DPS. He works on solving two mysteries. First, and foremost, he tries to keep his brother out of danger while he wonders about musical teacher Anna Newport’s strange behavior of late. Holly and Anna soon find themselves using their unique skills in the same fight solving both of their problems. The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden is the second book in the Proper Romance Victorian Series published by Shadow Mountain Publishin We follow Holly Darby, who tries to make himself more useful to DPS. He works on solving two mysteries. First, and foremost, he tries to keep his brother out of danger while he wonders about musical teacher Anna Newport’s strange behavior of late. Holly and Anna soon find themselves using their unique skills in the same fight solving both of their problems. The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden is the second book in the Proper Romance Victorian Series published by Shadow Mountain Publishing. The Gentleman and the Thief takes place two months after The Lady and the Highwayman story, and I found it very entertaining and satisfying to read more about the characters I had come to enjoy so much. The setting is London 1865, where members of The Dread Penny Society rescue orphans and street urchins from neglect and abuse. To fund this charity work the DPS’ authors write the extremely popular dread penny stories. The Gentleman and the Thief continues some of the threatening and dramatic elements from The Lady and the Highwayman but the main element of this plot is theft. Main character Holly Darby is «old money» but his family has gone poor due to gambling. He has connections in Society which he uses for all they are worth to recruit patrons for the DPS’ charity work. Getting tired of his «party-goer» role and wants to be where the action is. He has a network of serving-class spies. Supporting character Anna Newport is musical teacher at a girls’ school. Anna has felt the need for “extracurricular activity” as thief trying to get back what was stolen from her family. I felt very sorry for her situation and found the motivation behind her actions understandable. The story has a rather unique build, as it is divided into parts with different perspectives. I felt it was an interesting and entertaining twist how two penny dreadful stories were woven into the main plot. The Gentleman and the Thief includes spelling out of the cockney dialect which always amuses me. The dialogue includes liberal amounts of light hearted bantering that I love. There are impressively detailed descriptions of a secret up-scale gambling den. Some massive research must have gone into write this part. Romance between Anna and Holly started off with an instant attraction, but while the plot progressed there was initially little quiet time for it to grow. It felt realistic that there was a gradual development in their relationship and that they became closer when their situations became more resolved. There are plenty of interesting and entertaining elements in this standalone story ranging from thievery, a relative gone missing, an up-scale gambling den and dangerous thief masters who “own” orphaned street uchins. Fans of Sarah M. Eden will love this book. As will readers of historical romance fiction. Similar authors to explore might be Josi S. Kilpack and Esther Hatch. Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing this eARC which gave me the opportunity to share my honest review. All opinions in this review are completely my own. My rating: 5 stars / 5 Main reasons: great and inventive plot, enjoyable dialogue, impressive research

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    'LONDON 1865 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 'LONDON 1865 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?' ______________________________________ 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 stars. The Gentleman and the Thief is the second book in Sarah M. Eden's The Dread Penny Society series. As with the previous book in the series, this book follows the unique format of short stories alternating throughout the course of the book. Both serving to tell their own stories, but also working together with the main story to aid the progression of the book as a whole. Both of the short stories are paranormal in nature, one of which being quiet whimsical, geared toward children, and sserved to brighten some of the more intense portions of the book. Hollis is underestimated by the other members of the Dread Penny society. He is initially seen as nearly their ticket into Society events, but he is not trusted with any real dangerous or important tasks, due to his more elevated place in society he is seen as to soft and inexperienced. But as the book progresses he gradually proves his worth as a member of the group and really steps into a position of power and expertise during this case. I enjoyed that Ana is not the meek female lead that she initially seems that she may be. Instead she is a daring and strong, moonlighting as a moral theif in order to right the wrongs committed against her family. I enjoyed The Gentleman and the Thief and enjoyed Ana and Hollis's characters more than Elizabeth and Fletcher from The Lady and the Highwayman, but overall I did not find it to be as compelling as the first book in the series. I will however continue on with any following books in the series. By the state things were left at the conclusion of the book, I am assuming there will be another book in the series. My guess is that the next book will serve to bring us closer to untangling the tangeld web of the crime ring the Dread Penny Society has been working to dismantle and I do hope that we will learn about Serena and see her situation improve. _____ I would like to thank NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for sharing an eARC of The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden with me. This is my honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    What a fun way to weave together the romance, adventure, and mystery! It was lovely for Hollis and Ana to develop a relationship and have that foundation as they become more involved in the investigation together, and the complications that arise with their own secrets. I enjoyed their banter and flirting, and the gentlemanly manners of Hollis. The author brought the Victorian era to life, and there is no mistaking it for another! The little details and historical tidbits are fascinating and rea What a fun way to weave together the romance, adventure, and mystery! It was lovely for Hollis and Ana to develop a relationship and have that foundation as they become more involved in the investigation together, and the complications that arise with their own secrets. I enjoyed their banter and flirting, and the gentlemanly manners of Hollis. The author brought the Victorian era to life, and there is no mistaking it for another! The little details and historical tidbits are fascinating and really establish the setting. I love the idea of a secret society whose mission is to help the helpless and rescue those in need. It makes them seem like superheroes in a way, but all too human. While the entertaining excerpts from the penny dreadful stories are interspersed throughout the book, I found myself anxious to return to the main plot and read quickly to see what would happen next. An exciting addition to the series and a wonderful cast of characters! Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie J

    "Would you let me court you properly, Ana? Come call on you? Scrape and bow to your father in an attempt to gain his good opinion? Nervously ask you to dance at balls and ride with me in the park and sip tepid tea while sitting in awkward, nervous silence?" 3.5 stars I really enjoyed the majority of this book. I feel like I might have enjoyed it more if I'd known at the beginning that this is the second book in a series. I thought it was a standalone, so many of the beginning aspects were sup "Would you let me court you properly, Ana? Come call on you? Scrape and bow to your father in an attempt to gain his good opinion? Nervously ask you to dance at balls and ride with me in the park and sip tepid tea while sitting in awkward, nervous silence?" 3.5 stars I really enjoyed the majority of this book. I feel like I might have enjoyed it more if I'd known at the beginning that this is the second book in a series. I thought it was a standalone, so many of the beginning aspects were super confusing. I chalked it up to bad writing at first since there's nothing that specifically says this is a sequel, until I read other reviews and realized The Lady and the Highwayman is its predecessor. Now, knowing that, I'll remove any complaints about the beginning and not fully understanding the Dread Society stuff or getting any background information on the characters. When it comes to the actual story, I enjoyed things immensely. The beginning was rather slow, but by the time the action started to ramp up, I was pretty invested. The characters are very well done, and I love Hollis and Ana and their relationship. I thought the romance was really well done and a very realistic portrayal of them falling in love. That said, the description of the book isn't exactly what you get. While Hollis's writing and Ana's thievery and their coming together are all elements to the story, they aren't the main focus. And that was really disappointing for me. I would have liked the story to be longer and more unpacked. I feel like we could have easily gotten to know more about Hollis and Ana and seen more scenes with them together. The majority of the book is actually taken up with other stories from the books of Lafayette Jones and Mr. King. I didn't love that aspect of the book, but I can't comment on the quality of the stories because...*whispers* I might have skipped those chapters because I kind of didn't care. I think it would have been more interesting to have the main story unpacked more and then those stories included as extras or put at the end of the book, instead of sprinkled throughout to make it seem longer. It basically just comes down to this: I loved Hollis and Ana, and I wanted to see more of them. That's the biggest dislike of this book. I loved the story, but I wanted more of it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rach

    This book is set in London in 1865. Hollis Darby has always been a bit smitten with Ana Newport since he first met her. They are both from different sides of society. Hollis comes from a wealthy, established family and Anna doesn't. Hollis has a secret though, his family have been having money problems for years and Holiis supports himself now by writing penny dreadfuls stories under a pseudonym. Ann also has a secret. She teaches music by day but in the night she is known as Phantom Fox who bre This book is set in London in 1865. Hollis Darby has always been a bit smitten with Ana Newport since he first met her. They are both from different sides of society. Hollis comes from a wealthy, established family and Anna doesn't. Hollis has a secret though, his family have been having money problems for years and Holiis supports himself now by writing penny dreadfuls stories under a pseudonym. Ann also has a secret. She teaches music by day but in the night she is known as Phantom Fox who breaks into the homes of the wealthy claiming back what she feels was took from her family unfairly. Hollis brother needs a music teacher for his daughter and Hollis ask Ana to be his niece's music teacher. They slowly connect but will all their secrets come out. I do love books set in the past. The romance is a slow burn but this book isn't just about the romance it also a mystery side to it. I liked both main characters and also the Dreadful Penny Society team were all in the book. I did like how they help people who needed help and they all made an actual difference. The only part of the book i found was a bit confusing was when the Penny Dreadful stories appeared in the book. I felt like just randomly appeared in parts of the book. When I requested the book I didn't know it was part of a series. I would personally recommended to read the first book as I felt like I had missed various stories from the past. I received a ARC from Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an objection review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katie W

    Such a fun series! This series is a lot of fun and to get the full effect, I would recommend reading them in order. I love the little "penny dreadful" stories wrapped up in the middle of this book, and along with the main story, the reader is treated to two penny dreadfuls. A "penny dreadful" is a story that costs a penny and was full of adventure, danger, crime, and romance. These clever little diversions are an amusing part of the book. A secret society is created to help those who need help a Such a fun series! This series is a lot of fun and to get the full effect, I would recommend reading them in order. I love the little "penny dreadful" stories wrapped up in the middle of this book, and along with the main story, the reader is treated to two penny dreadfuls. A "penny dreadful" is a story that costs a penny and was full of adventure, danger, crime, and romance. These clever little diversions are an amusing part of the book. A secret society is created to help those who need help and to rid society of evil and I'm enjoying the adventure of getting to know different characters in more depth. There are all kinds of personalities, backgrounds, and professions in this group, but that's what makes it work so well. Eden always does a great job of creating likable characters in entertaining situations. Ana and Hollis are great characters and I loved the mysteries and mild suspense surrounding their interactions. It's especially fun to watch what happens when they join forces. It's apparent a lot of research has gone into this series and it's refreshing to read a bit of history written in such unique way. Content: mild romance; mild adventure/violence/danger *I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    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 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aimee (Getting Your Read On)

    The Dread Penny Society is such a fun basis for this series and these books. I am loving the whole premise of a group of people who secretly meet and spread help to those who need it most as they try to rid the city of the most vile. They are quite a mash up of personalities but it takes all kinds of people with all kinds of knowledge and talents to make an organization like this work. While I think this book can easily stand on it's own, I would recommend reading them in order because all the c The Dread Penny Society is such a fun basis for this series and these books. I am loving the whole premise of a group of people who secretly meet and spread help to those who need it most as they try to rid the city of the most vile. They are quite a mash up of personalities but it takes all kinds of people with all kinds of knowledge and talents to make an organization like this work. While I think this book can easily stand on it's own, I would recommend reading them in order because all the characters interconnect and you get to see them in each book. Hollis is such a gentleman. He is perceptive and kind. Because of his upbringing, he is able to bridge the gap to polite society where some of the others cannot which definitely provides useful in this book! I loved how sweetly Hollis viewed Ana and how gentle he was with her all throughout the book. There is a bit of mystery in this story and a bit of suspense although it is light. The gentle build in the story felt good and really allowed me to love the characters along the way. Sarah Eden is fantastic at crafting characters that are wonderfully relatable and easy to love. Content: mild peril, kissing - I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mary (bookstorevibe)

    3.75/5 ✨ This novel had many aspects that I really enjoyed: it had a lovely cast of characters, a swoonworthy and very cute romance and a mystery element that kept it interesting. If you’re looking for a sweet historical romance that’s more 🥰 and less 🔥, this one’s for you! The Dread Penny Society is a group of authors who secretly fight for the social and political causes of their working-class readers and it’s what connects all of the books in this series. So I first loved the idea that some of 3.75/5 ✨ This novel had many aspects that I really enjoyed: it had a lovely cast of characters, a swoonworthy and very cute romance and a mystery element that kept it interesting. If you’re looking for a sweet historical romance that’s more 🥰 and less 🔥, this one’s for you! The Dread Penny Society is a group of authors who secretly fight for the social and political causes of their working-class readers and it’s what connects all of the books in this series. So I first loved the idea that some of the characters’ works that they sell were included in The Gentleman and the Thief but two different stories kinda just made the book drag a bit. I personally think that one story would’ve been enough. However, The Gentleman and the Thief was an enjoyable and very sweet read. Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing an eARC through NetGalley!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lucinda

    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 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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    This is a fun romp through the seedier corners of Victorian-era London. An intriguing secret society of authors is working behind the scenes to help the downtrodden victims of a wide-spread criminal ring. This one focuses on the gambling rings that ruin gentleman of financial means. Hence the focus on Hollis, the one member of the Dread Penny Society who is welcomed in high society, and Ana, whose family was ruined by the gambling of her father’s crooked business partner. There is everything to l This is a fun romp through the seedier corners of Victorian-era London. An intriguing secret society of authors is working behind the scenes to help the downtrodden victims of a wide-spread criminal ring. This one focuses on the gambling rings that ruin gentleman of financial means. Hence the focus on Hollis, the one member of the Dread Penny Society who is welcomed in high society, and Ana, whose family was ruined by the gambling of her father’s crooked business partner. There is everything to love in this novel: enjoyable characters, witty dialogue, and a puzzling mystery. Plus two of the amusing penny dreadful stories written by members of this society of authors. I enjoyed my time with the members of the Dread Penny Society and hope more stories are forthcoming.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    What fun going back to Victorian London to be reading more "Penny Dreadfuls" written by those who belong to the Dread Penny Society. Their true mission is to take care of the poor and young being taken advantage of by ruthless people. Readers are introduced to this world in book one in the Lady and the Highwayman. Beloved characters from this first book are in the second but we quickly become involved in the lives of gentleman Hollis Darby. He secretly writes the penny dreadfuls to keep himself What fun going back to Victorian London to be reading more "Penny Dreadfuls" written by those who belong to the Dread Penny Society. Their true mission is to take care of the poor and young being taken advantage of by ruthless people. Readers are introduced to this world in book one in the Lady and the Highwayman. Beloved characters from this first book are in the second but we quickly become involved in the lives of gentleman Hollis Darby. He secretly writes the penny dreadfuls to keep himself afloat in high society. We also meet music teacher, Ana Newport, who has her own secrets as she tries to reclaim mementos from her past. The best part of this book is when the two main characters finally team up to solve some unsolved crimes. Their attraction to one another can't be denied as this odd pairing try to bring down a bad guy. Once again in this book, the Penny Dreadful stories are interspersed throughout the novel. I really like these and they are fun to read. Sarah Eden's wit and humor come shining through in her characters making this novel another delightful read for her fans. This being the second book in the series, I strongly suggest you read book one first.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Okay so apparently this is the sequel to an earlier book and quite honestly, they should make that SO much clearer because I had no idea until I read another review (the first is called The Lady and the Highwayman in case you're curious). Finding out there is another one in this series has made me very happy though so I can't complain. I guess I will be reading the first book in the series after the second, but I'll survive. This book was an unexpected favourite. I went in thinking I'd just get a Okay so apparently this is the sequel to an earlier book and quite honestly, they should make that SO much clearer because I had no idea until I read another review (the first is called The Lady and the Highwayman in case you're curious). Finding out there is another one in this series has made me very happy though so I can't complain. I guess I will be reading the first book in the series after the second, but I'll survive. This book was an unexpected favourite. I went in thinking I'd just get a fun romance and while I definitely got that, I got a lot more too. It isn't as heavily focussed on the romance as most books in the genre are but I found I really enjoyed it. The Gentleman and the Thief is a mix between historical romance and mystery with a good dose of penny dreadfuls. (And to be honest, I actually think the summary takes away some of the book's strength.) That being said, I loved the romance in this book. Hollis is already (on his way to being) in love with Ana at the start of the book. Sometimes I find it hard to get into a romance when the characters' feelings have developed off the page (if they develop in the first book you'll have to forgive me since I didn't know that existed until I finished this one). Regardless of when/where those feelings developed, the author still managed to convince me of their sincerety, which isn't an easy feat. I ended up really enjoying the established beginnings of this romance and seeing their development as the book progressed. It felt fresh. On a side note, as I am not the biggest fan of drama for drama's sake I was pleasantly surprised when "issues" arose and they were talked about almost immediately. Good communication! I want more of it! While I would highly recommend reading this for the romance alone, the added mystery and penny dreadful excerpts is what made this a 4 star instead of a 3 star book for me. In between some of the chapters there are excerpts of two different stories Hollis and another character are writing/publishing. While they're only a small part of the book they really added another layer to it that tied the book to its time period. The parallels between The Gentleman and the Thief and the penny dreadful with the same name also worked well. As I was reading this, I was having such a good I kept wishing it was a whole series. Who knew wishes can come true this easily ;)? Apparently, they're just thwarted by Goodreads not indicating anywhere this is part of a series. (I will most likely adjust this review a little once I finish reading the first book!)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    The Gentleman and the Thief follows Hollis Darby, a member of Society who secretly writes penny dreadfuls to support himself, and Ana Newport, a music teacher who moonlights as a thief to steal back every momento taken from her family after they lost their fortune due to a shady business partner. The main action in the story centers around the efforts of the Penny Dreadful society -- a secret society made up of authors of penny dreadful novels who seek to make life better for the poor and workin The Gentleman and the Thief follows Hollis Darby, a member of Society who secretly writes penny dreadfuls to support himself, and Ana Newport, a music teacher who moonlights as a thief to steal back every momento taken from her family after they lost their fortune due to a shady business partner. The main action in the story centers around the efforts of the Penny Dreadful society -- a secret society made up of authors of penny dreadful novels who seek to make life better for the poor and working poor of London -- to stop a gambling operation that's bankrupting those who play. I found the plot to be significantly less romance-focused than I expected (particularly as I requested this because it was shelved under "romance" on the galley sites). Ana and Hollis often tell the reader that they like the other person yet I never felt any sparks between them. Each character seems like they should be interesting given all the cool things they do but I never got a sense of their personality outside of these accomplishments. It made it hard to root for their romance, especially since it played a minimal role in the plot. I'd also like to note that this is a clean romance, which I have nothing against but wasn't really expecting. The big thing that really bugged me about The Gentleman and the Thief was the use of POV switches in this story. The narration jumps between Ana and Hollis with some mini chapters that contain snippets of stories from penny dreadfuls that the characters are writing. While I was initially skeptical of the penny dreadful chapters, I did come to enjoy them and was a little disappointed that some were left a bit unresolved. The issue with all of these POV switches is that they frequently disrupted the tension in the story. An exciting event would happen then we'd get a penny dreadful chapter and then it would switch to the opposite POV to tell me either a different story or skip past all the action. I found this incredibly frustrating in a book that claims to be about excitement and adventure. Overall, I think this was a case of mismatched expectations. The blurb of the book is factually accurate but really didn't reflect the tone and plot of The Gentleman and the Thief. If you're looking for a historical romance with some action, as I was, I would recommend reading something else. Thanks to Edelweiss, Netgalley, and the publisher for an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I love a good Sarah Eden and I was so grateful to have received an early copy of this book via NetGalley. I loved how this book took place between the people who weren't all that high in society's standing. It was a unique concept and one that isn't explored enough. One main character has to put up appearances of wealth while working for the underground while the other puts on appearances to save what is left of her families heirlooms. I enjoyed both characters, their wit and charisma. I liked t I love a good Sarah Eden and I was so grateful to have received an early copy of this book via NetGalley. I loved how this book took place between the people who weren't all that high in society's standing. It was a unique concept and one that isn't explored enough. One main character has to put up appearances of wealth while working for the underground while the other puts on appearances to save what is left of her families heirlooms. I enjoyed both characters, their wit and charisma. I liked the short stories from the Penny Dreadful society however I did feel like they were a bit distracting from the main storyline and I felt myself wanting to rush through them in order to get back to the main story. The prevented me from totally getting invested in our two main characters which I felt were already a good enough story on their own. Overall a really cute read that is fun and formatted in a unique way. There is romance although I feel like it got as much shine as the mystery plot. Sarah Eden always writes a good time and this was no exception, although the ending leaves a lot of things unanswered so Im thinking that maybe there's a next book?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lu

    He is a gentleman. She is a thief. A love story full of compassion, secrets, and adventure. The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden is an adventurous historical romance with a wide range of exciting characters, including a perishable (you will have to read the book to find out what I’m talking about). It is book #2 in the Dread Penny Society series but can be read as a standalone. Anna used to be in society but became a teacher after her father’s business was ruined. Hollis was the second son i He is a gentleman. She is a thief. A love story full of compassion, secrets, and adventure. The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden is an adventurous historical romance with a wide range of exciting characters, including a perishable (you will have to read the book to find out what I’m talking about). It is book #2 in the Dread Penny Society series but can be read as a standalone. Anna used to be in society but became a teacher after her father’s business was ruined. Hollis was the second son in a family that did not manage its fortune well and had to fend for himself without appearing to be doing so. Both of them held secrets. Anna was a teacher by day and a thief by night. Hollis was the perfect gentleman, but secretly a writer of cheap literature called penny dreadful. Both characters were charming. Anna was strong and perseverant. She did not make excuses for her actions, was very focused and relentless. Hollis was so warm and sweet, a gentleman through and through. The story is full of adventure, with some crime-related subplots and very intriguing side characters. I especially enjoyed the two full penny dreadful stories included in between the chapters. Higglebottom’s School for The Dead was light and fun, and The Gentleman and the Thief was innocent and romantic. This was my first book by the author, but I’m looking forward to reading more of her stories. Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    Sarah Eden does it again with the second book in The Dread Penny Society (or DPS) as the members refer to it. Hollis Darby is from a wealthy family, but what no one in society knows is that the coffers are bare. To keep himself in cash he secretly writes penny dreadfuls. Ana Newport is from a family that used to be a part of society, but since her father's business failed and they lost a lot of possessions to creditors, the only thing left is a town house in need of repair. Ana teaches music at Sarah Eden does it again with the second book in The Dread Penny Society (or DPS) as the members refer to it. Hollis Darby is from a wealthy family, but what no one in society knows is that the coffers are bare. To keep himself in cash he secretly writes penny dreadfuls. Ana Newport is from a family that used to be a part of society, but since her father's business failed and they lost a lot of possessions to creditors, the only thing left is a town house in need of repair. Ana teaches music at a girl's school but in the evening she takes back items of sentimental value that were unjustly taken from her family. I loved Hollis and Ana. Each of their families had suffered financial losses, so they knew what it was like to do without. They each had a secret to protect and I couldn't wait to see how the other reacted when it was discovered. I loved Hollis' flirty comments and how he fell more in love with Ana with every new discovery about her. His reactions to these discoveries made me smile. I also liked how Hollis interacted with his niece and the little street girl they rescued, Very Merry. It made me think that he would make a great father. I loved the suspenseful moments especially when Ana worked with the DPS to catch the bad guys. I was afraid one of them would get caught or hurt, and was not happy that the bad guys got away again. (Darn it!) I found how Hollis and O'Donnell treated Ana's father very sweet. I really enjoyed getting glimpses of Fletcher and Elizabeth and the other members of the DPS, and look forward to getting their stories. Inside the story of Hollis and Ana are two penny dreadfuls which I thoroughly enjoyed. One takes place at a school for ghosts which was such fun. I don't know how Sarah Eden manages to write three stories at once--two within the main story--it can't be easy but she does it seamlessly. This is the second in the Dread Penny Society. I would recommend reading The Lady and the Highwayman I received a complimentary copy from Shadow Mountain. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Wow! This book is so good! It is romantic, adventurous, action-packed, quick-moving, witty, unique, and much more! Whenever I picked up “The Gentleman and the Thief”, I was whisked back in time to the Victorian Era, and went on quite the journey with this story. This is the second book in Sarah M. Eden’s “Proper Romance Victorian” series, but the first I have read. While I definitely think the book can work as a stand-alone, I was a little bit confused in the beginning in regard to how everyone Wow! This book is so good! It is romantic, adventurous, action-packed, quick-moving, witty, unique, and much more! Whenever I picked up “The Gentleman and the Thief”, I was whisked back in time to the Victorian Era, and went on quite the journey with this story. This is the second book in Sarah M. Eden’s “Proper Romance Victorian” series, but the first I have read. While I definitely think the book can work as a stand-alone, I was a little bit confused in the beginning in regard to how everyone is connected, and what exactly the Dread Penny Society is. However, within a few chapters (and after reading a short synopsis of “The Lady and the Highwayman”), I completely understood and found myself totally immersed. I now can’t wait to go back and read the first book, and hope there will be many more in this amazing series! Something very unique from what I have seen that Ms. Eden does is including two different Penny Dreadful’s inserted throughout various parts of the book. They beautifully mirror what is going on in the story, and I found myself so excited to read each and every one, as I was drawn into the Penny Dreadful’s stories too! (Possibly Spoilers!) Oh, how I love Hollis and Ana! Their relationship is witty, flirtatious, romantic, and beautiful. Both are such kind, caring, warm, and intelligent people, and they truly bring out the best in one another. Neither is willing to overlook what is going on around them: children being threatened and forced to steal, gambling, cheating, and other absolutely horrific things... and they, along with others, want to help those around them, even if it means putting themselves in harms way. If you enjoy historical romance and / or historical fiction, I highly recommend this book! I could not put it down, and found myself reading into the early hours of the morning to see what happened next! I hope we see many of these characters in future books in the series! Thank you so much to Shadow Mountain Publishing for the ARC of this novel, I so enjoyed it! All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Roaringwave

    Dnf at pg. 130 (37%) This book was definitely not for me. ♦ I’m almost 40% percent of my way through the book and I’m not invested in anything or anyone which is going to be a problem ♦ I don’t really like the writing style, it seems off for a historical fiction for some reason ♦The concept seemed interesting at first, but now that I’ve read part of the book it just seems extremely boring. I’m not sure I’m sold on the idea of the dread penny society, or the fact that Ana is a thief solely for r Dnf at pg. 130 (37%) This book was definitely not for me. ♦ I’m almost 40% percent of my way through the book and I’m not invested in anything or anyone which is going to be a problem ♦ I don’t really like the writing style, it seems off for a historical fiction for some reason ♦The concept seemed interesting at first, but now that I’ve read part of the book it just seems extremely boring. I’m not sure I’m sold on the idea of the dread penny society, or the fact that Ana is a thief solely for revenge on the people that ruined her life. ♦I don’t particularly even like any of the characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tori (Book Chick)

    Unfortunately this series has not been my favorite of Sarah Eden. I usually love all her work. But for some reason I have had a hard time really getting in to this book and The Lady and the Highwayman. However, others have seemed to love them and The Gentleman and the Thief had a bit of everything - romance, crime, and mystery, so I recommend giving them a try! Unfortunately this series has not been my favorite of Sarah Eden. I usually love all her work. But for some reason I have had a hard time really getting in to this book and The Lady and the Highwayman. However, others have seemed to love them and The Gentleman and the Thief had a bit of everything - romance, crime, and mystery, so I recommend giving them a try!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elodie

    The Gentleman and the Thief Proper Romance Series #2 Sarah M. Eden https://m.facebook.com/SarahMEden/ Release date 11/03/2020 Publisher Shadow Mountain 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗯 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 pseud The Gentleman and the Thief Proper Romance Series #2 Sarah M. Eden https://m.facebook.com/SarahMEden/ Release date 11/03/2020 Publisher Shadow Mountain 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗯 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 business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced the family 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 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, but working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief? 𝗠𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 When they will cross path at the most unexpected place, will it be the end or beginning of them ... I did not know well I would read this book when I requested it, for sure just a few days prior its release date. And today being Halloween, in fact hazard could not have chosen a better schedule. Having not read the previous book, I feared at a time, I would be lost, but the heroes in this one were side characters in the first story. And what was my surprise when I read extract of the hero’s work, tales about a ghost boy full of mischiefs. But it does not stop there as the book is interspersed with pieces of the other Penny Dreadful authors as their respond to the mainline plot. It added so much fun to the plot. Hollis is from the upperclass, alas only in appearance as only his family’s name is what is left to be seen. What an unconventional read, I wanted to learn the outcome of every different parts in this book, the two penny dreadful tales and the major plot. Hollis is such a charming gentleman, living in between two worlds, a writer under a pen name, a member of a secret society helping the poorer and weaker but also the bearer of a name known as respectable when everything is in fact shabby in the background. Ana has known the reverse of fortune like Hollis, but her family’s shame was made public, so she can’t hide like him. But while regaining her good name is an impossibility, she can still retrieve what was wrongly stolen from her home. Her robbery exploits are not about retribution but mending past wounds. Their romance is a slow burn one, none has doubt about their feelings but their own unsure position in society is what kept them holding back, until circumstances put them more than one time on the same path. Once trust is won, matter will settle very much easier. I loved too the group of friends they navigate with, thick as thieves, their bickering is as fun as Hollis and Ana’s banter. And Very Merry is a marvel of mischiefs and lost innocence. A much enjoyable romance with a dash of mystery. 5 stars I was granted an advance copy by the publisher Shadow Mountain, here is my true and unbiased opinion. https://www.facebook.com/429830134272...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pooja (Penningtales)

    3.5 stars Though this can be read as a stand-alone, I strongly suggest reading the first book in the series before this. I hadn’t and found the beginning confusing as I tried to understand what Dread Penny Society was, and who all the characters were. The novel focuses on a group of Penny Dreadful authors and their exploits as the Dread Penny Society, a secret organization intent on making Victorian London safer for those in the lower classes. One such member is an aristocrat named Hollis Darby, 3.5 stars Though this can be read as a stand-alone, I strongly suggest reading the first book in the series before this. I hadn’t and found the beginning confusing as I tried to understand what Dread Penny Society was, and who all the characters were. The novel focuses on a group of Penny Dreadful authors and their exploits as the Dread Penny Society, a secret organization intent on making Victorian London safer for those in the lower classes. One such member is an aristocrat named Hollis Darby, who is determined to prove he’s more useful to the group than simply their ticket to attending society balls and soirées. As he investigates the Phantom Fox, a thief known to sneak into wealthy houses and steal items under their owner’s noses, he finds himself falling for Ana Newport, a music teacher who’s father has fallen on hard financial times. While he has secrets, gentleman aren’t supposed to earn their livings writing whimsical stories after all, he discovers that perhaps Ana has secrets of her own. I found the blurb very misleading. It hints at them playing cat and mouse and that’s not what I got. Though it’s present briefly in the beginning, the story quickly diverts into catching a gambling ringleader who’s also involved in other unsavoury criminal activities. There’s more emphasis placed on the mystery aspect of the novel than the romance. And while I did enjoy watching the Dread Penny Society chase criminals and protect those who are unable to protect themselves, the novel fell short awakening any sparks between Hollis and Ana. Their relationship progressed way too quickly for me to have any investment in them. That said, I didn’t dislike them together. I thought they had cute moments, but ultimately I was indifferent to them. Maybe my opinion will change after I’ve read book one. Along with the main mystery romance plot, we also get little chapters from two of the Penny Dreadful stories. Their tone differs immensely, one being geared towards children and while the other being more romantic, that it did draw me out of the main story line. While I realize this review makes it sound like I didn’t enjoy this book, I did. I liked the mystery aspect, the friendships between the Dread Penny Society, especially between Hollis, Fletcher, and Brogan. I just wished there was more romance than what we got. I’m still interested in reading more by Sarah M. Eden. Please note: I received an advance digital copy of this book through NetGalley from Shadow Mountain Publishing and Sarah M. Eden in exchange for a honest review. This does not influence my opinions in any way.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Channa

    As much as I adore anything and everything taking place in the Victorian era, this just didn't do it for me. The characters were flat, the penny dreadful excerpts quickly became tiresome, and the entirety of the book suffered from a bad case of telling rather than showing. Case in point: I don't want to be told every time a character is being sarcastic or witty! As much as I adore anything and everything taking place in the Victorian era, this just didn't do it for me. The characters were flat, the penny dreadful excerpts quickly became tiresome, and the entirety of the book suffered from a bad case of telling rather than showing. Case in point: I don't want to be told every time a character is being sarcastic or witty!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I loved the premise of this novel...the title, the book cover, the secrets, the banter between characters ...but I have to admit I struggled through some of it. Let me tell you what I liked the most: the characters, especially Very Merry, followed by Hollis, the perfect gentleman with a big heart. Ana, his love interest, was sweet, but only toward the middle of the novel do we see her courage and cunning. Both these characters owned their station in life and worked to better themselves instead o I loved the premise of this novel...the title, the book cover, the secrets, the banter between characters ...but I have to admit I struggled through some of it. Let me tell you what I liked the most: the characters, especially Very Merry, followed by Hollis, the perfect gentleman with a big heart. Ana, his love interest, was sweet, but only toward the middle of the novel do we see her courage and cunning. Both these characters owned their station in life and worked to better themselves instead of wallowing in self-pity because of their family's losses. Although this seems to be a standalone novel, it is the second novel about the 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. So these characters didn't get too much of an introduction, probably because they were introduced in the first novel titled The Lady and the Highwayman, which I didn't read. I thought this 'Society with a cause' was a fun premise for a novel, and I liked the friendship among these characters. What kept me reading was the spy network and the whole mystery surrounding the villains that perpetrated crimes through urchin thieves and gambling. But I was disappointed when these villains were not more fleshed out and better yet, were not caught! No resolution to the story. Probably because the story will continue in the next book? *sigh* Also, this novel contains two penny dreadful stories told throughout the book in alternating chapters. So in essence this novel is much shorter because of these other unnecessary stories thrown in that only served to slow down and interrupt the pace of the novel itself. I found them distracting (although they were good stories, just not what I wanted to read) and only skimmed through them. In my opinion, they could have been omitted altogether and more time could have been dedicated to building the relationship between Hollis and Ana. Finally, there isn't much of a romance although the couple hold hands, hug and even cuddle when there is no understanding of a courtship between them. I was getting mixed messages. Were they a couple or not? There is no tension and passion between this couple, only tender affection. I had no idea if Ana had any romantic feelings toward Hollis until the very end. They acted more like friends who suddenly are in love, or even...dare I say it, an old married couple. *sigh* A fun book with an interesting premise and good characters, but skimpy on heart-stopping romance and villainous adventure.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    I loved Eden's The Lady and the Highwayman, but The Gentleman and the Thief did not deliver. On the chaste to steamy scale, it's a 1. Like, I would give it to a 12 year old to read, that's how romantic it is. I expected more romance, but the main story, while between the male and female protagonists, is centered on the mystery of who/what is going on in the house next door to Ana's father's house. I didn't come to this book for that story-- I wanted sweeping romance! And promoting reading for en I loved Eden's The Lady and the Highwayman, but The Gentleman and the Thief did not deliver. On the chaste to steamy scale, it's a 1. Like, I would give it to a 12 year old to read, that's how romantic it is. I expected more romance, but the main story, while between the male and female protagonists, is centered on the mystery of who/what is going on in the house next door to Ana's father's house. I didn't come to this book for that story-- I wanted sweeping romance! And promoting reading for enjoyment! And helping the underdogs! Two of these things were included. And because the emphasis is not on the romance, it drags horrifically. The two protagonists don't start to show affection to one another until 60% of the way through. It was not because of slow burn. There was no burn. None. Whatsoever. *snore*

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elise Derr Griffin

    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 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"! OVERALL 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.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sage Knightly

    3.5 stars 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' 3.5 stars 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

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