Title: The Gentleman and the Thief (The Dread Penny Society #2)
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: November 3, 2020
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?
Hollis Darby is a gentleman with the secret job of writing penny dreadful books under a pseudonym. He comes from a wealthy family, who no longer has any money, so he must support himself with his books. Hollis was attracted to Ana Newport, a music teacher, as soon as they met. Ana is also from a wealthy family, but they lost their money and belongings when her father went bankrupt. Ana has a secret: she steals back the belongings that the elite families took from her family when they were struggling. These small robberies begin to draw attention in the city, earning the thief the name, “Phantom Fox.” Hollis and his friends at the Dread Penny Society investigate the robberies, though he isn’t prepared for what he discovers.
Hollis and Ana appear to be in different levels of society but they have similar backgrounds. Ana is working class and Hollis is upper class. However, both of their parents made mistakes that lost their family money. The difference is that Hollis kept up the appearance of wealth, whereas Ana had to work to survive.
This story also includes short penny dreadful stories, told in chapters throughout the book. These are stories that are written by characters under their pseudonyms. I love that these stories also relate to the plot and what is happening in the main narrative. These short stories are a great addition to this Victorian novel.
The Gentleman and the Thief is a fun historical romance!
Thank you Shadow Mountain for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
The Heiress Gets a Duke by Harper St. George
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
Other books in the series:
Have you read The Gentleman and the Thief? What did you think of it?