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The Gentleman and the Thief

(The Dread Penny Society #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  3,444 ratings  ·  706 reviews
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
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 3rd 2020 by Shadow Mountain
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Michelle Llewellyn I found this book in the "Lucky Day Loan" section of my library (You have 7 days exactly to read it and bring it back-no renewals!) back in January of…moreI found this book in the "Lucky Day Loan" section of my library (You have 7 days exactly to read it and bring it back-no renewals!) back in January of this year 2021 and was surprised at the likeable plot interspersed with the "Penny Dreadful" stories. I got as far as page 62 or so before I decided I needed to use my Christmas bookstore gift card (Deseret Book) and just purchase this title for myself not realizing it was part of a series until the clerk told me. I then went straight to my local library to check out the first book and finished it (see my Goodreads review) but I feel reading this book on its own wouldn't have made much of a difference. Aside from Elizabeth and Fletcher, readers will understand the relationships between the rest of the characters.

And, I think I already figured out who the "Dread Master" is (hint: the Butler did it!) I read "Longing for Home" a few years ago by this author and was not impressed. She may be on to something with this series, I hope we get more.(less)
Becky Fenn Yes there are will be a third book The Merchant and the Rogue. The Gentleman and the Thief is book 3

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The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden is a 2020 Shadow Mountain publication.

A gentle, sweet story, full of wit and adventure!

Hollis Darby carries a torch for Ana Newport. The difference in their station in life doesn’t matter to him. He’s a gentleman born into wealth, but Ana has lost her place in society after her father lost his fortune. Little does she know that Hollis is no better off financially than she, earning his living by writing Penny Dreadfuls under a pseudonym.

As it turns
Julie Carpenter
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
haven 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
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
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, romance, netgalley
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
Nov 01, 2022 rated it really liked it
This was a fun one! I love stories about thieves and sneaky people who are actually good at heart and have different motives for stealing than simply greed. Hollis and Ana have a lot in common, and I like how they’re both trying to reckon with their broken past lives and families while also being caught up in an intense present struggle with a crime ring in London. The crime ring reminded me so much of Katherine Woodfine’s Sinclair mysteries since those are also centered on finding out who anoth ...more
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
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 ...more
Katie (Hiding in the Pages)
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
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 ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Nov 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
'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
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Secrets, Societies, and Suspicious Activities

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Blog Tour

TYPE OF NOVEL: Victorian Romance

SETTING: 1865, London

SERIES: The Dread Penny Society #2

SYNOPSIS: The Dread Penny Society is a collective group of authors dedicated to secretly assisting any poor and unprotected individuals of society. One of its members is Hollis Darby, who grew up wealthy and established but now earns his living writing low-brow literature. Hollis finds himself enamored with m
Lauren (thebookscript)
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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 ...more
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: british, romance
I loved the first book in the DPS series, The Lady and the Highwayman, and was so eager to read the next book that I put it on hold at the library without even bothering to read the description. So, I was disappointed that the focus isn't on Fletcher and Elizabeth in this book and my disappointment continued throughout the first half of this which I found, I'm sorry to say, quite dull. Hollis, Fletcher's best friend and fellow member of the DPS, is a nice guy but he's rather boring and I just co ...more
Mary (bookstorevibe)
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Cara Putman
Sep 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
I am so enjoying this series. This work with another fun lesson set in Victorian England. Love the mix of characters and the continuing storyline that stitches the books together. A sweet romance and enjoyable read.
more than 3 stars but not quite 3.5

****First, a note on the timeframe. The e-ARC of The Lady and the Highwayman was set in 1849 but now it's 1865 and only two months have passed. I forgot to request the first book in print to read before this one to see if anything changed from the ARC. A peek at the Amazon Kindle version of The Lady and the Highwayman shows the date as 1865. Does it matter in the overall history of the Victorian era? I'm not sure but it was a big surprise to me. ****

By day Ana
Oct 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
This second book in the Dread Penny Society Series moved quickly and was again accompanied by two stories written by characters in the society. This time, we get another story by Elizabeth Black and one by Hollis Darby.

Hollis is our main character with Ana, music teacher at Elizabeth’s school, being the female lead. Hollis gets his brother to hire Ana to as a music tutor for his child, Hollis’ favorite niece. On top of her two teaching jobs, she’s a thief. She’s been slowly stealing back items
The best way I can describe this is bland. It's not a romance, it's not a mystery, it's just kind of there. After semi-enjoying the first book, I expected to like this one too. That wasn't the case.

My main problem with this was the romance. It wasn't angsty, it wasn't interesting. There was no tension. I felt no chemistry or connection between the characters, and somehow this felt like insta-love. It was a nice romance. That was it. It was just nice.

I also didn't love the plot of this. It wasn
Mar 19, 2022 rated it really liked it
Can't remember when I started this so leaving out that date. Finished last night.

Another interesting story from Eden. We first met Ana and Hollis in The Lady and the Highwayman; here they get their own story. I quite enjoyed this tale of two people who both have "secret" identities. Nicely done romance as well.

Just as in the first book, the reader gets 3 tales in one with the addition of 2 of the Penny Dreadful tales. Love that idea!

Looking forward to the next installment, which stars Brogan. Y
Trisha (semi-hiatus)
Blog Review: https://trishadoeseverythingbutstudy2...

This is 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3.

I didn't love it, but didn't hate it either?

This was so bland. There was no conflict, nearly no angst, the characters were already in love and maturely dealing with it; I DID NOT COME HERE FOR WHAT A ROMANCE IN THE REAL WORLD IS AND/OR SHOULD BE. I CAME HERE FOR THE ANGSTY JOURNEY.

And there was no angsty journey.

The main conflict, which was Anna being a thief, and Hollis being a philanthropist regularly bre
May 12, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, 2020
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 ...more
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I am in a twitterpated state of giddy bibliophile euphoria because this book is sooooooooo brilliantly clever and tons of fun as well as being exquisitely romantical!!! And it's made me a sputtering ditherer so excuse me while I gush.

First off -- The Gentleman and the Thief (lovely title, even lovelier cover) is the second book in the Dread Penny Society series. I haven't read the first one, The Lady and the Highwayman (hanging m
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's no secret that I'm a huge Sarah Eden fan and I love her new series!

The Gentleman and the Thief features Hollis Darby, part of the Dread Penny Society who secretly try to help those in need. Hollis has secrets of his own, however. He's a gentleman in society, yet his family's coffers are bare. In order to keep up appearances, he writes Penny Dreadfuls under a pseudonym. (The stories are interspersed throughout the book, which is an added bonus. It did distract me from the main story a bit.
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An absolute masterpiece! Sarah Eden has done it again. She has told an absolutely captivating story of intrigue and romance while weaving into it's thread two smaller stories that are equally fantastic.

This is technically a stand-alone novel but you will enjoy it so much more if you have read the first book in the series, The Lady and the Highwayman.

My favorite thing about this book was the characters! I love that they are not your typical Victorian characters. Ana and Hollis have unique hobbi
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Other books in the series

The Dread Penny Society (4 books)
  • The Lady and the Highwayman (The Dread Penny Society #1)
  • The Merchant and the Rogue (The Dread Penny Society #3)
  • The Bachelor and the Bride (The Dread Penny Society #4)

Articles featuring this book

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts...
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“For the poor and infirm, the hopeless and voiceless, we do not relent. We do not forget. We are the Dread Penny Society.” 2 likes
“Never underestimate a woman, Henry.” 1 likes
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