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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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…

Overall Book Review:

Sarah M. Eden is a masterful storyteller and her latest work should not be missed! The Gentleman and the Thief is a standalone Proper Romance novel with two loveable main characters. Set during the Victorian era, the story involves action, danger, high stakes, and a budding romance. In addition to Hollis and Ana – our delightful hero and heroine – Eden includes alternating chapters of two penny dreadfuls. There is a LOT going on, but it totally works! Each storyline is entertaining, easy-to-understand, and readers will have a hard time deciding which story they liked best. Sarah M. Eden obviously does an incredible amount of research to make each character and setting come alive, including impressive dialects. The ghosts and other worldly elements make this book a perfect fall read. 

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Shadow Mountain

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  A few verbal threats and/or implied occurrences of violence including missing children; a secondhand report of violence involving a man believed to kill others; several brief incidents of violence including fistfights and fighting off an attacker. 

Sex/Nudity:  Several instances of kissing on the cheek, hand, top of head and lips; a few sexual references regarding brothels and ‘harlots’; a reported prostitution ring. 

Mature Subject Matter:

Cheating, gambling and gambling addiction, gaming dens/’copper hell’, thievery, embezzlement, debt, children mistreated (sold, starved and beaten), relatives missing or disappeared. 

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A character is suspected of being drunk; mention of a ‘rum customer’; drink is served in gaming dens. 

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.