The Gentleman and the Thief

Sarah M. Eden. Shadow Mountain, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-62972-790-5
Eden’s entertaining but forgettable second Dread Penny Society romance (after The Lady and the Highwayman) offers plenty of plot but little spark. Hollis Darby is the token aristocrat in the secret Dread Penny Society, whose members write penny dreadfuls by day and right injustices by night. He feels unappreciated by both his fellow vigilante authors and his snobbish older brother, and yearns for the sweet Ana Newport, his niece’s music teacher. Ana had a lady’s upbringing before her family’s wealth dwindled, and now she has a secret life of her own: as the Phantom Fox, she breaks into aristocratic homes to reclaim mementos of her childhood, which were stolen after her family lost their fortune. Ana’s reasons for taking the enormous risk of thievery are thin, and her actual exploits are never as exciting as the high stakes would suggest. And, though Hollis is quietly charming, the rest of the cast is wooden. Eden uses this installment to build the mythology of her Victorian London, dangling tantalizing threads to be explored in later volumes, but the romance itself feels like an afterthought. Fans of historical mysteries will enjoy, but the lackluster couple will disappoint romance readers. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 07/15/2020
Release date: 11/01/2020
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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