The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden – Excerpt

Hello dear readers,

I hope this week is treating you well 🙂 Mine has been a good one because not only have I been working on some innovative projects at work, but also creating new pieces with my arts and crafts hobbie.

Today I am very pleased to receive for the first time Sarah M. Eden at From Pemberley to Milton. Ms Eden is visiting with an excerpt of her recently released book The Gentleman and the Thief which I believe will be to your liking 🙂 You can find the blurb and excerpt below, and if you’re curious about it, you can still visit all the other blogs on the tour to read more about the novel. 

Thank you for visiting Ms Eden, and thank you for all the hard work with the organization of the tour Laurel Ann 🙂


 

A standalone novel in The Dread Penny Society set in 1865 London brimming with secrets, scandal, suspense, and romance.


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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You can find The Gentleman and the Thief at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

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THE GENTLEMAN AND THE THIEF by Mr. King

Installment I, in which our Hero enlists the help of a brave and kind Neighbor and encounters a most dire Prediction!

***

The grand estate of Summerworth sat nestled between a raging river and the windswept moors. Its turrets and towers loomed large, declaring to all who drew near that this was the home of a noble and exalted family. Yet, within its palatial walls, a mournful sadness wrapped ice around the heart of the only person who lived therein.

After great tragedy and heartrending loss, only Mr. Wellington Quincey remained of those who had once made their home in the splendor of Summerworth. His family had dwindled to only one; the Summerworth staff had dwindled to only two.

Wellington’s despondency had rendered the house an almost unbearably sad place to live. His sorrows were many. His companions were few.

For all his anguish, he was not an unkind gentleman. Those who knew him liked him. Many a heart ached at his suffering and isolation. His family was gone. His home was remote.

He had all but given up on finding companionship and love and a new beginning by the time he reached his twentyfifth year. Loneliness was his lot in life, and he would endure it. But there was one thing he could not sort out. How was it an estate as far from neighbors as his, so devoid of staff and visitors, was the victim of an unending string of thefts?

Jewelry had disappeared. Silver. Paintings. Priceless heirlooms. His trusted servants hadn’t the least idea what precisely had befallen Summerworth. The missing items could not be located. No clues had been left behind. He was utterly and completely baffled.

It was with this mystery hanging heavy on his weary mind that he mounted his trusty steed and dedicated a morning to riding a circuit of the estate. He was not at risk of being beggared by the thefts, but neither could he ignore the growing list of pilfered items. Who could possibly be taking them? What ill-intentioned thief was bringing such misery to his already painful life?

He rounded a turn in the path as it passed the cottage of the estate steward. Elmore Combs had remained in his post after the death of Wellington’s grandfather some fifteen years earlier, Wellington’s father ten years after that, and Wellington’s older brother a mere two years ago. 

Combs’s daughter, Tillie, stood outside, pulling laundry off the clothesline. Wellington had known Tillie since they had been children running and skipping and laughing through the meadows and lawns and streams of Summerworth. They had been dear friends during those long-ago days. He hadn’t seen as much of her the past few years as he would have liked. Life had demanded too much of him.

“Good morning, Tillie.” He pulled his horse to a halt beside the house. “How are you faring this fine day?”

She folded a sheet against herself and smiled at him. “I’m well, sir.”

“You needn’t call me ‘sir,’” he said as he dismounted. “We have been friends all our lives.”

Tillie laid the sheet in her large basket. “But you’re grown now, and the master of the estate. Things ain’t quite what they used to be.”

He pulled another sheet from the line and began folding it himself. “Are we not still friends, Tillie?” 

“You’re hardly here anymore. I’ve a closer friendship with the hedgehog who lives in back of the cottage.”

Her words struck deep. Heaven forgive him, he had been neglectful. He’d lost his grandparents, his parents, and his brother. He seldom saw his friends from Cambridge. He had no true friends amongst Society in London, merely a list of vague acquaintances. He kept to himself, a shield against the grief of losing people he felt close to. But it meant he remained painfully lonely.

“I could come help you fold laundry,” he offered. “Then we could talk as we work.”

Amusement danced in her eyes. “Folding laundry ain’t for the master of the estate.”

“I’m doing it now.” He dropped the sheet into the basket. “Besides, who will even see me working other than you and your father? This needn’t be a source of teasing, unless you mean to engage in jests at my expense.”

“’Course not.”

He took down a serviceable-looking apron and folded it as well. “If laundry is off-limits to me, what will you permit me to do? Sweep the front stoop? Weed the kitchen garden? Are either of those acceptable for a ‘master of the estate’?”

She folded a shirt, no doubt her father’s. “I suspect you’ve spent time weeding and sweeping at your own house, it being short-staffed like it is.”

“Lately, I’ve invested most of my time attempting to locate a virtual treasure trove of missing things.”

Nothing remained on the clothesline. She took up the basket and held it against her hip. “Things’ve been swiped?”

“Quite a number of things,” he said. “Jewelry. Silver. Paintings.”

“And you’ve not located any of it?”

He shook his head. “I fear this mystery will prove utterly unsolvable.”

He walked beside her back to the quaint and inviting cottage. The door stood open, allowing them to enter without a pause.

Her father was inside and greeted Wellington. “Welcome, Mr. Quincey. Have you come on estate business?”

“I stopped to offer a good morning to my lifelong friend but have been rightly informed by your daughter that I have not been an attentive companion to her these years.”

Mr. Combs turned wide eyes on his child. “Tillie. You’d speak so critically to a gentleman of his standing? ’Ave you taken leave of your manners, girl?”

“Pray, do not scold her,” Wellington insisted. “I was rightly chastised, and I mean to make amends.”

“How?” Tillie never had lacked for boldness.

“We spend little time together, as you rightly observed, and I have a maddening riddle at the estate. Perhaps you might help me sort it.”

She looked intrigued. If she agreed to join the hunt for the elusive thief, he would have her company again. The house would not be so empty. The joys of their childhood friendship would bring light back into his darkened world. 

“Would you help?” he pressed. “I would be greatly obliged.”

“I do have a knack for sorting mysteries.” She carried her basket to the table. “We could solve this’n together.”

“I would be deeply indebted to you.” He turned to Mr. Combs. “A great many things have gone missing up at the manor house, odd bits and large pieces. I cannot for the life of me guess where they’ve gone or who might have taken them. You would not begrudge Tillie some time spent helping me discover what’s happened to them, would you? I would not, for all the world, wish to add to your burdens here.”

“We’ll manage,” Mr. Combs said. “Besides, I’m curious to know who—or what—has been making off with your things.”

“‘Or what’?” Wellington repeated.

Tillie nodded. “My father is quite well versed in all the old tales and creatures: pixies, fairies, changelings, redcaps.”

“You suspect my thief is a mythical monster?” The moors were filled with mystery and magic, but Wellington hadn’t thought such had bled onto his own estate. “Is that your theory as well, Tillie?”

“I think we’d best assume anythin’ is possible.”

“Mark me, children, there’s more in this ol’ world than can be seen or understood.” Mr. Combs eyed them in turn. “Unless you proceed with a healthy dose of respect for what you can’t explain, you’ll forever be chasing what you can’t foresee.”

Chapter 4, pages 40-41


Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2019’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, The Lady and the Highwayman, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. 

You can contact her throught the following links:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


The Blog tour for The Gentleman and the Thief is almost over, but you can still go back and check out all the reviews and spotlights that were posted 🙂

Nov 02 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review) 

Nov 02 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt) 

Nov 03 Getting Your Read On (Review)

Nov 03 Literary Time Out (Review)

Nov 03 Storybook Reviews (Review)

Nov 04 Heidi Reads (Review) 

Nov 04 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)

Nov 05 Library of Clean Reads (Review) 

Nov 06 Relz Reviewz (Review) 

Nov 07 Probably at the Library (Spotlight)

Nov 08 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review) 

Nov 09 So Little Time… (Spotlight)

Nov 09 Captivated Reading (Review) 

Nov 10 Among the Reads (Review) 

Nov 10 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 

Nov 11 For Where Your Treasure Is (Spotlight)

Nov 11 Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review) 

Nov 12 Books, Teacups & Reviews (Spotlight)

Nov 12 Fiction Aficionado (Review) 

Nov 13 Randi Loves 2 Read (Spotlight)

Nov 14 The Book Diva’s Reads (Spotlight)

Nov 15 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)

Nov 16 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

Nov 17 Book Bustle (Review) 

Nov 18 Jorie Loves a Story (Review)

Nov 18 An Historian About Town (Review) 

Nov 19 Lu’s Reviews (Review) 

Nov 20 Reading with Emily (Review)

Nov 20 Books and Socks Rock (Review)

Nov 21 Bringing Up Books (Review)

Nov 21 Bookish Rantings (Review) 

Nov 22 The Bibliophile Files (Review)

Nov 23 Impressions in Ink (Review)

Nov 23 A Bookish Way of Life (Review) 

Nov 24 Bookfoolery (Review)

Nov 24 Wishful Endings (Excerpt)

Nov 25 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Review) 

Nov 25 Joy of Reading (Review) 

Nov 26 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

Nov 27 Fire and Ice (Review)

Nov 27 Austenesque Reviews (Review)

Nov 28 Impressions in Ink (Review)

Nov 28 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Nov 29 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

1 Comment

Filed under JAFF

One response to “The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden – Excerpt

  1. Thanks for the excerpt. I watched the Penny Dreadful series on TV and enjoyed it. I’m sure I would enjoy this also.

    Like

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