Blog Tour,  Book Reviews

The Merchant and The Rogue.

London, 1865

Vera Sorokina loves reading the Penny Dreadfuls and immersing herself in tales of adventure, mystery, and romance. Her own days are filled with the often-mundane work of running the book and print shop she owns with her father. The shop offers her the freedom and income to employ and protect the poverty-stricken Londoners she’s come to care about, and it gives her father something to do other than long for their hometown of St. Petersburg. She is grateful for the stability in their lives, but she often feels lonely.

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Brogan Donnelly was born and raised in Ireland, but has lived in London for several years, where he’s built a career as a Penny Dreadful writer. He has dedicated himself to the plight of the poor with the help of his sister. His membership in the secretive Dread Penny Society allows him to feel he isn’t entirely wasting his life, yet he feels dissatisfied. With no one to share his life with but his sister, he fears London will never truly feel like home.

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Brogan and Vera’s paths cross, and the attraction is both immediate and ill-advised. Vera knows from experience that writers are never to be trusted, and Brogan has reason to suspect not everything at her print shop is aboveboard. When the growing criminal enterprise run by the elusive and violent Mastiff begins targeting their area of London, Brogan and Vera must work together to protect the community they’ve both grown to love. But that means they’ll need to learn to trust each other with dangerous secrets that have followed both of them from their home countries.

Who doesn’t enjoy a book within a book? Part mystery, part romance, this book will have you reading late into the night. I must admit that I did read through the book first and then followed up with the Penny Dreadful story. I can’t handle two stories at one time. How about you? Are you a multiple book reader? Leave me a comment below and let me know.

The characters in this story really come to life. They evoke so many emotions such as sympathy, sorrow, hope. I felt quite invested in finding out what happened to the people in Vera’s little part of town. My one complaint, which I will excuse away momentarily, is that the ending didn’t give Brogan and Vera as “finished” of an ending as I would have preferred. Now, in defense of the author, I do realize that she is setting up the bigger picture to continue the series. I did really enjoy this book and if proper romance and mystery are your forte, I do not hesitate to recommend it to you.

Author Bio

Sarah M. Eden is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning Proper Romance series novels including The Lady and the Highwayman and Ashes on the Moor. Combining her passion for history and an affinity for love stories, Sarah crafts smart, witty characters and heartfelt romances. She happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library and dreams of one day traveling to all the places she reads about.


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Thank you to Shadow Mountain for sending me a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own. As always, I appreciate each and everyone of you for stopping by. I love responding to your comments and hearing about what you are reading.

Melissa has been in love with books since she was a child. As a young girl, in her Holly Hobby decorated room, she would sit and tape scraps of paper to her books so that she could organize them by the Dewey Decimal System. She is a huge advocate for helping children learn to love reading. Along with hosting an online Regency based book club and a book club at her home, she started a book club for kids at her son’s school. These days, Melissa can be found at the library writing a book review or tucked in some quiet corner having a love affair with a newly discovered romance novel.


  • Laurel Ann Nattress

    I love that you found Victorian portraits to cast the characters, Melissa! So creative and it does help visualize the story and people. I am glad that you enjoyed this novel as much as I did. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. Best, LA

  • Katie Jackson

    Great review, Melissa! I agree, the characters are wonderfully realistic. The romance left me wanting more, which is how I’ve felt with each book in this series even though I know the intention of leaving loose ends. Still a lovely story, though, and I look forward to the next one!

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