The Lady and the Highwayman

The Lady and the Highwayman Elizabeth Black Is The Headmistress Of A Girls School And A Well Respected Author Of Silver Fork Novels, Stories Written Both For And About The Upper Class Ladies Of Victorian Society But By Night, She Writes Very Different Kinds Of Stories The Penny Dreadfuls That Are All The Rage Among The Working Class Men Under The Pseudonym Mr King, Elizabeth Has Written About Dashing Heroes Fighting Supernatural Threats And Dangerous Outlaws Romancing Helpless Women They Contain All The Adventure And Mystery That Her Real Life Lacks Fletcher Walker Began Life As A Street Urchin, But Is Now The Most Successful Author In The Penny Dreadful Market, That Is Until Mr King Started Taking All Of His Readers And His Profits No One Knows Who King Is, Including Fletcher S Fellow Members Of The Dread Penny Society, A Fraternity Of Authors Dedicated To Secretly Fighting For The Rights Of The Less Fortunate Determined To Find The Elusive Mr King, Fletcher Approaches Miss Black As A Fellow Author, She Is Well Known Among The High Class Writers Perhaps She Could Be Persuaded To Make Some Inquiries As To Mr King S Whereabouts Elizabeth Agrees To Help Fletcher, If Only To Insure Her Secret Identity Is Never Discovered For The First Time, Elizabeth Experiences The Thrill Of A Cat And Mouse Adventure Reminiscent Of One Of Her Own Novels As She Tries To Throw Fletcher Off Her Scent But The Time They Spend Together, The She Loses Her Heart Its Upper Class Against Working Class, Author Against Author Where Readers, Reputations, And Romance Are All On The Line In 19th Century London, Penny Dreadfuls were low literature serials featuring captivating stories of adventure, damsels in distress, criminals and monsters For a penny , laborers, tradesmen and children could purchase the newest weekly installment Fletcher Walker grew up living the hardscrabble life of a street urchin Only through a stroke of luck was he able to escape the desperate life he was leading where a street urchin could be beaten for walking slower than his master Fletcher was now a top selling writer of Penny Dreadfuls He was the largest financial contributor to the Hoggs School, the only school London street children could attend He crusaded to help feed poor families, rescue girls from houses of ill repute, and stop masters from abusing their working children The rise of the mysterious Mr King, a new writer of Penny Dreadfuls was, slowly, but surely, claiming an ever larger slice of the penny dreadful pie.Elizabeth Black was Headmistress of Thurloe Collegiate School Elizabeth was the picture of respectability She had written several silver fork novels, novels for and about the upper class Her well ordered life included attending silver fork or political salons that helped generate school funding from the elevated class butElizabeth had a secret She wrote Penny Dreadfuls under the pen name of Mr King Her most profitable works included Excesses of emotion Dastardly villains Daring escapes Sword fights They were exaggerations of the most delicious sort, exciting the senses, palpitating the heart, offering an escape from the doldrums of life but A lady in her position could be respected or she could be adventurous What she could not be was both Fletcher Walker belonged to the Dreadful Penny Society, a clandestine society of Penny Dreadful writers who met in an undisclosed location Being made known would keep them from helping and rescuing and doing the good that meant so much to them The elusive Mr King was upsetting the applecart Who was he Fletcher studies King s stories He don t write the same as the rest of us He s got class, sophistication Fletcher enlists the help of Elizabeth Black, a silver fork novelist who hob nobs with the upper crust of society The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah M Eden was a delightful historical romance Interspersed within the novel are two Penny Dreadfuls Such fun I wonder if perhaps this tome should be marketed to the teen YA audience.Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review The Lady and the Highwayman. A FRESH NEW TAKE ON HISTORICAL ROMANCE When I started this book I was expecting just another run of the mill historical romance novel I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that this one actually stood out in numerous ways Rumour had it, Fletcher Walker wasn t born but had simply appeared one day, swaggering down the streets of London THE THINGS I LIKEDChemistry Historical romance has a tendency to be about lust and physical attraction than actual romance Sure, it can be amazing and hot But romances that start with lust are a little outplayed if you ask me Luckily, Eden steered clear of that clich The chemistry between Fletcher and Elizabeth was rooted in mutual interests and respect and that made for a great chemistry between them.Banter Part of Elizabeth and Fletcher s chemistry played out in the amazing banter they shared It was so well done, so humorous, witty, flirtatious and delicious I loved it Do you find ambition in a lady intimidating On the contrary, I find it irresistible How very un British of you Victorian Usually, historical romance is set in Regency England or sometimes in Medieval England This book, however, took place in Victorian England which gave the story a completely different vibe and which separated it even further from other historical romances No aristocrats Again, historical romance usually features at least one aristocratic MC But yet again, Eden stepped outside the usual genre because neither Elizabeth nor Fletcher were aristocrats Elizabeth is a working woman, a writer and a headmistress of an all girls school Fletcher is a former street urchin turned successful penny dreadful writer WHAT I DISLIKEDThe Vampire s Tower This book is actually three stories in one the main story of Elizabeth and Fletcher, Elizabeth s penny dreadful novel The Lady and the Highwayman and Fletcher s penny dreadful novel The Vampire s Tower The main story was my favourite and I quite enjoyed Elizabeth s story as well However, Fletcher s story was a weak spot in my opinion The writing as well as the plot of the story was weak and really dragged down the overall story ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review FOLLOW MY BLOG FOR MORE BOOK GOODNESS 4.5 I wasn t entirely sure what to expect when I picked this one up I knew that I love pretty much anything everything that I read from this author but this one was her first Victorian and a historical fiction I found myself loving the style, especially the interspersed, Penny Dreadfuls Now you re asking what are Penny Dreadfuls Well, let me enlighten you They were serial stories written for the lower classes and cost a penny A way for many to be able to enjoy reading a story affordably They were also not considered quite proper for the upper class, so possibly a little bit of a taboo subject for high society.Elizabeth and Fletcher are both authors She is a proper and influential author while he authors the dreaded penny dreadfuls They both have their secrets from each other but which are pretty easy for the reader to pick up on right at the beginning of the story.There are two penny dreadful stories going on throughout the main storyline and I have to say that I enjoyed how the two connected with what was happening in Elizabeth and Fletcher s lives This book looks at the different levels of society, from the street urchins and other poverty stricken people to the wealthy I thought it was well written and I really enjoyed all the historical aspects that you can see the author really did her research on I think that s one reason why I really enjoy her writing so much is because of the rich history that she includes in her stories Not only am I reading and enjoying myself being immersed in a story, but I m learning as well Definitely a win win for me with reading If you re a Sarah M Eden fan, I hope you grab this one and enjoy the many aspects of it Suspense, a little romance and great characterization If you ve never read books by this author before and enjoy Victorian then this would be a good one to start with.Content Clean Some moments of peril and suspense Descriptions of life for street urchins, some talk about the children being beaten and mistreated but nothing graphic I felt it was well done for showing but not overly showing the horrific circumstances experienced by many of the lower class, especially the children.I received a copy from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishing, via NetGalley All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own.Happy Reading It is always, always, a pleasure to read Sarah Eden s books She has a remarkable gift for crafting a story that wraps itself around my heart I think what I love the most is how she takes the dark, hard and difficult circumstances of life and balances that with hope through a few good people trying to make a difference That, in turn, gives me hope I ve been a bit heartsick lately for how difficult and cruel this world is The future doesn t always look so bright and I ve been trying to remind myself that there are lots of good people in this world, trying to combat the evil, one person at a time I was worried that this book would just add to my disappointment in humanity based on what this book is about but I shouldn t have worried The hope was stronger than the evil and the good people made a difference I needed that reminder Even though this is a work of fiction, it portrays real life There are people out there rescuing and loving They are making a difference for the one.I love Fletcher He won me over in the first few chapters because he s the underdog that everyone wants to root for Fletcher is scrappy, determined and has a heart that lends itself to helping the downtrodden especially the children He s a gem and Elizabeth thinks so too Elizabeth is pretty great herself.There are stories within the story as Fletcher and Elizabeth are both writers and we get a sample of the Penny Dreadful stories they create It gave me a glimpse into both of their worlds and their hearts It was fun I really loved this book From beginning to end I felt as though I was right there with Fletcher and Elizabeth through it all It was fantastic.Content peril, abuse with no specific details , some mild violence, kissing I received a complimentary copy of this book All opinions expressed are my own. I was a little worried when I started this story You quickly come to find out the two main characters are writers You basically get 3 stories in one with this book I wasn t sure this was going to work but it did and very well You learned a lot about Fletcher from his stories The way she twines Elizabeth s story around their own story is awesome I loved this one It is probably one of my favorite Eden s It had a light feel and a good mystery and romance So much fun to read Thank you, thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for allowing me to read this uncorrected proof e ARC All opinions expressed in the review are my own.Fletcher Walker s origins are a bit of a mystery To say he has risen from humble beginnings would be an understatement He was picking pockets by age 4 and at age 10 swaggered into a ragged school where he received the education that matched his drive to succeed Now a successful author of penny dreadfuls, Fletcher and his fellow penny dreadful authors in the secret Dread Penny Society seek to help urchins like Fletcher once was Their financial security is threatened by the rising sales of a new penny dreadful author, a Mr King Mr King is a mystery and Fletcher loves mysteries He must determine whether Mr King would stand with them or against them Little does Fletcher know that his quest for Mr King will produce so many frustrating dead ends, because Mr King is actually a woman Elizabeth Black, headmistresses of Thurloe Collegiate School, was a lady by birth but forced to earn her living She has written several well received silver fork novels and earned the respect of Society However, Elizabeth has a secret By day she s a proper headmistress but by night she pens a penny dreadful serial The Lady and the Highwayman taking London by storm Elizabeth must keep her authorship secret if she is to retain the respect of Thurloe s wealthy funders and respectable parents Elizabeth is a rogue at heart and when she encounters Fletcher she finds a mystery worth solving and unwittingly stumbles into his philanthropy efforts Elizabeth is an enthusiastic reformer and not about to be left out of things, but what if Fletcher discovers her secret Will she be exposed to all of London and lose her livelihood As the two become deeper involved in the seedier side of Victorian life, they are drawn closer together but Elizabeth is a lady and Fletcher an overgrown urchin Can they take the greatest risk of all and let their hearts speak freely I absolutely adored this story It starts off a little slow and episodic but it picks up after a time and I couldn t put it down I waffled between 4 and 5 stars until the very end I thought it largely implausible that Elizabeth would out herself in her story and that Fletcher wouldn t catch on The clues were staring him right in the face and still he didn t realize Mr King WAS Elizabeth However, by the end, I decided I liked the story that way because it leads to a charming conclusion The ending of the story was not completely satisfying and I would love to see this turned into a series The romance is adorable I love the banter between Fletcher and Elizabeth and every time I finished a chapter I found myself grinning from ear to ear These two are so perfect for each other The romance develops nicely over a shared interest in helping the wretched think Les Mis rables type people and their writing careers At first I didn t like the penny dreadful stories Having three stories in one book is a bit much and I wanted to skip ahead to the main storyline However, DO read the stories within the story because as Fletcher and Elizabeth s relationship grows, art begins to imitate life and we get to know our hero and heroine a lot better The writing style is great This is only my second full length novel by this author but I ve read some of her short stories and this one is better written I love the way she conveys the diversity of Victorian London without resorting to outdated descriptors or stereotypes She does briefly mention tight, curly hair but that s the only indicator the character does not resemble the typical person of the British Isles That could mean anything until it s clarified People in this story have ancestors from all over the world, which makes sense given the British Empire was quickly becoming the largest empire in the world Authors, THIS is the way you do diversity in a period piece It s there because it belongs The descriptions of life in the London slums and the plight of the poor really conveyed the darker side of the time period it really did remind me of Les Mis, same time period The problems still persist and we need the Dread Penny Society in modern times The Penny Dreadful novels are not supposed to be well written but for entertainment purposes I really didn t like Fletcher s Vampires creep me out I did like the plucky heroes, Morris and Joe They give the reader a glimpse of what Fletcher was like as a boy Elizabeth s made me roll my eyes a lot at the silliness of it all I figured out the secrets pretty quickly I thought perhaps something different was going to happen but when it didn t, I knew my first guess was correct I don t like how patently obvious Elizabeth makes her authorship Really, as clever as Fletcher is, he ought to have figured it out How typical of a man, even an unconventional one, not to think a respectable lady could pen trashy novels Honestly The characters are all so well written I feel like I know them Elizabeth is my Victorian alter ego I m a rebel at heart but unlike Elizabeth, I lack the courage to do some of the things she did Her school is exactly the type I would support and send my daughter to if I had one at that time regardless of class I would be a champion of female education like Elizabeth I love how strong, kind hearted and brave she is Elizabeth wants to help children because she s compassionate and empathetic not for any particular religious motivation I really appreciate the lack of preaching in this novel Fletcher is motivated because he was once on the streets doing whatever it took to survive and he wants other children to have the same opportunities he did I admire him for that but I confess to being taken in by his witty banter If I had one complaint, it would be that he doesn t yet open up to Elizabeth and tell her the story of his childhood even his friends don t know Elizabeth s friend Ana, a music teacher, is very sweet and good When push comes to shove, she can be strong and brave to help her students There s potential for a secondary romance here Mr Headley, the closest thing Elizabeth has to a suitor, like Edward Yardley in Venetia, he likes to mansplain things to Elizabeth The depth of his character surprised me and the story ended too soon I need to know Fletcher s friends are diverse and interesting than Elizabeth s narrow society Mr Hogg runs the ragged school like the one that gave Fletcher his chance This is an incredible story I didn t know about Hollis Darby, Fletcher s closest friend, is from an aristocratic family fallen on hard times He has incredible sympathy for the poor, unusual in one of his class He s a very nice man who helps Fletcher navigate the tricky waters of courting a Society lady, even if the courtship is ostensibly fake Stone, a former American slave, is the muscle of the society He s the silent type but obviously against slavery of all kinds and will do whatever it takes to be free and ensure no human is enslaved Brogan, Fletcher s other close friend but not confidante, is an Irish charmer He s tough and rough and ready but also kind I love his sister The plight of Daniel, the climbing boy is shocking and despicable It s hard to believe that kind of abuse was legal Mrs George and her thugs are to be expected in this time and place It is the oldest profession after all They re very nasty sorts Four Fingered Mike is also a nasty villain but the nastiest of them all eludes everyone One known only as The Mastiff frightens even the police We never learn who it is but my guess is someone from the upper class controlling the police and the government from within Did they have mafia types in Victorian Britain I can t say too much without spoiling the story for others but if you like Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Victor Hugo, watched Victorian Slum House on TV, you might like this novel If you like gothic novels you might like the stories within the story If you love a good proper romance in the vein of a traditional Regency Romance you will LOVE this Jane Austen x Charles Dickens x Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley. This was my first time trying Sarah Eden s books, and I thought there was several aspects that were enjoyable and interesting about this read There was one aspect that was not, and it took away from some of the enjoyable bits, in my opinion This novel featured penny dreadful serialists who are part of a secret society to aid the poor The members are growing concerned at the growing popularity of a new and mysterious writer called Mr King If this new writer takes too much readership, the society s ability to help the poor will be in jeopardy The hero, Fletcher Walker, makes it his mission to find out who Mr King is and offer membership to the society if that appears to be amenable.Elizabeth Black run a girls school that seems to cater to the wealthy or upper middle class She is also a writer and meets Fletcher at a literary soir e She is interested in gaining further support for her school Her and Fletcher get along well and end up helping each other out I thought the details about the penny dreadfuls interesting I also enjoyed the characters and that many walks of life with varying backgrounds were featured However, most chapters included installments from the writers, and they weren t just excerpts Instead of keeping track of one story, there were three Three different storylines Three sets of characters This was distracting and sometimes confusing.If you don t mind multiple storylines, you may like this than I did I would consider trying by Eden as I thought the research well done and the main story interesting, but unfortunately the penny dreadful installments detracted rather than added to that I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am in the opposite of a book slump Not sure what it would be called A book deluge Book Heaven Whatever I am in the middle of, I LOVE it It also scares me It means I m due for a HUGE book slump and those are always miserable This book has me deeply in the middle of my book glut and I am just so happy I LOVED this book The setting felt real, the characters were diverse and felt like they belonged to that time The romance was light and sweet and my FAVORITE part was this was almost three stories in one The premise is that both MCs are writers of Penny Dreadfuls and the chapters alternate from the perspectives of the H, the h and in between those chapters are bits from the current Penny Dreadful on which they are working It s awesome I admit, I wasn t overly interested in the one written by the H, but the h s story and the main story of the book both grabbed me This was such an inventive way of telling the story of the book, in my eyes at least There was everything you could want in a book romance, adventure, humor and historical information presented in an entertaining way I have to loan this to a friend and I am hesitant, because I want to keep it in my hot little hands My book, MINE I need to learn to share and I can always order it from my store, but you try telling that to my reptilian brain, lol Utterly loved this book 5, I would highly recommend that you read this book, stars Only two kisses, some old fashioned slang bad words sayings, some violence on children happened off page, but the main theme of the book is the good guys trying to save the poor abused and exploited children of London, so there is no getting around that kids were beaten, starved, and used as sex workers It s not graphic, but it is present Also, some violence when thugs attack the h s place of business, with attempted arson Again, not overly graphic, but realistic for what was happening in that time and place YA on up Maybe a mature middle reader, but would recommend an adult peruse this first to ensure it s a good fit for the middle reader in question. An interesting premise for a Victorian novel.What stood out to me the most was the setting and the characters The setting is very realistic in the way it depicts the social issues, especially those of children Both Elizabeth and Fletcher try to do what they can to alleviate the conditions of children she with the school for girls and he with saving street urchins For Fletcher, it s personal since he was one of those children but he s moved past that and uses the money from the sales of the penny dreadful novels he writes to save those in bad conditions Elizabeth too is a writer and writes both high class novels and penny dreadful stories under a pen name, and she too uses money from her sales to fund her school As ill suited to each other Elizabeth and Fletcher may look, they are actually perfect for each other I liked the way they developed a friendship first and then fell in love as they discovered about the other I also liked the stories they write and it was fun to see my name in an historical I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion. 3.5 It s always something special to read about writers and romance Sigh I inhaled them and watch how crucial it was to be a productive writer and how sometimes people have to hide who they are to be taken seriously or without due respect This to me was a very important part of this story The other part was about the streets of London..poverty, crime and the needs and rescue of some of the misfortunate children It was great and quite an adventure Things I loved The Dread Penny Society Romance The rescues HEAThis was a NETGALLEY gift and all opinions are my own.

[Read] ➺ The Lady and the Highwayman  ➶ Sarah M. Eden –
  • Paperback
  • 352 pages
  • The Lady and the Highwayman
  • Sarah M. Eden
  • English
  • 07 April 2018
  • 9781629726052