Sarah M. Eden is an author of many talents. She can switch from Regency Romance to Western Adventure to Victorian Crime Spoofs with ease. My favorites are listed below.
DREAD PENNY SOCIETY
The Lady and the Highwayman
Book 1 of 2: The Dread Penny Society. Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls’ school in 1830s Victorian London. She is also 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. -- Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Charles King started taking all of his readers. 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 social and political causes of their working-class readers.
The Dread Penny Society books are a genre all their own. Part spoof, part mystery, part romance and plenty of madcap adventure. And: you get two Dread Penny installment stories as part of it all! These books are just FUN, once you understand that it's mostly tongue-in-cheek humor.
The Gentleman and the Thief
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 business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced the family 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 treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.
The Sheriffs of Savage Wells
The small town of Savage Wells is barely big enough for the people who call it home; it certainly isn’t big enough for more than one sheriff. Yet when famed lawman Cade O’Brien rides into town, he finds he’s not the only man ready to take on the job. What’s more, one of his competitors is a woman.
Paisley Bell loves her town and the eccentric people in it. She’s been the job to anyone else. Not only does she love the work, but she also needs the income to take care of her ailing father.
It’s a true battle of the sexes, and sparks fly between the two as Cade and Paisley banter and boast, neither one ready to acknowledge the attraction they have for each other. But when Paisley’s former beau shows up, along with a band of bank robbers, Savage Wells is suddenly faced with the kind of peril that only a sheriff can manage. Who will be man enough—or woman enough—to step up, claim the badge, and save the town?
Wyoming Territory, 1876. As the only doctor in the frontier town of Savage Wells, Gideon MacNamara knows his prospects for a bride are limited. The womenfolk in town are either too young, too old, or already spoken for. So, being a practical man, he decides to take advantage of the matchmaking service of the day—mail-order brides—and sends away for a woman with nursing experience.
When Miriam steps off the stagecoach in Savage Wells, she sees a bright future in front of her. But when the town—and Gideon—meets her, ready for a wedding, her excitement quickly turns to horror. The agency told Miriam she was going to Savage Wells for a job, not a wedding! No one knows that Miriam has a secret and is hiding from a very dangerous man. She was hoping to start over in Savage Wells where no one would find her.
This second book in Savage Wells has a more serious tone than the first book, but it also has more depth. I enjoyed both books.