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‘The Merchant And The Rogue’ Book Review: This Is A Fun And Enjoyable Read

This new Victorian romance is a sweet love story full of mystery, suspense, and, yes, rogues!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Merchant and the Rogue from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions in the book review are my own.


The Merchant and the Rogue Featured image with book cover and gold Victorian background

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.

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.

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.


The Merchant and the Rogue Book Cover

The Merchant and the Rogue is a charming, light-hearted read harkening back to the days of 19th-century sensation fiction and penny dreadfuls. It’s full of heroes who may or may not be rogues, damsels who may be in distress but can help themselves, mystery, swoony romances, and adventure. It’s for all these reasons I absolutely loved the book.

You also get three stories in one: The main story plus two bonus penny dreadfuls written by characters from the novel.

The historical romance is the latest from best-selling author Sarah M. Eden and is book three in the Dread Penny Society series (Books one and two are The Lady and the Highwayman and The Gentleman and the Thief). It can be read as a standalone, though – especially if you’re reading it from a romance angle.

However, the overarching mystery arc (aka the Big Bad) may require you to read the rest of the series to give it a complete feel. So, you can read this novel without reading any of the others, but if it hooks you, there is much more of the series to enjoy with new characters and love stories.


The Merchant and the Rogue Blog Tour image

Overall, if you’re in the mood for a fun escapist read, you can’t go wrong with The Merchant and the Rogue. Eden weaves an engaging, enjoyable tale that will keep you hooked from start to finish with fabulous characters (especially the heroic Brogan!), a memorable romance, a good mystery, and more.

Ultimately, it’s the perfect book to round out the summer with just the right amount of comfort. And I look forward to the next chapter in the Dread Penny Society series.


More than The Merchant and the Rogue, the Dread Penny Society book series would make for a fabulous television series full of adventure, romance, mystery, and action. Think Bridgerton with a new main story and couple each season but much more chaste.

Content Note: The Merchant and the Rogue is a wholesome read.

Have you read any of the Dread Penny Society books before? Have you read The Merchant and the Rogue yet? What did you think? Discuss in the comments below!

Four corsets rating
Four Vintage Hearts Rating


Sarah M. Eden Author headshot

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.






The Merchant and the Rogue Book Offer image

Please help Sarah M. Eden get her latest novel, THE MERCHANT AND THE ROGUE, to hit the New York Times best-seller list by purchasing a copy between August 15-22, 2021.

Everyone who submits a copy of their receipt and fills out the form during the week of August 15-22 will receive The Merchant and the Rogue – Swag Bundle. Supplies are limited, so act today. Please visit the Swag Bundle webpage for details.

The Merchant and the Rogue Book Review; pinterest image with pink background


By on August 21st, 2021

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a writer and digital publisher full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

More posts by this author.

2 thoughts on “‘The Merchant And The Rogue’ Book Review: This Is A Fun And Enjoyable Read”

  1. Lovely review, Amber. I am so glad that you enjoyed it as much as I did. I really like that the Penny Dreadful stories are also included – they are like a novel within a novel. I hope she continues the series. Best, LA


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