The League of Gentlewomen Witches

India Holton. Berkley, $16 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-20018-6

A dignified witch is caught in a whirlwind adventure with a knavish pirate in Victorian London in Holton’s cheeky sequel to The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels. As the descendent of Wicken League founder Beryl Black, Charlotte Pettifer is destined to be the next leader of the secret society of powerful witches. Though witches and pirates are sworn enemies, roguishly charming Captain Alex O’Riley threatens Charlotte’s composure from their first meeting. Charlotte is eager to forget their undeniable connection, but that task grow complicated when Beryl’s stolen amulet resurfaces, and, in an attempt to recover her ancestor’s artifact, Charlotte stows away on Alex’s flying house to give chase to the thief. In close quarters, neither Charlotte nor Alex can deny their chemistry. But with the Wicken League and the Wisteria Society, leaders of London’s pirate community, eager to stop their budding romance, Charlotte must decide between her birthright and the thrilling life she could have with Alex. The whimsical worldbuilding forms a perfect backdrop to the angsty couple, and Holton’s winking narration, which puts her in cahoots with the reader, makes her exaggerated characters work. Overflowing with heart, humor, and hyperbole, this clever romance enchants. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (Mar.)