cover image No Proper Lady

No Proper Lady

Isabel Cooper. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4022-5952-4

A woman from a dystopian future crashes into the lavish past in a compelling debut that smartly mixes history, action, romance, and magic. Joan comes from a future where humanity is losing the war against demonic forces unleashed by a 200-year-old evil wizard, Alex Reynell. To destroy Reynell, Joan goes back to England in 1888, where magician Simon Grenville becomes her guide to a completely different way of life. When she practices proper Victorian flirtation on Simon, their heady attraction flares. Cooper deftly welds together secret magical practice, the society games of Victorian England, and the threat of a hellish future with the heat of Joan and Simon's frustrated passions. It's easy to forgive the occasionally clunky prose, given how well Cooper combines such disparate tropes into a cohesive and very fun story. (Sept.)