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Friday, September 16, 2011

No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper

No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
genre: paranormal, historical, sci-fi/fantasy, action/adventure
Length: Full Length (331 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Lavender

It’s Terminator meets My Fair Lady in this fascinating debut of black magic and brilliant ball gowns, martial arts, and mysticism.

England, 1888. The trees are green, the birds are singing, and no one has any idea that in a few hundred years, demons will destroy it all. Joan plans to keep it that way. All she has to do is take out the dark magician responsible—before he summons the demons in the first place. But as a rough-around-the-edges assassin from that bleak future, she’ll have to learn how to fit into polite Victorian society to get close to her target.

Simon Grenville has his own reasons for wanting to destroy Alex Reynell. The man used to be his best friend—until his practice of the dark arts almost killed Simon’s sister. The beautiful half-naked stranger Simon meets in the woods may be the perfect instrument for his revenge. It will just take a little time to teach her the necessary etiquette and assemble a proper wardrobe. But as each day passes, Simon is less sure he wants Joan anywhere near Reynell. Because no spell in the world will save his future if she isn’t in it.

Hearing this book called The Terminator crossed with My Fair Lady got my attention. This book certainly lives up to that claim, making it quite interesting and unique.

Joan is a great character, tragic, due to the hellish world she comes from and what she¹s gone through; still she lives to help others. So here we have this badass chick going back to Victorian England on a mission to save the future.

Now, imagine what happens when she sees that world. I loved the scene when she is being dressed and fitted in heavy Victorian clothes. She thinks of how her reaction time in fighting will suffer. Had to smile at that one.

Simon, a hunky Victorian man, proves to be heroic as well, and is quite a good match for Joan. But when he first sees her with her weapons and smeared with blood, he finds her strange, of course, and can't evaluate her level of beauty, as her appearance is so wildly foreign to him.

It's interesting to watch as she discovers the Victorian world. She exposes the hypocrisy of the past. The spiritualist activities that occur add allure to this story, too.

Intriguing questions are peppered throughout the story; things to think about. There are some great lines in this book.

So much is at stake, more than normal. It's entertaining to read about her futuristic sensibilities set against his Victorian gentlemanly qualities. This creates a great chemistry between the characters and strange situations. She has depth, and he's impressed with this. Simon is a different kind of hero. He doesn't want the enemy dead and hopes for the villain's redemption. Sometimes though, I wondered how he was able to understand Joan's futuristic vocabulary so easily.

No Proper Lady is a great read with caring, worthy characters. The mix of cultures (past and present) makes for a wonderful story.