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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review and Two Copies Giveaway: No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper

This is a different plot and enjoyable read.
No Proper LadyNo Proper Lady 
by Isabel Cooper
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402259522
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402259524
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Rating:  4.0 of 5.0
Product Description
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.
 Review:  This is an interesting plot with likeable characters.
Joan comes from a future world that has been devastated by dark magic and evil demonlords. She is a warrior trained at hand combat, knives and with guns that attach to her own blood vessels for power and agility. She never had a real childhood as she has been training and battling black creatures since she was in her teens.  She has also been prepared for the most important mission.  She is being sent 200 years back in time to destroy the book and the man who started the world down the path of black magic.

Joan arrives in an old druid’s circle in the woods of the Grenville estate on a bight day in 1888. Simon Grenville happened to have been riding by and is surprised to meet this half-naked woman and even more shocked when she displays her warrior skills to kill a few hounds of evil that have either followed her or been sent for Simon.

It is a lucky coincidence, or more likely fate, that brought these two together. Simon know the black magician, Alex Reynell, who is Joan’s target.  Simon and Alex grew up together and were fascinated with spiritualism and magic. Simon couldn’t stop his friend when Alex began to delve deeper into dark magic.  Recently Alex performed a possession on Simon’s sweet sister, Emily. Simon agrees that Alex must be stopped but rather than a straight assassination he still has hopes that his childhood friend might be redeemed.

The plan involves molding Joan into a lady who can then enter society and lure Alex. It isn’t a perfect plan but the options are limited. As Emily helps teach etiquette to Joan, Joan tries to stay focused on the mission and Simon tries to resist his ever growing desire for Joan.

I really liked this different plot and Joan, Simon and Emily are very likeable characters while  Alex is a smarmy, snake-like villain.  The writing has a good flow although the plot is a little slow as much of the book is spent on quieter activities preparing for the meeting and fullfillment of the mission. Still it kept my attention in anticipating the ultimate confrontation between Joan and Alex.

Thank you to Sourcebooks for this book to  review and for offering two books for giveaway.

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(Six total entries possible.)

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on October 7, 2011.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

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