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No Proper Lady Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 2012

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 329 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Original edition (1 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402259522
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402259524
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,113,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 32 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2 1/2 stars. Great idea, bad follow-through 7 Mar 2012
By An avid reader - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Ms. Cooper had a great premise for this book -- a woman comes back from the future in order to save that very future from devastation. Of course, now that the heroine's living in the past, she must be trained in all the customs and mores before she can blend enough with Society to complete her mission. Good, right? Then the main character, Joan, says in effect, "You know, I'm in no hurry. I have nearly 40 years to learn how to be a lady." At that point (early in the book), I thought to myself, "uh, oh." And sure enough, the author stripped all of the sense of urgency from the story and it became a downright snooze fest. The other reviewer who called this story "dull" was absolutely correct. This is basically "My Fair Lady" bookended with some action. I gave this book 2 1/2 stars only because Ms. Cooper is a skilled writer (and that is something), and she had a great idea. It's really a shame she couldn't have seen it to fruition. This is DEFINITELY not worthy of a Best Book Of The Year nod. I can only recommended this to people who don't mind vacuous, frivolous romances to read.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Creative mashing of several genres produces entertaining story 4 Sep 2011
By Kim Adams - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The product description refers to NO PROPER LADY as "It's Terminator meets My Fair Lady in this fascinating debut of black magic and brilliant ball gowns, martial arts, and mysticism." The movie comparison is an oversimplification of this story that does, indeed, blend several genres - time travel, Victorian Romance, Urban Fantasy, and a dab of girl power on top.

NO PROPER LADY sends a modern heroine back to Victorian England to stop a dark magician from destroying the future. The heroine, Joan, has to alter her "take no prisoners" demeanor once she arrives in Victorian England. The hero, Simon, becomes Joan's tutor in her quest to catch the villain off guard in his own century. Meanwhile, Simon has his own reasons for revenge against Alex, his former friend turned dark magician.

The opening chapter was scary - I had to look twice at the cover to make sure I was reading a "Victorian romance." It sets the stage for the evil spirits that are alive and well because of what happened in the past. Once Joan arrives in Victorian England, I found myself back in familiar territory of historical romances. Cooper kept my attention as Joan adapted to the outdated social strictures and how Simone adapted to a future femme fatale!

NO PROPER LADY introduced me to other genres that I would not read especially urban fantasy. Cooper skillfully weaves the genres together to deliver a satisfying paranormal book, with suspense, adventure, and a timeless romance.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I wanted to like this book more than I did. 16 April 2012
By rameau - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The plot, the premise, everything about the set up works better in theory than in practice, unfortunately.

No Proper Lady tells the story of Joan, daughter of Arthur and Leia, a warrior from the future travelling two hundred years back in time to save the world and humanity from otherworldly beasts. She meets Simon Grenville and ends up in a slow paced historical romance instead.

So far, I like it. I like the fact that this woman has a real reason to act modern and talk filthy. I like the fact that the romance is slow burn and that we're shown how their feelings grow. And I do like frenzied final confrontation.

What I don't like is the pacing and the overexposed glimpse to the better future. First of all, if going back in time can change the future, how does anyone know for sure that the future will be like the one Joan imagines it'll be without the big bad. And secondly, the dichotomy between Simon's and Joan's worlds wrecks the plot progression.

The author stays true to both the future she imagined and to the slightly altered historical setting she created for the story. What she fails to do is to introduce a secondary plot elements that'll keep the reader distracted and entertained while Joan adjusts to the time period and her new place in it. I've finally figured out why Mr and Mrs Bennet had five daughters instead of three: Jane Austen needed some everyday crazy to keep Lizzy occupied while Darcy was away in Town.

I definitely want to read more from Isabel Cooper and I hope that whatever she comes up next will live up to the promise I saw in this book.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
kicking Butt in Victorian England 28 Sep 2011
By Heather Pearson - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Joan's world is very ill and it's going to take more, much more, than a few simple spells and incantations to heal it. It's going to take sending her back two hundred years to 1888 to effect the changes needed.

While wandering in the woods near his estate, Simon Grenville happens upon the long neglected standing stones he vaguely remembers from his youth. As he approaches, he can feel an unearthly power building, radiating from the stones. Moments later, Joan appears in the circle, poised for battle.

As it turns out, these two have a common adversary and they determine that they will work together to vanquish him.

This does pose certain challenges. Joan comes from a broken, live by the skin of your teeth society. She is essentially unaware of Victorian propriety and customs. While she is a most proficient assassin, she hasn't the slightest idea of how to approach her target. It was interesting to see how different present day society and mannerisms are from 1888. Clothing, manners, forms of speech, so much for Joan to learn for that she can fit in. I felt that author Isabel Cooper did a good job at portraying the differences in women's positions in the two time periods. She didn't imply that one was right and the other wrong, just that they were different.

I was surprised to learn that this is a debut novel. There was enough depth to Joan and Simon that I felt comfortable with them and that I could almost anticipate their interaction. I liked Simon's few friends that were introduced and am happy to hear that Isabel is working on a follow-up No Honest Woman. Eleanor makes for an interesting young woman. She develops a substantial backbone through her involvements with Joan. I wonder if it was there before? How much was influenced by her brother's actions. Hope to learn more of her in the next book.

I enjoyed this book. Very entertaining. I had to keep reading to find out how the romance could proceed in light of their serious quest and the societal restrictions.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Interesting Read 16 Sep 2011
By LAS Reviewer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.

Originally posted at The Long and Short of IT Romance Reviews
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