Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle (Published by Henry Holt, April 29, 2008)
Seventeen-year-old identical twins Persephone "Persy" and Penelope "Pen" Leland are not quite like most upper-class young ladies in Victorian England. The girls were born with the gift of magic, and their governess, Miss Allardyce, or Ally as the girls call her, has educated them in the magical arts along with reading, writing, and history. Now the time has come for the girls' debut in London and their first season, where they will hopefully attract suitable husbands. Pen is eager to make her debut in society, but Persy, who is shy and bookish, wishes she could go against what is proper for a wealthy young lady and become a teacher.
Shortly after their arrival in London, however, more pressing concerns arrive. The twins discover Ally has been kidnapped, and that her captors hope to use her in a plot to gain control of the British throne. Meanwhile, shy Persy is finding herself falling in love with her childhood neighbor, Lochinvar Seton, who shares her love of books, reading, and education. But she doesn't believe he could ever find her attractive over Pen, the outgoing and social twin.
Bewitching Season is an absolutely wonderful debut novel from Marissa Doyle. The writer seamlessly blends magic, romance, and history against a realistic backdrop of 1837 London. I highly recommend this book to readers looking for a magical and romantic trip to the past, and I can't wait to read the sequel, which will be released in 2009.