Far into the future a plague has changed the world. With few women around, those men eager for wives find an unusual means to retrieve the opposite sex—transporting them from other times. It is artisans, like Conlean, whose paintings of beautiful women miraculously bring them to life.

Jordan, a gene scientist in present-day Philadelphia, is working on an experiment for fertility when she's pulled through a painting into a "medieval amusement park"—except there's nothing amusing to her about becoming the consort of the patriarch of Blackfell.

Commissioned by his father to paint a bride, Conlean is unwillingly drawn to his creation. As Jordan works her wiles on him, hoping to convince Conlean to help her return to the present, she falls in love. They risk everything to be together, but others have their own plans for Jordan.

Part Pygmalion and part The Picture of Dorian Gray, Fobes' book explores a fascinating time-travel concept of a world where women are prized and kept like jewels, and two independent thinkers try to break out. Intriguing and genuinely unique, Portrait of a Bride combines the atmosphere of a medieval romance with the science of the future. Fans of both genres will clamor for more. (Jan., 380 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin