by Sarah MacLean Published by Orchard Books
on March 1st 2009 Pages:
Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.
When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins!
The Season is wonderful historical romance novel that left me quite disappointed. Now, you may be wondering how I can call it wonderful and disappointing in the same sentence. Truth is, while I did enjoy the historical details that MacLean brought to the table, I expected more from this tale.
MacLean is fantastic at highlighting the historical aspect. The balls, the peerage, the courtships… all of this was wonderfully brought to life. As a reader, I dived head first into the details provided. And felt like I was momentarily transported into another time period. However, I had a hard time accepting the pacing of the novel. As I said, I enjoyed being caught up in Lady Alexandra's time period, but to a certain extent, I felt like Alex's day to day life overshadowed both the romantic and mystery aspects of the novel. To be fair, the scenes with Alex and Gavin, Earl of Blackmoor, were definitely the high points of the novel. I loved their banter, their chemistry, the progression of their relationship. But by the end of the novel, I was left feeling as if the relationship was almost one of convenience. It was if it all just came together not because of the characters, but rather because it suited the novel. I had a similar feeling in regards to the mystery aspect. While it is hinted at throughout the novel that there is a game a foot, the actual solving of the crime as well as even really getting into the details comes in the last third of the novel. To be honest, I can see why it is needed due to bring certain characters together, but if it had been left out, I would probably not have missed it.
The Season, while a gem to the Young Adult genre for its historical details and unique characters, left this reader with the feeling that I had been there, done that before. True, I did fall in love with certain aspects, but overall, I missed the originality that could have been here. Again, to be fair, this reader did grow up with a healthy love of Regency romance novels, so that could be part of why I judge The Season so harshly. Or it could be the simple fact that I went into this novel with high expectations, only to find them dashed.