by Sarah MacLean
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Published 2009, Orchard Books
Hardback, 336 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!
Most of the main characters had traits that separated their personality from one another, but I had trouble distinguishing between Alex's three brothers, as they all seemed to behave alike. The plot seemed to falter everytime there was a journal entry by the antagonist, especially since what would happen in the plot following them didn't usually match up with what was in the journal entry. All of the loose threads were accounted for in the end, though. The book came to me classified as a mystery, but I found that aspect of the text to be lacking most of the time, especially when focusing on the romance part of the text. I'm not usually a fan of mysteries, but the mystery of Gavin's father's death really seems to take a backseat to the budding romance between Gavin and Alex. The text claimed to fall in the year 1815, and there were lots of little details that made the text seem authentic, such as the three young women discussing the works of Jane Austen while identifying her as an anonymous author, the proper clothing attire for both men and women, and the proper decorum of both as well. Alex did seem to break with decorum a questionable number of times, but I'll attribute that to her personality and not a fault in background. While it's not likely I would have picked this particular book off the shelf if it were not for a recommendation, I have read similar works in the genre of historical romance for adults, and I have plans to read more of this genre in the future. I did enjoy this book and I would rate it 3 out of 5 stars.
Cover: The three young women are beautiful and dressed impeccably, while the design is not so cluttered as to be distracting. The three dresses are not quite right - I found the matching discriptions of Vivi and Ella's dresses for a specific function, but the dress that Alex wears to the same function is not the one on the cover.
First Line: "The rain fell steadily on the slick rocks marking the edge of the Essex countryside, where the land fell in sheer cliff to a frigid winter sea."
This is nice imagery, but bland in uniqueness and lacking in anything related to the actual plot of the text.
Favorite Quotes: "Not at all. You are a far better companion than any of the toys I had as a child."
"Oh, I am most flattered."
"You should be. I had some tremendous toys."
Check out The Book Vixen for her review of The Season by Sarah MacLean!
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