Summary from Amazon:
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!
Having discovered the amazingness that is Sarah MacLean late last year (thanks Heidi!), I moved The Season up on my TBR list. I loved the two books I’ve read by Sarah MacLean so far, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord, both adult historical romances. So I was pretty sure I was going to love The Season, a YA historical romance, in the same way that I did for Nine Rules, and Ten Ways. Unfortunately I was a bit underwhelmed with The Season. It was enjoyable enough, but I wasn’t madly in love.
The main character of The Season is Lady Alexandra, who’s embarking on her first season in London society. Alex is pretty much dreading her season. She’s not at all interested in finding a husband, and is convinced that all the gentleman in town are simpering idiots. Alex has two best friends who are also making their debuts, Vivian (Vivi) and Eleanor (Ella). All three girls are very intelligent, and have other things to worry about than finding husbands (which, you know, is a good thing because they’re teens!). They’ll also incredibly good looking.
Despite the fact that I can understand seventeen year old girls having other things to worry about than finding a husband, even in Regency England, relatable, I actually found Alex, Vivi and Ella to almost feel like that typical Mean Girl (don’t even get my started on my feelings on the Mean Girl stereotype). They’re so busy laughing at any of the guys who are interested in them during the season, and even though those guys don’t seem at all attractive, most never felt very mean or deserving of their laughter. It was just hard to really like Alex. It was very surprising to me, because both Callie and Isabel from Nine Rules and Ten Ways were incredibely likable and relatable characters.
I also found the first half of the book incredibly slow, and kind of boring. I really like historical romance, so it must have been something about this book that really just didn’t interest me. About half way through, though, things started to pick up and I did get into the story. When they started looking into the death of Gavin’s father I was a bit more interested.
The romance was all right, but definitely not my all-time favorite. I could see why Alex and Gavin would make a good couple, although I wished they would realize it a little earlier and stop baiting each other all the time. But I guess first love can get messy sometimes.
I think this must have been MacLean’s first book. I wasn’t madly in love with the writing. I felt like MacLean was trying too hard to invoke that Regency England atmosphere by using words like “capital” all the time. Oh, and please don’t get my started on the nicknames! Names like Moppet, Scamp, Kitten. I was not a fan.
My favorite part of The Season, though, was not the romance, or the mystery; it was the relationship between Vivi, Ella and Alex. They were so close to each other, and always willing to lend a hand whenever it was needed. I love seeing such close friendships between women. Even if they were a little bit obnoxious.
The Season was middling for me. I definitely didn’t hate it, but it was far from a favorite. I do recommend MacLean’s adult historical romances, but for The Season – well if you’re interested in it, I say give it a try. But I wouldn’t spend my money on a copy. Get one from the library.