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The Season

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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!

343 pages, Hardcover

First published March 1, 2009

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About the author

Sarah MacLean

29 books13k followers
New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels. Translated into more than twenty-five languages, the books that make up “The MacLeaniverse” are beloved by readers worldwide.

In addition to her novels, Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place as a feminist text and a cultural bellwether. A columnist for the New York Times, the Washington Post and Bustle, she is the co-host of the weekly romance podcast, Fated Mates. Her work in support of romance and those who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com's Sheroes list and led Entertainment Weekly to call her "the elegantly fuming, utterly intoxicating queen of historical romance."

Sarah is a graduate of Smith College & Harvard University. She lives in New York City.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,354 reviews
Profile Image for Vicki.
677 reviews16 followers
October 15, 2009

Where should I start? With the fact that the characters sound nothing like they belong in the early 1800s? Or with the fact that the author uses every GD cliche in the book? Sometimes twice in the same chapter, within a page or two of each other. Maybe I should be begin by talking about how shallow I found the heroine's intelligence to be. Or by the fact that the book goes so shallowly into the truths of the time -- women were moved around like chess pieces to ensure their families' places. Or how annoyed I was by the fact that the main character repeatedly rolls her eyes at her mother, and how we were supposed to think that that little tic meant that she was independent and spirited instead of bratty and spoiled.

Know what? I'm tired of young adult heroines who are like this. They act stubbornly and that's supposed to be some sort of manifestation of spirit, rather than petulance (Bella Swan, I'm talking to you). I'm tired of the cliches of teen girl narrators and how they do nothing to forward understanding of character.

The story in this book (a murder along with a coverup) almost feels like another half to this book. If you get your rocks off by reading period pieces and bodice rippers, then I think this book won't do you any harm. If you love Jane Austen, proceed with caution.
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,188 reviews2,892 followers
February 23, 2009
Can I just say that I LOVED this book! Yes another fangirly moment brought to you by TSS! I just want to snuggle it while I’m sleeping and pet it’s shiny, pretty cover.

I love a historical fiction, especially the ones that are set in the regency period, there’s just something about it that utterly captivates me. And I shouldn’t fail to mention that I’m a huge fan of romance, nothing feels better than being in love. So already this novel had two things going for it before I even cracked it open. And then when I started reading, well I was just blown away! Sarah MacLean say hello to your number one fan!!

I adored Alex’s character. She posses all the fine qualities, that I think a “real lady” should! Smart, honest, witty, confident, and she’s obviously not afraid to do what she think is right, despite how it may appear to others, it was very refreshing to see that in a regency setting!

I was intrigued by the mystery and although I had the killer pegged from the beginning, I was still surprised by the revelations that unraveled soon after he was outed, now that I did not see coming.

MacLean’s writing as I mentioned before really blew me away. It’s always an adventure for me when I read a new author, because you never really know what to expect, and I can tell you that I will happily continue reader her novels! The Season was beautifully written without being superfluous in unwanted descriptions. MacLean painted a perfect portrait of her world that included even the finest details that really made the story one of a kind. I usually get lost in an ample description, and I find myself even skipping over the mundane details, but with MacLean, I was to perfectly imagine what she set out to portray in her writing. I felt like I was there dancing and gossiping!

My most absolute favorite aspect of the novel was the relationship between Gavin and Alex and how their life long friendship grew into something else.

The Season was such a fun read! Smooth writing, enthralling characters, intriguing mystery! Recommended!
Profile Image for Lucy .
343 reviews34 followers
April 17, 2009
Alexandra Stafford and her best friends, Vivi and Ella, are seventeen, beautiful, and experiencing their first Season in Regency London. They are also willful and independent and have absolutely no interest in being on the marriage mart. They have no patience for men who think women should be seen and not heard, and Alex takes great pleasure at shocking men with her entirely unladylike opinions on politics (much to her mother’s dismay.)

When the Earl of Blackmoor dies in a mysterious accident, Alex finds herself helping his son, the handsome Gavin, in investigating his death. Alex has known Gavin for years, and he has always been like another brother to her. But as the plot thickens, so does their relationship—until Alex can hardly be sure what she wants. But there is more at stake than the danger to Alex’s reputation. Someone has murdered the Earl of Blackmoor to protect deadly secrets—and he is willing to kill again.

I was totally on board with this book from the description. It reminded me of a less magical Sorcery and Cecilia or Maerlon the Magician, and I was excited. Fiesty heroines who have no patience for fancy dresses, and who have minds of their own? Sign me up!

Unfortunately, Alex and her friends are independent-minded only in the author’s imagination. Though the narrative describes them as independent thinkers with “personalities,” we never actually see them exhibit any of those traits. Aside from the fact that Alex is the protagonist, all three of them could be completely interchangeable.

Alex claims to be an independent woman who has no interest in being married off, who is looking for depth and a relationship, but that lasts exactly as long as it takes her to get to her first ball and see Gavin looking all spiffy in his formalwear, and suddenly she realizes new feelings for him she never knew she had. They fight a little, and just like that, bam! they're in love. Gavin claims that no other woman can measure up to Alex, and her humor and beauty and spunk and etc etc etc make Alex such a delicate and special flower. But the second she says something he disagrees with, or does something he doesn’t like, he completely shuts her out and treats her like a child.

And guess what Alex does? She flounces off to sulk. Like a child. And then throws herself at him again a few pages later.

The mystery is entirely predictable—from the first time we meet the murderer, it’s quite obvious that it’s him—but it’s not that the writer meant for it to be obvious. It just is.

I almost put this book down and didn’t finish it, but then I decided to give it another try to see if it improved.

It didn’t.

April 9, 2013
I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to. I became a fan of Regency romance quite a long time ago, and frankly, I've gotten sick of the genre. Everything became scripted, plots have become rote, or in some cases, just nonexistent, and too many h/h I've read lately have had the personality of lukewarm dishwater. This book is a lighthearted romp through Lady Alexandra's first Season, and it is thoroughly YA. There is romance, duh, since it is about catching a husband after all, but there's not much of it and it's more playful and sweet than anything. This book's steam level barely reaches PG-13. There is a mystery plot, but it does not get bogged down, and I loved Alex's entire family and her set of closest friends.

Some qualms:
- ALL of Alex's brothers have titles. Unless I'm severely mistaken on peerages, only the eldest son gets the entailed titles, but not only brother Will gets the pre-ducal marquesate, but middle brother is an Earl, and youngest brother also gets a title? Unless it's entailed in some really weird way, or they each got a title bestowed upon them (unlikely at their very young age) this isn't terribly realistic.

- Way too many dukes and duchesses. I swear every other character is a duke/duchess/dowager

- Everyone is too perfect. Alexandra's life is largely filled with open-minded, kindhearted people. Her friends are delightful and breathtakingly lovely. It makes for some pleasant reading, but does not altogether ring true.
Profile Image for Olga.
974 reviews139 followers
June 15, 2016
La verdad es que despues de leer las dos sagas de esta autora, cogi este libro con muchas ganas pero las expectativas han caido en picado... Se nota que es el primer libro de esta autora y que, aunque se nota el estilo, le quedaba mucho por pulir...

La historia es simple y plana, no he sentido la emocion ni la historia de amor entre los personajes principales ( no he visto la quimica ademas de ser todo muy precipitado) y la trama de espionaje , se ve a leguas quien es el traidor y el por que... Ademas se resuelve en las ultimas 20 paginas y es muy precipitado....

La trama daba para mas de si pero no ha sabido sacarle todo el jugo... una pena con el buen sabor de boca que me han dejado las dos sagas...
Profile Image for Maya.
21 reviews3 followers
April 9, 2018
“There was a girl in the orangery. Find her.”

I figured I might as well include this line, considering it was the only compelling line in the whole book. Otherwise, be prepared for flat, dumbed-down prose, clichéd characters, and predictable everything in the first book I’ve ever read that has earned the distinction of “Worse Than Montmorency.

This review is rather long. But I don't feel ire towards The Season so much as I resent the trends in historical fiction and chick lit that this book so epitomizes. It's "for girls," but it makes the assumption that girls like clichés, "need" empowering heroines, and can relate to one-dimensional insert-self-here characters.

[Edit 2018: this review was written 4 years ago when I was 17 and more than a little tetchy towards the fiction I was reading. Had I to write it now, I'd temper the tone a little. As it still gets occasional hits, I'll indicate errors in my own edits. I also think it's worth noting that thanks to recent feminist movements, some of the issues I address have more widely-known terminology that I didn't utilize then: Alex's mindset might be described as "I'm not like other girls" syndrome, and I hadn't read enough to know that how the author depicts tense class relations might reasonably be called "erasure."

That being noted, it's worth remembering that I'm not the only one who's evolved over many years; author Sarah MacLean has too. As an columnist for the Washington Post, MacLean frequently uses her Twitter as a platform to highlight issues like racism and sexism in the romance novel industry. The Season is pretty much a historical artifact at this point, and a good thing too.]

Lady Alex (which is short for Alexandria, because tomboy names just happen in Regency England), is witty (read: not nearly as witty as the author thinks she is), independent (read: pugnacious), and fiercely ahead of her time (read: she hates men and worships Jane Austen). [Edit: I concede that men are often worth hating.]

The book begins with her being fitted (unwillingly, of course) into a fabulous dress and complaining about being a debutante in this year’s Season. Of course, it opens with her complaining about having to wear a corset.

Her two friends, Vivi and I Forget the Other One, feel the same way. I don’t know. Maybe feminism is a local epidemic, because it just so happens that the three most forward-thinking ladies in England live within a mile radius of one another. (There must be something in the wells.) Their other neighbor, Lord Blackmoor *ahem* Gavin (because Regency aristocrats have skater names and Justin Bieber haircuts) is mourning the loss of his beloved father, a renowned horseman whose horse mysteriously and accidentally fell off a cliff *wink wink*.

But luckily, Gavin's antisocial, gloomy, shifty-eyed uncle Lucian (whom the family hasn’t seen in years and suddenly shows up at Blackmoor House) is there to help him manage the estate.

I have to say that if I had been younger, say 13, I probably wouldn’t have disliked the book so much. If I’d been 8 or 10, I might have liked it. But as a 17-year-old reading about characters that are supposed to be other 17-year-olds, I found the characters extremely unrealistic. The gods rained Mary Sues. Those Mary Sues then had a contest to see who could be the Maryist and Suiest. I was half-expecting a plot twist where the murderer would turn out to be ME, because I don’t think I have felt such rage towards characters, ever.

[Edit: When I wrote this, "Mary Sue" was still used to describe a character that simplified femininity. However, in current discussion, "Mary Sue" has somewhat been co-opted by MRAs and other male critics to lash out at female characters who seem to have it too easy - ex. Rey rapidly acquiring Force powers in The Force Awakens , etc. Even when women use it, sometimes, there's often the sense that we females not only have to insert ourselves into the leading roles that we have not occupied for centuries, but we have to do this with an artistic mastery and nuance nothing sort of Shakespearean. However, there's nothing wrong with a female everywoman character. There's nothing wrong with smart female characters who feel thwarted by the worlds they live in. However, again, these characters in The Season were executed so poorly that i did feel condescended to, I did feel like no effort had been put into them.]

In the first chapter, Alex reflects on how much she hates being an aristocrat and having to learn about “Poise and Posture” and “Proper Conversation,” a trend that continues for the rest of the book. She complains to her serving-girl Eliza (who speaks in a cockney, because that’s what all servants do), about having to dress up and go to balls and wear a corset and marry a gentleman.

Sorry, I forgot. Is this the Regency Era where lower-class children aren't working in mines or being forced into hard labor or executed and can't escape the draft for the Napoleonic Wars like the rich people can? Or where, in 1815, black people can still be legal slaves? Given the fact that Eliza is probably the one who has to clean out Alex’s chamber-pot and bathe her –is Alex really complaining to HER about how horrible it is being RICH?

This is called a bourdalou, and it’s a Regency contraption so that a lady can do her business without having to take off all of her skirts. (Of course, such icky historical details are omitted from The Season.) A maid would hold the bourdalou under her mistress so her mistress could relieve herself. Alex, do you realize that Eliza is holding your bourdalou, hiking up your heavy skirts sewn with “hundreds of tiny rosebuds that were meticulously affixed to the fabric in a diagonal cascade” (p.11) – which would require heavy lifting, not only expert balancing of liquids? And you’re complaining to Eliza ABOUT HOW AWFUL IT IS TO BE RICH?

Eliza isn’t there because she likes hearing Alex sass at everything that comes your way. She’s probably cleaning Alex's chambers and bringing Alex breakfast and hoisting her bourdalou not because Alex is God’s gift, but in order to survive, which Alex has never had to do in her entire life.
I could deal with this (maybe) if the book had arranged that Alex have a change of heart. “You know what, Eliza? Borrow one of my obscenely expensive dresses made by ‘the most renowned dressmaker in all of England’ (p.5), and come with Vivi and I Forget the Other One to the dance! Meet a stranger! Come dancing with us!”

But that never happened. Instead, Eliza does hair for the three of them, helps them all get ready, and never once complains. She’s their confidante, but never their friend. And while a normal person would be mad (I was, on her behalf), of COURSE Eliza only looks at Alex and her friends with wonder, and even gives “a starry-eyed ‘Oh! Lady Alexandra!’” (p. 203) when Alex tells her Gavin kissed her.

[Edit: While I criticized The Season here, I think I was more outraged than introspective. Yes, it struck me as wrong that a book should ignore the grievous structural inequalities of the period. However, the book's aim was to simply be a frothy, pink, escapist YA pastiche of Jane Austen. So - should criticisms of erasure still apply? Especially since larger social concerns are usually absent from the Austen source material?

I'd still say, although more tentatively, yes. And the reasons for this are:

1) Ethics. This is more of a personal thing and I acknowledge that the author at publication (2009! IT'S ALMOST TEN YEARS OLD) may not have shared the concerns, but I believe that depicting the past frankly prevents us from idolizing it.

2) Fiction works in negative as well as positive. This means that as an author paints a picture of what is there, she simultaneously paints a different picture of what isn't there. If the bright, idyllic world of a chick lit book is solely rich and white, it makes you wonder where the other segments of the population are. But when an author depicts characters of different ethnicities, an "it's a fantasy history for everyone to escape to" excuse might hold up.

3) The book just didn't have the virtues to make up for the omission of historical realities.]

I’ll use that to segue into how perfect Alex and her friends are. I don’t think that they have a single flaw between the three of them. Vivi has “dark hair and violet eyes,” and her “beauty betrayed a sharp mind and a strong will” (p. 9). I Forgot the Other One (*looks in book, her name is Ella*) has “corn-silk-blonde hair and blue eyes,” which “afforded her the exact features that most ladies of the ton would have sold their souls to have for themselves. Ella’s personality defied her porcelain looks – she preferred books to balls” (p.9). [Edit: should clarify that books and balls are not incompatible interests]

And Alex herself, of course, has a “bronze complexion, green eyes, and auburn hair” (p.11), wears only gowns that are “perfectly fitted” (p.11), “made for her in every way” (p.52), “masterpieces” (p.129), “showed off her coloring beautifully….en vogue…..would have sent her father into conniptions” (p.157), “to be marveled at” (p.214). She’s literally a 10 every time she walks out the door. Which, of course, leads to the inevitable exchange with Gavin:

“Are they [other girls] …as wonderful as you? As clever. As beautiful.”
She blushed shyly. “I’m not beautiful.”
“Yes, love, you are.”

Which brings us to Male Lead. Gavin is a broody young lord who spends a remarkable amount of time NOT brooding. Or maybe, brooding in this book consists of NOT MEETING PEOPLE’S GAZES and STARING DISTANTLY OUT WINDOWS and EYES DARKENING and stuff like that. But he appreciates Alex because she's interesting and reads books and stuff like that.

He’s pretty perfect, except for one thing that really gets Alex’s goat…


Penelope has a grand total of like 2 lines of dialogue in the whole book, none of them remotely rude, and is given to nodding demurely and sweetly. Yet we’re supposed to believe she’s a pompous and airheaded bitch because…..she’s blonde, I guess?

Except I don’t know what Alex is really worried about. After her first ball she receives FORTY bouquets from potential suitors. FOUR-ZERO.

"Those for Lady Alexandra? Blimey, that's who I'M here for!"

“You know quite well that you took London by storm last night,” her mother says (p 82). FORTY bouquets, after an evening she spends trash-talking people and being rude. I didn’t know that it was possible to pick up suitors by being a dick to everyone, maybe I should try it next time.

Miscellaneous other issues:

1.) Stanhope. Lord Stanhope was the only character I liked, because he was the only one who wasn’t 100% squeaky-clean and perfect. We’re led to believe that he’s “an inveterate rake” (p. 59) – yay! Something scandalous and remotely interesting! Someone who flirts openly instead of witty banter that’s not remotely witty at all! But later on we learn that Stanhope actually isn’t a rake, it’s just a façade he keeps up to get people to talk about him. He’s actually as innocent, respectable, and uptight as the rest of them. This is supposed to make us like him, but I actually went from being intrigued by him to being mad at life in general.

2.) Eyebrow raising. EVERY conversation, someone raises their eyebrow, or wriggles it, or cocks it, or slowly arcs it. Stanhope, Alex, Gavin, Ella, Vivi. Here you may find that only 24% of the population can raise one eyebrow. Again, there might be something in the wells that gives them this ability, or else, in addition to studying Edwardian morals or whatever, they also spent hours training themselves to do so, which is possible.

3.) Jane Austen. The Three Musketeers literally read nothing else. At one point, Alex is too busy to notice her gorgeous dress because she’s reading Pride and Prejudice for the third time (215). “I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice’s equal,” Ella says (p.27). I’m sorry, but if P&P is the best book they’ve ever come across, maybe they’re not as well-read as they think. [Edit: this was unnecessarily biting towards Austen; I apologize]

4.) Surrey. A running joke in the series is how Alex constantly remarks, “I mean….who on earth wants to end up married in Surrey? What a nightmare!” (p. 12) Surrey, believe it or not, isn’t Mordor. In fact, it looks like this:

Horrible, isn’t it? Who’d want to live in a picturesque area rich in history a short way from London? [Edit: Surrey currently has a reputation for being a posh, affluent suburb; in any case, Alex's rejection of Surrey enhances her disdain for the incredible privileges life has afforded her.]

I hope Napoleon invades this place pronto.

Look - I’m not asking that books be absolutely stellar, or 100% original, or totally unpredictable. I don’t expect every book I read to be a classic, and I don’t want books that totally shrink from mentioning anything girly, like dresses or crushes. I’m just asking that books have moderately interesting (that means slightly flawed) characters who aren’t perpetual clichés. I’m asking for historical fiction that can be romanticized, but doesn’t provide a totally glossed-over view of a complicated, stratified society. I’m asking for protagonists who are likeable and villains who are hate-able (not vice versa!). I want to keep reading a book because I love it, not because it makes me mad.
Profile Image for Lexie.
2,073 reviews297 followers
February 28, 2016
Let me admit to something straight off the bat--if your character’s name is Alexandra Elizabeth and she’s a brunette, you’ve already got yourself an interested reader in me. If your book is also set in Regency England, you’ve just made a sale. No questions asked. If you then make the book so interesting and captivating, with lively characters, attention to detail and gorgeous gowns described--well you just earned yourself a dedicated reader until you stop writing.

The book begins with the start of the Season--the height of the ton’s social gatherings for four months of glittering balls, strolls through the park and social call after social call (not to mention dinner parties, al frescos, lunch get togethers, rides in carriages…) and Lady Alexandra’s debut into the society. She doesn’t hold much hope for excitement for the Season--she much prefers books and spending time with her two closest friends Ella and Vivi. Both of whom share her passion for the intellectual pursuits and wariness of formal gatherings.

The strength of the book relies on those three and their interactions with each other and the world at large. They each view the world differently, but look to each other for support and guidance. Just how many crazy schemes those three got into as children isn’t said, but from the plans they make in this book one can only imagine (with horror and humor equally)!

Our romantic leads--Alex and Blackmoor (Gavin)--follow a typical romance storyline, that of old friends who see each other differently as adults, but thankfully neither of them is blind. Alex doesn’t suddenly become a simpering miss, determined to behave differently in order to win him and Gavin doesn’t suddenly start treating her like a delicate flower. Neither do they admit to harboring feelings for years, they both recognize that it wasn't until recently they began to see each other in a romantic light.

The mystery, that of Blackmoor Senior’s death, is fairly easy to guess at, but its not a primary focus of the story. Not till closer to the end when things begin to heat up. Many chapters begin with a person’s thoughts--sinister thoughts that serve to advance the mystery plot without needlessly having the characters run around.

A highly recommended read for young adults who enjoy romance, fashion and a little bit of intrigue and for adult fans of the regency genre!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,572 reviews33.9k followers
April 6, 2011
Really 3.5 stars...and a frothy, enjoyable romp in the best possible way. The book is light on the mystery but quite delightful in the manners of the day. While Alexandra and her friends do have the expected modern attitudes and anachronistic tendencies, the language is overall very polished and does not feel nearly as out of place or stilted as it often does in many other historical YA novels.

Some contemporary readers may not appreciate the book, but in truth, this is what a girl had to worry about back in the 19th century--the match she makes determines the whole course of her life. Most fans of Austen should enjoy this modern (albeit much less serious) take on romantic Regency fiction.

Would love to see more books like this from this author.
Profile Image for Emily.
Author 11 books77.3k followers
July 5, 2020
This has sent me off on a historical fiction kick. I just had so much dang fun.
Profile Image for Ana.
82 reviews50 followers
February 7, 2009
I love all kinds of romance, but as subgenres go -- historical is my least favorite. That whole world, with its sense of propriety, and the limitations placed on women always felt to me like a constricted environment for which a great relationship can bloom. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the romantic relationship between Alex and Gavin. I think the reason for that was because Alex and Gavin were such good friends from the start of the book. Gavin was like family -- even like a brother to her for so long. As a result, the same "rules" did not apply to them. For example, it wasn't entirely inappropriate for Alex to be in Gavin's company unchaparoned. This lax environment allowed for them to have some interesting, more open conversations -- and later, some scintillating interactions.

I really liked how their relationship develops over the course of the story. Right from the beginning you sense their easy-going nature with each other. They tease each other in a tender, affectionate way that reveals how much they care about the other. Then, the first sign that they may feel something for each other beyond a friend/sibling affection, comes in the form of jealousy. Alex is irritated by the attention Gavin receives from another female and, similarly, Gavin is very annoyed by Alex's suitors and finds them all unworthy of her. There a couple of things that really tip the scale into romance -- 1) physical attraction resulting from dressing up for balls and dancing in each others arms, and 2) Gavin's pain resulting from his father's death and Alex's desire to comfort him. As their romantic feelings become evident to each other -- they struggle with what that means and if and/or how to proceed. Gavin questions whether he is betraying Alex's family's trust while Alex deals with her long-held opposition to marriage.

I love to see development and growth in relationships and you definitely see that here with Alex and Gavin's relationship.
Profile Image for Isa.
248 reviews10 followers
April 19, 2022
Porque en la portada pone como autora a Sarah MacLean pero al leerlo no la he visto por ninguna parte.
Me ha resultado aburrido, soso y muchos personajes en casi todas las escenas, haciendo que a veces me marease un poco con tanto nombre.
Es un clean romance. Los protagonistas son muy jóvenes, 17 y 23 años. Y se ha notado la falta de madurez, sobre todo por parte de ella, que en algunas ocasiones me ha resultado caprichosa y un poco cabeza hueca.
El protagonista masculino me ha gustado más, ha puesto un poco de cordura a los pensamientos de ella.
Además de la historia de amor de Alex y Gavin, ha querido meter una trama de espionaje con algo de misterio y de misterioso ha tenido poco. Era obvio desde el principio quién era el “malo”.
Bueno, pues un chasco en toda regla. Tengo la impresión de que es uno de sus primeros libros, porque no tiene nada que ver con otras lecturas de ella.
Profile Image for Emily.
999 reviews37 followers
June 12, 2009
First of all, let me state two things. One, I am a lover of great historical romances. Two, the author of this book has an undergrad degreee from Smith and a master's degree from Harvard. Pretty impressive, I think.

With these two items on the table, let me present my argument that this was a really weak book. I have issues with the characters who are mainly stock characters. Alex doesn't want to get married, she's really smart, her parents are wealthy, blah, blah, blah. Gavin is like an older brother to her, he is quietly mourning for his father, he is bold, yet honorable. Alex's three older brothers are all devils who torment her without mercy but would do anything for her. Blah, blah, blah. Anyone who has read two or more historical romance novels is nodding in recognition right now. Lucian and Montgrove, I swear, are simply characters who are on vacation from another historical romance and are expected back shortly.

I have problems with the plot as well. Give me more insight into the events leading up to the Alex and Gavin's relationship. Tell me about his father's funeral and how the two families mourned. Make me care and help me find something unique about these people by showing me some of the background on them. It would have made more sense to me than that whole picnic scene which amounted to nothing as far as plot development. If is was to showcase some Austen wit between characters, I'd have to reread it to find it.

Now let me pick at little details. First, Alex gets away from Lucian by stepping on his foot. Stepping on his foot? What? She is tall, but still thin and willowy, yada, yada, yada. She's wearing slippers; he's wearing boots ( I imagine) and she nearly breaks his foot? Riiight. Not buying it. Second, how obvious is it that the two characters in the book other than Alex's friends and family are the murderers/thieves? I called it immediately when both were introduced. How did I know? Well, duh - they were the only two outside characters! I don't need an Ivy League degree to figure that out. My good old Midwestern university degrees were good enough for that. Wasn't even surprised when one of them really was a good guy. Nope, not at all.

So the kissing was nice, and Gavin is all hunky and strong. However, the saving factor for bad historical romance books is the sex. Since this is for YA, there is none. Boo!

There you have it. Picky, picky, picky.
Profile Image for Anne Osterlund.
Author 5 books5,517 followers
December 25, 2014
Alex has no desire to get married. She is determined to laugh off the trials of her first season along with her two best friends and to prevail against her mother’s matrimonial ploys.

What she is not prepared for is to watch Lord Blackmoore, one of her childhood friends, swallowed up by a conniving marriage seeker. Or for the feelings that grasp Alex around the throat and seem to start swallowing her every time Blackmoore appears across the room. Or for the pure dread that claims her when she accidentally overhears two men plotting to kill him.

Of course, the whole dilemma would be a lot more bearable if Blackmoore would just cooperate and believe her.

I have been planning to read The Season forever and only just now followed through with that goal. The novel is very much a light-hearted Regency Romance for a mid-grade/YA audience. If the book or the storyline at all appeal to you, I highly recommend Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden, Blackmoore by Julianne Moore, and She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell.
Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,089 reviews924 followers
May 27, 2020
May I introduce you to the only Sarah MacLean book I've never read?

That all ends today! I'm about 1/2 way through and I'm thoroughly enchanted by this sparkling YA Regency romance.
If you've never read a historical set in this time period I'd say this is an great way to be introduced to the society, vocabulary, and common tropes of this romance staple!

Thank you to @bookish.kelly and @toallthenerdygirls for launching #summerofsarahmaclean with such style AND for giving me a reason to finally read this gem!
Profile Image for The Library Lady.
3,587 reviews522 followers
April 14, 2009
Jane Austen wanna be--there's even one of those long awful afterwards where she gushes about sitting in (really!) "Aunt Jane's garden", drinking in the atmosphere.

Unfortunately for her (and for all those undiscerning teens who read stuff like The Clique and The Luxe) she's an incredibly mediocre writer. Every cliche is here-eyes compared perpetually to gemstones, lavish descriptions of clothing, a brooding male hero, ad nauseum. Each of the three girls is described in lavish detail--and of course, each is a PERFECT beauty.

A good deal of the description and dialogue is written in a style worthy of my 9 year old--a very talented writer, but nonetheless just learning her craft. There are attempts at making it sound period, but a lot of the turns of phrase would fit better into say, "The Princess Diaries" than into "Sense and Sensibility"!

To sum it up, unless you are one of those undiscerning teens (there's one who described this book on the Triva Quiz as "superb"), you'd be better off reading a REAL Jane Austen. Or at least a Georgette Heyer or other mistress of the art of Regency novels.

And Sarah MacLean should stick to reading them and stop trying to write one. Especially for teens who deserve a whole lot better!
Profile Image for Yolanda.
628 reviews162 followers
June 15, 2016
Me esperaba más de este libro, será porque adoré la serie Love by Numbers y The Rules of Scoundrels. Creo que a la historia se le podía sacar más partido, desde luego los que ha escrito después para mi han sido una delicia.

Profile Image for Cara.
279 reviews704 followers
September 3, 2011
Every once in awhile I wonder how I would have fared during this era. Worrying about what I would wear to "catch" the right man and keeping up with etiquette of the times. And knowing all the while it's better to marry someone with money and status than a handsome hunk that is poor. I would have done miserably.

Alex (short for Alexandra) is preparing for her first season. The nature of this is how it sounds; the young ladies and men of London's high society go out and hunt for the best mate possible. Alex couldn't be less thrilled about doing this at all, and her two best friends share her sentiment. She knows this season will not be fun, especially with her three older brothers who will tease her to no end. Then there is also Gavin Blackmoor, who is like her fourth brother to be added on the list. Gavin recently has had to take on more responsibility since his father death. He suspects some foul play, and Alex will tangle herself up in this mystery of course. But first there is the messy situation of what is happening between Alex and Gavin. Do they honestly just have a brother-sister relationship or something else? And are they even willing to admit it to themselves, which might the biggest hurdle of them all.

Now if I were to rate this book solely on enjoyability factor I would give the book four stars, but I have a major complaint that keeps me from doing that and it's the "mystery" in the story. Not that it was done badly per se, but I was under the impression it would be one of the focal points of the story. It does get some attention, but mostly towards the end. In reality you are reading this story for the romance and the mystery kind of heightens the whole experience.

Some of the book I did enjoy quite a bit. I love reading about this time period because of the rules they have to follow and how we scoff at them now, but it's nice to think that finding someone to spend your whole life with was taken more seriously. Then there is the clothes and witty banter. It was good to see spunky female characters and equally fun leading men in the story. The author does a good job of seeping the book with the feel of the time period. There is no question you are in Regency England and you are watching closely how these young people navigate themselves through this time period.

I'm afraid to say though that I think I missed the boat on this one; a couple of years ago I would have absolutely gobbled the romance up and loved Alex's perfect life. Seriously, the girl has three handsome older brothers. She has two friends who are gorgeous and smart, and always have her back. Her parents have a relationship built on love and they care about her. And to top it off she is of course beautiful, opinionated, witty, and lively. Now, is there anything remotely missing in her life? No, but I understand that's part of the appeal and I actually giggled and smiled while reading this, so no more complaining on my part.
Profile Image for Jessie.
1,216 reviews63 followers
February 5, 2009
I'm only 70 pages in, but it feels like a 5 star book already. I can't wait to see what happens to Alex (Alexandra) and her friends as they debut in their first season. Alex also gets caught up in helping an old family friend (who happens to be very good looking). I can't wait to see this book unfold.

Having finished The Season, I can now say that it was even better than it seemed. I'm in love with this book. Alex, Vivi, and Ella are vibrant and intelligent protagonists. Everybody should have such close friends. Gavin, or Earl Blackmoor, was once like another brother to Alex, but not once the season begins. I just love the chemistry between these to characters. It's got me giddy with excitement!
Profile Image for Natasa.
1,193 reviews
September 4, 2019
This book is just a total letdown, and it completely fails in the aspects of storytelling that I enjoy as a reader. The characters are flat, the promise of romance is disappointing, and the mystery rarely materializes, although it is slightly hinted at on rare occasions. 
Profile Image for Leslie.
46 reviews16 followers
February 27, 2010

The writing is atrocious (so many terrible cliches -- I lost count in the first few pages -- but as an example, the phrase "pomp and circumstance" occurs twice within three pages). There is absolutely nothing in the writing, characters, dialogue, or setting to suggest that this is Regency England (the main character tells her maid that she is "IN A FUNK," people). The romance is super, super boring and the "mystery" is utterly predictable and, uh, not at all mysterious. And also boring.

Also, I just cannot handle seeing the Bard's name used in vain (or misused, rather!) but one of the more glaring anachronisms is when the main character's ancestors supposedly hosted William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth at a dinner, at which the queen requested that Shakespeare write a play for Twelfth Night. And he then wrote her grandparents (or great-grandparents, whatever) into the play because their names were Sebastian and Olivia. Guys, Shakespeare invented the name Olivia FOR THAT PLAY. GODDDDDDD don't they have editors or fact checkers or something actually READING these books before they're published?

I read this because it sounded fun and had good reviews. I can only guess that this got published because it is Luxe-ish (which is, in itself, Edith Wharton meets Gossip Girl-ish) but it makes the Luxe look like brilliant literature. And at least the Luxe story is INTERESTING.
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 6 books479 followers
November 16, 2012
Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo.com

Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford is being introduced into Regency London this season. Too bad she doesn't fit in with her sharp tongue and the fact that she hates dress fittings. The last thing Alex wants is to marry, which is why her mother, the Duchess, is so thrilled it is finally her season.

While Alex attends lavish balls and extravagant dinner parties with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, she also manages to uncover an important secret involving Gavin Blackmoor, a family friend. His father, the Earl, was killed, and Alex wants to help Gavin find the murderer.

In the process of growing closer to Gavin, she finds her feelings changing, and realizes that maybe marriage and love aren't as bad as she thought them to be.

I am a big historical fiction fan, and this book did not disappoint. Sarah MacLean wrote a beautiful debut novel that was hard to put down. Alex's character was witty and fun. She seemed like someone I would be friends with! Gavin was a handsome character who was also sweet.

If you ever come across THE SEASON, you should definitely pick it up. It was great, and I recommend it to anyone!
Profile Image for Carrie.
Author 54 books4,685 followers
October 12, 2009
I've read a lot of romance and a fair amount of regency romance and I think Sarah MacLean's debut, The Season, is one of the best. It really has all the qualities that I love most in a book, especially a regency romance. I fell in love with her characters and rooted for them the whole way through! The dialog was witty and clever -- so much so that when I was reading I kept chuckling and giggling. I also swooned a lot -- I actually put the book down just so I could savour the tension. And then I re-read the passages again so I could experience it all over and over. Sarah MacLean avoided those tropes that I feel like crop up in romance novels and make me, as a reader, roll my eyes. I really loved every moment!

This book reminded me of the best of Julia Quinn -- so clever and witty with strong characters that stick with you. I loved spending my day in Regency England!
Profile Image for Mackenzie RM.
864 reviews15 followers
March 29, 2009
I absolutely LOVE this book. I couldn't put it down. The characters were simply amazing, at times the plot left my heart pounding. When I first began reading it I wanted Alex and Gavin to be together; it just seemed so... perfect. Then when they finally shared their first kiss, I was terrified that Gavin may be killed by the same person who killed his father. I was absolutely frightened for his safety, I kept pushing myself to keep reading just to make sure that nothing happened to Gavin or Alex. All in all, amazingly written novel!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sonia.
714 reviews29 followers
December 23, 2018
Esta historia de Sarah MacLean es un poco diferente del resto; creo que ha intentado hacer algo diferente, pero no le ha acabado de salir. Tiene su historia de amor, pero esta vez viene acompañada de otra historia de intriga, investigación e incluso misterio. No obstante, para mi, no acaba de profundizar en ninguna de las dos tramas quedándose bastante a medias.
Me hubiera gustado saber más de todos los personajes, tanto de la pareja principal como del resto de secundarios, como la familia de Alex, que creo que dan para otras historias.
Siempre recomendaré los libros de Sara MacLean, aunque para mi esta no es de las mejores.
Profile Image for Alea.
282 reviews259 followers
March 2, 2009
Did someone say perfect? Well I did! This is the most enjoyable, fun, and romantic book I've read in a good long while! And I suggest you read it RIGHT NOW!

I don't usually go for historical books, there are usually all sorts of things I haven't got a clue about (what are they riding in, what is this weird hobby etc, remember I remember nothing from history class) but in The Season but I didn't have to put up with that frustration and what was left were the beautiful clothes, traditions, and manners of Regency England. It was seriously so much fun and instantly put me in a good mood when reading.

The characters were absolutely wonderful, each with their own personality and vibrancy. Of course Alex was a wonderful character accompanied by her two friends Ella and Vivi, they made a great team be it out at a ball or doing detective work! I love the balance in the book between the trio of girls and Alex's three brothers and their family friend Gavin. A lot of great teasing and conversation going on! They all brought something to the table! Gavin was a brilliant character, and could make any girl swoon, good lord! It's impossible to not be memorized by him!

I wasn't sure exactly how the mystery would fit into the rest of the plot when I started reading and I think it worked in perfectly. While the mystery wasn't very hard to solve it provided a great element of suspense to the book! And brought certain characters closer together! And speaking of bringing certain character closer together, I felt like everything I wanted to happen did. While I was reading I would think to myself "Oh my gosh, what if this happened what if that happened" and then they did time after time! It was like the author was reading my mind or something! Very satisfying to read.

I really cannot say enough good things about this book. All I have to say is there better be more where this came from, I'm waiting!
Profile Image for Rebecca.
584 reviews147 followers
April 2, 2009
Unlike most young ladies from titled families in Regency England, seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford, daughter of the Duke of Worthington, is not looking forward to her debut in London Society. Neither are Alex's two friends, Ella and Vivi. Alex dreads the thought of marriage, as she is an independent thinker and feels most men just want a pretty wife with no thoughts of her own.

Gavin Sewell, their neighbor, is a close friend of Alex's three older brothers and Alex's childhood protector. Gavin's father, the Earl of Blackmoor, recently died under mysterious circumstances, and now Gavin has inherited his title. Gavin has many doubts that his father's death was truly an accident, especially after his home is robbed. Alex has her suspicions too, and wants to help Gavin. But in the process, despite her opposition to marriage, Alex finds herself losing her heart and falling for Gavin, but she is unsure what his feelings for her are.

Even though I am a few years older then the target audience, I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a lot of the historical romances I enjoyed as a teenager, such as the Sunfire and Avon True Romance series. I'd highly recommend this book to teen girls who enjoy historical romances, as well as older readers who still enjoy young adult fiction. It's a light, enjoyable read with a good blend of romance, history, and mystery.
Profile Image for İnci.
950 reviews57 followers
April 26, 2018

3,5 stars

Elimde bulunan bütün Sarah MacLean kitaplarını bitirmeyi hedeflemiştim ve sıradaki kitabım olarak da Aşk Mevsimi'ni seçmiştim. Açıkçası bu kitap çok tavsiye ile aldığım bir kitaptı ve nedense yazarın aldığım ilk kitabıydı da. Şimdi düşünüyorum da ilk bu kitabı okusaydım sanırım yazarın kitaplarına çok beklentiyle başlamazdım çünkü Love by Number serisi oldukça iyiydi ama bu kitaplar o serinin kitaplarını ister istemez okurken kıyaslıyorsun ve beklediğin ya da umduğun gibi çıkmıyor.

Bu kitapta aşk geri planda aile, arkadaşlık ve gizem daha ön plandaydı bence o yüzden sadece aşk - historical romans olarak kategorilendirilmemeli bu kitap. İçerisinde baya baya dedektiflik gerektiren kurgusal döngü var.

Kitabın kısaca konusuna değinmeyeceğim arka kapak yazısı yeterince anlatıyor bu yüzden direk yorumuma devam ediyorum ben.

Gavin ile Alex'in ağabeyleri arasındaki ilişki çok güzeldi hatta Alex ve Ella ile Vivi'nin de ilişkileri çok güzeldi. Onları okumak kitaptaki arkadaşlığı ve aile ilişkilerini ön planda tutması bence çok güzeldi.

Gavin'in babasının ölümü ve ardındaki sırların çözümü de fena sayılmazdı ama okurken itiraf etmek gerekirse Alex, Ella ve Vivi kadar olup da olayı çözemediler diye de düşünmedim değil. Amma beceriksiz çıktı bu adamlar da gencecik henüz ilk sezonunu yaşayan 3 kıç şıp diye çözdü. Sanırım tarafsız göz ve bir kadının gücü birleşince ortaya böyle muazzam yetenek çıkıyor. :)

Bir de kitap genel olarak yavaş ilerliyordu. Detaylı olarak ilk sezonunu yaşayan genç leydilerin neler yaşadıklarını bütün detayı ile okuduk. Zaman zaman o detaylardan sıkıldığımı itiraf etmeliyim. Ama kitap 200. sayfaya doğru açıldı. Ondan sonra da zaten daha heyecanlı oldu.

Başlarda sabredip okursanız aşkı da görürsünüz olayların nasıl çözümlendiğini de.

Bence -dediğim gibi- Love by Number serisi kadar güzel değildi ve beni çok da tatmin etmedi. Ama çok da kötü değildi. Orta karar bir kitaptı ama içerisindeki aile ilişkisi ve arkadaşlığı çok sevdiğimden dolayı kitaba 3,5 veriyorum. Normalde tarafsız bir şekilde historical romans olarak düşünüp okursanız 3 verilecek bir kitap olduğunu da not düşeyim.

Yani çok fazla bir beklentiyle okumayın.
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