Sometimes you need a book that’s just fun to read. I picked up The Season by Sarah Maclean to fulfill that exact need and it delivered on every front. I’m a sucker for regency novels and mysteries and England and romance. This book? It was meant for me.
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!
This book was just straight up fun to read. Alexandra was a great lead, and one I would love to just hang out with. She’s smart and funny and loyal. She looks great in amazing dresses, but kind of finds them to be a big pain in the ass. She is independent and wants to be able to choose a partner because she loves him and not because he happens to have oodles of money and a title. She’s stubborn and kind of a know-it-all. But, in the end, she’s also someone who can admit she’s wrong and she’s definitely an ally you’d want on your side.
The supporting cast was great as well. You could see the strength of Alex’s friendships with Ella and Vivi and the common bond that drew them together while at the same time recognizing them as unique individuals on their own. And I loved Alex’s brothers, who were exactly what brothers should be in a book: they cared about their sister, but they were also a bigger pain in the ass than the dresses her mother was forcing her into.
Then of course there’s Gavin. He isn’t really a supporting character, since half of the book is from his point of view. But he was also great. I could feel the chemistry between he and Alex the whole book, and I could feel how difficult everything seemed to him. I loved the fact that he wasn’t an arrogant rake either. He was a great compliment to Alex, but also strong in his own right.
The plot was breezy and fun. At times predictable, but in a book like this the plot is secondary to the feelings of the characters. Still, it kept me turning the pages and I had a lot of fun following along (even if I guessed the secret fairly early on). But then again, I think you’re supposed to. Like I said, this is a book about Alex more than it is a book about a plot.
Normally I’d be weirded out by the age difference between Gavin and Alex (He’s 23 and she’s 17), but this is a regency novel and so it fits its time. In fact, Gavin is almost too young for Alex by societal standards of the day, so I give that usual complaint a pass.
Overall, The Season is everything a book of its type should be: fun, well-written, swoon-worthy, and with characters you can root for and like. I really hope Sarah Maclean makes this a trilogy, because I want to read more about Vivi and Ella and I think they’d make two great leads for two more fun books.