Title: The Season
Author: Sarah MacLean
Published by: Orchard Books
Publication date: June 1, 2010
Genres: Romance, Historical Fiction
Summary from Goodreads:
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?
If you love Jane Austen, then you’ll enjoy The Season by Sarah MacLean. Set in the early 1800s, Season follows three friends as their forced into the London season to find husbands. But these smart, independent friends aren’t won over to the traditional view of marriage easily. Unlike most of the ton, Vivi is encouraged to marry for love, Ella prefers spinsterhood as a writer to the marriage mart, and Alex wants to be known for her intelligence instead of her pretty face. Though the book is a romance, its story is also about this band of faithful friends, who love and encourage and trust one another.
Gavin, the Earl of Blackmoor, is Alex’s brothers’ closest childhood friend. Alex and Gavin share a close friendship, but as Alex begins her first season and enters society as a woman, both are surprised by a blossoming attraction.
To be clear, espionage and murder set this story apart from Austen’s heritage, so don’t expect many comparisons. If you’re looking for a lighthearted regency romance, you’ll probably enjoy The Season.
Would I let my teen read this book?
I picked up this book because I hadn’t read much (if any) young adult, regency-era literature. It was a nice change of pace from all the dark, dystopian novels I’ve recently read. It’s fun, clean, and features independent girls who want more out of life than what society demands. I think this novel could even be a nice introduction to Austen if your daughter hasn’t discovered her yet. If your teen already loves Austen, she’s sure to enjoy The Season.
* Warning note: I looked up Sarah MacLean’s other books to see if she had any more like The Season. She has plenty of regency romance novels, but they are adult romances. It looks like The Season is the stand-alone young adult novel in MacLean’s library.
Age recommendation: 14
Sex – 2-3 kisses
Violence – The antagonist briefly threatens Alex with a weapon
My Goodreads rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Buy: The Season on Amazon.com
I read a lot. I'm a Mom. I'm officially in my 30s, but strangers often don't believe I'm old enough to drink. I love Young Adult fiction, and thought it was worthwhile to help teens and adults find age-appropriate options.