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Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Season by Sarah Maclean

Drama? Romance? Intrigue? It's all part of the Season.

Welcome to Regency London, an era where the wealthiest and most powerful seriously live it up. This book gives you a glimpse into the high society social life that was lived by England's first class citizens. Once every year, the Season takes place, it's full of grand balls, dinner parties, and social outings, all for one purpose: to help London's finest men and women find the perfect match.

Lady Alexandra of Stafford has just turned 17 and is dreading her first Season, in which her mother intends to get her married off by it's end. Alex dreads the dress fittings, the stuffy parties, and the men who only want her for her money and power. She's not alone though. Her two best friends, Vivi and Ella don't know how they'll survive the Season as well, but they rely on each others friendships to make it through.

Then she finds herself becoming more and more attracted to Gavin Blackmoor, the handsome young earl whom she's loved like a brother. He's a close family friend who'd do anything to protect her, and suddenly Alex isn't sure about how she feels towards him.

Aside from that, Gavin's father has been killed recently. People believe it was an accident, but then Alex uncovers that it might not have been, that there's a killer among London's first class. The murderer is out for Gavin next, and possibly her as well, but who could it be?

Can Alex catch a killer, fall in love, and survive the extravagant whirlwind that is the Season, all while proving that she's more than just another girl in a ball gown?

This was an utterly predictable, fluffy, yet fun book. It's typical chick-lit historical fiction, though well done chick-lit historical fiction. The relationship between Alex and Gavin Blackmoor is a complicated one, filled with fights, love triangles, and passion. But I think you can easily guess how it turns out by the time you flip to the last page.

And then there's the mystery part of it, which sadly, isn't much of one at all. It's basic and uncomplicated, and guessing the killer is easier than operating a toaster. I think the novel could have been greatly improved if there were more suspects and plot twists. This truly could have been an outstanding mystery if only it was more detailed. So that was disappointing, to say the least.

Of course, it wasn't all bad. It's a modern Pride and Prejudice, there's lot's of drama and gossip involved, and Alex is your typical feminist. Her this-close relationship with Vivi and Ella celebrates female friendship. The way the world of the main characters is portrayed is done well. It's a grand world, where fine food, trips to country mansions, glamorous gowns, and rides in luxury carriages are all part of a day-to-day lifestyle. It's wonderful how the author transports you to this elegant era flawlessly, right down to the witty conversations of the main characters. It's like Gossip Girl set in a different time period (though not nearly as naughty.) Anyone who enjoys reading about fancy lifestyles and English courtship will devour it.

Fabulous and fun, The Season is a juicy novel that will have you turning pages for the purpose of sheer enjoyment.
3.5/5 stars