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The Season

The Season

4.4 187
by Sarah MacLean

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Murder, treason, ballgowns, and boys . . . Regency London has never been so deliciously treacherous, adventure-filled, or . . . romantic!

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.


Murder, treason, ballgowns, and boys . . . Regency London has never been so deliciously treacherous, adventure-filled, or . . . romantic!

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In Regency London, Alexandra is about to embark on her first season of balls and dinners, and while nothing "would steer her mother from the course of marrying off her only daughter," 17-year-old Alex is put off by men's seeming lack of interest in women with "any amount" of intelligence ("Evidently, it scares eligible gentlemen off"). Her opinions about romance change when she develops feelings for her brothers' friend Gavin, who is mourning the sudden death of his father (making Gavin the new earl of Blackmoor). Mac-Lean's debut is well paced, and as readers fill up on descriptions of dresses and society's rules, another plot line develops: Alex overhears a conversation proving that Gavin's father was murdered, and she puts her relationship, reputation and life in danger to help him. Readers will appreciate the clique lit/historical romance hybrid: headstrong Alex rolls her eyes and gossips with friends, but still knows the steps to the quadrille. Clever conversation in the spirit of Jane Austen makes this quite a page turner. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

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Children's Literature - Naomi Butler
Lady Alexandria Stafford shows no interest in the balls and parties of the 19th-century London scene. Being strong-willed and sharp-tongued and not liking the fittings and the balls, she doesn't fit in because she is much more interested in romance and travel. Between balls, parties and country weekends with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, she manages to get entangled in scrapes, espionage, murder, and suspicion. She and the handsome Gavin uncover the mystery and truth of the death of the Earl of Blackmoor who is killed in a puzzling accident. This year will be unforgettable. The story is set against a background of world events and the life at the time. There is romance and danger and the relationship growth between Alex and Gavin. The time period is well portrayed, allowing the reader to understand the settings. The book has a lovely cover and nice inside print. However, the cover could be interpreted as a modern-day dress-up affair instead of the period in which it is set. Reviewer: Naomi Butler
VOYA - Amy S. Pattee
In April 1815, seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford is reluctantly preparing for her informal debut into London society. The spring and summer months, known as "the season," both irritate and excite Alex and her best friends, Lady Vivian "Vivi" Markwell and Lady Eleanor "Ella" Redburn, all of whom are reluctant to, as Alex wryly notes, be paraded before the bachelors of society "like livestock going to market." When the father of family friend and companion to Alex's three older brothers Lord Gavin Blackmoor dies in a riding accident, Gavin, Alex, her brothers, and her girlfriends become convinced that the death was murder. An element of mystery sneaks into and motivates what is, first and foremost, a period romance. Although neither Vivi nor Ella find romance during the season, Alex's involvement with Gavin's mystery leads to complicated emotion on both sides. Fans of the romance genre will enjoy the titillation engendered by society rules that disallow Alex and Gavin to date or hook up in the contemporary sense. These same social mandates ensure that the characters remain chaste—there are threats of ruination—and it is this imposed chastity that makes Alex and Gavin's stolen kisses sweeter. MacLean's novel, the first in what may become a series, can stand beside its American cousins, the books in Anna Godberson's Luxe series, on library shelves. Reviewer: Amy S. Pattee
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

The year is 1815, and 17-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford is out in society for her first London season: a long sequence of parties where debutantes are paraded in front of eligible bachelors, and finding a husband is of utmost importance. But Alex is an unconventional woman, and this world does not interest her. She prefers independence, despises the thought of an arranged marriage, and hopes to foil her mother's plans to find her a rich husband. Then a family friend, Gavin, the new Earl of Blackmoor, whom Alex had always thought of as a brother, arrives on the scene, and she suddenly realizes that he is not looking at her with brotherly affection. Unfortunately, he is distracted from romance by the suspicion that his father had been murdered. The attempt to solve the mystery of his death places Gavin and Alex in mortal peril. The author excels in her depiction of 19th-century England-the dialogue in the society scenes is spot-on. Alex's character is well developed; however, too many supplemental characters make it difficult to get to know them well. The love scenes between Alex and Gavin are fun and romantic, but too modern to be authentic. Readers of Jane Austen will find elements of this story too anachronistic, but fans of the movies of her novels and light historical romances will enjoy this book.-Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO

Kirkus Reviews
Jane Austen meets Trixie Belden. Lady Alexandra Stoddard is an anachronism-a feisty, outspoken feminist in Regency England. But the 17-year-old's impassioned resistance to courtship and marriage rings false from page 23, with the introduction of the ploddingly obvious object of her reluctant but inevitable affections, her brothers' best friend Gavin Sewell, the Earl of Blackmoor. Alex's insatiable curiosity further complicates her relationship with Gavin; suspecting that he's in danger, she's determined to solve the puzzle of his father's recent suspicious death, despite Gavin's objections. Formulaic plotting, repetitive phrasing and scant development of supporting characters, such as Alex's rival Penelope, weaken the story. But the novel is grounded in both historical context (Napoleon's escape from Elba and the anonymous publication of Austen's novels) and historical detail (ball gowns and the rigors of etiquette), which set the scene convincingly. MacLean's lively characters, however improbable, provide a fun and unrestrained take on a buttoned-up era, and readers who choose to give themselves up to the tale will enjoy it. (Mystery/historical fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.16(w) x 5.34(h) x 0.73(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, where she spent much of her free time bemoaning the fact that she was more than a century too late for her own Season. She currently lives in New York with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She is currently at work on her second novel.

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Season 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 183 reviews.
robin_titan More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! I could not put it down, I just loved it so much from the beginning all the way to the end. I'm so sad it's over. Ah the ending is ..wow! Loved it!! Alexandra a.k.a Alex/Minx(cuute nickname from Gavin)/Scamp, is a seventeen year old girl who is starting her first season in 19th century London along side her two wonderful best friends, Ella and Vivi. She is dreading everything about it because she doesn't really believe in "The One" the way Vivi does or love in general. At the balls she is forced to attend, she gains attention from a lot of unlikely candidates. Even some really cute ones like Freddy Stanhope. Then there's Gavin (awww). Her childhood friend who once saved her from a tree (cute story) and who's always been like a fourth brother to her. He's starting to seem more and more different (in a good way). For some reason Alex never really saw him, until this season and now every time she sees him she practically gets butterflies in her stomach, but he's so busy laughing and dancing with the beautiful Penelope and having to deal with his father's recent death, or was it murder? I HIGHLY recommend reading this book, you will not be disappointed. It will leave you with a ginormous smile on your face once you've finished it, actually throughout the whole book you'll end up with a ginormous smile on your face. hehe :D The characters are witty and fun to read about. I just love the dialouge throughout the whole book. With Sarah MacLean's great writing, it all ends up being a great story anyone will fall in love with. It doesn't hurt that there are cute guys with great personalities all over the place. There's Alex's brothers William/Will (23), Nicholas/Nick (21), Christopher/Kit (19), and Freddy the adorable flirt (not her brother). Oh and who can forget the main man, Gavin (23). -tvandbookaddict.blogspot.com
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Season is a fun, funny, exciting romp of a book--Alex, Ella and Vivi are best friends who actually CARE about each other, which makes the story a charming one to read. The romance is just sizzling enough, the mystery just nerve- wracking enough, and the end is oh so very satisfying!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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!
LOVER_OF_THE_THEATER More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!! i couldn't put it down!!! I read it in one day. I loved the plot and the romance!!!! IT IS A MUST READ!!!!!
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
I read this book over a couple of days and found it so thrilling that I didnt want to put it down. The way Ms. MacLean has written this book, you are left hanging till the very end to know who they are after. More than once I found myself gasping out loud at the way events turned. There is alot of romance in this book, but its so nice to have something other than vampires to make our hearts beat a little faster. The main character Alex(Alexandra) is a headstrong young woman who is thrown into the London social season, an unwilling participant. Her mother wants her to find a suitor and her place in society. But along the way, she finds more than her share of adventure with her two best friends Vivi and Ella. I recommend this to any girl who wants a great true love story, but enough suspense to keep her up till the early hours of the night.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It's awesome and I keep reading it over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book! Once I started reading, I was very content to keep reading and avoid my "real life". Now that I'm done with the book, I wish it had been longer!

I loved the characters, the mystery and the romance. I especially liked the chemistry between the two main characters. I think BBC should make a movie based on this book- it would be great! I hoping there will be sequels about Vivi and Elle finding their "ONES".
Rosentiq More than 1 year ago
It's About: Alex, Vivi and Ella are all set for their debut Season, but they're far from the poised, proper Regency ladies they're expected to become. Least of all, Alex, whose debut comes first, and somehow (perhaps because she just can't help but meddle) she ends up embroiled in the mystery of the Earl of Blackmoor's unexpected demise.

Even more unexpected, Alex finds herself falling for the new Earl of Blackmoor- a family friend she's known as Gavin all her life. Surrounded by a stable of over-protective brothers, and a society that demands nothing less than propriety, Alex is bound to have the most interesting Season yet.

MacLean has a gift for creating intricate settings- all the fine details that make up this regency world are beautifully drawn, but she never lapses into a place where the setting is more fascinating than the story. Each of her characters are handsomely drawn, from the spirited trio of girls that make up the centerpiece of the story, from the galloping hordes of Alex's brothers, to even the unnamed, but arched-browed ladies of the Ton.

I have to admit a particular fondness for secondary player, Freddie Stanhope- who swears to be a rake and womanizer of the worst sort, but whom I suspect (and I hope I will discover in future installments of this series,) is probably just a sweetheart, deep down inside.

Would I Give This Book to a Teen: The spirited young women in this novel play within the confines of the society in which they live, instead of shamelessly breaking them. Definitely a treat for young women who love Austen, historicals, and sweet romance.

Would I Give This Book to an Adult: Definitely to Regency fans, and to anyone with a taste for something satisfyingly romantic. Because it deals with the first season, and so many novels of the era, and current novels about the era, deal with the same, I think this is a perfect book for adult readers to slip into the YA conception of the Regency world.

>My 15 Year Old Son Says: He thinks the brown haired girl on the cover is kind of cute. He refuses to specify which brown haired girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really do adore this book. At first I was a little sketchy about it, but as soon as I sat down and read it, I was hooked!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great story with love and romance embedded into murder and mistery.
Misch More than 1 year ago
I was having a horrible day so I decided to stop by a book store to see if they had Wicked. Unfortunately, they didn't; this looked good so I decided to just get it. The Season turned out to be the only good thing that happened to me that day. It is a wonderful book that was incredibly difficult to put down. I found it hard to believe that this was just Sarah MacLean's first novel, she writes like a pro. Bravo Sarah MacLean! I highly anticipate your next novel and expect it to be just as great!
Terrizzle More than 1 year ago
Don't judge a book by it's cover. In this particular case that is extremely true. From the cover, I assumed this book would be a low cost poorly written story. I had low expectations starting it, but soon realized that the author was in fact talented in the way she writes her book. She did a great job with the characters, the main plot, overall it was a very enjoyable book. It usually takes alot to make me laugh aloud while reading, but she managed it a few times. I definately think this book is worth the read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It was really really good. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the perfect mix of mystery humor and romance. Loved how the characters were true and entertaning and i highly recomned this book to anyone it is definetly worth it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! This book was so wonderful and I especially loved the conversations {especially the ones including Gavin}. It made me laugh at times. I recommend this book to anyone who likes 19th century London, mystery, and sweet romance. I loved everything about this book, and you should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good read! Pure and good fun.
1VAReader More than 1 year ago
This was not my favorite.  I don't particularly care to have the murder of innocents and  espionage mixed with my historical romance.  I know that it is realistic but iit is my least favorite story twist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great fun to read all the way to the end. Characters were well - developed and understandable. I so enjoyed reading this book as it portrayed the romance of the period without going into the entire detail. I am not a prude but today's new romances seem to "over-share" in that department and it takes up 2/3 of the book. I do wish she would write other books as follow up that told stories of the brothers and Alex's friends. This book does not disappoint!!!
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