Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review - The Season by Sarah MacLean

Summary: 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. 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?(via Goodreads)

Review: It’s so challenging to write a review about regency romances (or even regular romances) because of the similarities in the underlying plotlines of books within this genre. Most commonly in a regency, you get to read about fantastically idealized 19th century characters, who are involved in the most dramatic romantic situations, and are somehow able to resolve everything with a happily ever after ending. The Season isn’t a novel that aims to break these rules, but is a pleasingly constructed variation of this well-loved mold.

The gist:

As our lovable and amazing heroine we have Alexandra. She is an incontestably beauty of seventeen, who is too intellectually opinionated for her own good and has no intention of losing her “perceived” freedoms by marrying any simpleton with a title. Only her romanticized version of The One could ever make her want to be a wife.

Alexandra’s leading male interest is Gavin. He is a dashing young Lord with blond hair, long legs and a lopsided grin. He has known Alexandra all her life, and had been more or less like a brother to her, until he matured into a gorgeous young man capable of making all the ladies (including those in the reading audience) swoon.

Serving as the supporting cast are Vivi and Ella, who have been Alex’s best pals since infancy. Vivi and Ella’s apparent purposes include being loyal, loving, unconventionally understanding, and capable of involving her in all kind of unladylike behavior.

Some bonuses:

• A multitude of luxurious balls. This book is entitled The Season because it recounts Alex, Vivi and Ella’s coming out season into the British ton, and so these girls must go to many many balls! This directly translates into a greater number of scintillating and sexually tense dance floor encounters between Gavin and Alexandra.

• Espionage—of the Britain-hates-France (and vice-versa) persuasion.

• Alexandra’s three brothers. They are tall, handsome, intelligent, athletic, and just as romantic hero-worthy as Gavin.

• The cover of the book. It features models representing Ella, Vivi and Alex, clad exactly the way MacLean described in the book. I think that such a precise match of book cover and story gives The Season a little extra umph!

Some unfortunate omissions:

• A steamy love scene. But folks, it is a YA book.

The Season is just what it promises to be, a romance for teens. There are no hidden agendas or crazy twists. It’s enjoyable the way any good romance promises to be enjoyable. It envelops you in a world of unreachable lavishness and beauty, that's really fun to occupy for a few days. So, if you’re in the mood for a romance that’s more restrained and less sensual, I’d recommend this as a satisfactory option.

Lit Snit Verdict: B

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