Hey fellow Bookworms! It’s almost the weekend, when we can read as late as we like without fear of an early start the next day. For tonight’s post, I am reviewing ‘The Season‘ by Sarah Maclean. For those of you who follow my blog, you have seen that this was the book chosen for January’s The Letter’s Lit subscription (If you fancy seeing all of the bookish goodies I received as part of that subscription, check a couple of posts back). So what is it about? Let’s check our friend, the blurb:
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!
I am going to start with a couple of things, which although very minor, I found irritated me greatly whilst reading ‘The Season.’ The first is a phrase, used at least a dozen times per chapter, ‘Whispered conspiratorially.’ Every character spoke this way in almost every conversation, and it got to the point where I thought I had just invented a new drinking game: have a shot every time you read that phrase and you will find yourself hammered by Chapter 2! Honestly it was just beaten to death and I found it bugged me. Again, this is very minor, but something worth raising nonetheless.
The second thing, is the dozens upon dozens of references to Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice…I get it! This was the inspiration for the book, but stop with the name dropping. In fact, take out the whole spy bit, and this book is pretty much a facsimile of Pride and Prejudice, just not as good. Smart, ambitious young woman who refuses to marry? Check. Handsome, wealthy, male love interest who is stubborn and proud? Check. A series of misunderstandings which create that will they, won’t they question for the main part of the book? Check. Happy ending where they finally end up together? Check. Early 19th century setting complete with balls and manor houses? Check. There is even a rogue male character and an overbearing pushy mum.
Saying that, the book is fun, lighthearted and entertaining. Obviously Maclean could never reach the dizzying heights set by Austen, but if you are a fan of Austen or classic Romance literature in general, I think you will like this as well. The defiant young women leading the charge are well rounded characters, along with the men who constantly underestimate them. The Spy storyline offers enough suspense and adventure to keep you interested, and although it’s a fairly predictable read, it is also an entertaining one. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a bit of Romance?
Overall, I would recommend it if you fancy something fun and frothy, perhaps as your holiday beach read.