I’m excited to announce that I’m taking part in an event called Summer of Sarah Maclean, which is being hosted by Kelly Gallucci (bookish.kelly on Instagram) and Dana Cuadrado (To All the Nerdy Girls on Instagram). The idea is to read all of the Sarah MacLean books, one a week in chronological order of publishing date, until the end of August.
Remember, read as you can, even I realize sometimes I’m not going to get the book read in a week. This is meant to be fun not stressful. As part of the event, there is an ongoing open group chat, and the hosts of the event do a live Instagram chat on Fridays to discuss the book of the week and to my happy surprise – having a drink is encouraged! Doesn’t this sound like fun? Romance novels, people to squee over romance novels with you and possible drinks! Seriously, where is the bad? We are just starting the second book, so still tons of time to jump into the fun!
Here are all the books we are reading and my bingo card in terms of what I’ve read:
The event kicked off this past week, with everyone reading Sarah MacLean’s first novel The Season. The Season is a YA novel, and to be honest, I haven’t read many YA books. I went from Sweet Valley High right to romance. So I wasn’t sure what to expect. The book was published in 2009 so interested to see the heat level, I am happy to say it had some pretty awesome kisses!
The book tells the story of Lady Alexandra (Alex) Stafford’s first season out in society and her romance with the new Earl of Blackmoor, Gavin Sewell. We also know from the first chapter of the story that there will be a little mystery as we learn in the prologue that the Earl of Blackmoor has been murdered.
I enjoyed seeing the entrance into society from the point of view of Alex and her two closest friends: Vivi and Ella. The three girls have no desire to marry, much to their parents’ chagrins. I have read MANY historical romance novels, but this felt like a fresh take.
As it was their first season – Alex pointed out many things which aren’t often mentioned but definitely did happen, such as the dripping of candle wax from chandeliers during the ball. I personally, LOVED the descriptions of the girls’ dresses. And the way MacLean described Alex’s reaction to seeing Gavin in the ballroom: GOOSEBUMPS!
While families are often part of adult historical romance novels, they play an integral role in this as the characters are still quite young. It was amusing to watch some of Alex’s decision as they were so age-appropriate. She really did nail this as a YA book, in my opinion.
The book was told completely from Alex’s point of view, which meant we knew everything that was going through her head and no one else’s. It felt like you were along with her romance with Gavin, as we had no idea why he hadn’t kissed her again either! And it was a VERY important question!!
Gavin is older than Alex, and a childhood friend due to his relationship with her three older brothers, making this is a friends to I love you trope – which was very sweet. See what I did there? 😉
He is going through his own turmoil, with his father dying unexpectedly, and we learn quickly that there are people also plotting his death. See – INTRIGUE!! I enjoyed how Alex and her friends played an integral role in solving the mystery. It was also a great way of bringing Alex and Gavin closer.
I would be remiss in not mentioning how much the additional characters added to the story. Both Vivi and Ella brought out aspects of Alex we would not have seen. I would be thrilled to read their stories. Also, any story about Alex’s brothers or the lovely Lord Stanhope. It really is a shame that we didn’t get more books with these characters!
I know I would have been as delighted with this book as a teen as I am now as an adult. I was attracted by the mystery and swept away with the romance – an excellent first book! Well done Sarah MacLean!!