Author: Sarah MacLean
Published: March 2009 by Orchard Books
Source: Personal Copy
Description: 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 Give This ...
I'm a sucker for historical fiction, and I don't think there is enough of it in the YA genre. This one popped up on my radar about the time I picked up The Luxe series by Anna Godberson. I thought it was great and the description doesn't give this story enough credit. It reads very modern with just enough historical aspect to make you realize you reading something set in a different time period.
I loved Alex. She's head strong and gets away with it in her own family. But, you can tell she knows what is expected of her. Sometimes, this gets the best of her and it's fun to see some of the reactions she gets out of people. I liked watching her debut into society. Despite her insistence that she hates these high society parties, I think part of her enjoys coming into her own. I think what she dislikes are the rules and feeling like she can't choose her own destiny. Her friends Ella and Vivi seem to fit into her world perfectly and each bring a different perspective to the story. They get into scrapes together, but manage to have each others back at the same time.
I also loved Gavin. He's just the right mix of the boy next door and the one you can not have. He's charming and handsome. I liked watching his feelings change for Alex from brotherly love to something much deeper. I also liked how he struggles with his feelings. It feels very real and not something brought in to bring romance to the story. Plus, the mystery that surrounds his father's death makes the story that much more interesting.
Overall this book made me realize how much I love YA historical fiction. It's not as heavy on details as regular HF, plus just the right touch of romance. I think this one my be the perfect place to start for those looking to dive into the genre (especially teens). Plus, I think there's room for a sequel!