Goodreads Book Giveaway

Back To Good by Laura McCarthy Benson

Back To Good

by Laura McCarthy Benson

Giveaway ends April 07, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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02 April 2009

The Season, Sarah MacLean

Lady Alexandra Stafford is coming out for the Season in 1815 and her mother expects her to set the ton on it's ear! However, Lady Alex, positively loathes the thought of being paraded about as if on the hunt for a marriageable young man. With her three conspirators, Lady Vivian and Lady Eleanor, the ton haven't a clue what exactly these three comrades are up to. But alas, there is a someone who catches the Lady Alexandra's eye. And it couldn't be the one that she grew up with, the one who teased her mercilessly, yet was her savior when her three older brothers were not. However, The Earl of Blackmoor, Gavin Sewell, is just that a longtime family friend and still mourning the loss of his father at the hands of a terrible accident. Or was it? Through balls and dinners and that would put Jane Austen to shame, Sarah MacLean weaves a story of romance, intrigue, treachery, familial jealousy and murder. My only issue with the story was the use of contractions. But that is albeit a very minor issue I take with the story. Alex, Vivi and Ella, have 21st century sensibilities in a 19th century world. Gavin at times reminded me of Mr. Knightley from Austen's Emma, with his wit and his dialogue of explaining his feelings for Alex. He is definitely a swoon worthy character in the same vein as Mr. Darcy, Captain Wentworth, and Mr. Edward Rochester. I found the ending dangling and hope that we are brought back to the world of Lady Alex and Lord Blackmoor soon. 5 Bookmarks


  1. What, no mention of my favorite: Freddie ?

    I loved The Season and agree with your comparison of Gavin to Mr. Knightley (w/o the creepy much, much older thing).

    Can't wait for more from Sarah MacLean

  2. Yup Yup Yup! I will cry if there aren't more stories about these characters!

  3. LOL! I should've added Freddie! :)

  4. Oh YAY! I'm so happy you liked it! And interesting point about contractions. It was a stylistic thing that I went back and forth on. Did you not like it because you don't like contractions? Or did you not like it because it felt out of place with the time?

  5. Great review, Laura!

    I had the same problem writing Prophecy, Sarah. My editor and I went back and forth quite a lot trying to strike the right balance between historical integrity and conversational flow.

    In the end, we decided that no one *really* knows how people spoke in that era (this was a thought that was echoed by several booksellers on pre-pub, btw). We know that they WRITE formally, but that doesn't necessarily mean they *spoke* formally.

    And we just decided conversational flow trumped historical accuracy for the purposes of appealing to as many readers as possible. I decided to view my book as a fantasy set in the Victorian era as opposed to "true" historical fiction, and I think that works across genre.

    It was a tough one, though!

  6. If one reads Austen, Bronte, Gaskell, etc, you can get an 'ear' of how they spoke, plus these are well educated and quite monied people who wouldn't speak lowly which is what contractions would've been viewed. That was the language of the lower people.

    Another issue, I have is the use of all caps for yelling. In no book prior to the Internet (e-mail, IM, chatting) is it used to show yelling. A simple exclamation point works just as well. I hate the use of all caps for that. It's annoying and ridiculous. I think italicizing works well to show yelling too.

    That being said, I could look past those and enjoy the story.

  7. Yeah, rule is, Austen used "tis." which is a contraction. and so i think contractions weren't entirely out of the realm of speech.

  8. I agree, Sarah.

    We shall walk the historical-slash-conversational line together!

  9. i haven't read the season yet but it is sitting pretty in my TBR pile and i can't wait to get to it. great review!

  10. Laura- Nice review! Loved this book!

    Sarah & Michelle- The contraction thing is something I'm dealing with, too. But when I take out the contractions... they're not the same people. So I mix it up, depending on who's talking.

  11. That a good way to handle it, too, Kathleen.

    I found a method that worked for me as well. Basically, I avoided use of it in exposition, and used it sparingly in dialogue instead. That seemed to work for me, since teenagers the world over have been defying societies standards forever. It wasn't out of the realm of possibility that teens would speak more casually, particularly to one another, than adults.

    It'll be interesting to see how other authors handle it going forward, right?

  12. Gah! Spelled "society's" wrong!


  13. It looks really good. I meant to get this novel last week but chose to get Wintergirls instead.

    Great review!


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