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Bewitching Season

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In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic. At least, most of them didn't. Shy, studious Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies than enter society and look for a suitable husband. But right as the inevitable season for "coming out" is about to begin, In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic. At least, most of them didn't. Shy, studious Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies than enter society and look for a suitable husband. But right as the inevitable season for "coming out" is about to begin, Persy and her twin sister discover that their governess in magic has been kidnapped as part of a plot to gain control of the soon-to-be Queen Victoria. Racing through Mayfair ballrooms and royal palaces, the sisters overcome bad millinery, shady royal spinsters, and a mysterious Irish wizard. And along the way, Persy learns that husband hunting isn't such an odious task after all, if you can find the right quarry.


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In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic. At least, most of them didn't. Shy, studious Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies than enter society and look for a suitable husband. But right as the inevitable season for "coming out" is about to begin, In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic. At least, most of them didn't. Shy, studious Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies than enter society and look for a suitable husband. But right as the inevitable season for "coming out" is about to begin, Persy and her twin sister discover that their governess in magic has been kidnapped as part of a plot to gain control of the soon-to-be Queen Victoria. Racing through Mayfair ballrooms and royal palaces, the sisters overcome bad millinery, shady royal spinsters, and a mysterious Irish wizard. And along the way, Persy learns that husband hunting isn't such an odious task after all, if you can find the right quarry.

30 review for Bewitching Season

  1. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Usually the London season is a backdrop, not the entire plot of a book. This may be the most boring Regency I've ever read, and that's with a kidnapping, secret magic, and a plot to take the throne. So much potential unrealized. Usually the London season is a backdrop, not the entire plot of a book. This may be the most boring Regency I've ever read, and that's with a kidnapping, secret magic, and a plot to take the throne. So much potential unrealized.

  2. 5 out of 5

    snowplum

    I wasn't especially enthusiastic about this book. Sometimes it's charming, and I smiled a few times at clever bits (most often including the main character's precocious little brother Charles), but it suffers from a couple of fundamental problems which keep it from being a book that I would strongly recommend or keep to read over and over. First, it has the surprisingly common problem of being a book set in a world with magic, but then not having all that much magic in it. Any number of things co I wasn't especially enthusiastic about this book. Sometimes it's charming, and I smiled a few times at clever bits (most often including the main character's precocious little brother Charles), but it suffers from a couple of fundamental problems which keep it from being a book that I would strongly recommend or keep to read over and over. First, it has the surprisingly common problem of being a book set in a world with magic, but then not having all that much magic in it. Any number of things could have made the book more interesting -- scenes dealing with learning magic, passages describing what it feels like to practice magic, silly bits with the sisters playing jokes on each other or Charles with magic, something more substantial about Persy and the man she ultimately chooses to marry sharing magic.... So many missed opportunities, in contrast with so many rather uninspired and redundant passages about going to teas and balls. Second, there is the common plot line of misunderstandings and misery due to lack of communication, which is just about the only reason that the story stretches out to 300 pages. It would take a lot at this point for an author to give that story a twist or write it in a way that would excite or impress me. It's not that I don't believe that Persy would be insecure and keep the secrets she keeps -- I think that's reasonable for her character and likely would be reasonable for many real people. I just feel like I've read 101 variations of that plot line already, and this one isn't different enough to get me to invest. Most significantly, the more dramatic plot in this book does not hold up to any sort of intense scrutiny. The girls' governess is kidnapped, and all of her family (including some practitioners of magic) know it, yet weeks pass during which they do absolutely nothing, and it falls on two teenage girls and their little brother to save her? A Very Bad Man coerces powerful wizards into using their power to force the queen-to-be to accept his Regency, and the powerful wizards can't do anything to or about the muggle instead of giving in to him? One of said wizards gives in to the blackmail because the Very Bad Man is threatening to tell his family's secret, which is that his older brother raped a 14 year old girl. I sympathize with the notion of family loyalty, but I'm not all that enthusiastic about trying to cover up a rapist in the family -- that sounds an awful lot more like denying the victim justice and protecting the rapist than rightfully or lovingly protecting an aging father from a broken heart. Put like that, it would seem as though I really disliked the book, which isn't quite fair. But I didn't like it very much, and I wouldn't recommend this book to many adult readers who sometimes choose books from the YA shelves -- it's just a little too fluffy and emotionally adolescent to have broader appeal. The aforementioned problems with the plot (including the issue of the rapist) are glossed over to such an extent that they aren't obtrusive at all -- ultimately, the reason they are such a problem is that they are so barely there that the serious plot outside the romantic storyline is, as I said, implausible and doesn't hold up to the pressure of much content or attention. I think it's a charming enough book that it would be appealing to many teen readers, but it's the equivalent of a romantic teen comedy, not an emotionally powerful romantic drama.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angelc

    This was a great teen historical with just the right amount of magic and a great romance!! The romance was by far my favorite part of the book, I really fell in love with Lochinvar Seton! Another cute aspect of the story was the twin's little brother. He was adorable and provided a fresh perspective! I must admit I skimmed some of the royal intrique portions of the book, but the romance more than made up for any slow points!! Great read for lovers of YA and historical romance!! This was a great teen historical with just the right amount of magic and a great romance!! The romance was by far my favorite part of the book, I really fell in love with Lochinvar Seton! Another cute aspect of the story was the twin's little brother. He was adorable and provided a fresh perspective! I must admit I skimmed some of the royal intrique portions of the book, but the romance more than made up for any slow points!! Great read for lovers of YA and historical romance!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Set in Regency England, this book follows twin witches Penelope and Persephone as they embark on their first Season. After their magic instructing governess is kidnapped, the two begin to investigate her disappearance, while also dealing with the social obligations of the ton. They eventually uncover a plot that threatens the royalty, their governess, and their own lives. First off, I really enjoy Regency romance novels. I love Georgette Heyer. I know most of the words on the Regency Lexicon webs Set in Regency England, this book follows twin witches Penelope and Persephone as they embark on their first Season. After their magic instructing governess is kidnapped, the two begin to investigate her disappearance, while also dealing with the social obligations of the ton. They eventually uncover a plot that threatens the royalty, their governess, and their own lives. First off, I really enjoy Regency romance novels. I love Georgette Heyer. I know most of the words on the Regency Lexicon website. Basically, I was going into this book with some expectations. I was also interested in how a YA Regency novel would read. Honestly, I have no idea why this is classified as YA. Yes, the characters are 17, but that's the standard age for a girl to have her first season in the Regency era. So basically, any adult romance novel with a character entering her season wouldn't be significantly differently. There's nothing about these teens that give them a significantly teen voice, if that makes any sense. I suppose there is a coming of age element and Persephone works through self-doubt and lack of confidence, but whatever. I also think the book doesn't significantly explain Regency terms or phrases. Supposing that this is your first Regency novel, some of the terminology would be unknown to the normal YA reader. In terms of plot, the magic element of the story wasn't incredibly exciting. Harry Potter Regency style, this is not. It was also difficult to tell who was speaking at times, especially because the twin characters' names/nicknames are so similar (Pen and Perse). Annoyingly, the characters also seem to forget about their kidnapped governess for various lengths of time when they get caught up in their social activities. This bogged down the stories at times. Still, I can see how it could appeal to some teen girls, especially those who like their romance squeaky clean and enjoy historical novels. The author includes some nice descriptions of Regency life that may pique a reader's interest and lead them to other (better) examples of the genre. 2 1/2 stars (I wish GoodReads allowed half stars)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mela

    It gives me back my faith in this genre. This charming mix of magic in nineteenth century England. One can't take it for serious. But as a light, enjoyable story it was worth my time. It was funny. I laughed reading banter between siblings. And who wouldn't want to have Charles as a brother? ;-) A love story was sweet, clean and with a little spark. I didn't mind that was totally predictable, ((view spoiler)[I knew very soon that Lochinvar was a wizard. (hide spoiler)] ) that the world here was blac It gives me back my faith in this genre. This charming mix of magic in nineteenth century England. One can't take it for serious. But as a light, enjoyable story it was worth my time. It was funny. I laughed reading banter between siblings. And who wouldn't want to have Charles as a brother? ;-) A love story was sweet, clean and with a little spark. I didn't mind that was totally predictable, ((view spoiler)[I knew very soon that Lochinvar was a wizard. (hide spoiler)] ) that the world here was black and white (each character was utterly good or bad) and that the whole novel was evidently for young adult (teenagers). It was written in a way that everyone who is open to such genre can enjoy it. Nonetheless, I give only 3 stars because I think that Marissa Doyle should give us here also a love story for Pen or make the book a little shorter. I felt sometimes that she was pushing too hard. But perhaps it was just my adult voice that thought so ;-) Still, I think I will try another Doyle's book in the future.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brillare

    I really enjoyed this book; it wasn't perfect or an all time favorite, but it was still a pretty great read. Pros: 1. Romantic. So, the romance was predictable, but it was still very fun to read. Lochinvar was suitably noble and passionate. :D 2. The conflict wasn't too unique - someone gets kidnapped, girls try to save kidnapee and uncover larger more serious situation. However, the magic, era, and setting pulled it off successfully and made it interesting. Cons: 1. Persy would get very annoying wi I really enjoyed this book; it wasn't perfect or an all time favorite, but it was still a pretty great read. Pros: 1. Romantic. So, the romance was predictable, but it was still very fun to read. Lochinvar was suitably noble and passionate. :D 2. The conflict wasn't too unique - someone gets kidnapped, girls try to save kidnapee and uncover larger more serious situation. However, the magic, era, and setting pulled it off successfully and made it interesting. Cons: 1. Persy would get very annoying with her constant self-criticism. I understand and pity her low self-esteem, but her talking about it all of the time was frustrating. 2. Persy and Pen had a strange relationship with their brother. Like, they were usually joking, I think, but they would mock him and call him an idiot for no reason at all. I think he was a pretty great little guy, and sometimes they seemed to pick on him more than necessary. Overall, although I have some complaints, I really liked this book. It's the kind of book I'd like to own so I could have a reread once in awhile. *Also, it was very clean. The romance was all good, and the swearing was very minor - just a few D*** and H***.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon

    I *loved* the idea behind the book. I even liked the plot. I HATED Persephone, the twin this book focuses on. Her self-denigrating attitude gets old REAL fast.. within the first 50 pages or so. AND IT DOESN'T STOP. EVER. Most of the storytelling is her self-loathing monologues talking about how ugly she is (compared to her IDENTICAL twin), how lame she is, how she'll never be good enough. I wanted to scream through 90% of this book. I kept reading hoping she would gain her confidence (she didn't I *loved* the idea behind the book. I even liked the plot. I HATED Persephone, the twin this book focuses on. Her self-denigrating attitude gets old REAL fast.. within the first 50 pages or so. AND IT DOESN'T STOP. EVER. Most of the storytelling is her self-loathing monologues talking about how ugly she is (compared to her IDENTICAL twin), how lame she is, how she'll never be good enough. I wanted to scream through 90% of this book. I kept reading hoping she would gain her confidence (she didn't.. well, maybe like 5 pages before the end), and to see more of Penelope. Apparently there is a follow up book planned, if not already written. This one will follow Penelope as she continues her studies (mercifully away from her sister). I won't hesitate to pick that one up, whenever it comes out. I just hope Penelope doesn't pick up some new annoying personality trait along the way.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Tasha for TeensReadToo.com Persephone and Penelope Leeland are the twin daughters of a well-known English viscount and are getting ready to be thrown into their first season. While you couldn't tell the girls apart by looking at them, if you talked to them you would know that they are completely different. All Penelope can talk about is the upcoming balls that the girls are planning on going to and the numerous gowns that she is going to wear. She loves all thoughts that have to do wi Reviewed by Tasha for TeensReadToo.com Persephone and Penelope Leeland are the twin daughters of a well-known English viscount and are getting ready to be thrown into their first season. While you couldn't tell the girls apart by looking at them, if you talked to them you would know that they are completely different. All Penelope can talk about is the upcoming balls that the girls are planning on going to and the numerous gowns that she is going to wear. She loves all thoughts that have to do with future dances and possible husbands. Then there is Persephone. She would much rather hunker down and devote her time to magical studies. She really doesn't want anything to do with finding a husband or dancing the night away in a dress that she can hardly breathe in. Just as the season is about to begin, the girls' governess disappears. It's up to the girls to figure out what happened. Along the way the girls will discover that the kidnapping has much to do with the plot to take away Princess Victoria's power. Encountering many interesting people, including a mysterious Irish wizard and a boy who might just be husband-worthy, the girls set off to solve the mystery. I am a huge historical fiction fan as well as love books that include magic. Putting the two together created an amazing book that I instantly fell in love with. I thought that the story was completely original and absolutely spellbinding. I was highly impressed with Marissa Doyle's ability to captivate my attention throughout the entire book. I don't think I actually put the book down once - which is a big thing for me! I thought it was really neat that the main characters were twins who really didn't have much in common. The girls' differences thoughout made the book so interesting and it was really evident that they depended on each other for different strengths. Another really special thing about this book is that the story sticks. The story keeps ringing through my head and I'm still loving it! I was really impressed with Ms. Doyle's debut novel and absolutely cannot wait for the sequel which will be out sometime next year (why oh why does it have to be that far away?!). It has definitely become a new favorite of mine, and if you haven't had the opportunity to read BEWITCHING SEASON I highly suggest you run out and get it now.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Clare Cannon

    "A good book to pick up for several hours of enjoyable escape". Inspired by Austen and the Regency writers, this novel is set in England at the time when Victoria was Princess. In addition to the romantic appeal of seasons, balls, beaux and female friends (or competition), a layer of mystery is added by the introduction of magic. The interesting and relatively original plot (as fairytales go) offers a sweet narrative that has some substance too. Friendship, honesty, honour and courage are all give "A good book to pick up for several hours of enjoyable escape". Inspired by Austen and the Regency writers, this novel is set in England at the time when Victoria was Princess. In addition to the romantic appeal of seasons, balls, beaux and female friends (or competition), a layer of mystery is added by the introduction of magic. The interesting and relatively original plot (as fairytales go) offers a sweet narrative that has some substance too. Friendship, honesty, honour and courage are all given their moments of glory, and good characterisation draws empathy for the main characters and evokes a little of the ‘I wish it could be me’ feeling inspired by classic fairytales. While light and sweet, it’s not simply a mouthful of fairy floss, though you never doubt there will be a happy ending. Recommended for female teens and pre-teens looking for a fun, light read. *Sadly I can not recommend the sequel.

  10. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Though technically not a Regency, it follows the same rules as teenage twins move in and out of London Society. This book contains a twist: the Misses Leland have magic powers and their governess has gone missing and it's up to the twins to save her and rescue the country from potential disaster.It sounds kind of silly the way I wrote it but this novel is incredibly good at the magic elements are subtle and believable. There's humor (a pesky little brother), two lively twins, a hunky boy next do Though technically not a Regency, it follows the same rules as teenage twins move in and out of London Society. This book contains a twist: the Misses Leland have magic powers and their governess has gone missing and it's up to the twins to save her and rescue the country from potential disaster.It sounds kind of silly the way I wrote it but this novel is incredibly good at the magic elements are subtle and believable. There's humor (a pesky little brother), two lively twins, a hunky boy next door and intrigue. Though technically not a Regency, it follows the same rules as teenage twins move in and out of London Society. This book contains a twist: the Misses Leland have magic powers and their governess has gone missing and it's up to the twins to save her and rescue the country from potential disaster.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    Sort of the poor man's "Sorcery and Cecelia". Rather predictable, a smattering of loose ends, and a protagonist who whines too much and has so little smarts that you almost begrudge her her happy ending. Oh, and woe betide the lower classes. They get pretty short shrift here. Fun enough to read but it doesn't hold up to close scrutiny. Sort of the poor man's "Sorcery and Cecelia". Rather predictable, a smattering of loose ends, and a protagonist who whines too much and has so little smarts that you almost begrudge her her happy ending. Oh, and woe betide the lower classes. They get pretty short shrift here. Fun enough to read but it doesn't hold up to close scrutiny.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Such a cute read! I enjoyed the romance - it was swoony and perfect. I also liked that the twins were so similar in some ways and so different in others. Also, I loved Charles! Their interactions with him were great. The addition of magic made this story different from other regency novels I've read. I thought the magic element worked well. The mystery was a little weak, but the rest of the story more than made up for it. Such a cute read! I enjoyed the romance - it was swoony and perfect. I also liked that the twins were so similar in some ways and so different in others. Also, I loved Charles! Their interactions with him were great. The addition of magic made this story different from other regency novels I've read. I thought the magic element worked well. The mystery was a little weak, but the rest of the story more than made up for it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    Persephone and Penelope Leland are twins in early nineteenth century London. To the rest of the world, they are beautiful young women who are about to make their debut into society and then search for suitable husbands. But what most people don’t know is that the women of the Leland family are known for their magical abilities. The twins study magic under the careful tutorage of their governess Ally. While they are usually very close, Persephone and Penelope start to have secrets from each other. Persephone and Penelope Leland are twins in early nineteenth century London. To the rest of the world, they are beautiful young women who are about to make their debut into society and then search for suitable husbands. But what most people don’t know is that the women of the Leland family are known for their magical abilities. The twins study magic under the careful tutorage of their governess Ally. While they are usually very close, Persephone and Penelope start to have secrets from each other. Penelope is extremely excited about making her debut into London society, but Persephone would rather continue studying magic. But one day, Ally suddenly disappears. The twins get repeated nightmares about their governess, which leads them to think Ally is in grave danger. So, with the help of their younger brother Charles and also Ally’s family, they try to devise a plan to find out Ally’s whereabouts. Now, I don’t want to start gushing in an overenthusiastic way, but I have to say that Bewitching Season had everything I was looking for in a book. The characters were very realistic, and so was the description of London society. The magical aspect of the book never seemed phony, which was refreshing. I enjoyed reading the story which was primarily told from Persephone’s perspective, and the romantic twist was the cherry on top of a delicious read. What I particularly enjoyed was that the storyline was never too predictable; I have read so many books now that I can often guess what will happen next in the story. But Bewitching Season truly kept me guessing, and I loved how the ending was not what I expected. I highly recommend this novel, especially for fans of the A Great and Terrible Beauty series by Libba Bray and The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. I also cannot wait until the continuation of the story in Maiden Voyage. Look for Bewitching Season on shelves in April. reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Harvey

    This book was a good meld of debutante society, love, magic and adventure. The characters were interesting even if the main plot was lacking a little at times. I would have liked to see more action, but it was a good read. I was a little disappointed by how it ended. Not the ending she chose, but really the last page of the book - the last few paragraphs. I don't feel like it was wrapped up real well. This book was a good meld of debutante society, love, magic and adventure. The characters were interesting even if the main plot was lacking a little at times. I would have liked to see more action, but it was a good read. I was a little disappointed by how it ended. Not the ending she chose, but really the last page of the book - the last few paragraphs. I don't feel like it was wrapped up real well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I quite enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and easy to finish in a couple of evenings. It had multiple plot threads which all came together well at the end. The romance thread got to be a bit annoying during the middle parts of the book, but the resolution was nicely symmetrical. I accidentally started reading this trilogy out of sequence, and overall, I found the protagonist of the third book, Courtship and Curses a Lot more likable than Persy Leland was in this.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Regina Scott

    Brilliant beginning to a wonderful series for young adults and adults alike.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bettielee

    3.8956789 out of 5 magical stars…. I know that’s random I love magic. I love Victorian England. And this book starts at the very beginning of that period, with the woman who gave the period its name, the young Queen Victoria, taking the throne. Oh, and there’s magics. Twins, Persephone and Penelope Leland, have come to London for their coming out, that time when a young woman is presented to the King (or Queen) and enters society. Penelope can’t wait. This time is a whirl of dresses and balls, tea 3.8956789 out of 5 magical stars…. I know that’s random I love magic. I love Victorian England. And this book starts at the very beginning of that period, with the woman who gave the period its name, the young Queen Victoria, taking the throne. Oh, and there’s magics. Twins, Persephone and Penelope Leland, have come to London for their coming out, that time when a young woman is presented to the King (or Queen) and enters society. Penelope can’t wait. This time is a whirl of dresses and balls, teas in fancy sitting rooms, supper out, etc. Persephone would much rather remain in their country home and continue her magical studies. Shy and awkward, Persephone sees herself as a much less attractive shadow of her sister…. which got a little repetitive. There was so much I really loved about this book – the only thing that takes away the .10956849030 from making it 4 stars (I had to give it 4 stars on Goodreads since they don’t have quarter stars) was the YA angst which ran over a little bit. You are an identical twin, Persephone!! How could you be less pretty than your sister?!? There is also their little brother, Charles, who is a real firecracker. I really liked both girls. The last book I read in the Regency era was so catty and there was no friendship, and this was so much nicer. Besides, these girls are at the height of society – their Grandmama is a lady in waiting to the Queen (Anne, the wife of the current King. At the beginning of the story, Victoria is still the heir presumptive), their dad is a Viscount, mama is the daughter of a Baronet, they are rich, they are twins, they are a sensation. The girls are kind to people and don’t treat others like they are beneath them. And like myself, they are both obsessed with Princess Victoria. The Royal family also has a lot of drama. The princess and her mother are at odds, mainly because Victoria is kept isolated from everyone, and completely dependent on her mother and mother’s secretary, Sir John Conroy. (All this is historically accurate, by the way.) Both are using the Princess as a power chip, and want to remain in control of her even beyond her coronation. The woman who teaches the girls is Miss Allardyce, or Ally, to the girls. She came to be their governess because she knew the Leland’s had magic running in their family, usually among the females. I really liked her. She’s a very upright governess, but she’s liked by her pupils. At this time, magic is underground. People are still superstitious, and magicians (called wizards or witches) are shunned. So the girls have to keep their magic on the down low. Persephone, or Persy, is much more studious than her sister and much stronger in magic as a result. The magic was not well defined – other than there are words in latin murmured to do spells. Later, we see candles and magic circles used but other than a halting spell, a cloaking spell, and being able to move objects, we aren’t shown a lot of what can be done with magic until we get to the drama at the end. I don’t mind that so much, so just FYI for those who prefer a more ordered magic system. All this magic is what gets them in trouble! Before they even get to London, Ally is kidnapped by a mysterious man with one blue eye and one brown. (This is in the blurb, so it’s not a spoiler.) The kidnappers are smart, though and have her write a letter saying that a relative has taken ill and she has to go take care of them. They were not counting on Ally’s students, though, who can read the letter, magically, and it’s clear from the emotions they sense that it was written under duress. To try and find what may have happened to her, they seek out the book store owned by Ally’s family (who is also magical). Here we meet Ally’s mother, sweet old father, and sister Lorelai. Lorelai is a real kick in the pants. She can do a lot of cool things magically and doesn’t suffer fools. With the magical element involved, they can’t exactly go to the authorities to seek help. Using magic, they have an idea where Ally might be, and it means the government must be involved. The girls promise to try and find out what they can. Amidst all this, we have the angst, and if you want angst, you gotta have boys. A young man from the girl’s childhood, Lord Lochinvar Seton, comes back from his time in Cambridge, tall, blond, handsome, and eager to renew his friendship with the girls. As a boy, he was a fright but time has improved him. Persy is twitterpated from the offing, and she immediately assumes that he prefers Penelope. This drives the first wedge between the sisters, but not for the reason Persy thinks. There is also Lord Carharrick, a man of political ambition, who takes a liking to Persy. But does he care for her, or her family’s political connections? I did get very frustrated with Persy being constantly down on herself. She made very error possible in regards to the men and I wanted to slap her. She also decided at one point to run away. That just irritated the crap out of me. There was no reason for it, she was just being stupid. And how could someone with a happy family, a sister she loved dearly, used to comfort and ease, decide on a whim to leave home, destroying her family’s happiness and ostracizing herself from them. I just couldn’t see that happening. I read A LOT of historical fiction, and so often they forget that a huge part of a girl’s coming out was being presented at court. They just skip it. This one took the girls through the process of being presented, which put them in the castle, where they met Princess Sophia, the King’s sister. Through her, they are invited to Kensington Palace, where Victoria lives, which helps fuel the plot. I did think it was a little silly to just forget their governess was missing, possibly held captive, in the center of a terrible plot, and they are consumed with parties and boys. But I still liked it. Despite the angst, I really enjoyed this.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Roberta

    I enjoyed this book a lot. I love Regencies in general, and adding magic just makes it more fun. The character development for Persephone was realistic and great to see. I did find how long it took for them to take any action a little irritating, but otherwise, this is excellent, lighthearted fun. I think I shall seek out others in the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah (Workaday Reads)

    This was a delightfully fun story. Historical romance with intrigue with magic. It was amusing, and cute, and slightly frustrating because romance stories usually are. I flew through the story and didn't want it to end. I am absolutely delighted to find there is a sequel. This was a delightfully fun story. Historical romance with intrigue with magic. It was amusing, and cute, and slightly frustrating because romance stories usually are. I flew through the story and didn't want it to end. I am absolutely delighted to find there is a sequel.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    I am a bit hesitant to write a review of this book. I actually did really enjoy the book, but can’t help thinking of a few things that bothered me. I thought the story idea was fun, but would have preferred if the whole thing had taken place in a fictional land instead of England. The magic in the story was really underdeveloped and could have been left out entirely. I think if it had taken place in a fictional place then the magic element could have been used a lot more. I started out liking Pe I am a bit hesitant to write a review of this book. I actually did really enjoy the book, but can’t help thinking of a few things that bothered me. I thought the story idea was fun, but would have preferred if the whole thing had taken place in a fictional land instead of England. The magic in the story was really underdeveloped and could have been left out entirely. I think if it had taken place in a fictional place then the magic element could have been used a lot more. I started out liking Persephone. She is smart and magically gifted (more so than her twin Penelope). However, as the story moved on she becomes a little annoying. If she wasn’t complaining or feeling sorry for herself then she was just causing more trouble and alienating her sister. Neither sister seemed that concerned that their dear friend Ally has been kidnapped. For the majority of the story Ally (and their magical abilities) are absent. I was surprised at the end when Ally ends up falling for one of her captures and I can’t help wondering if she is suffering from Stockholm syndrome. I had a hard time figuring out what she saw in him, she says “…here is a man I could love and respect.” What in the world is there to respect in a man who kidnaps you and would play a part in your possible death? She seems like someone who has really high standards and would do the right thing no matter what. Michael on the other hand is forced into a situation and instead of doing the right thing he caves. Maybe if more time had been spent with their relationship it would seem clearer, but for me it was a bit unbelievable. I did enjoy the story and do actually look forward to reading the next book, which luckily has Penelope as the main character.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    Persephone and Penelope Leland are about to be thrust into their coming out season! These girls may look alike but that is as far as their likeness goes. They couldn’t be more different from each other. While Penelope can’t wait to start her season and longs for dancing at wondrous balls, Persephone would rather be reading a book or studying her magic. But there is much more than their upcoming season that the girls must worry about. It seems that their governess, Ally is missing. They only clue Persephone and Penelope Leland are about to be thrust into their coming out season! These girls may look alike but that is as far as their likeness goes. They couldn’t be more different from each other. While Penelope can’t wait to start her season and longs for dancing at wondrous balls, Persephone would rather be reading a book or studying her magic. But there is much more than their upcoming season that the girls must worry about. It seems that their governess, Ally is missing. They only clue they have to her whereabouts is a note apologizing for her absence. Persy and Pen both realize that something is not right and that Ally’s disappearance may be more like a kidnaping! Bewitching Season is Marissa Doyle’s debut novel. I love historical fiction and Bewitching Season moved into one of my top favorite spots! Doyle’s writing is smooth and intriguing. Although magic is a key component in the story, her dialogue and cultural references allow the story to maintain it’s historical appeal! One of my favorite characters from the story is the twin’s younger brother in the story, Charles. I like to think of him as the comic relief, but I think his role in the story goes well beyond that. The plot itself is full of twists and turns and Doyle brilliantly keeps them from unraveling! The ending may have been a little bit predictable, but that didn’t bother me at all! I would highly recommend Bewitching Season to historical fiction and fantasy fans!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adriana

    The book reminded me of The Season (Maclean) and A Great and Terrible Beauty (Bray). As you read it the story pulls you in further and further into the characters and the intrigue in the plot. Persephone and Penelope are twins that are about to start their first London season. They are also witches who have been getting trained by their governess who is also a witch. Only their younger brother knows that they are witches as they practice some of their spells on him. Persy (Persephone) is far mor The book reminded me of The Season (Maclean) and A Great and Terrible Beauty (Bray). As you read it the story pulls you in further and further into the characters and the intrigue in the plot. Persephone and Penelope are twins that are about to start their first London season. They are also witches who have been getting trained by their governess who is also a witch. Only their younger brother knows that they are witches as they practice some of their spells on him. Persy (Persephone) is far more disciplined and therefore more talented than her sister Pen (Penelope). She is also much less interested in all that the season entails - the dances, the dresses, and the socializing with suitors (although there is a love story). Right before the season begins their governess mysteriously disappears and the twins must figure out what happened to their beloved Ally while keeping their magic under wraps and attending all of the season's events. The story focuses on Persy, while the second book in the series focuses on Pen. I do look forward to reading the next book and I will keep my eye on this author in the future.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Krys

    I really wanted to love this book, but it fell flat about half way through. The beginning was brilliant, the lead up of the girl's introduction into fashionable society, the practice of magic with Ally and her resulting kidnapping, and the mystery about it all. Too bad that Persy decided to cast a spell on her love interest... that was one ridiculous plot arc... let's cast a spell on Lochinvar to make him fall in love with me when I'm drinking, feel bad once I sober up and distance myself from h I really wanted to love this book, but it fell flat about half way through. The beginning was brilliant, the lead up of the girl's introduction into fashionable society, the practice of magic with Ally and her resulting kidnapping, and the mystery about it all. Too bad that Persy decided to cast a spell on her love interest... that was one ridiculous plot arc... let's cast a spell on Lochinvar to make him fall in love with me when I'm drinking, feel bad once I sober up and distance myself from him when he expresses interest, flirt outrageously with another man to dissuade him, this entangling someone else's emotions in this silly fiasco...and constantly refute the man I loves attentions even though I want him desperately and no one else... yeah... brilliant plan Persy. Stellar. I'm curious about the next one because there were many fun things about this book, but seeing as how I skimmed a large chunk of it I imagine I won't be rushing to read the sequel anytime soon. The premise is such fun, the writing (and character development) need work.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bridget R. Wilson

    Jane Austen with magic. Enough said. Read it! In 1837 London, most girls have qualms about their first season. Will they be popular? Will they have suitors? Will they receive a proposal? Twins Pen and Persy Leland have much bigger worries. Not only are they about to come out, they are also witches. Concealment of their craft is paramount. The disappearance of their governess and fellow witch Ally spurs them to action Who abducted her? Why? Add to this Persy's love for childhood friend Lochinvar Jane Austen with magic. Enough said. Read it! In 1837 London, most girls have qualms about their first season. Will they be popular? Will they have suitors? Will they receive a proposal? Twins Pen and Persy Leland have much bigger worries. Not only are they about to come out, they are also witches. Concealment of their craft is paramount. The disappearance of their governess and fellow witch Ally spurs them to action Who abducted her? Why? Add to this Persy's love for childhood friend Lochinvar and their younger brother Charles' determination to help recover Ally. Bewitching Season is a Victorian romp with love and magic. What I thought: A riveting read. My fondness for all things Jane Austen endears this time period to me. What if anything was missing from Austen? I'll hazard a guess--magic! This book has it all--action, adventure, love, and magic. Can't wait to read the next book. The chemistry between Persy and Loch was stupendous, The third person narration kept me in agony about these misguided lovers.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Krystle

    I read this book so long ago that I don’t remember what really happened. I for one sure remember it being fun in that there was some fun magic times and some awesome romantic tension. Kind of like The Season just less on the burning stares and romantic tension – if you’re in the mood to read something in a similar vein, then this would be the right choice. Persy, though, was super annoying. She’s this passive, self-conscious, and has this whole sacrificial mood about her all the time type of char I read this book so long ago that I don’t remember what really happened. I for one sure remember it being fun in that there was some fun magic times and some awesome romantic tension. Kind of like The Season just less on the burning stares and romantic tension – if you’re in the mood to read something in a similar vein, then this would be the right choice. Persy, though, was super annoying. She’s this passive, self-conscious, and has this whole sacrificial mood about her all the time type of character. For someone so smart she misses the obvious answer right in front of her face and the way she pushes the guy away over and over again because she thinks his feelings for her aren’t real is SO aggravating. I wanted to shake that woman to her senses. The ending made it all work because she actually shows a whole lot of spine and stood up for herself in the face of danger! Good deals man. Not to mention I finally get my fun smoochies and happy togetherness with the pairing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    This book is about two girls who are 'coming out' in the the British society. A difficult task in and of itself, but to tack on the all the gowns and gloves, the twin girls are witches, a feared art punishable by death. While dodging suitors and magical enemies, the girls, Persy and Pen struggle to establish themselves successfully in society while simultaneously uncovering a plot to take over the crown. I thought this book was extremely refreshing after all the trash I have been reading. It was This book is about two girls who are 'coming out' in the the British society. A difficult task in and of itself, but to tack on the all the gowns and gloves, the twin girls are witches, a feared art punishable by death. While dodging suitors and magical enemies, the girls, Persy and Pen struggle to establish themselves successfully in society while simultaneously uncovering a plot to take over the crown. I thought this book was extremely refreshing after all the trash I have been reading. It was witty, original and funny. I enjoyed Persy and Pen's different personalities but their similar stong-minded attitude. There are several twists in the plot, but not to a confusing level. I also enjoyed this book because it thoroughly explained many of the mechanics of the time-period that many other books leave out. Ratings (out of 10): Plot: 10 Characters: 10 Writing Style: 10 Content: 9 Originality: 10 Total: 49/50 (A)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashley (Bound to Love YA)

    This book is mostly fluff - fluffy magic, fluffy romance, fluffy plot. However it still makes a good, quick read on a Sunday afternoon. Is it predictable? Yep. Is the romance adorable even though you know exactly how it will end up? Yep. As long as you go in understanding that this is your basic Magical-governess-gets-kidnapped-so-teens-must-save-her-and-uncover-a-greater-plot-while-still-making-it-to-their-ton-debut storyline, then you shouldn't be too disappointed at all. Final Score: 3.5/5 Star This book is mostly fluff - fluffy magic, fluffy romance, fluffy plot. However it still makes a good, quick read on a Sunday afternoon. Is it predictable? Yep. Is the romance adorable even though you know exactly how it will end up? Yep. As long as you go in understanding that this is your basic Magical-governess-gets-kidnapped-so-teens-must-save-her-and-uncover-a-greater-plot-while-still-making-it-to-their-ton-debut storyline, then you shouldn't be too disappointed at all. Final Score: 3.5/5 Stars (Percy can get a little annoying, but Lochinvar's cute hero act makes up for most of it). Romance: 3/3 hearts - Not the best romance I've ever read, but it is pretty much the main focus of this book (not so much the world building or the magic or the plot) Love Triangle Factor: No love-triangles, minimal instalove, no obsessive stalkers. Bechdel Test: Pass.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Miss Clark

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I did enjoy the alternate Regency England that Doyle created, but I found the "romance" side of the story sorely lacking, with a weak hero and an often overly weak-willed heroine. She is so convinced of her social inferiority to her sister, that she moans about it throughout most of the book, when she has her own particular strengths which set her apart. Furthermore, the Irishman who ends up with another main character annoyed me to no end with his excuses for his behavior and I was most disappo I did enjoy the alternate Regency England that Doyle created, but I found the "romance" side of the story sorely lacking, with a weak hero and an often overly weak-willed heroine. She is so convinced of her social inferiority to her sister, that she moans about it throughout most of the book, when she has her own particular strengths which set her apart. Furthermore, the Irishman who ends up with another main character annoyed me to no end with his excuses for his behavior and I was most disappointed that the lady was even more eager to excuse his egregious behavior than he was himself. My favorite character was Charles, who was delightful! And the younger sister of the governess - I hope both she and Charles get their own stories...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Barb in Maryland

    Perfectly charming tale of twin sisters with magical powers. The setting is upper-crust English society, and the plot involves threats to Crown Princess (later Queen) Victoria. The few anachronisms don't hamper one's enjoyment of a clever plot and engaging heroines. This book is mostly Persephone's story. It is a sure bet that the next book will feature Penelope. And we must have more of their intrepid younger brother, Charles. And, hmmm, their mother, Lady Parthenope, hinted at a magical advent Perfectly charming tale of twin sisters with magical powers. The setting is upper-crust English society, and the plot involves threats to Crown Princess (later Queen) Victoria. The few anachronisms don't hamper one's enjoyment of a clever plot and engaging heroines. This book is mostly Persephone's story. It is a sure bet that the next book will feature Penelope. And we must have more of their intrepid younger brother, Charles. And, hmmm, their mother, Lady Parthenope, hinted at a magical adventure in her past--- I can hardly wait.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shannen

    A book of gowns and magic. I found it a little difficult to get into, but all in all it was enjoyable. I did find the heroine's self-deprecating attitude a little tiresome with regards to her beloved Lochinvar's attentions ("oh certainly he can't love me as I love him, he must love my twin sister because she is so much better than me" type thing - ugh!). Mostly I found myself reading just to find out how it ended, not necessarily because I was enraptured by the tale. Despite its faults, it was a A book of gowns and magic. I found it a little difficult to get into, but all in all it was enjoyable. I did find the heroine's self-deprecating attitude a little tiresome with regards to her beloved Lochinvar's attentions ("oh certainly he can't love me as I love him, he must love my twin sister because she is so much better than me" type thing - ugh!). Mostly I found myself reading just to find out how it ended, not necessarily because I was enraptured by the tale. Despite its faults, it was a cute little book, but a one-timer to be sure.

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