Cover Image: The Last Season

The Last Season

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Member Reviews

I read this book in one sitting. It's the friends-to-lovers/forbidden love story of Cassandra Drayton, the daughter of a Viscount, and Crispin, the stable boy at her family's estate. They meet as young teens and develop a friendship before being separated. Cassandra continues on the path expected of her - being presented to society to make an advantageous match - while Crispin is sent to India where he encounters opportunities he never would have in England. Despite the distance between them, the two continue to correspond, the bond they forged as kids growing stronger. When both of their fortunes change as adults, could the pair finally find their way to each other?

Although there is a love story, this is very much historical fiction. I enjoyed being transported back to the Victorian era and both Cassandra and Crispin's journeys are exciting, both figuratively as they come of age and literally as they travel the world, and you can't help but root for them. Don't miss the author bios at the end - I loved Jenny and Danielle's story as much as their characters!

Thanks to Get Red PR, Touchpoint Press and NetGalley for a copy to review.
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I read a lot of Regency novels, but I appreciated that this was both familiar and unique within its setting. The writing style helps to make this stand out in its already-lovely genre, and I love how these two authors seamlessly wove their voices together here.
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This was a great debut novel! Historical Fiction is my favorite genre, so I was looking forward to this read. While it started out a bit slow, and I initially didn't find Cassie all that likeable as a main character, that changed as she matured (I probably wasn't all that likeable myself as a young teen! ha!). The story really picked up when Crispin left for India and we saw the two friends come of age in dramatically different worlds. In this Victorian romance, we get a story not just about love, but about true friendship. I especially enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the settings - from Calcutta to an English Country Estate - and even the beautiful dresses the ladies wore during the Season. I received a free NetGalley ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but this is one I definitely would purchase for myself. Recommend to any fans of Historical Fiction / Victorian Romance.
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3.5 ⭐️

I enjoyed the letters, that was probably my favorite part. I had such mixed emotions about Lord D. I wanted to like him, to respect him, but I just couldn’t…until the very end. 

Overall, I would say a sweet story, more PG 13 than I prefer, but that’s just me. :) 

I appreciated that most characters were not completely good or completely bad. Archie? A drunken man whore, but a good friend. Emma? Sleeping with her boss, but loyal to the end to those she loved. 

Would I recommend it? Probably not. Aside from the letters there was no *wow* factor for me.
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This is such a lovely book! The authors do a great job of transporting the reader back to the mid 19th century in England, where class and society is so very important and there are so many rules. We meet Crispin and Cassandra, who are fast friends from a young age, but worlds apart in society and would never be allowed to be together. Life continues on and it is a good story.
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This is a story set mainly in 1870’s England where rich girl meets stable boy as teenagers. Stable boy grows up to be successful and rich girl’s dad makes a really poor business decision. 

Rich girl (who becomes not so rich) may have to marry slimy rich middle aged man to save her ancestral home..

This was great romance but what I enjoyed even more was that I felt the story had a sense of substance. This book is way more than the simple plot line I shared with you. I really liked the way the book goes into detail how our main character’s dad lost a chunk of his money.

It also has some fantastic secondary characters. My favorite fun secondary character is Archie. He is a fun loving good hearted friend to our main characters. 

This was a book that swept me away back to the era where a society coming out started with a quick trip to see the queen and a single woman could be scandalized just for being in a room alone with a man. 

I loved the way the book took us not only to London but also to a variety of locales such as India and America. All of the rich descriptions provided just made the read even more entrancing.
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To all the historical romance fans, you're going to want to buy this book. It's a friends to lovers closed door love story that captures your heart and makes you feel whole. I love when authors can bring so much depth and feeling without relying on steamy scenes to cement the attraction. I read it in one sitting and I'm still a little sad that it's over. All the stars for this well-written novel that is now one of my favorites.
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A brilliant debut novel that was absolutely wonderful! I loved everything about it and hope these two talented authors write another novel. Victorian age is one of my favorite time periods and this story gave me all the feels of a great historical romance. 
There was stolen kisses, debtors prison, trips to India and America and many chances to lose your place in society. This really could be made into a BBC Masterpiece Theater series. 
I was extremely happy with the ending and I’m not going to give anything else away. Read this book. It’s really good. I highly recommend it. 
Thanks TouchPoint Press via Netgalley.
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I liked the idea of this story of a rich girl and a poor boy who becomes wealthy but unfortunately the pace was too slow for me. I did enjoy the descriptions of life in India and the characters were likeable. This has so much potential for a good read that I feel quite disappointed. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Relax. Read. Repeat.

THE LAST SEASON 
By 
Jenny Judson and Danielle Mahfood. Published by TouchPoint Press.

#justreleased📣 

Romance isn’t dead!
Set in Victorian England, The Last Season is a story of social upheaval, changing fortunes, and an unlikely romance that develops between a well-to-do heiress and a stable boy.

The Last Season is a collaboration between Jenny Judson and Danielle Mahfood, who met in high school and shared a mutual love of historical fiction and romance novels.

When they meet as adolescents at Drayton Manor, the well-to-do Cassandra Drayton and the manor's stable boy, Crispin St. John, seem destined for very different futures. Yet, the two strike up a secret and forbidden friendship. Once discovered, they are forced apart, with Cassandra staying locked in her father's world and Crispin traveling to India to make his own way.

Years later, when Cassandra's high-society London lifestyle is shattered by her father's spectacular fall from grace, she is surprised to reunite with her childhood friend, no longer a penniless boy but an enterprising young man who has risen through the ranks of the Indian cotton trade. As they navigate changing circumstances, fickle friendships, and social upheaval, Cassandra and Crispin find that the bond they developed as children is a lasting one.

3 parts 
42 chapters 
298pgs.

❤️The story begins in October 1863 and ends in October 1875.
What a cozy read perfect for fall..!!
It is about relationships, love, ego, class difference, self love infact self obsession, realisations, apologies, lessons learned & a romantic relationship, a mother daughter bond, a father daughter relation & the ups and down in a relationship, over a period of time..& how true love triumps.

❤️ Are you still in touch with your school/ childhood bestie?
Do you still remember/ cherish their memories?
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I was drawn to this book because of the comparison to Downton Abbey. Unfortunately this one didn’t click for me! The characters felt one-dimensional and cliched. I had a hard time keeping some of the characters straight because of the names seeming similar, and I just couldn’t get into the story. It felt a little stilted and predictable, and I was disappointed that I’ didn’t connect with this one. I was very intrigued by the authors’ long friendship and desire to write a book together, and I wish them nothing but the best!
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This is the story that most of us girls grew up dreaming about when we were reading our “Little Women” or “Jane Eyre” books. I really enjoyed this romp through Victorian-era England. Jenny Judson & Danielle Mahfood nailed the perfect recipe for everything I cherish in a  rolling romantic saga. I fell for both character and place!

This is a great world to fall into! I had fancy gloves, a special tea cup, pen, journal and candle from the “Bridgestone” Book Box, and I loved using them while I took a deep dive into  “The Last Season”! #FunTimes Great idea for your Book Club!l

I received a copy of the book from TouchPoint Press via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

#ZibbyOwens #AnnieMcDonnell #TheWriteReview #AnnieFavorites #NetGalley
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I ended up DNFing this book at the 50% mark. I don't think this is a bad book, I just wasn't interested or invested in the characters. I was hoping this was going to be more of a historical romance, but at the 50% mark we hadn't gotten any of that. I found myself zoning out and not engaging with the story. I think if you're looking for a more historical novel set in the mid to late 1800's you may enjoy this.
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This was like a saga instead of a love story. I was hoping for something different. This is like a BBC movie that is all long and boring and goes no where. The love story did not convince me. I was bored and starting skimming at about 70 percent. Not my thing. This would be a R rated movie.
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Miss Cassandra Drayton was the daughter of Lord James Drayton, a widower. She was very lonely especially when her father went to London. His grandfather and Great Grandfather had spent all the money that had been inherited. He had to work hard to get things together and make the estate a viable one. He did a lot of investing. Miss Fairfax was the youngest woman about twenty and was kind to her. 

Crispin St, John was the new stable boy. She asked him to teach her how to ride. He reluctantly did so. Her father had told her no but she longed to learn even though her mother died from falling off a horse. Crispin's father was in debtor prison and Crispin hoped he could pay his debts for him. He always sent money to his father when he got paid.

This was a traveling story, it went from England to India to England and back again. She got a chance to travel with her father to America and the wild West. She enjoyed traveling. I thought it was a good story, it was interesting, amusing, and entertaining. They kept in touch by letter after he went to India. I know he paid his father's debt but what happened to him after that? The characters were fun but there were some pretty bad guys. Forsythe was one. He was described as oily or greasy. He was not liked. There were a lot of things happening and you could get lost but you could easily find your way back. I thought they did a great job of keeping the events in the story straight.

I received this ARC from Newt Galley and voluntarily reviewed it.
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On a manor, in Victorian England, Cassandra and Crispin first meet. Cassandra is the daughter of Lord Drayton, sheltered and spoiled but longing for more. Crispin St John, the son of a gentleman who is in debtors prison, is a poor hard working boy but ambitious. The two strike up a friendship and became fast friends. Tragedy strikes while out riding one day, leaving Cassandra injured and Crispin sent away. 
The story starts to unfold from there, when the two or forcefully separated. Crispin is sent to India to work, and Cassandra has to stay under her fathers thumb. When the two meet again, their roles are reversed. Crispin is well off and Cassandras father has fallen in shame. How will the two find their way to back each other? Is it even possible their friendship and feelings from childhood have survived?

I must say, Crispin was my favorite character in this story. He was well developed and easy to like. The author did a good job with her imagery and details. You felt as if you really were in India with him. While this was a slow burn of a romance, I think anyone who is against insta love and cheers for redemption will like this book. Historical fiction fans will enjoy the time period setting as well.
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This book has a beautiful coming of age story of friendship and the path to love. I was invested in the characters and wanted nothing more than them getting together for their HEA. Crispin and Cassie’s story was refreshing in showing the more realistic way a relationship can develop. They met as children, but due to circumstances, they weren’t tunnel visioned thinking that was the only person for them. They knew the reality and pursued other relationships before finding their way back to each other.
With that said, it was a hard read. It didn’t flow as well as some of the more seasoned authors do. It went into details where it wasn’t necessary, then would abruptly end just as the scene was getting good. At times I loathed the back and forth between chapters and character POV, mostly when the chapter abruptly ended then it would switch people. But, overall I see the necessity in organizing that way, and wouldn’t mind the style if it flowed a little better. Maybe adding location above the date at the beginning of the chapter would help. The abrupt ending so chapter left me feeling I missed out on details that would have been interesting, like the actual proposal and answer, or the wedding, or why it took years for Henry to court Cassie. I was also left wondering how the Middleton situation resolved with Crispin marrying and where did Crisping and Cassie buy a house. I would be a few paragraphs into the next chapter before I figured out the time jump and was guessing what had happened to lead to the circumstances in that chapter that was skipped.
Another thing that would help the book, would be small reminders to who people are throughout the book. In the past with other authors, the constant reworded reminders from chapter to chapter and between books in series drove me nuts, but now reading a book without them, made me really miss them. When introduced to so many side characters, and multiple names starting with the same letter, it’s hard to keep track of who is who. I suspected, but it took me a long time to confirm that May and Archie were siblings. I had to go back and find names to be sure, that took extra time to get through the book.
Spoiler Alert: They do not get married until literally the last chapter. So beware if that type of story is not your style
There is pretty much no sex in this book, so those looking for a romance that skips that, this is your book.
They do leave a cliff hanger in the epilogue making me want to read the next book. Hopefully they wrap up that story in the next book. I would also love to read May and Archie’s stories, hopefully those are coming.

Thank you TouchPoint Press, Jenny Judson, and Danielle Mahfood for the ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
#TheLastSeason #NetGalley
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The Last Season is a historical romance set in Victorian England. It focuses on the story of Cassandra Drayton and Crispin St John, an entitled heiress and a scrappy stable boy.  I finished the book, but it was only "okay" for me.  My thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I was mildly intrigued by the description of The Last Season, but I honestly didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did!  Judson and Mahfood did an amazing job of creating two sympathetic and fully realized characters in Cassandra and Crispin.  I found myself quite invested in the outcome of their respective stories, rooting for them to succeed in spite of the odds.  What a truly remarkable story, able to draw one into its depths so you feel like you really know the characters and their struggles.
I also very much enjoyed the various backdrops to the story, which range everywhere from a great country house in rural England, to the busy streets of London, across the continent to the spicy, seething alleys and roads of India, and even across the pond to the wilds of the American frontier.  I will definitely be reading this book again and again, to enjoy the story all over again!  I'll also be on the lookout for more novels from this outstanding duo of authors.  I highly recommend this book for anyone that enjoys historical fiction with a bit of drama and romance thrown in for good measure.
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This is my freely given review for a free preview that I received courtesy of Netgalley.

This was an enjoyable, sweet, nicely written historical romance. It starts out with the meeting of two youths, a young woman, Cassandra Drayton, and Crispin St. John. She is a wealthy young lady of the peerage, who is a bit spoiled, and lonely. He is a youth who has fallen on harsh circumstances. Sounds like his father was a gentleman, and while they were not of the same standing as the peerage, they had some status as land owners and horse breeders. Except, that his father had lost that wealth and because of debt, he and his father were living in a debtor's prison, until his aunt, the governess of Miss Drayton, managed to get him a position working in the stable of her employer.

Crispin and Cassandra meet, and become friends. It sounds like he was taken with her from the beginning and she was able to persuade him to do what she wanted, but going against his employer's wishes, and his own judgement. Ultimately that leads to his disgrace, and banishment from the estate. His aunt manages to get him passage to India to try to find work and build his future there.

Their stories over the next few years are written, some through letters, about their growth and development, including how Crispin succeeds in making his way in the world. But they do not seem to forget each other, despite their different backgrounds, and development of other relationship, and other adventures for each of them. Their paths cross again, and they renew their friendship as adults, and eventually it does lead to an HEA for the both of them.

I found this a very enjoyable read because there was some lovely depth developed with the characters, and the story was written from their two different perspectives growing up. It felt slow at times, but not in a ponderous way, but more like a gently meandering river where you can look and enjoy the scenery. Also, there was a back story romance between two other characters pivotal to Cassandra Drayton's life, that I found very intriguing. That relationship was left without conclusion, but you were left feeling like there was a world of possibility there.

One thing that I found was a loose thread though was what happened with Crispin's father? He was definitely in the background, but he never actually showed up in the story at any point?
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