Gossip Girl meets the Gilded Age in this delicious and compelling novel, the third in the New York Times bestselling series from author Anna Godbersen.
In the thrilling third installment of Anna Godbersen’s bestselling Luxe series, Manhattan’s most envied residents appear to have everything they desire: Wealth. Beauty. Happiness. But sometimes the most practiced smiles hide the most scandalous secrets.
Jealous whispers. Old rivalries. New betrayals. This is Manhattan, 1899.
Two months after Elizabeth Holland’s dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana’s side, however, those watching New York’s favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South.
Farther uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city’s most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond ring on Penelope’s finger, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. And while the newspapers call Penelope’s social-climbing best friend, Carolina Broad, an heiress, her fortune—and her fame—is anything but secure.
“Mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn’t put The Luxe down!” —Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Gossip Girl series
"The paintings in this gallery are particularly nice."
I laughed when I came across this quote near the end of the novel because it very aptly sums up how painfully dull this series actually is. And yet... I continue to read. Somehow Anna Godbersen manages to capture my attention with every new chapter. And somehow my loyalties jump from character to character no matter how selfish or stupid they act. One minute I'm rooting for Diana, the next I'm scheming with Penelope, and finally I'm wondering why the two don't just become friends and push the abominable Henry Schoonmaker off a cliff.
If you liked the first two books in the Luxe series, this one does not disappoint. And now I suppose I'll have to pick up Splendor and find out how this vapid story ends...
why do I keep reading these books? Please send help.
With every instalment I read, my enjoyment along with my sanity goes downhill. I blame the perfectionist in me, because I need to finish the series! Even if I really don't care, I want to tick off another series from my TBR, and seeing one more book left to read kills me a little inside.
Luckily my library has the audiobooks of these available, so I can mindlessly read them rather than wasting brain cells reading them physically.
That being said, this series is (evidently) quite addictive in trashy, gossip filled way. It serves as escapism for me, and I mostly read them for the world. The 1900's New York setting is really well done for the most part and I can feel as if I have been transported to the time period.
I am typically quite a character driven reader, but I despise most of these characters. I feel as though Lina in particular has retrogressed, and become selfish, spoiled and self absorbed. I hope the last book talks about how her behaviour is wrong, but to be honest I don't have much hope for the finale.
This book was so deliciously addicting, I couldn't put it down. The Luxe series seems to get better with each book, as this one is currently my favorite in the series - I really liked the time spent with all the main characters, even the ones you love to hate. And I am of course on the edge of my seat in anticipation of the next book in this series, Splendor (release date unknown).
Oh the angst! My heart bleeds. Henry made me cry. Diana made me grit my teeth and Elizabeth made me sigh in exasperation. What's next I ask you?
While this series is ridiculous and completely over the top, it is a fabby guilty pleasure read. I swear the characters, apart from Penelope, are a few grapes short of a bushel, but vati are they entertaining.
Penelope has successfully trapped Henry into marring her, but because she is an evil, scheming wench, he is refusing to bed her, lol. She is certain that if she can destroy Diana's reputation, she can win Henry back, as if she ever had him, and therefore assigning her brother, Grayson, the mission of re-deflowering Diana Holland. (For those of you new to this series, Henry had his way with Diana on a bear skinned rug in Rumors, vair entertaining). Alas, things don't quite work out as Penelope intended, surprise surprise.
Elizabeth is still reeling from Will's death but is finding solace in Teddy Cutting, who just gets cuter by the minute. Sadly, Teddy, completely unaware of his appeal, sets out to war to win the respect and love of Elizabeth, which he was already well on his way of winning. This wouldn't be so bad if Elizabeth wasn't pregnant with Will's child. But she is and therefore ends up marrying Mr. Carnes in Teddy's absence. This caused me a great deal of frustration as I just know that Mr. Carnes is suspect and surely played a part in Will's unfortunate demise. Boo to that. Hopefully Mr. Carnes will meet a bad end and kick the bucket allowing Elizabeth to marry Teddy.
Lina is in lurve with a new character, Leland, and though I can't stand her, I find myself wanting her to nab him. Odd. Even more to my chagrin was that I actually felt sorry for her when her patron died and secretly hoped that he would will her his fortune, which he did. Didn't see that one coming :)
Diana. This character is frustrating to no end as she is quick to jump to conclusions, though I can't blame her, and causes her own troubles by following that hot temper of hers. But I like her, cause I would be a liar if I said that I didn't do the same things myself. I was a bit repulsed that she did the deed with Grayson, as he is described as having eyes that are too close together, and as a result, I was envisioning a #10 session with someone who looked like a fish. Hopefully she can find Henry in book 4 and put that disturbing image to rest.
Henry, oh I still love Henry, though he is incredibly stupid. I was so annoyed with him throughout this book and was nearly ready to throw my copy across the room, but I just couldn't do it, cause I lobes him in spite of his stupidity. Just when I was about to loose all faith in him, he enlists and sends Diana a fabby letter that reduced me to tears, and once again, Henry has earned his way back into my good graces.
Now all I have to decide is whether or not to run out to the store and buy Splendor in hardback or wait a year for it to come out in trade paper. Decisions decisions.
Under 2012 eller 2013 köpte jag dessa böcker på bokrean och nu 2020 läser jag dom äntligen, bättre sent än aldrig eller hur?
Serien är lika beroendeframkallande som gossip girl som jag även läser just nu och båda är väldigt lik varandra, enda skillnaden är att den här serien utspelar sig på 1900 till skillnad mot 200-talet. Dramat mellan karaktärerna passar in i den tidsperioden men jag kan tycka de är lite barnsliga i sig medans några draman känns nästan för mycket.
Av de fem olika perspektiv man får läsa ifrån så tycker jag endast om Elizabeths, tycker Dianas och Henrys är väl okej men ganska uttjatat efter tre böcker, men jag verkligen avskyr Penelopes och Linas skulle jag helt ärligt kunna hoppa över helt.
Elizabeth var för mig i första boken ganska små tråkig för mig men hon har växt så mycket i mina ögon. Jon har fått utstå så mycket i hennes lugna liv och jag lider med henne.
Sista delen i den här serien är inte översatt till svenska så jag är glad över att jag även läser böcker på engelska då jag måste få reda på hur det går för dessa karaktärer, eller ja bara egentligen vad som händer med Elizabeth och kanske lite Diana och Henry..
Ohhhhhhh - Don't you just hate Penelope! And Henry has messed up things so badly...It's hard to keep rooting for him! I really wanted Lina to get her comeuppance - alas! Diana is still my favorite character though she got jerked around a lot in this book. I thought this was the last book in the series - to my dismay and my joy...we're not done yet! This book was really all about the complications of all the scheming of all the characters. But wow - I can't wait to see what happens next.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
* Sigh* These books are like crack and I just can't stop reading. I love the world that is quite reminiscent of Edith Wharton's world of the upper crust of New York's wealthy families.
In the third book, Elizabeth and Diana Holland try to rise above the struggles of the heart. Elizabeth is still putting on a fake face and letting people swallow the lie of her kidnapping. Therefore, she cannot tell anyone her longing for Will or that he might have left more than a lasting memory behind. Diana, is left to watch Henry continue the farce of his marriage in society. But is there another who will sweep in from the shadows and steal her heart?
There is of course still the ever meddling Penelope( hard to know whether to hate her or feel sorry for her) and then there is Carolina- who might just see her whole house of cards fall upon her.
Nothing happens in this book. It is one long set-up for the next book (which I have heard is the last?). I was only mildly entertained by the change of scenery, but I was mostly annoyed at how none of the characters matured. Please! Penelope is still conniving, Diana is still naive, Elizabeth is still pathetic, Carolina is still clueless, and Henry is still drunk. Am I really supposed to believe that no one suspects the guy Elizabeth ends up marrying of having some kind of ulterior motive? And who thinks spoiled and lazy Henry has any chance of surviving the military. I may read the next book just to see what the conclusion is, although I'm pretty sure I don't care.
Third Luxe book and my favorite cover to date. Could just be that it's Diana on the cover and she's my favorite character...but I really like the dress. Actually, this is my favorite book of the three as well. And I really wasn't sure it would be. What with Henry and Penelope being...shudder. But this one seemed the most real. People grew up and, in a couple of notable cases, grew spines. Whether or not it will all be too little too late remains to be seen. The fourth (and final) Luxe book, Splendor, is due out in October and will hopefully settle a few things satisfactorily.
Envy begins just a couple of months after the disastrous conclusion to Rumors. Elizabeth is inexplicably back on the scene, but not really there. Diana is floating through a fog of numb and trying to rise above the crushing blows that keep coming her way. Ditto for Henry. Lina is capitalizing on all her success and makes a surprisingly apt romantic choice. And Penelope is Penelope. You just want someone to stash her in a broom closet for Two Seconds so everyone else can take a deep breath and perhaps hatch a plan to put her in her place once and for all. And amid all this, everyone manages to sweep off on a trip to Palm Beach where much of the book takes place.
I liked the change of scenery in this one. Putting everyone together in a Florida beach hotel for several days on end forced them all to interact despite the myriad tensions criss crossing between them. It also provided several quiet moments in which several characters reflected on how they ended up in the nasty mess they're in. It was nice to see some talk of doing the right thing at the cost of short-term (even long-term) happiness. Though I do hope happiness is in the cards for the most deserving (read: Teddy, Elizabeth, Diana, Henry). I liked this one best because it seemed the most natural. Every single character, at one point or another, was able to see beyond themselves for a moment to the people around them. I hope they remember what the view was like. This continues to be a diverting series and I look forward to its conclusion.
Just like The Luxe and Rumors, Envy was completely addicting. I got it one morning and finished it before noon the next day. This one was more mature than the others in a way, since the characters have grown and experienced so much. I think my favorite girl in the series has become Diana: I can relate to her the most and I think that she is the most "real" and that she faces the hardest challenges. Elizabeth has become somewhat subdued and predictable.. I immediately suspected her pregnancy, although her marriage to Snowden Cairns WAS a surprise. Penelope continues to make me angry with her manipulation and shallow-ness. Lina is also rather frustrating as she goes between appearing to accept her true beginnings and continuing to live the lie of richness. The prologue was confusing at first, but it made more sense at the end of the book since it was a flash-forward. I LOVED the ending and I cannot wait for Splendor to come out. This book was extremely well-written, interesting, and romantic. Great job Anna Godbersen!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Ok, so while I still love this series, I didn't love this one as much as the ones before. In the beginning of the book, I found drunk Henry to be amusing, but it just kept going and he was being so harsh to Penelope. Yes, I know it's her own fault, but I still felt bad for her. And, I just felt like the scenes with Henry and Diana back and forth were too much of the same, it bored me after awhile.
As for Elizabeth, I found her annoying through most of this book. She was supposed to be helping Di but was just a sleeping, frail little thing. I know we found out that she's knocked up, and granted I've never been pregnant, but I thought they went a little far with the weak and frail descriptions. I was happy for her when she grew closer to Teddy, and I'm really glad they did more with his character in this book. I was unhappy with how this book ended for Elizabeth's sake though, hasn't she been through enough. Couldn't she have married Teddy and then have him rush off to war? Why before?
Onto Diana again. While I look forward to her pretending to be a boy in the next book and chasing down Henry(does anyone know when it comes out?), I found the whole thing to be a little far fetched.
Well, at least, Carolina got a happy ending, not that I care much for her, but she's growing on me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Anna Godbersen’s Luxe series is an exercise in contradictions. Exquisite in its descriptions of the phenomenal wealth of turn of the century New York society. Outrageous in its catastrophic tumbling into the depraved values of said society. And drive-you-up-the-wall in its depictions of flawed selfish characters. For whom— for no discernible reason—you still wish things would go well.
Even though I hate Penelope (who I’m definitely supposed to hate). And I despise Carolina (who I still don’t want to see fall on her face). And I find Elizabeth mind-numbingly weak (What was she thinking coming back home?) And the best I can say for Diana and Henry is that they deserve each other.
Yeah...Shouldn't have even attempted. Petty, petty, petty, PETTY.
Like, this story did not have my attention or interest at ALL and I swallowed through it just so I can reach my 2016 reading goal...
This book makes me glad that I was never popular, or society's envy driven, boyfriend or dress driven. Cuz if I had a life like that...ugh. I would be the first person to commit suicide because I had everything.
This is the type of book you just can’t stop reading because you have to know the outcome. However, I only really like two characters, the Holland sisters, and half the time I’m mad at how Diana acts. I felt like Henry was misunderstood during the first two books, but this one made me so irritated with him I just couldn’t see straight! Then there’s god awful Penelope and Carolina. I can’t stand either of them. Both of their characters are just full of evil. There’s not one time during these three books that I felt bad for them or wanted things to work out for them in the end. Horrible characters, yet such entertaining storylines.
Book 3 in the Luxe quartet. Penelope, Henry, Elizabeth, Diana, Carolina and the rest find themselves in Palm Beach, Florida to escape winter. What happens in Palm Beach stays in Palm Beach or does it? What scandals happen because of their envy for each other? If you have read the first two books, you will be left wondering if any of the heroines of this quartet will end up with their true loves.
OH GOD. I swear I've had a love hate relationship with these books. THEY'RE SO BAD THAT THEY'RE GOOD! Every minute I read Envy, all I was thinking about was some flaw with a stupid character in the book or the INCREDIBLY boring plot line. But I just HAD TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN! And after I finished Envy at like 2 AM.. I got up and picked up Splendor. Doesn't sound like I hate them.. but believe me.. I HAVE SO MANY COMPLAINTS.
FIRSTLY: Stupid Characters Elizabeth: Okay, I understand the trauma because her husband was killed.. but why does Godbersen have to give her these sudden feelings for Teddy? Do all the characters have to be heartbroken? And then when Teddy leaves for war and Elizabeth "sinks into her chair with regret" or whatever, it made me want to puke. So, husband dead, you immediately have to go back for the second choice. But when Snowden decided to marry her.. I thought that was incredibly sweet. And really good that Elizabeth didn't complain that he wasn't handsome or whatever.
Diana: Even though she's my favorite character.. EH. I guess that I can understand her desperate need for Henry, and visa versa. The whole Grayson thing was a little unnecessary and weird. Plus, it seems like all the guys that run after her just follow her for her "rosy cheeks" and "dreamy lashes" and her youngness. Firstly, pedophile alert... and secondly, it totally makes their love seem fake. They say and think all the right things, but the "I can't live without you" crap seems to be a little put on.
Penelope: I get that she's the bitch character... but I wish Godbersen try to make her seem a little more wanted. She's portrayed as this TOTAL bad guy.. which is WAY too unrealistic. She's supposed to be incredibly beautiful like the rest of them. THEN SHOW IT! Have someone come after her too! Have her seem nice. Put the Holland sisters in the bad position!! Diana continues to lust after Henry even though he's married. MAKE THAT SEEM LIKE A BAD THING! Don't make Penelope the ONLY BAD GUY!
Lina: Only character that seems to get a happy ending, SHE moved on from loving Will.. but then again, she wasn't the one married to him. Only problem: but her life seems to be getting so distant from Elizabeth, Diana, and Penelope. Especially SPLENDOR ALERT! when Claire starts working for someone else, Lina has no inside into the Holland's anymore. She's not intertwined with their lives. I haven't finished Splendor... so I hope before I do, they turn that around.
SECONDLY: Plot line The overall story was so PREDICTABLE. And wayy to over the top with the thoughts from the heart broken lovers "I want to be with her so bad.. I felt like I was dying" or whatever. I felt like laughing. SO CHEESY.
Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for TeensReadToo.com
It's 1900 in New York, and scandal and gossip are never far behind.
Elizabeth Holland is back and everyone is awaiting her re-entrance into society. But things are not as they seem in No. 17 Gramercy Park. Elizabeth and her sister, Diana, are both grieving the loss of their loved ones. When the sisters are invited along on a trip to Florida by the newly married Schoonmakers, they decide this is the perfect escape.
Penelope Schoonmaker isn't pleased to invite the woman her husband is in love with along on her trip, but she knows she must keep her enemies close if she's ever going to get what she wants.
Carolina Broad is climbing high in society, but her place is not secure and her newfound fame and fortune could disappear any moment.
I've been addicted to the LUXE series since it began, and ENVY continues to add more gossip and scandal to the story. I thought the twists and turns in ENVY moved the story along quicker than the previous two stories. I loved that the author moved a lot of the action to Florida - it added new scenery and lots of fun situations. There were many times I told myself "just one more chapter" because I needed to know what would happen next.
Each chapter tells a part of the story from a different character and I found myself enjoying each storyline this time around. Yes, I still wanted to yell at Penelope, would get annoyed at Carolina's social climbing, and tell Diana not to make so many assumptions, but I think that's part of the fun of the series.
Anna Godbersen does such a great job at getting the readers involved in the characters that you can't help but cheer them on, or even root against them. I also thought there were some characters this time around who got stronger and started to stand up for themselves, so I'm eager to see where they end up.
I will be first in line to get my hands on a copy of SPLENDOR, the next book in the LUXE series, when it's released.
This third installment of the Luxe series was just as good as the first two books. The relationships between the characters are tangled and soap-opera dramatic, but nothing so confusing that I couldn't follow the story line from the first book. As with the first two books, the prologue hints at the ending, but by the time I got to the ending, what I had imagined to be happening was something entirely different - in a good way.
The one nit-picky thing that bugged me was how the author describes Carolina's lips as "bee-stung" on more than one occasion. Okay, I get it, the girl has big puffy voluptuous Angelina Jolie lips. That's at least three adjectives right there other than "bee-stung" to describe her lips (I have to deduct "Angelina Jolie" as an adjective as this is a historical fiction). I could go on with less flattering descriptors, such as "trout-like" or "inflated." But really, this was the only thing that bugged me. Other than all the girls having tiny little waists and tiny little bodies except for trout-faced, freckle-bespotted, and man-handed Carolina, but of course Carolina was born into the servant class, and obviously genetics cannot overcome the caste system and decades of inbreeding.
I just hope that everyone ends up with who they should in the fourth and final Luxe novel, Splendor: Elizabeth and Teddy, Henry and Diana, Carolina and Leland, and Penelope with no one. Or maybe Penelope and her brother Grayson. Or possibly Tristan. Or some creepy old man.
Oh brother. I can't believe that I just wasted my precious time reading this whole book. The writing is laughable. In the last book, people were always feeling the anger/rage burning the back of their throats. This time, Diana looked so beautiful, Henry was feeling it in his knees. And what's the deal with clavicles? They mentioned several times throughout this book- either someone is looking at their clavicles in the mirror, or a dress is showing them off. Weird.Sometimes I felt like she was writing with a thesaurus sitting next to her. It was the same thing over and over again, with certain new words substituted for other words, in exactly the same sentence. The plot was entirely predictable. I knew from the first minute it mentioned Elizabeth's tiredness what her "condition" would be. When Teddy decides that he is going to join the Army, it's easy to tell this will be Henry's way out, too. I don't like the story of the former maid Lina (Carolina) I find her character annoying, and at the end, I mostly barely skimmed anything relating to her. The only unexpected plot twist was Elizabeth's marriage. To me, Mr. Cairns was such a non-entity, I didn't even remember who he was when he first re-appeared to marry her. The saddest part of all is that I will most likely read the next book in the series when it comes out. Since it is the last book, I might as well, since I have vested so much time in these characters.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when the star-crossed lovers have all these obstacles in their way that would be solved if THEY WOULD JUST TALK. I hate the whole "Oh he's acting differently than I thought. I'll make some dramatic conclusion and act on that without confronting him or waiting for an explanation. The consequences will be permanent and disastrous, but no need to stop and think about it. Here we go!"
Ugh. And what the hell, the exciting part about the last book was the promise that Elizabeth and Diana were going to work together to get Henry. Instead, we get moping opposite-of-independent Diana and weak knocked-up Elizabeth, who barely interact the entire book. They were so boring. And of course Mr. Cairns is up to no good, this series is way too predictable for him to NOT have ulterior motives. If he dies and Elizabeth gets married a third time to Teddy, I'll scream in frustration.
I'm reading the last book just to finish the series, and holding out a tiny hope that I'll be back to liking the characters. (Although not Lina. I can't stand her whiny ungrateful little self. I'd actually like her if she'd be all mean and ruthless like Penelope.)
Well, I read it and it only took a day. Here are the things that annoy me (spoilers).
Lina spends one hard day on the street and then comes into fabulous undeserved wealth?! Please. Hate her. I hope she ends up with Tristan and NOT Leland who seems like a nice guy and does not deserve to end up with the conniving maid. Elizabeth - HELLO?! What do we know about this potentially shady guy she just married? Nothing. I'm glad she got a backbone and decided to have Will's child. I love Teddy. Penelope - still hate her and her barey there waist. Diana - ?! Used to love her, now I'm just annoyed with her. Why would she really believe Penelope was pregnant? Why did she have that romp with Grayson in the art gallery - is she a complete idiot? Dopes she not understand the consequences of her actions at all? Is she unaware that Elizabeth is pregnant? As for Henry - I've grown bored with him and can;t imagine he will last long in the army.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.