Friday, October 8, 2010

Review: The Luxe Series

Titles: The Luxe, Rumors, Envy & Splendor
Author: Anna Godbersen
Dates Released (hardcover): November 20th, 2007, June 1st, 2008, January 27th, 2009, November 1st, 2009 (respectively)
Pages (hardcover): 433, 432, 405, 391 (respectively)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (averaged)

Description for The Luxe:
A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late-19th-century New York City socialites. Godbersen weaves a tenuous web of deceit, backstabbing and pretense that follows four teens: Elizabeth Holland, a prim and proper lady of old-money society, is betrothed to one man, though furtively loves another; Henry Schoonmaker, a debauched playboy who must marry Elizabeth or be disinherited; Diana Holland, Elizabeth’s younger sister who is in love with her fiancĂ©; and Penelope Hayes, a member of the nouveau riche who will stop at nothing to win Henry’s affections. As Elizabeth and Henry’s wedding approaches, the spectacle unfolds in a wondrously grandiose scene, making for a fun, though not entirely unexpected dĂ©nouement.

Description for Rumors:
After bidding good-bye to New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, rumors continue to fly about her untimely demise.
All eyes are on those closest to the dearly departed: her mischievous sister, Diana, now the family's only hope for redemption; New York's most notorious cad, Henry Schoonmaker, the flame Elizabeth never extinguished; the seductive Penelope Hayes, poised to claim all that her best friend left behind—including Henry; even Elizabeth's scheming former maid, Lina Broud, who discovers that while money matters and breeding counts, gossip is the new currency.
As old friends become rivals, Manhattan's most dazzling socialites find their futures threatened by whispers from the past. In this delicious sequel to The Luxe, nothing is more dangerous than a scandal . . . or more precious than a secret.

Description for Envy:
Jealous whispers.
Old rivalries.
New betrayals.
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—are anything but secure, especially now that one of society's darlings is slipping tales to the eager press.
In this next thrilling 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. . .

Description for Envy:
New beginnings.
Shocking revelations.
Unexpected endings.
A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.
Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.
In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

WHOA! That's a lot of descriptions.....  but I guess I'll just make this short and sweet and to the point :)
Hmmm... I reallly liked the first three books :D  They all got 5 out of 5's, but Splendor didn't quite make it (I gave it a 3 out of 5, which is still good).  I thought it wasn't as good because the ending was SOOO confusing... and I thought there was going to be a 5th book to round it off smoothly. 
Here's why I liked the first three books: They just realllly captivated me... I think it was all the love triangles and romances and you really wanted to see who would end up with who... or if they ended up with anyone at all 0.o Ooooo, mind boggling... :)  Now, here's why I didn't really like the last book: I was kind of disappointed that this series ended (and to me it was abruptly since I had no clue that that was the last book...) because it just seemed... unfinished.  To me, it was like so many questions were left unanswered and somethings just didn't feel complete.

Overall, great series.  The ending wasn't all that great though... but I thought that the setting was really cool, too!  Books like these are what really get me into reading historical fiction. 

Cover Review:
THE COVERS ARE GORGEOUS!  The dresses are beautiful as well!  I also like how each person in the cover is a character in the book.  I think that in The Luxe, it's Elizabeth, Rumors is Penelope, Envy is Diana, and Splendor is Carolina :D

*Descriptions from
**Review copies borrowed and bought.

Cleo :)


  1. I love the Godbersen's Luxe series!I haven't picked Splendor yet though,but I hope I do pretty soon :)

  2. I really liked this series too, but I didn't like that weird tangent that Elizabeth's story line went on.


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