Envy is the third instalment in The Luxe series. It picks up right where Rumors left off, with enough scandal to drive even the calmest of readers’ crazy.
Mr Henry Schoonmaker – one of New York’s most eligible bachelors, and the love of Diana Holland’s life – has a new wife, and he’s not one bit happy about it, either. How could he be, when the love of his life is not the woman to whom he is now legally bound? Henry can’t even bring himself to look at Penelope with affection so how is he going to fulfil his physical requirements as a husband? As Henry drinks himself stupid night after night, hoping that the alcohol will numb his senses and dull the pain, Penelope’s scheming ways continue evermore.
Diana Holland – the real love of Henry’s life, and the reason he married Penelope in the first place – is hurting. Although Henry told her that he married Penelope to protect her, that Penelope had threatened to tarnish Diana’s wholesome reputation by telling all of New York that Henry had taken her virginity out of wedlock, seeing him with Penelope all the time is a painful matter indeed. Now that he is no longer in the market for a wife, Diana is doing everything she can to put her feelings for Henry behind her, but love is relentless and he haunts her everywhere she goes. Will she be able to stay away from him, especially when he is asking her not to?
The new Penelope Schoonmaker is watching Henry and Diana with hawke-like eyes. She is no fool and she can see the way the pair of them still look at each other. It makes her sick to the stomach to think of her husband’s eyes searching for someone else in the crowd, but honestly, what did she expect? She bribed him into marrying her in the first place. Penelope knows all too well that the only way she will keep her man is by bribing and manipulating him further. But will Henry put up with it for much longer? If the love of your life was slipping through your fingers, what would you do to be with them?
Elizabeth Holland finds herself in quite the predicament indeed. Mourning the loss of her husband, and former servant, Elizabeth finds herself attracting the attention of a one Mr Teddy Cutting – again. Elizabeth feels alone, in despair. Will she warm to Mr Cutting’s affections this time around? Only time will tell. Elizabeth is honest with Mr Cutting about her feelings for him – that the timing is all wrong and she’s still in mourning. But then something happens, something that will ruin the Holland’s forever if Elizabeth doesn’t find a way to fix it. Being with Mr Cutting suddenly seems like a magnificent idea…
And Carolina Broad is up to her usual tricks. I hate Lina so much that I can’t even bring myself to write anything about her.
Envy delivers the goods. After reading Rumors I wasn’t so sure that Anna Godbersen would be able to top her effort – but I was wrong. She writes brilliantly and reading her work is effortless. Henry’s character is developed further in this instalment and he steps of the pages of Envy like a radiant, shining light. I find myself wondering how much more of Anna Godbersen’s scandalous world I can take. I can’t wait for Splendour (the fourth novel) and I know I’ll re-read Envy obsessively until I get my hands on it.
Praise for Anna Godbersen, who has successfully reignited the 1900’s and made it totally cool to be all proper and old school. I love everything about this series – absolutely everything! This would make one hell of a killer television show.