Tag Archives: Envy

Splendor: A Luxe Novel – Anna Godbersen
Book Reviews
November 7, 2009 posted by Nikki

Splendor: A Luxe Novel – Anna Godbersen

As 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?

When the young Diana Holland follows Henry Schoonmaker, the love of her life, to war, what are the chances that she’ll actually find him? Diana isn’t concerned with chances, though. The whole world has been stacked against them right from the beginning, and they’ve managed to battle through it all. What’s stopping her this time? No, chances are not important. All that matters is that she finds Henry. She must, she will make sure he knows how she feels, propriety and marital conventions be damned.

Meanwhile, Diana’s sister, the newly married Elizabeth, is settling into life as the new Mrs Cairns. Newly weds are supposed to live out their days in blissed out harmony, shack up on cloud nine, and all that. So why does it feel like there is something missing between Mr and Mrs Cairns? And if we, the readers, can see it, what’s stopping the harsh and unforgiving New York City society from noticing as well?

Speaking of society, New York City’s newest society member, Carolina Broad, has just about reached her all of her goals. All she has ever wanted was money, status, and a man to call her own. With two of those three already checked off the list, there’s only one more thing left for her to chase. Will Lina land her man, or will she continue her days in bitter loneliness?

With Henry off at war, Mrs Penelope Schoonmaker is up to her old tricks. Penelope proves money can’t buy happiness, and it certainly can’t buy love. Not the love of her husband, anyway, so she tries out her charm on a new player in town. Will she get found out, or will anyone even care enough to notice that Mrs Schoonmaker is not making good on her wedding vows? But when does Penelope ever make good on anything she says?

Splendor is an exceptional ending to an exceptional series. Some get what they want, and some don’t. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles in life, so why not in fiction, too? Anna Godbersen’s characters remain true to themselves in every which way, and although the way things unfold may not occur exactly how you might want them to, they certainly happen how they’re supposed to. How could we possibly want anything more than that?

You’ll gasp, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry out in glee. Splendor does not disappoint. Reading this series has been a real pleasure and I can’t wait to see what Godbersen produces in the future.

Rating:: ★★★★☆

Rumours Giveaway
May 2, 2009 posted by Nikki

Rumours Giveaway

Thanks to Penguin Books Australia, yaReads has one copy of Rumours by Anna Godbersen to giveaway. Rumours is the second novel in The Luxe series and we here at yaReads think it’s a pretty spesh read. As a bit of a treat to our Australian contingent, this competition is open to Australian and New Zealand residents only.

All you have to do is leave a message after this post (by clicking on the “comment” button) and tell us why you love this series so much. Don’t forget to leave your name and your country of origin (whether you’re OZ or NZ).

Competition is open until May 16. Happy posting!

Envy – Anna Godbersen
Book Reviews
May 2, 2009 posted by Nikki

Envy – Anna Godbersen

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.

Rating:: ★★★★★