Envy (Luxe Series #3)

( 316 )


Jealous whispers. Old rivalries. New betrayals.

Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. However, when she refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, those watching New York's favorite family begin to whisper that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park.

In this thrilling installment of Anna Godbersen's bestselling Luxe series, ...

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Envy (Luxe Series #3)

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Jealous whispers. Old rivalries. New betrayals.

Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. However, when she refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, those watching New York's favorite family begin to whisper that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park.

In this 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. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In this sequel to Rumors, novelist Elizabeth Holland returns to the inner circle of New York's Gilded Age upper crust. Gramercy Park society watchers quickly notice that differences appear to be simmering between Elizabeth and her sister Diana. Meanwhile, troubles are also festering between celebrated newlyweds Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker. Apparently, the stately brass doors of Manhattan's 400 conceal more tumult than the general public suspects. Silk gowns and scandals.
Cecily von Ziegesar
Praise for THE LUXE:“Mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn’t put The Luxe down!”
Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
It is 1900 New York City society where the women are gorgeous and the men handsome, where morals are loose and regrets abound. Elizabeth Holland has returned from a failed relationship with a young stable hand to find her younger sister, Diana, smitten with Elizabeth's ex-fiance, Henry Schoonmaker. What Elizabeth does not know is that an intimate encounter between the two was observed and reported to scheming socialite Penelope Hayes, once Elizabeth's dear friend. Henry marries Penelope to keep her from ruining the reputation of stunning Diana and now longs to reestablish some relationship with Diana and dismiss the fraud of a marriage in which he finds himself. Interwoven into the mix is young Carolina Broad, the "ward" of a wealthy old gentleman, whose truly platonic attention has "saved" the former housemaid Lina Broud and moved her into the lush society she once served. Ironically, she was once a maid in the home of the Holland sisters and was the informant who aided Penelope in her pursuit of Henry. Just when it seems the young lovers will be able to right their lives, Penelope and her brother Grayson provide one more illusion and one more unsatisfying reality to their world. Fraught with the misunderstandings and stunning secrets of a good soap opera, Envy will draw young adult readers into a world where illusions cover the hard realities of arranged marriages and family expectations. From a coastal train ride to Palm Beach, Florida, and back again, the novel leaves the reader waiting for the next installment. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
VOYA - Kimberly Paone
In this third series installment, the characters readers have come to both love and despise embark on a pricey sojourn to sunny Florida to escape the frigid New York winter of 1900. Penelope, afraid to let her new husband out of her sight, invites herself and a group of her privileged peers along on the fishing trip he has planned, and it becomes quite a holiday for Manhattan's who's-who. Elizabeth, still getting over Will's death, and Diana, recovering from Henry's marriage to Penelope, are along for the ride, and both make startling discoveries that will alter their lives again. Carolina rises to the highest high and sinks deeper than low, and then when her wealthy benefactor dies suddenly, she finds herself in a new set of circumstances. Teddy Cutting seems to be destined toward one life but decides to make his way in a different direction, Penelope's ruthlessness catches up to her, and Henry makes a stunning move at the end, as he leaves off with a letter that will keep readers counting the days to the release of Splendor, the fourth and final book in the series. Possibly the best book of Godbersen's three, this lengthy tome will still leave readers wanting more. Reviewer: Kimberly Paone
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061345746
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Series: Luxe Series, #3
  • Pages: 405
  • Sales rank: 173,430
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is at work on the sequel to The Lucky Ones.

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Read an Excerpt

Envy: A Luxe Novel

By Anna Godbersen
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2009

Anna Godbersen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061345722

Chapter One

Mr. Leland Bouchard
requests the pleasure of your company
at a ball to be given in honor of
the members of The New York Automobilist Club
on Thursday evening
February 8, 1980, at Nine O'Clock
18 East 63rd Street

"Surely a girl as lovely as you, a girl who personifies loveliness itself, should not be hidden away on a night like this, on a night when everyone wants to see a fine figure and starry eyes, and where yours are the starriest of all."

Diana Holland looked up innocently from the comb-crested silk sofa in the library and met the eyes of her friend, who leaned against the polished mahogany doorframe, having characteristically used twice as many words as were strictly necessary. His name was Davis Barnard, and though he wrote his gossip column under a pseudonym, he was the only famous writer Diana knew.

Diana glanced to her left, where the eyelashes of her chaperone, Aunt Edith, were just touching down on that lady's high cheekbones. In Edith's face Diana could see the future of her own features, for the small, rounded mouth, the subtle nose, and the dark eyes perfectly spaced under a generous forehead were very like hers, albeit with the thinning and etching of age. Edith exhaled a sleepy, contented breath, and then Diana looked backat Barnard. Over his black tuxedo–covered shoulder were the trilling sounds and electric lights of the Bouchard ball.

"You flatter me too much," she said as she stood, adding a knowing wink for emphasis. She was terribly knowing these days.

The long black chiffon skirt of her gown trailed behind her as she approached the entrance, and she batted her fan open to modestly cover her face. She always did this when Barnard escorted her, because they discussed everyone in detail, and so it was prudent to obscure the view of her mouth from any chance lip-readers. Her hair was drawn into a bun in the back, and her curls descended diagonally on either side of her forehead toward her ears. A black leather belt marked the narrowness of her waist, and at the middle point of her princess neckline was a flower made of ivory lace petals. The gown was new, and she had paid for it herself. She glanced back once, to be sure that no one had noticed her slipping away from her chaperone, and allowed herself to be drawn across the creamy marble floor of the second-story mezzanine.

"Quite a showing," Barnard remarked as they crossed onto the richly gleaming parquet floor of Leland Bouchard's music room. It had been constructed with acoustics in mind, although the music room was rarely used for its titular purpose. Music rooms were for people who held musicales, and Leland Bouchard, who had built the house for himself at twenty, from money that he had earned off his own investments, was known for never sitting still. The walls were paneled with murals, and a gigantic Kentia palm festooned with tiny lights scraped the twenty-five-foot ceiling.

Her vision swept the rectangular room with its high, vaulted ceiling and met the gaze of Isaac Phillips Buck, who quickly looked away, as though he had been watching her. He was large in every way one might imagine, and the soft fleshiness of his face made his age impossible to determine. He was Penelope Hayes's lackey, Diana knew that much, but she couldn't imagine why he would have any interest in her. Next, Diana's gaze fell on her sister's old friend Agnes Jones, who was resting on the arm of a well-kempt gentleman. She tried to make her eyes widen in a cordial manner, though she still had trouble appearing to like people she did not, which Barnard had admonished as an unfortunate characteristic in both a lady of society and a peddler of secrets.

"Everyone is here," Barnard went on as they watched Teddy Cutting cross the room with Gemma Newbold, who wore a diamond tiara nestled in her reddish curls and was well known to be Mrs. Cutting's choice for her only son. There was a time when everyone had thought Teddy would marry Elizabeth Holland, but that was before she became rather publicly engaged to his best friend, and then very privately married to her true love. Like their mother, she had been widowed; both those ladies were home together tonight. That was among the reasons her younger sister tried to be seen in her place as much as possible, though it was hardly cause for Buck to spy on her.

"Nobody doesn't love Leland," she replied, shaking off the feeling of Buck's swinelike eyes on her.

"It would be difficult not to." Barnard paused to accept a glass of champagne from a passing waiter. "Although I must confess to getting a mystery headache whenever I am in his company too long. He talks too fast, and he is always excited about everything. Me, I am never excited about anything between the hour when I wake up and five o'clock."

Diana smiled subtly at this, for she knew what five o'clock signified to her friend; of course, she had also known him to take whiskey in his coffee at decidedly earlier hours.

"That is a very gaudy gown on Eleanor Wetmore," Diana observed, fixing her sight on the array of custom-made dresses and painted faces before them.

Barnard paused and looked. "Indeed."

"I would imagine she is on quite the search for a husband, now that her younger sister is engaged to Reginald Newbold. That will sting for her, to be twenty-six and a maid instead of a matron of honor at the wedding. I suppose she needs the attention any way she can get it."

"That would make a nice item." Barnard finished his champagne and left the glass on the magnificent carved wood mantel, which had been transported from a grand Florentine house, as Barnard himself had reported in his "Gamesome Gallant" column.

"Why don't you write it?"


Excerpted from Envy: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen Copyright © 2009 by Anna Godbersen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 316 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 316 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2009

    Omigosh ok this is for people who already read the book

    ok i love this book! it is the best and most well written book i have ever read. Im so excited about Elizabeth's baby. But she had to marry Snowden. I wonder how old he is. Eww. And she has to pretend to have his baby. Ugh. Im so sad that Teddy went to war. Teddy is amazing. Im also sad that Henry went to war. By the way its the Spanish American War going on. i love the letter he wrote to Diana. Awww. OK so lina or carolina is so annoying. She doesnt deserve Longhorn's money. Shes just selfish. Dont fall for it Leland. (What kind of name is Leland or Snowden?!) Penelope just go ruin everyone's life will you!? Oh BOO HOO henry's leaving you. Well you deserve it! Youre evil... Her main purpose in life is to ruin other people's lives, right? I am very very excited that Diana is going to pretend to be a male and go to war. How's it going to look when a Holland disappears AGAIN? Well this book is amazing. Respond to this statement because Im DYING to talk to someone about it. My friend's taking to long to read it. :D ha. Well Splendor is coming out in October according to my sources. I hope they are wrong and it comes out earlier. PLEASE READ THIS!!!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The most Thrilling book I've read in months...

    though, I guess that doesn't really say much since I haven't read much of anything these past few months. Anyway, I absolutely loved this book, and this series is just outstanding! I DEFIANTLY recommend reading it if you haven't yet. I love Diana, she reminds me so much of me, although I'm not so outgoing. She really adds a lot of components to the story that, if it were to be without her, it would be without those captivating elements that make this book so compelling. She's mysterious, she's outrageous, daring, and something always happens when she's around, and it's not something that irritates you, like with Lina or Penelope. I think Lina is just the worst, and I can't wait until everyone finds out that she was just a mere maid before her pathetic social climb began. No one cares if she loved Will and she does not deserve the new guy that the author put into the mix and I was so pissed off after what was read in the will. I don't mind Penelope as much, which surprises me. I'm starting to feel sorry for her with all her desperation. I'm happy with how the book ended, although I wish it weren't so heartbreaking, but it's a great lead into the next addition, which I can't wait for. This book has progressed into such an adventure from the first book. While I was reading it, I was sort of reminded of Atonement. Henry even writes in a letter how he must atone for all the wrongs he has done. I haven't read Atonement, it was too difficult, but I saw the movie and it was spectacular. I really hope that Diana and Henry can be together, and I'll probably find myself wracked in tears if that doesn't happen by the end of Splendor. I'm also really happy for Elizabeth. At least she has something more to remind her of Will than just memories. [W

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Delicious Third

    After the homecoming of Elizabeth Holland, which is filled with scandalous secrets society would die to know, the elite are joyous. One of society's most celebrated daughters has returned back into the backstabbing world of Manhattan 1899. Though, the older Holland, is far from happy, the death of her husband/lover, a weight she shall wear upon her dainty shoulders forever. Society is also celebrating the most celebrated couple ever, Henry and the now Penelope Schoonmaker. However the two newly weds can barely stand one another, particularly for Henry's strong attraction and true feelings for the younger Holland sister. Diana, in the meanwhile, is angered with Henry for marrying Penelope, however much he begs to explain. Either way she too can not prevent her growing love for the handsome, notorios Henry Schoonmaker. Carolina Broad is living lavishly amongst gorgeus gowns and fancy parties, but these utterly extravagant luxuries is soon to be stripped right from her beautiful, once dirt ragged fingers. The exhausted celebrated daughters and sons head down to Florida, but the arrival of Grayson Hayes, Penelope's older, ambitious brother can only mean more scandal. He has his eyes set on one of society's pretty girls...and its more than just a favor Penelope asks of her brother...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Angieville: ENVY

    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.<BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    I just read the first two Luxe books and I can't wait till Envy comes out. I feel so terrible for Elizabeth when Will died--it's such a sick twist and I hurt for her. And I really, really hope that Diana and Henry will be able to tget together and that Penelope will burn in #@$!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    I'm only in the 5th grade, only 10 years old, yet I absolutely a

    I'm only in the 5th grade, only 10 years old, yet I absolutely adored this book. Each page was beautifully adorned with glamorous details and excellent emotions for all of the characters. It mostly is about Penelope's forced marriage with Henry Schoonmaker. Diana, at first, doesn't want a thing to do with Henry, until he finally tells her at the luncheon about his true desires and intentions. Later, she finds him making love to Penelope on a balcony (he was drunk) and decides she no longer loves him. He sends her a letter in the end, saying he went into the army, making her cut off her hair. I didn't really love it 100%, it got really fake for me. I just can't believe the abortion thing...no spoilers!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    So great

    I looooveee these books!! Ive read the first two within a short span of 2 days!! They're an easy read but not so easy that they're boring. Ive learned a fair share of new vocabulary. Including the full name of the flowers called "mums". Hahaha but these books are reccomended :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012


    Please tell me that hanry and diana get vack together or i will murder penelope

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    this book is great

    When i first started this book series i didnt know if i was going to like it. Then after the first 25 pages i began to love this series.i just finished the third book and i cant wait to read the last one. Please give this series a try cause you wont be disappointed.

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2012


    Just as GREAT as the first two !!!!!! Problems are still working themselves out. I read the entire series in two to three days. Hard to put it down.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Keeps getting better

    Officially my favorite out of the luxe series so far. The drama just keeps getting better and the plot in this one is more thought out. Amazing. This book is for readers who continues to love the high class society.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2011


    This book is very good but also sad and upsetting at times somtimes i just think she got tired of writing and the characters do things that makes you wonder if you really know them at all but the front cover dress is my favorite out of the entire luxe series

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    Better than book 2! (From The Tealeaf Review)

    I was really left on a low note at the end of Rumors. When we last saw the 'Fabulous Five', absolutely no one was happy, and there was no glimmer of hope. I about had a fit of rage after the end of Rumors, and I am thrilled to say I got to at least let out a sigh of relief at the end of Envy. There is, finally, after so much heartache and depression, the tiniest flame of hope. As always, Ms. Godbersen knows how to write an intriguing, confusing, wonderful prologue. I don't want to be, but I start reading, and I'm just swept right back up into the lives of Diana, Henry, Elizabeth, Penelope, and Lina. And the clothes - oh! The clothes! There's probably a few spots of drool on my book from dreaming about all those lovely dresses.That being said, these books still annoy the crap out of me. Can I just say how much I want to wring everyone's necks in this series?There's a lot of misunderstandings and lack of communication, but if you can sift through all of that, there's a glimmer of hope at the end. Better than it's predecessor, Rumors, but still frustrating, and not as good as Luxe. We'll see where Splendor takes us, and if the series can recover from being so darn depressing.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010


    this book was great! the ending was very well thought out

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Enough for the fans.

    I am a soap-opera aficionada (and proud of it), which is probably the reason I read these books, I must say I found the plot of Envy predictable. While I was shocked as hell with Rumors, I was anticipating everything in this one. That's no fun.

    You know, I knew I wasn't not going to like this book much when I found myself liking Teddy more than I did Henry around the middle of the book. All in all, I don't think fans of the series would be disappointed, I know that I am not. And I do plan on reading Splendor.

    Spoilers ****

    I knew Snowden would marry Diana or Elizabeth at some point. There is really no other purpose to his character other than to be the savior of the Holland family. Why is he so kind you ask? I have no idea, the author never elaborates on that, he is just nice I guess.

    Again, I found myself groaning with every Carolina Broad chapter. I loathe her, even more than Penny. Penny has finesse to her schemes, Carolina just gets lucky. I would have liked her more if she realized and was thankful for her good fortune but of course she can't even do that. I really hoped she wouldn't inherit Longhorn's money, but of course she did, otherwise there would be no place for her in the fourth book. Don't get me wrong, had she had actually been nice to Longhorn I could have accepted, but seriously she did not deserve the kindness.

    Henry, oh Henry, I found it so hard to like you in this one. You make a mistake after a mistake. Sleeping with your wife? Seriously? Oh well, I liked your ending so I forgive you now.

    Di. Why did I have to see you like this? Why? Grayson? Oh no. Hell no! But I am so looking forward to your story now, so you too are forgiven.

    Elizabeth. Why didn't you snag Teddy sooner? Why? Kudos to you for being the bravest and being all for true love and what's right etc at the most appropriate timing in a novel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Anna Godbersen's amazing series never seems to disapoint me.

    I Loved it. A fantastic red I am currently reading the last book and I always say Im gonna read 3 or 4 chapters but then I end up reading 10 and still hesitate to put it down its just an amazing read. If you haven't read the series you need to and if you have read the first 2 books you just have to read this one its even better than the first 2. A must read!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2010

    Fun but frivolous

    While I enjoyed reading this highly plot driven series, the events that occured were incongruous with the time period. Gobbersen has obviously done her homework; her descriptions of sumptuous dresses, stifling tea parties, and old New York are resonating and striking. However, her characters, and their behaviors and actions, seemed completely outside the realm of possibility for people during this time. While literature thrives on characters breaking free of the bonds of their society, the eventual reconciliation with society is inevitable. However, Gobberson's characters are unable to do this because they are so far outside of the world they live in. Excellent tension between expectation and reality, highly entertaining, but unsatisfying as a historical fiction novel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Wonderful Read

    This book was so good! The the perfect mix of rigid social classes and romance. Excellent. I would not recommend this book for a child under 13, though. Some content may push the border of modesty and appropriateness.

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