Series: The Luxe,
Published by Harper Collins on January 27th 2009
Genres: Young Adult, Girls & Women, Historical, United States, General, 19th Century, Social Issues, Adolescence
Reading Challenges: 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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. . . .
Envy, the third book in Anna Godbersen’s The Luxe series picks up two months after Elizabeth Holland’s “rescue.” The truth is only something only a handful of people know. While society waits for Liz to reenter society, Elizabeth is struggling with a broken heart and wondering how she can go on under the circumstances. Liz’s sister is no better off. The man she’d set her heart on is now married to the scheming Penelope Hayes. I really enjoyed the closeness the Holland sisters have recently acquired. Thanks to the heartbreak, trauma, and social schemes they’ve both suffered under, I feel like they finally understand one another and have solidified their bond as sisters.
Penelope was a character that I’ve loved to hate, but I lost some of the love I had for her in Envy. The means to which she found herself at the alter in Rumors was despicable, so I found it difficult to sympathize for her when Henry would mistreat her. To me, Penelope earned his ire. However, I will admit that I did enjoy their bantering and bickering. Penelope is unpredictable, and she adds excitement to the series. As for her friend Carolina? Still detest her. I cheered whenever bad things befell her, and am still clamoring for the pair of these scheming women to have the most spectacular downfall.
This novel really developed secondary characters like Lord & Taylor shop clerk Tristan, Teddy Cutting, Snowden Cairns, and Grayson Hayes. I found this to be nice since Henry and his father William were essentially the main male character of any note until this book. By allowing other male characters to become more developed, the stakes were raised in the game of who would wind up with whom.
Do I Recommend?
Envy may come across as a filler book, but I found it to be much more. Mainly because the male characters were better developed than they’d previously been. While some of the characters rose up in society, others suffered greatly and found their starlight waning. This book left me wondering which of the ladies (Elizabeth, Diana, Penelope, or Carolina) would wind up a winner, and which would end up losers in this game they’ve been playing as events in the series thus far have proven to be unpredictable. Anna Godbesen’s The Luxe has been great fun to read, and I can’t wait to see how this series ends!