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by Anna Godbersen

Series: Luxe Novels (2)

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1,710648,353 (3.73)46
As rumors continue about the untimely demise of Elizabeth Holland, an outwardly stricken Penelope Hayes determines to use any means necessary to claim her friend's pre-eminent place in 1899 Manhattan society and to get and keep the attentions of Elizabeth's former fiancé, the wealthy Henry Schoonmaker.… (more)
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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
I don't even have a shelf for this because I refused to put it in with the "bon bons" which are things you actually like. I hated it. The characters are mean and nasty almost across the board. The ones that aren't, are wimpy and annoying. The ending is a real "gotcha" like all those movies or books that solve everything with "..it was really a dream." This book ends with a nightmare and no promise of redemption. I can only surmise that the author hates (or condescends to) her audience. I will not read another in this series because I am not a masochist. I must say, I do love the covers though. What's a cover without a book? ( )
  PattyLee | Dec 14, 2021 |
Brutal but sweet love, jealousy and gruel fate. It's the three major things in this books. I loved it and I hated it. I still have a hard time to understand all that happened in this book. And I can't do anything but to read the next book because this series totally have me in its claws. ( )
  AllAndAnyBooks | Sep 17, 2020 |
Actually, I'd give this one a 3.5. it actually finished the first book. So this "installment", the 2nd half of the first installment.... and yes, my concerns for the first one flow through this one as well. ( )
  lollyletsgo | Aug 10, 2017 |
I think I actually enjoyed the sequel to this book more than the first one.

The characters were more developed and it became more interesting as the plot progressed. Once again, Godbersen does a really nice job of creating the old-style New York atmosphere. She writes it well and manages to make fun of it without being too pretentious.

It looks like a thick book but I read it really easily. I didn't, however, go on to read the third or even fourth book in the series. I would be curious to see what happens so I might pick up the next few books, if I want something really light to read.

If you like glamorous, tongue-in-cheek sort of books, give this one a read. c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
The book begins with Elizabeth Holland in California with her runaway love, Will Keller. While Elizabeth is having a good time in California, her sister Diana is anything but happy. Diana is stuck in New York, being one of the only two people that knows that her sister's death is a hoax. The other person, Penelope Hayes, decides that she would like to marry the rich and famous Henry Schoonmaker Jr., Elizabeth's ex-fiance. Throughout the book, Diana and Henry have a secret relationship and plan on somehow marrying. Meanwhile, Elizabeth hears of her family's worsening financial situation, and she decides that she has to help them somehow, seeing as the reason they remain having these troubles is that she did not marry rich Henry. Elizabeth and Will take a train to New York and reveal themselves to her mother and aunt. Henry's father, Henry Schoonmaker Sr., decides that for reputation's sake it would be a good idea for Henry to marry Penelope, who has been proving herself to be a very worthy socialite. Meanwhile, Lina Broud, the Holland's ex-maid, running out of money that she got from dishing Holland family secrets to Penelope, decides to move up the social scale with the help of Tristan, a tailor from the Lord & Taylor clothing store. With Tristan's help, she not only learns to act and dress like an educated lady but also meets and becomes the protegee of incredibly rich Mr. Carey Lewis Longhorn. Mr. Longhorn changes her name to Carolina Broad and develops a story about being an orphaned western heiress, and takes her to various parties where she officially meets Penelope Hayes. As a bribe to Penelope, whom Carolina wants as a friend to gain social status, Carolina tells Penelope of how Henry and Diana had a very special time one night in Diana's own bedroom. Penelope uses this information to blackmail Henry into marrying her in order to protect Diana's reputation. The wedding happens so fast that Henry has no time to explain to Diana what happened so she is very depressed and angry. Also, a man named Snowden Cairns, a friend of the late Mr. Holland, comes and helps the Hollands out of some of their financial troubles. They all decide it is best if Elizabeth and Will are married and sent back to California to avoid scandal. Snowden marries Will and Elizabeth at the Holland home. When they try to leave, at the train station, townspeople recognize the famous Elizabeth Holland and assume that Will has kidnapped her. They proceed to shoot Will, killing him, and returning Elizabeth to her home. The next day, it is all over society that Elizabeth Holland had been kidnapped by the old stable boy, and, conveniently, the Hollands decide to go with this story. The book ends with Henry and Penelope getting married, both Holland sisters heartbroken, and a promise to Diana from Elizabeth to get Henry back.
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
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Prologue: I have just been invited to a most secretive, but assuredly most elaborate, celebration in Tuxedo Park sponsored by one of Manhattan's finest families.
Chapter 1: It has been a dreary few months in New York, given the death of Miss Elizabeth Holland--who was one of society's favorites--and the blizzard that arrived in late November and left the city blanketed for days.
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As rumors continue about the untimely demise of Elizabeth Holland, an outwardly stricken Penelope Hayes determines to use any means necessary to claim her friend's pre-eminent place in 1899 Manhattan society and to get and keep the attentions of Elizabeth's former fiancé, the wealthy Henry Schoonmaker.

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Average: (3.73)
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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