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The Luxe Box Set: Books 1 to 3: The Luxe, Rumors, and Envy

1 rating: 4.0
A book by Anna Godbersen

Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. But when the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: Anna Godbersen
Publisher: HarperCollins
1 review about The Luxe Box Set: Books 1 to 3: The Luxe,...

A sparkling, dramatic series

  • Oct 27, 2009
This series combines the glitz and glam of Gossip Girl and the intrigue of the past to create a wholly entertaining and absorbing new series!

The Luxe

The Luxe, written by Anna Godbersen, is in a class of its own. Unlike all of the rich girl novels floating around out there, The Luxe takes place in 1899. But don't think that these girls are as mild mannered as their time period would suggest. Penelope Hayes would do anything in order to marry Henry Schoonmaker. Her best friend Elizabeth Holland would rather not marry anyone in her class at all. But when circumstances beyond these girls' control puts them at odds with each other, situations tense. Throw in a bitter maid and a nosy younger sister, and things go from tense to deadly, and someone might not live to see the next season.

Nothing like any of the novels today that feature the upper class, The Luxe is one delicious read that nearly any girl will love. Full of a vivid cast of characters that you just have to love of hate, The Luxe is a captivating and luxurious delight. It is evident that Godbersen's writing is well researched through the carefully detailed aspects of everyday life that rather than come off as tedious, shines through interesting and gives the novel depth. Kept lively by alternating points of view, The Luxe is a perfect combination of Ann Rinaldi and Gossip Girl. You'll think you have it figured out by page fifty, but the plot's mysterious and secretive twists will leave readers eagerly anticipating a sequel.


Manhattan has never before had more juicy gossip to spread ever since Elizabeth Holland's mysterious "demise". But as the New Year approaches, rumors fly and the Holland family is bombarded with endless questions...and endless bills. Diana Holland finds her own way of making money, and she and Henry Schoonmaker fall in love. But Penelope Hayes is determined to make Henry hers--no matter what the cost. Elizabeth is living blissfully out West with Will, but then a panicked note from her sister brings her rushing back to the city. And in between it all is a former maid who has the inside sources and ambition that will threaten them all.

Fast paced, elegant, and full of intrigue, Rumors proves to be much more engrossing and complicated than its prequel. Penelope becomes the villain that you come to feel sorry for, Henry the man with surprising depth, Diana the unlikely and lovable heroine, and Lina the dreaming girl you have to pity and admire.

Moving beyond the standard plotlines that dominated The Luxe, Godbersen weaves an intricate and convoluted story via the many colorful and wonderfully unique characters that builds and builds until it takes on a life of its own. In this glittery, elusive and sly world seeping with secrets, things aren't always as they seem, a secret told is worth a tidy sum, but a secret kept is worth more, and you should never underestimate the power of money and reputation. Godbersen builds suspense until the very end, giving us both a happy and unhappy ending, and leaves readers wrapped around her little finger, begging for more.


Picking up just two months where Rumors left off, Envy continues with the inexplicably engrossing story of New York City's finest society girls and their secrets and scandals. Elizabeth Holland is still mourning the death of her husband, Will Keller, and is doing the best to pick up her life. The new Mrs. Schoonmaker, formerly Penelope Hayes and formerly Elizabeth's best friend, isn't making life easy for either Holland sister. Penelope insists on carrying on the charade of Elizabeth being her best friend, and knows that Diana Holland and her husband Henry are in love, and will do anything to keep them apart. Amidst them all is Carolina Broad, who is determined to continue with her recently elevated lifestyle, no matter what. The dreary winter months are filled with secrets and scandals, love and greed, proposals and farewells...

Godbersen has crafted the perfect guilty-pleasure series for teens. Envy is even more jam-packed with all of the scintillating gossip and drama that its prequels are well known for. Godbersen keeps the book moving at a good clip by rotating the points of view among her characters, which does well in keeping the reader's attention. She also departs from a familiar setting and takes her characters to Palm Beach, Florida, a nice change in scenery that keeps the series fresh, and offers a bit of an educational look at another aspect of the lifestyle of the rich. Towards the end of the novel, readers will be gratified to see that a few characters develop a backbone and an admirable sense of honor, which certainly spices up the storyline, leave readers wondering what on earth the author has up her sleeve. Godbersen is proving herself a bold and fearless writer, and continues the tradition of leaving readers hanging in an ending that is both exciting and exceedingly frustrating, but will ensure that readers will keep coming back.

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