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Splendor by 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?

First line:
"With the younger Miss Holland, Diana, away in Paris for finishing season, it is a most lonely social era, and we have all had to content ourselves with lesser beauties."

I loved the prologues in each book!
The last book in the Luxe series turned out to be full of twists. Everyone got what they deserved in many surprising ways. At first I wasn't too happy with the end but after mulling it over for a couple of days, I like how Ms. Godbersen tied up the series.

Rating: PG 15
S: yes, not graphic
L: No
V: No

4 Stars

25% test (p.98):
":Thank you, Conrad." She twisted the black agates set in white gold at her wrist. Like all the pretty things she had been given as a bride, it was from the elder Mr. Schoonmaker, whose money was old and greatly augmented by his youthful ventures in railroads and real estate and other areas that ladies like Penelope were raised not to be curious about. Her stepmother-in-law had once told her that a woman had the most fun after she was married, when no one cared very much about her purity anymore, and, staring at the breathtaking arrangement that her loveliness had garnered she felt ready to finally accept this as the truth. Before--when she was cooped up in the house, or having to be constantly vigilant of her husband's questionable fidelity--she had been dubious. But now she saw that there were plenty of thrills to be had even with Henry away. Or--she amended her train of thought, thinking of the way the prince had admired her on Carolina Broad's dance floor--especially with Henry away. She gave herself a private, mischievous smile as she checked her simple, up swept bouffant in the walnut-framed hall mirror, and then turned in the direction of her in=laws.
"What a joy it will be to have all my family together again, under one roof...," William Schoonmaker was saying as she entered the grand first-floor drawing room. He was not a small man, and all of his considerable size was richly garbed. Every detail of him commanded attention, but she was having..."


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