Books I've Read

Splendor | Anna Godbersen

SplendorBarnes and Noble Overview

A 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.

I was not impressed with book two and three… but I really enjoyed the last book. I feel like two and three could have been combined and Splendor should have been the third book. Never the less, this one was actually quite good. I hate that you have to read three books to finally find one that was decent.

“Gossip is just a tool to distract people who have nothing better to do from feeling jealous of those few of us still remaining with noble hearts.”

By the end of book three, Envy, Diana has decided that she was going to try to join the service and follow Henry around the world. Well.. it failed because there was no way she could pass off as a boy, but she did end up in Cuba… where eventually she and Henry meet again. They end up getting shipped back to New York and Henry finds that he just can not live his life without her. Blah blah blah… I was so sick of their little drama. And weirdly enough, their story ends in a way that I pretty much predicted, which is never fun.

Penelope finally gets what’s coming to her. Her husband is away… but that doesn’t mean she can’t play. She puts herself on a pedestal, thinking she could become a princess when the Price of Bavaria comes around. She does everything in her power to make sure that his interest is in her and he gladly accommodates. But just as Penelope has used people as things in a game… she herself has been used. Humiliated beyond belief from the Prince of Bavaria, Penelope finally gets knocked off her high horse in the end! Loved it. She was always my less favorite character so naturally I was just waiting for the moment when she was going to fall from grace.

“The living are made of nothing but flaws. The dead, with each passing day in the afterlife, become more and more impeccable to those who remain earthbound.”

Carolina Broad thought that she could become a society girl and no one take advantage of her. She finally has Leland eating out of the palm of her hand, but Tristan is on the outs… ready to ruin this illusion she has made of herself. She has the money… now she just needs the man. Unlike Penelope, Carolina actually loves Leland… and he loves her. But what happens when Tristan’s hunger for money begins to break any hope of Carolina being truly happy. She finds that being a society girl isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and guilt of leaving her poor sister behind starts to take its toll.

I think the most interesting part about the book is Elizabeth’s story. She is pregnant with Will’s baby and to avoid scandal, Mr. Cairns has agreed to marry her and call the baby his own. She believes her life is finally coming together. Snowden Cairns has bought her a new home and for once she can start thinking about herself and the child. But Mrs. Elizabeth Cairns couldn’t have been the wiser… until a man shows up at the house. Someone that she knows… but she just can’t put her finger on it. She knows he is familiar, but in a terrible way. Then she finds a document stating that property in California was bought from her father, for Elizabeth and Will. How can that be?! Snowden Cairns is not the noble, kind man that everyone thought him to be. And all the pieces of murder and betrayal come into play. I think if it weren’t for this little bit in the story, the book would have been a dud.

Overall, Splendor, I think it was great. Partly because it was going to end and another part is because a lot of things that I wanted to happen… did. Even Elizabeth’s unexpected story… so that is a plus. But as far as the whole series, I was not impressed. Which sucks because I really wanted to love this series and I think that the covers made it all the more appealing than it was. Though I hate to say it but I don’t really recommend this series. Unless I was missing the big picture… I don’t think it was worth the money. :/ Sorry Anna!

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