The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen
3.5 out of 5 stars averaged
I actually looked at this series many times at the bookstore before I bought it. I'm glad I finally did, I really enjoyed it and I have started reading her other series, Bright Young Things too. It's not the best writing ever and there are plenty of small things that I didn't like, but there was just something that made me not want to put them down.
In The Luxe, which is the first novel, we meet sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland who live in 1899 Manhattan. The book opens with Elizabeth's funeral but not everything is what it seems. There is plenty of drama-rama, gossip, intrigue, sleeping around and incredible fashions.
Penelope Hayes [was wearing] her black mink wrap. The wrap was new, like her dress, which was ivory satin overlaid with black velvet in an art nouveau design-very modern. ... [Elizabeth] arranged her hair by herself, in a neat chignon, and dressed in a white shirtwaist and a starched Dutch blue skirt. ... Penelope Hayes wore red. It was the deep shade of American Beauty roses, and the sleeves of her matching bolero were elaborately embroidered in the same crimson. She had ordered the dress from Paris for the fall season, and was now especially glad that she had. She painted a violent streak of color across the fabric department...as she followed Elizabeth...[who] was wearing a very pale blue, so she might have almost blended in with all those bridal hues, except that her dress was made out of ordinary cotton eyelet.
These books revolve mainly around 4 young women: Elizabeth (older and more reserved) and Diana (younger and prone to flirting with strange men) Holland, Penelope Hayes (Elizabeth's best frenemy and bad girl du jour) and Lina Broud (the Hollands' maid who will do anything to move up in society) along with a handful of handsome young men: Henry Schoonmaker (playboy who has too much fun with one girl, is forced to get engaged to another, and falls in love with a third), Teddy Cutting (Henry's best mate & in love with one of the four ladies), Isaac Philips Buck (Penelope's bff & gossip bringer and spreader), Will Keller (the Hollands' footman & also in love) and Tristan Wrigley (a young salesman out for more).
I don't want to give too much more detail, in fear of spoiling any of these for you. If you love historical romances or fiction, these are great fluff for that. They have been compared many times to Gossip Girl, which I would completely agree with. I love that TV show, but we are a season behind now and it is TORTURE when we accidentally see a commercial or snippet of it! I actually have the books to read also (got them in the big HPB sale last fall) but I haven't gotten into them much yet. I heard the first one is just awful, so maybe I need to force my way through that one before giving up lol.
Anyway, these books are similar to GG yes, but different also. The main one being that it's set in 1899 duh. :) There's cheating, lying, sex, fights, love, heartbreak, hope, loss and lots more. All the feelings!!