Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899. Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. 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 bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud--threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.
With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...
In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.
Title: The Luxe
Series: Luxe #1
Published: November 20th 2007 by HarperCollins
ISBN: 0061345660 (ISBN13: 9780061345661)
Elizabeth Holland is the belle of the ball, whom every man wishes to court. Her mother has already arranged her perfect counterpart and very sought after bachelor, Henry Schoonmaker, and her to be married, but Elizabeth finds that her tastes in men aren't quite the same as other society women. Her heart is with their coachman, Will Kellar. Because of his social status, their affair is kept hidden, but when all she wants to do is run away with Will, her mother urges her to marry Henry in order to save the family when they are in financial distraught. In the end, she decides that helping her family wasn't going to give her the life she wanted.
Diana is Elizabeth's younger sister, who is usually eclipsed by her older sister. While Elizabeth is arranged to marry, Diana is in love with her sister's fiancee, and Henry feels the same way. As this goes on, Elizabeth's best friend, Penelope Hayes, developed a sort of infatuation on Henry. She isn't used to not getting what she wants and is infuriated when she discovers Elizabeth is engaged to him. Penelope is the sort of girl to go to any lengths to break up the wedding. When she begins to plan, there is no such thing as "friendship" in her vocabulary. Anything and everything is fair game.
When Elizabeth was a child, her closest friends were Lina and Will, who were part of the help. Her mother decided as she grew older, it was no longer appropriate. Elizabeth could not openly speak to either of them, so when Lina and Will became closer friends, Lina fell in love with Will. She became upset with Elizabeth when she found out her secret affair with Will and her jealousy got the better of her.
It seems that nobody in this book fell in love with the right person. Either because society told them it was wrong, or because that person loved someone else. This was such an amazing novel with pages filled with scandal and jealousy, and with so many twists and turns it makes you wonder if being a part of the elite is worth all the trouble to keep up appearances.
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