Jealous whispers. Old rivalries. New betrayals.
Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, however, those watching New York's favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South.
Farther uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city's most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond ring on Penelope's finger, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. And while the newspapers call Penelope's social-climbing best friend, Carolina Broad, an heiress, her fortune—and her fame—are anything but secure, especially now that one of society's darlings is slipping tales to the eager press.
After the tragic ending to Rumors, things in Manhattan, 1899, are more complex and what was once fact is now only rumored to be true. To be honest, this book had me less hooked, mostly due to the fact that Elizabeth, heartbroken and mourning Will, takes up too many pages in my opinion. She mopes and I was right beside her for the first couple of chapters, but then I wanted something more to happen. With Penelope, things got melodramatic and a bit predictable. Lina is beginning to edge onto my nerves also, with her jittery, nervousness about everything and her cockiness when it comes to her current state. Henry and Diana's story continues as ever, and even though it is a bit repetitive (Henry does something questionable, Diana hates him, Henry professes his love, Diana forgives him), I still love the tumultuous waves of their relationship. Elizabeth's story takes a surprising turn, and while I found that a bit redeeming, (Will's death wasn't meaningless, I suppose), and I was glad to know her story was going somewhere, it was predictable, which worries me that the series will end the way I've already guessed it will. However, for all its faults, I'm still itching to read Splendor, and I have no doubt it will be climatic, if not totally shocking.
3.5 stars, and a recommendation to fans of the series. Definitely read the first two books before this one.