True love. False friends. Scandalous gossip.
Welcome back to Manhattan, 1899
As rumors fly about the untimely demise of New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, all eyes are on those closest to the dearly departed: her sister, Diana, the family's only hope for redemption; Henry Schoonmaker, the flame Elizabeth never extinguished; Penelope Hayes, poised to claim all that her best friend left behind; even Elizabeth's former maid, Lina Broud, who discovers that while money matters and breeding counts, gossip is the new currency. In this delicious sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Luxe, nothing is more dangerous than a scandal... or more precious than a secret.
I expected a lot from the sequel to the Luxe, which left me craving more. With Elizabeth gone and Diana left to fill her spotlight, more tension than ever enters the scene. Penelope, Elizabeth's friend and secretive enemy, plans on stealing that spotlight and she does a fine job of it. While things heat up between the youngest Holland sister and her sister's former fiance, Henry, Penelope, jealous as ever, decides to put an end to their romance. Elizabeth, hidden in California, with Will, fears for her abandoned family in New York. And Lina, her pride more broken than her heart by Will's betrayal, learns that despite her background, sometimes the right words can earn you whatever you want. Rumors wasn't quite as amazing as its prequel, but it was surprising and just as emotional as ever. While Penelope grew to the point of evil, which seemed slightly unrealistic to me, I also lost sympathy for Lina, who became quite annoying with her slight boost in class. While the ending was definitely heart-wrenching, it seemed just the slightest bit empty to me, begging for a sequel so bad I almost didn't realize it was ending. Either way, Godberson hasn't lost her touch yet.
Rated 4 stars, and a recommendation to those who read the first book. The story line is too complex to be read without having read the first one.