Monday, October 18, 2010

Splendor (Luxe Series #4) by Anna Godbersen

New beginnings. Shocking revelations. Unexpected endings.
As 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 Shoonmaker 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 ay prove a losing battle.
This series had been winding down since the first book ended, and this books ends where I suppose it should have. I loved The Luxe and Rumors and Envy managed to keep me hooked, but Splendor was a little too much melodramatic plot twists and forced endings. While Penny remains as evil as ever, she ends ups with what she really wanted, and Carolina, the former lowly maid Lina, who I personally was starting to forgive and beginning to root for again, lost a lot of what she was gaining. Carolina's story wasn't tragic, but it wasn't wasn't what it should have been, in my opinion. Elizabeth, who I loved from the start, may have been a redeeming part of the conclusion to the series, and I found myself smiling at how she ended up, although the overly dramatic twists early on in the book involving her father seemed false and like empty page-filling words. Diana Holland, tsk, tsk. I've loved Diana's wild and confident spirit since book one, and she even made me laugh a few times at the beginning of Splendor, but I felt Godbersen's rushed ending left her falling short of her reputation. I felt like I'd been cheated, and Henry, faltering and picking himself up again, was cheated in my opinion too, of the ending he deserved. By the end, it seemed like Godbersen was going more for the last laugh, the surprise ending, than the real ending. I know it's just a book and all, but sometimes charatcers fall into a pattern that you know the ending to. This book seemed rushed and overdone on several levels.
1 star for a good first one hundred pages, and a non-recommendation. The only way I'd suggest it is if you absolutely have to know the ending. (I feel your pain. I had to know too.)


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