Envy, the third book in Anna Godbersen's Luxe series. Penelope has managed to snag Henry, Elizabeth is mourning the loss of the love of her life, and Diana's determined to go on with her own life now that Henry's unavailable. Mix in former maid Carolina, and several misunderstandings, and you've got the stage for intrigue, gossip, and backstabbing that makes this series so wonderful. I wanted to inhale this book, but forced myself to slow down so I could wallow in the triumphs and troubles of New York's elite in 1900.
Penelope, having achieved her goal of marriage, can't force poor Henry to love her, but she can make her "friends" jealous, which is why she arranges a train trip to Florida with all of them. While Penelope's confident she can bring Henry around somehow, Henry still only has eyes for Diana. Just when it seems things might work out for the star-crossed lovers, however, fate (in the form of Penelope) intervenes once again and things become much bleaker for all concerned. More than once I wanted to jump through the pages and invoke bodily harm on a character; more than once I felt like screaming that someone needed to just step up and take charge. When it all does come together at the end, I still wasn't satisfied--we're left on a major cliffhanger (or two) that won't be resolved until the final book of the series arrives.
This series is such a guilty pleasure, filled with the high-minded, the rich, the underdogs, the over-the-top, and the rash. I love every page; Anna Godbersen has managed to capture not only the era and the settings, but also the personalities for a successful young adult soap opera. I freely admit I'm hooked, and cannot wait for the next one.