Okay, due to not reading the inside flap to avoid spoilers, this was me reading Splendor:
Halfway through: OH MY GOD, IS THIS THE LAST ONE? It seems like everything is wrapping up.
Three-quarters of the way through: THERE'S NO WAY SHE COULD PULL IT ALL TOGETHER! How could... what??? WHAT?? DID THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN???
Aaaand... that was when I broke down and double-checked the flap -- which, I'm proud to say, was better than flipping to the last page, which I really did think about doing -- and discovered that, yes, Splendor is the last book in the Luxe series. So then I was able to calm the crap down and just read.
Okay, so Splendor begins with (and there'll be spoilers about the first three in the following rundown, so skip this whole post if you're going to read the series -- it's basically Gossip Girl in 1899, so if that appeals, check out my post on the first book (and be sure to read down through the comments -- lots of different opinions about the series (and other book recommendations) there!)):
Teddy Cutting is overseas because he enlisted after Elizabeth turned down his 47th marriage proposal. She's still massively pregnant with her dead true love's baby and her much-older husband continues to be insanely understanding and supportive and gentle; Diana is tending bar in Cuba and searching for Henry, who enlisted to get away from his monster of a wife, Penelope, who is bored as all get out back in New York... until she locks eyeballs with a handsome bad boy (who also happens to be the Prince of Bavaria) and realizes that marrying into the Schoonmaker family wasn't aiming quite as high as she could have; and Lina Broud, former maid, is still in lurrrve with a blue blood and passing herself off as Carolina Broad, Western heiress.
Like the other books in the series, I found it strangely engaging even though I rolled my eyes pretty much constantly -- and, like the other books in the series, there were some twists that I JUST DID NOT SEE COMING. Well, one twist that I didn't see coming. In MY defense, I really don't think that there was ANY foreshadowing in the earlier books -- it was so sudden and such a clear manipulation of the situations and characters on the author's part to Get The Pieces In The Right Positions that if I'd been at all emotionally invested, I'd have been extremely irritated. As it was, though, I wasn't -- so I just laughed like a loon and enjoyed the (very silly) ride. I still dream of a movie version starring the Gossip Girl kids. With Chuck as Henry. Wow. I just made myself swoon from the awesome.
Basically, if you've read the others in the series, I can't imagine that you wouldn't want to Find Out How It All Turns Out, and that's all I have time for because I have to get it back to the library. One of our volunteers has it on hold, and she may LOOK all sweet and grandmotherly, but get between her and a book she wants to read and WHOA NELLY. I'm on her bad list at the moment, and it is a scary, scary place to be.
Book source: Library copy.
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