I received Rumors by Anna Godbersen for review from the Amazon Vine program. I have its prequel, The Luxe, on my bookshelves waiting to be read, so I thought this would be a good book to choose from the monthly list. For some reason, I decided to go ahead and read this one before reading The Luxe (I know, I know, that's Rule #1: Thou Shalt Read All Books in a Series In Order). Don't get me wrong; I loved this book! I just wish I'd read its prequel first (though I do intend to go back and read it just for the style and fun).
Rumors is chock full of NYC society in December 1899, and characters who might just be found on the pages of a Gossip Girl book if the setting were present-day. We meet the decidedly undead Elizabeth Holland (who has escaped her high society marriage of convenience by running off to true love Will in the west), Elizabeth's younger sister, Diana, who is in love with Elizabeth's cast-off fiance, and Penelope Hayes, who knows way too much and is determined to have Henry all to herself. Mix in Lina, Elizabeth's former maid who is passing herself off as a lady using Penelope's blood money, and a host of other interesting people and situations and you've got the right mix for a page turner. I loved how each chapter begins with an "outtake" from a society page full of pure speculation, and I love how the mores and manners of 1899 are readily available throughout. This one's a good one---I'm going to have to pick up #3, Envy, when it comes out in January. Excellent fun and high good reading.
Amazon Vine review may be found at http://www.amazon.com/review/R3PG0GDP18CBBO/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm. Please stop by and vote if you can.