Elizabeth Holland was meant to be married, but instead her empty coffin is being carried in to her funeral. What follows is the story of the time leading up to Elizabeth’s disappearance into the river only days before her wedding. In Victorian New York things are not always as they seem. Elizabeth’s fiance may not be mourning quite the way he should. Her best friend Penelope Hayes may not be as devoted as she seemed. The Holland family may be hiding things which would change their standing in New York society. Even the maid and the coachman have their secrets. The Luxe is a fluffy romantic read. The intrigue kept the book moving along, which is good, because the characters themselves didn’t hold me. I had a very hard time finding them likable. I expect many readers will not mind this though, because it’s exciting! And slightly racy! And there are beautiful clothes!
Sex, Nudity, Dating – We are not present for any actual sex, but you sure know it’s going on, with women and men sneaking and slipping in and out of each other’s bedrooms, the help being sent away while a woman shows off progressively more of her decolletage, women waking up in men’s rooms. There’s also some nudity with women in see through gowns, or only wearing stockings or being undressed. Kissing occurs as well as some fondling. Mr. Astor was once seen kissing a kitchen boy and whores are present in one scene.
Profanity – “damned,” “godawful,”
Death, Violence and Gore – There’s some death, although nothing terribly violent. Suicide is mentioned. We’re told one man liked to harm small animals. There’s a mention of tenement fires which trap men and babies like kindling.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – Plenty of drinking, ranging from champagne to beer and done by almost all characters. There’s plenty of cigarette smoking as well.
Frightening or Intense Things – None.