Category Archives: The Luxe

Review & Giveaway: Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

The prettiest people often have the ugliest secrets…

“Eighteen-year-old Maggie Darlington has turned into an entirely different person. The once spirited teen is now passive and reserved. A change Lord and Lady Darlington can’t help but be grateful for.

It’s 1912, and the Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall have more than just the extensive grounds to maintain. As one of Britain’s most elite families, they need to keep up appearances that things are as they have always been… even as their carefully constructed façade rapidly comes undone.

Maggie has a secret. And she’s not the only one… the handsome groom Michael, the beautiful new French nanny Therese, the Darlingtons’ teenage houseguests Teddy and Jessica, and even Maggie’s younger sister Lila are all hiding something. Passion, betrayal, heartache, and whispered declarations of love take place under the Darlingtons’ massive roof. And one of these secrets has the power to ruin the Darlingtons forever.

When scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details that closely mirror the lives of the Darlingtons, everyone is looking over their shoulder, worrying their scandal will be next. Because at Wentworth Hall, nothing stays secret for long.

Wentworth Hall is a lush historical novel by debut author Abby Grahame, which is spot-on perfect for fans of Downtown Abbey!”

First off let’s acknowledge that the number of Downtown Abbey fans that would fall in the teenage age range are probably few (sad but true right?)…however that’s exactly what this novel will remind you of and it works…in fact it works spectacularly. It’s one of those books that you pick up and you do not put down. I read it in one sitting and that can be hard for me to do with a pre-schooler controlling my reading privileges these days.

Enter the once grand estate of Wentworth Hall, a crumbling family residence teeming with the young, beautiful and rich of the Edwardian period (some admittedly only the once rich but shush….that’s a supposed to be a secret). Follow along as they navigate coming of age, the rough waters of young love and secret betrayals of today and years gone by. It’s a world that’s only too easy to fall deeply into within the first few pages. One would never guess this to be by a newbie author as it shines in all the right places. Abby Grahame’s sense of timing and pace are impeccable. The characters and setting are written to perfection and surprises seem to lie around every single Edwardian corner.

It’s a book for young adults who enjoy historical fiction and also adults who love young adult fiction and/or historical fiction. Readers that found bliss within the pages of The Luxe series will fall in historical love all over again. And with a cover  like that it’s got great shelf appeal and reader’s advisory potential. For those non-librarians….that means we can more than likely get it into a teen’s hands and out the door, fingers crossed they open the cover once that happens. But if they do open that cover and begin to read…I guarantee they’ll be hooked.

There is also hope of a continuance of some sort since many of the plot lines simply scream to be explored. It will intriguing to find what author Abby Grahame will do next, she is definitely one to watch. But don’t take my word for it…dip into the pages of Wentworth Hall by checking out an excerpt and enter to win your very own copy below.

 Fabulous Book Giveaway

 Oh, you know you want a copy and luckily I have two copies of this luxurious historical novel to give away to two US readers.  This double giveaway will end midnight EST May 14, 2012. The charmed winners will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by e-mail.

To enter just comment below and tell us what book, TV series or movie has you slightly obsessed right now. We all have our favorites…let’s share. Are you a “Downtown Abbey” fanatic? Do you crave “True Blood”? Hunger for The Hunger Games? Or live to follow every move on “The Game of Thrones”?

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)



Filed under historical fiction, New Books, The Luxe, Young Adult Books

New Young Adult Books Gudrun LeBlanc is stuck in Minnesota. Far from her California home, the white blonde teenage fashionista is dealing not only with her parent’s recent divorce but also trying to survive a dramatic change in setting. Outdated, old fashioned and at times just plain odd, her new home has yet to become anything close to what she considers acceptable, especially the climate. The cold is the one thing Kat hates the most and everyone knows the mid-west is not know for warmth as fall sets in. When odd happenings escalate and whispers about her past in this town reach her ears, things take an even weirder turn than ever imagined. Is Kat destined for something out of this world or is she finally just cracking up from all the oddity and stress of being a new student at Norse Falls High?

A modern day fairy tale woven from old legends thought dead, Stork is a book full of originality, humor and edge of your seat suspense.  Wendy Delsol has pitch perfect characterization in her sassy protagonist and mystical setting creation, bringing to life an original story that is both freshly real and yet magical at the same time.  Filled with present day pop culture references such as the latest fashions and brand name coffee, the book also fuses together ancient Icelandic myths and customs for the perfect blend of old and new. This combination makes for a whole new layer of depth to the saga of Kat and her destiny.  Throw in a love interest that will make any heart pound and a few death-defying scenes and you have one of the best young adult books of the year.

Stork is nearly impossible to stop reading and will take readers on an amazing journey of tradition and modern day fun. Twists and turns abound but it will all end in a revelation readers will never see coming.

It’s a decade of abandon, decadence and freedom and it’s coming to an exquisite end. New York City in 1929 is full of dark speakeasies and brave young girls enjoying the latest styles and an exciting new way of life. Social constraints are out the window, hemlines and hair are shorter than ever and the path to luxury and stardom await in the city that never sleeps.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped to the Big Apple in search of more than their small town Ohio lives could offer. Once in the city of their dreams they wind up with more than either could ever imagine and more often than not more than they can handle.

Meanwhile the beautiful socialite Astrid Donal thought she knew it all but might find out otherwise as the summer goes by and the roaring twenties come to an end. From the lush estates of Long Island to the stages of Broadway, New York shines as bright as the young girls in Bright Young Things. Three young lives delicately interwoven with three unpredictable fates begin the start of an alluring and addictive new series.

In Anna Godbersen’s newest book since the end of the beloved Luxe series, she astounds with another young adult period novel about the history of New York and the girls who called it home. Creating the old New York of the 1920’s with dazzling description and authentic detail, once again Godbersen makes the past come alive. In a tale just as exciting as her former works, readers will fall head over heels for this story of glamour and mystique. Bright Young Things will leave readers enchanted by Godbersen’s beautiful rhythms, astounded by another fantastic cover choice and wanting more. With beautiful historical nuances and delicately scripted characters Bright Young Things doesn’t just glitter; it shines.

As before with the Luxe series, there is a great interactive website for Bright Young Things.



Filed under Girly Books, historical fiction, New Books, The Luxe, Young Adult Books

The Luxe: A Luxurious End

Well it has happened….Anna Godbersen’s Luxe series has come to an end. And I must say it was a most luxurious one. Splendor completes the series that so many of us have eagerly followed. I have to say that while loves I wanted to be together in the beginning books were not in the end…I was very satisfied with the closing book and how our beloved ladies fared as they made their way into adulthood. Godbersen was so adept at changing situations to make each book so different and unexpected. Sometimes plots may have seemed highly improbable but Luxe captured a loyal following within it’s readers who have always been hungry for more. Splendor in itself, I found to be one of my favorites of the four novels. I enjoyed seeing the maturity some of the characters had gained and the true nature of others revealed.  I would have liked a longer ending, it seemed a but rushed and hurried but I was happy with what was chosen and agree that the series had come to it’s conclusion. So often authors don’t realize that and can make a series weak by continuing when the story has truly already ended. One wonders what will be next for Anna Godbersen? Exciting to think about…. but for right now you can possibly win a collection of your own Luxe series novels.

Another spectacular aspect of this series of course was the cover choice. The dresses of The Luxe were almost as highly anticipated as the books themselves. They jumped off the shelves and had some of the best shelf appeal I have ever seen. From the beautiful light pinkish rose creation on Luxe, to the crimson gown from Rumors, the white dress with red flower trim in Envy and finally the lavender sensation of Splendor. Each dress was magnificent and gave the reader even more imagination into the world of The Luxe. But which dress was your favorite? I would love to know….Comment and let’s see whose dress wins as the most luxurious of them all…..I’ll keep mum on my fav until we get a few comments going!


Filed under Girly Books, historical fiction, The Luxe, Young Adult Books

The Luxe Series: Envy

Well it seems all the Rumors and Luxury have led to Envy in the world of The Luxe. First off again they have hit a home run on another fantastic cover and breathtaking dress choice. Diana Holland is rumored to be the debutante featured on the Envy cover which would make sense since she takes a much more predominant role in this book than the first two.I am really enjoying the direction the series is taking and can’t wait for Splendor which so far has no cover but will be released October 27, 2009.

For those of you who have not entered the world of the Luxe…what are you waiting for? The Luxe is most often described as “Gossip Girl in Victorian Times” and in this last installment it did not fail to keep us reading! So go grab a copy of The Luxe and Rumors, now both in paperback!

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Filed under Books for Girls, The Luxe, Young Adult Books

Rumors Has IT!

I have felt so far behind in both my reading and my reviews. Summer Reading took up most of my professional time and some health issues sapped any remaining blogging time. But alas it appears both have come to an end and I am back and ready to sound off on the latest books!.I have just finished Rumors by Anna Godbersen and I have to say I loved it! I was worried when I first got my copy because I wasn’t really in the mood for it. Whenever I feel unwell I tend to go back and read the classics that I love. It’s like eating Mom’s homemade soup…makes me feel safe and comforted. So after putting down my well worn P&P copy (Pride and Prejudice), I was hesitant to start on a new hot YA title. But all it took was a page or two and I was hooked! Godbersen has done a wonderful job of her second Luxe novel.  Unlike some authors who seem to stall once they have a hot series, Godbersen keeps things moving and keeps the reader addicted. While in the end we still look forward to the happenings in the next novel, we still find plenty to think about from the last. A wonderful addition to the series. Also now we can all look forward to Envy which will be the next in the Luxe series! However unfortunately as of yet no release date or sneak peek of the fabulous cover.  So I guess we will have to wait!


Filed under The Luxe, Young Adult Books

The Luxe Continues


Just a reminder! Don’t forget The Luxe Series continues with Rumors
debuting on June 3rd! That’s 64 days, 7 hours and 16 minutes from now…not that I’m counting or anything.

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Filed under The Luxe, Young Adult Books

A Sizzling Summer of Reading

I was looking today at my list of YA and Adult books that are coming out this summer and I am super excited. Because they are fun and flirty this summer! If you haven’t got these jotted down…make a note and get on the request list early at your local library! I know when I am on the beach this summer some of these will be in my bag!
May 1: Airhead by Meg Cabot
(P.S. Head to Meg Cabot’s site for a chance at a free Advanced Reader’s Copy. I got one and can’t wait to read it and she sends you a real nice email with it!)
May 6: The Host by Stephenie Meyer (her first adult novel)
May 8: Gossip Girl: The Carlyles Series #1 by Cecily Von Ziegesar
May 27: Pretty Little Liars: Unbelievable by Sarah Shepard
June 3: Rumors: A Luxe Novel by Ann Godbersen
Aug 2: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Aug 26: Identical by Ellen Hopkins
That should keep us all busy this summer!

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Filed under Adult Books, Meg Cabot, New Books, Stephenie Meyer, The Luxe, Young Adult Books