Splendor by Anna Godbersen is the fourth and last book in the Luxe series. It is also my least favorite. I loved the first three: The Luxe, Rumors and Envy but Splendor just didn’t do it for me. I’m very picky about the ending in books and book series. I like for the ending to make sense and resolve any issues that there may have been. Without further ado, let’s get into why I didn’t care for the conclusion to the Luxe series.
Elizabeth Cairns, formerly Keller/Holland, is happy as Snowden Cairns wife. She doesn’t feel any romantic feelings toward Snowden because she is still mourning her deceased husband, Will; but she is happy in their new home and her pregnancy is progressing well. Soon however, she discovers some suspicious things. She finds a note addressed to her husband that alludes to the fact that he had something to do with Elizabeth’s father’s death. Elizabeth confronts him and also discovers he was responsible for Will’s death as well. Snowden’s goal was to marry Elizabeth the whole time and receive the oil money Will made out West. Snowden drugs Elizabeth with ether and keeps her locked away in a bedroom where he plans to kill her once she gives birth and make it look like she died in childbirth. Meanwhile, Diana Holland is in Cuba where she went after she learned Henry was stationed there with the army. She ends up finding him and they are blissfully happy until Henry’s superior discovers them together and sends them both back to New York. Once there, Henry decides to tell his father he’s going to divorce Penelope and marry Diana but when he does his father has a heart attack and dies. Since Henry is now the head of the household he still plans to marry Diana but when he proposes Diana tells him she just can’t stay in New York and will only be with him if he goes to Paris. Henry tells her he can’t do that so Diana heads off to Paris without him. Back in the Cairns household Elizabeth awakens from her drugged stupor and manages to creep into the upstairs hall where she sees Snowden coming up the stairs. Elizabeth pushes him down the stairs and the fall kills him. Teddy Cutting, who has always been in love with Elizabeth, shows up shortly after because he knew something was wrong when he tried to visit Elizabeth previously. He saves Elizabeth and the two marry. She later has her son and then they go on to have many more children.
I did not like this book for a few simple reasons:
- The ending felt rushed. It’s like the author really wanted to finish up the series but she also wanted to load it down with unnecessary details so this made the ending just feel sloppy and thrown together.
- The Diana and Henry romance went in a weird direction. Throughout all four books these two are chasing each other and desperately want to be together but now that they can Diana is like nah. It just didn’t make sense. I get that Diana is supposed to be this independent feminist but I don’t see any real person doing something like that.
I actually did like Snowden Cairns being the evil mastermind behind everything. I had thought something was off about him since he was first introduced because he was just a little too nice. I also liked that Elizabeth and Teddy ended up together because let’s be honest, they’re perfect for each other.
I’m sure the author had her reasons for writing Splendor the way she did but I just don’t feel it matched the caliber of the first three. However, it is a necessary read if you want a conclusion to the series. That’s about it. If you’ve read this series let me know what you thought about it! Thank you for reading and have a great day!