How to do it wrong and how to do it right. Sort of.

Yes, we know it seems as if A Reader's Respite is really picking on poor Anna Godbersen for her Luxe Series lately. But it is a series and since each successive book of the series seems worse than the last, who are we to turn down such fodder?

As most of you know by now, A Reader's Respite has been plodding our way through this horny-wealthy-elite-teenager- New York Society soap opera set in 1899 that's being billed as "historical fiction for teens."

We lamented the first in the series here, then later questioned our messed-up rationale for purchasing the second in the series here.

Yet even knowing what we were in for when we turned to that first page, we masochistically pressed onward. This time, we were rewarded with even more unrealistic hormone-crazed rich teenagers in turn-of-the-century New York having sex every chance they got. And trust us, you have no idea how many chances these societal teens had to have sex. Evidently, the sexual revolution actually occurred in 1899 New York.

They also found ways to fake their own deaths, blackmail each other into marriage (hey, at least the marriage part is an improvement), and run away with the stable help to California. Even their maids get in on the action here by acquiring a bit of cash and are perfectly able to sneak their way into the highest social circles with no one being the wiser.

But the icing on the cake? Well we won't ruin it completely for you, but suffice it to say that it involves a bearskin rug, a teenage girl with an older boy, lots of sex and all with in the confines of said girl's bedroom which just happens to be located within one of New York's most distinguished homes.

Clearly, parental supervision did not play a large role for teenage societal girls back then. Who knew?

Now all of this is not to claim that no one engaged in sex in turn-of-the-century New York. The birth rate of the time clearly refutes that. But if you'd like a better sense of high society scandal during this time period, we'd recommend that you turn to Paula Uruburu's new non-fiction expose of Evelyn Nesbit, entitled American Eve.

Not familiar with Evelyn Nesbit? Why, she was the original "It" girl, of course. The first supermodel, if you will. At only 16 years old, she was the most photographed woman of her time; the epitome of female beauty in 1900.

So it's not surprising that Evelyn inspired great passion in men and even greater scandal when her millionaire New York society husband murdered her lover.

True story, folks. The trial was a sensation and Evelyn became a legend in her own time.

Author Paula Uruburu's research is meticulous and while sometimes the book gets a bit heavy with hyperbole, the portrait of New York society at the turn of the century is stark and real.

With nary a bearskin rug to be found anywhere, thank goodness.

Now on to the giveaways.....A Reader's Respite is happy to offer a copy of American Eve to one lucky entrant. Just leave a comment here (all comers welcome, any country, any where) and on August 31st, we'll announce a winner, so be sure to check back and see if it's you!

And for those of you who find yourself intrigued by the trainwreck of The Luxe Series, just be patient and A Reader's Respite will be offering a giveaway of the entire series not too far in the future!


  1. Oh, yes, I've heard of Evelyn Nesbit!! I have no idea where I've read about her, but I'd love to get my mitts on that book. Do sign me up, please, Ms. Respite.

    bookfoolery at yahoo dot com

    Your LUXE posts make me snicker. Bearskin rug. What a hoot.

  2. Love your intro to the book lol. I never thought that they would have the time too. I have not read the series yet but plan to in the future. I would love to learn more about Edith Nesbit. I also love books about real crimes and of course memoirs.

    Shannanusar at aol dot com

  3. Once again, I have to say that I think you are prejudiced against those fluffy flouncy dresses that as you know all girls wore then. I would like to enter your contest but I fear that if I won you would drop the book from your plane on my house. Then again, maybe that would be just the thing to knock it over so we could move to a place like Portland, with that nice little bookstore there.

    Please enter me!

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  4. Rhapsodyinbooks - you caught me, it's the dresses, LOL. And yes, Powell's is awesome. I think we should have a book blogger's expedition there once a year.

  5. Please remind me in a few years NOT to get suckered into buying these books for my teen daughter. Holy Lord on his throne, who thought this was a good thing to write for teens? Your description of being dragged into the land of darkness, despite your better senses, reminds me of reading the Twilight series.

    This Evelyn is interesting. Especially the picture. She has this stoned, F@#$ me look about her.

  6. I knew you would just love the bear rug scene. Still trying to figure out how she straddled him in his lap with all those skirts and all......

    As many times as I have taken a weekend jaunt to Portland I have never yet dared to go to Powells.

  7. Got American Eve in my TBR pile. I first heard of her when I read the book "Ragtime" so when I heard of this, I had to have it to get the real story.

  8. I'm in on the giveaway. I have been hearing some of the tragic details of Evelyn's life through reviews but would love to read the whole sad affair.

  9. LOL!!! I haven't yet gotten to Envy, but it's here, and I will probably really like it. (I'm so lame!).

    Anyway, I'd love read the Nesbit book. I've known who she was for a looong time, but then, I'm old (but apparently not wise, since I'm enjoying the Luxe books). Maybe you can save me from myself.

    BFish (dot) Reads (at) gmail

  10. Pls add me in the giveaway.
    Never read the Luxe series though I've been meaning to get a copy once the bookstore in my country goes on sale :)

  11. I just finished American Eve, and it was fascinating. She was like the 1900s Britney Spears, crappy parents and all.

  12. Altho I've never heard of Evelyn Nesbit, I'd love to read this non-fiction sex and crime (?) book. Sounds intriguing.

  13. I haven't heard of Evelyn Nesbit but your brief description of her and the non-fiction book has really piqued my interest! I definitely added it on my wishlist. I'd love to be entered into your giveaway for it =)

    As for the Luxe series, I never really wanted to read them. Seems I'm not missing out on much. But I may give them a try if I need some giggling time, and who doesn't need that =)

    mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

  14. I just love the cover's of the Luxe series no matter how inappropriate they are :)

    I have seen the book American Eve around and real life stories always interest me. Please do enter me.

  15. I've read some postive reviews of Luxe Series. It seems like the ones you either like or hate.
    I'd like to be enterted for the giveaway. :D
    linna.hsu (at) gmail (dot) com

  16. I would love to read the Evelyn Nesbit book. Sign me up!

  17. I have never read the Luxe series...and after reading this post I may have to write them off my TBR pile completely!

    I literaly laughed out loud reading this.

    Please enter me in your giveaway, I had never heard of Evelyn Nesbit until now and I would love to read more!


  18. I have not read anything by this author and would love to. Please include me in your giveaway.

  19. I would just love to win this. Please enter my name in your draw. Thanks.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

  20. That Luxe series sounds awful. Nothing like historical fiction that is poor history.


  21. I have to say the femmy part of me thrills to the covers of that series...those dresses are wonderful. but I'd rather read American Eve.

    Don't enter me in the contest, though since postage rates to Korea suck.

  22. I'd love to win American Eve. I've heard of her before and her story just sounds so fascinating. Thank you!

    nycbookgirl (at) gmail (dot) com

  23. Whoever does the covers for the Luxe series did a good job, because I look twice every time I see one. Thank god it is not something I am going to add to my TBR pile as I have enough already.

    I have heard of the Nesbit 'case' through reading The Crimes of Paris by the Hooblers. That book had done a lot of analysis on the high profile crimes of the times, not necessarily only Paris.
    So yes, Please enter me for this one.. I haven't read a good true story in a while and I do actually enjoy books like Anne Rule and the mystery/crime genre.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    MarieBurton2004 at yahoo dot com

  24. I haven't heard of Evelyn Nesbit but I'd love to read about her!

    eafeldpausch at gmail dot com

  25. American Eve sounds like a really interesting read. She certainly was a looker!
    memymarie at gmail dot com


  26. I've heard so much about those Luxe books, and disturbingly, there was a time when they kept showing up on my Amazon "Recommended for You" list. Um, no. I have no desire to read that sort of book, and honestly... the covers? Good grief. As though a real Victorian lady would allow her hair to be worn down in that manner regularly...

  27. I have not read abt "Evelyn Nesbit"
    But she sounds like an awesome diva of her time!

    I am glad to know that the 2nd installment of the soap opera was no better :)

    American Eve sounds good, enter me!

  28. I really want to read American Eve, so please enter me! milou2ster(at)

  29. This looks so good! Can't wait to read it. Thanks for sharing this.

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

  30. I've never heard of Evelyn Nesbit, but this definitely sounds fascinating! Please count me in. Thank you!

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  31. Sign me up, please!

    Has anyone written a novel called "Girl on a Bearskin Rug"?

  32. I would like to be entered!


  33. I'd heard about Evelyn Nesbit, but your intro showed her in a different way. I enjoyed it very much!

    Please count me in.

    gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

  34. Please enter me in your giveaway.


  35. Count me in, please!
    carlos_durao AT hotmail DOT com

  36. Please count me in. Love the coveers btw.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

  37. American Eve has been on my wishlist for a while now. Being a fan of Edith Wharton I have an interest in New York around 1900. Please incluse me in your drawing.

  38. I have never heard of Evelyn Nesbit but have read much literature (fiction and nonfiction) of that era. It was a time of myth and hard times for women.

    I would love to read this book. Please count me in the contest.

    bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

  39. I would love to be entered, my email address is Thanks!

  40. I love reading books like this - it shows you that life is not so different no matter what era you live in! Scandals still abound.
    Please count me in~

  41. Please throw my name in the hat. This book sounds very interesting.

    booklogged AT gmail DOT come

  42. I would like to be on the draw!
    educhico AT gmail DOT com

  43. Great offer!
    Thanks a lot!

    o_rei_de_havana AT hotmail DOT com

  44. I've read a few articles about Evelyn Nesbit but mainly in connection with her affairs and her indoor swing!

    I would love to read more. This book sounds like such a fun read!

    Thanks so much for the entry!

    gaby317nyc AT gmail dot com

  45. I believe I will like this!


  46. Well, nice book!
    catarina.magoito AT gmail DOT com

  47. I already had read a couple of things on her.
    I love this kind of scandals form the Stars World.
    They get it on an extreme level!

    39.5susy AT gmail DOT com

  48. I would like to try this one!

  49. Well, no harm in trying!


  50. tanitalves [@]

    I hope I get lucky!

  51. I'll take your word for it on the Luxe series. Though I enjoy a sexy read, these sound ridiculous. American Eve however sounds very interesting.

    Thanks, RR for the contest.

  52. I would love to have the copy of American Eve...sounds fascinating.
    Thank you,

  53. i want to be entered


Fire away!