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Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

Release Date - July 29, 2014

Daisy Goodwin
St. Martin's Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The Fortune Hunter is a fictional story based on Austria's Empress Elizabeth (Sisi), wife of the much older Emperor Franz Joseph and her friendship with Captain Bay Middleton, a man she hires as her pilot. Bay is a skilled horseman and suitor of Charlotte Baird, a wealthy heiress who honestly loves Bay. When the Earl of Spencer invites Sisi on his famous hunt, Bay is asked to go along. His growing relationship with Sisi could destroy the relationship he has with Charlotte, as well as impact many others at the same time.

While many women fawn over royalty, I grew up in a household where my mom always pointed out the rules Royals must obey. What many in the media and forums count as a stuffy attitude, it is how Royals are raised to behave. Given that, I've never seen the fascination with Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, and the recent generations. Based on that, I struggled quite a bit with The Fortune Hunter.

I liked Charlotte, and didn't mind Bay at first, but Charlotte's brother and the quest to find her a suitable husband worthy of her fortune. I hate that level of control. I realize it is how the system works for Royals, but it's obnoxious to me. I just wanted to see Charlotte and Bay have their chance without intervention.

When Sisi entered the story, I started to get overwhelmed. The focus strayed from what I was enjoying. At that point, I really had to struggle to finish it. I ended up having to walk away from it, and come back, repeatedly. In the end, it just wasn't my cup of tea so to speak. The writing was good. The dialog suited the time. The historical accuracy was off, but the author admitted she was taking liberties, so I was okay with that. In the end, too many characters became the downfall for me.

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