The Fortune Hunter Hardcover – 24 Apr 2014
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'Timeless, tantalising and ultimately, hugely satisfying. A terrific novel' (Richard and Judy, Richard and Judy Book Club)
Sparkling and thoroughly engaging...highly enjoyable (The Times)
'A turbocharged drama packed with passion, politics and plenty of horsepower' (Tatler)
'Finery, flattery, flirting and the erotic charge of the hunt' (Sunday Times)
'A hugely enjoyable historical romp and a major new talent' (Sunday Express)
'Delicious and clever and addictive' (Elizabeth Buchan)
'A rollicking good read...maintains a thrilling pace' (Mail on Sunday)
'Wonderful characters, completely assured writing and feel for the hunting milieu and above all such fun. It's going to be a giant hit' (Amanda Craig)
'Daisy Goodwin has triumphed again. In THE FORTUNE HUNTER she weaves a rich and textured tale of desire and ambition. Sizzling with energy and passion on every page, Goodwin's characters compel the reader to fall in love with them' (Amanda Foreman)
'A sumptuous, scrumptious confection, with country houses, Austrian Empresses and Victorian glamour galore' (Lucy Worsley)
'An intelligent and entertaining romp through the ballrooms and boudoirs of late 19th century society' (Good Housekeeping)
Expertly drawn characters, exquisite period detail...a sparkling read (The Lady Magazine)
THE FORTUNE HUNTER is the true story of a nineteenth century Queen of Hearts and a cavalry captain, told by the author of the bestselling, MY LAST DUCHESS. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Right from the outset I floundered with this book, maybe my lack of Hungarian royal knowledge hindered me as for the first 6 chapters or so every time they talked about the Empress Elizabeth I kept thinking “that’s nice but when is the lead character Sisi that they talk about on the book description going to appear”. It took 6 chapters before they reconciled that Elizabeth was Sisi and I eventually got into the swing of things.
Or did I? You see that was the problem with this book for me, it just never really got off the starting blocks. It was all so very superficial. Aside from the character of Charlotte Baird all of the other characters were intrinsically unlikeable. Snobby, obsessed with social position and oh so many drawing room conversations made them so difficult to warm to.
Also, I know author was trying to convey Sisi’s great beauty but I swear if I read about her hair any tiny waist one more time I was going to throw my kindle at the wall. It was such a bland and uninspired book, devoid of any depth of emotion.
Aside from a few hunts, a grand national and lots of emotional angst not much actually happened in all the pages. I wanted to give up on so many occasions but plodded on praying it might redeem itself. It never did and by the end I just didn’t care what happened.
Very dissapointing and not one of recommend unless you like your reads with little depth.
It was interesting and entertaining and there has obviously been a lot of research undertaken, but it just didn't capture me the way I had hoped.
I did like the story...but some of the characters...Oh my. Stereotypical caricatures and most of them hateful. In particular I took an instant dislike to Charlotte's brother, Fred - Even from the first chapter he started to grate on my nerves because of his inability to pronounce the final 'g' on words ending with 'ing'. Sportin', Singin', Dancin'. Urgh. I expected him to say "Don'tChaKnow" at the end of every sentence. There's just no depth to any of them. Apart from Charlotte, she alone was the high point of the book.
I'm maybe in the minority here but I actually like a good triangle, as long as it's well done and not just for the sake of it. Personally, if I were Charlotte I'd have happily handed Bay over to Sisi, and good luck to them. Sisi was shallow and unpleasant and Bay...Well, he wasn't much of a catch, dithering about between the two of them.
It's a good story but very insubstantial.
The Fortune Hunter is the compelling tale of how one man's love of two (very different) women, almost cost him everything.
Captain Bay Middleton is one of the finest horse riders that the country has to offer, he has dreams of winning the Grand National, as well as settling down and marrying. Charlotte, the sister of one of his best friends Fred, is a wealthy heiress who captures Bay's heart. Charlotte is an independent young woman with an interest in photographry which the majority of her family don't seem to support.
When Bay poses for a portrait, the finished photograph shows clearly that Bay's feelings are reciprocated and things seem destined to be heading in the right direction for the young couple. All is well until Bay is summoned and asked to be a pilot (guide) for the Empress of Austria who is visiting the country. The Empress is a fine horsewoman and although seemingly shy at first, the Empress is soon discussing horses with Bay, the first obvious thing they have in common.
As Bay accompanies the Empress on a series of hunts she begins to grow fond of him, and he of her. But Bay is mindful of Charlotte and proposes to her after an unsettling encounter with the Empress. Charlotte is delighted, but can she really compete against royalty for Bay's love?
The Fortune Hunter is a delightful novel which doesn't try too hard. Unlike some historical fiction I've read which has been based on historical figures. In fact, I didn't realise that the several of the historical figures were real until I read the author's notes.
The Fortune Hunter also touches on some unconventional relationships, jobs and hobbies and is an interesting as well as an engaging read which comes highly recommended!
The writing style is gossipy and `romantic', and the characters do tend to stereotypes: the blustering Captain Hartopp, the bitchy and snobbish Augusta - but Charlotte is utterly adorable and gives the book a liveliness that rescues it from the purely conventional.
It's a self-indulgently long book (my proof copy is over 600 pages) which is perhaps not justified by the story. Sisi, crucially, remains an enigma: I found her unpleasant, arrogant, and even a bit silly. At one point she says that if her son, the crown prince Rudolph, loves her then he should want her to be happy... even if that involves her infidelity to his father - how ridiculous and unbelievable a sentiment from a nineteenth-century Hapsburg dynasty mother to son!
Anyone who knows the story of the Hapsburg family from other angles (I would especially recommend Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Mayerling) may be disappointed at the shallow treatment here. So this is easy, comfort reading set in huge houses, amongst aristocratic families who hunt and intermarry. What lifts it beyond the bland, however, is the wonderful Charlotte. Good if you need a royal soap-opera fix.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I looked for this as I'd read another book by this author and it didn't disappoint.Published 5 months ago by Britelyn
Not a bad book but not heavy enough for our book club where we discuss plots etc.. It was very much " holiday" reading, bit wishywashy!Published 6 months ago by Dilly
This book takes a little time to grasp as there are many characters all with varied back stories and social class standings you need to understand but once the stage is set and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Ms Goodwin lacks the skills to capture the language, the humour, the poetry, the spectacle and the adventure of the ’madding crowd’ of 1875. Read morePublished 9 months ago by JPSreviews
I really enjoyed the author’s previous book “The Last Duchess” but I thought this was a disappointingly light follow-up. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Damo Green
It might have been a good idea if a book written about the best rider in the army Bay Middleton, was written by someone who knew something about horses, tack or horseracing. Read morePublished 10 months ago by C M Silver