The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin


 In 1875, Sisi, the Empress of Austria is the woman that every man desires and every woman envies.

Beautiful, athletic and intelligent, Sisi has everything - except happiness. Bored with the stultifying etiquette of the Hapsburg Court and her dutiful but unexciting husband, Franz Joseph, Sisi comes to England to hunt. She comes looking for excitement and she finds it in the dashing form of Captain Bay Middleton, the only man in Europe who can outride her. Ten years younger than her and engaged to the rich and devoted Charlotte, Bay has everything to lose by falling for a woman who can never be his. But Bay and the Empress are as reckless as each other, and their mutual attraction is a force that cannot be denied.

Full of passion and drama, THE FORTUNE HUNTER tells the true story of a nineteenth century Queen of Hearts and a cavalry captain, and the struggle between love and duty.

   3 Stars

all the main characters in the book are actually people. very cool.

Homely Charlotte Baird is entering her first season as a debutante in English society. She is now available to marry, should her half brother Fred and his annoying fiancee Augusta agree. Everyone knows it won't be Charlotte's looks that catch's her a man, it will be her fortune. She is the sole heir to the Lennox fortune. And that's nothing to bat an eyelash at. 

Enter Bay Middletown, a rogue, a scoundrel, a womanizer. He is smitten by Charlotte and her ways. She is easy on the eyes, comes with money, but Bay see's more in her. He see's a partner. As their friendship/courtship grows, Bay is requested to be the Empress of Austria's pilot for the big hunt. He doesn't want to do it. He wishes to stay and woo/court Charlotte, but he can not say no to his former commanding officer. If he plays the horse right, it could be a big victory for himself and for England. Bay agrees to the job, with reluctance, after awhile he finds the Empress, Sisi, to be very beautiful and very agreeable to him. His relationship with the Empress grows, his relationship with Charlotte wanes. It's a struggle for Bay's affection. Who will win?

.I will admit, these people are so passive aggressive when dealing with each other. Just come out and say it, instead of beating around the bush. That was dreadful. I didn't find anything redeeming about any of these people. In fact, I liked the American who came into the picture much to late. I wish he would have been there for the hunt at Melton, when Charlotte took the picture of the Empress when she had her fan up. He could have swept her away to London and started a bigger scandal. For me it was boring. I wouldn't have married any of them. I would have died a widow with many lovers. Screw you people and the Empress.

What I did like about the book, the history. Some things were off, but nothing Earth shattering. I the reference to the picture of the Empress with her fan. That picture does exist, yes I googled it. Those little details really helped the story seem real. Did it actually happen? Who knows. From the pictures the Empress is beautiful. A grandma at 38, wow, that's young, but I have to remember that they married much earlier than we do!

Charlotte was a lady before her time. I'm glad she didn't just sit around, paint porcelain and sip tea. She had a great hobby, unorthodox for the time, but still really cool. I just wish she could have made better choices when it herself and future.