Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

It's not usual that a romance novel catches my eye but The Fortune Hunter being a historically set novel as well really piqued my interest and I'm really glad I took a chance on it. Set in 1875, the Empress of Austria Sisi visits England on a hunting trip. Exceptionally beautiful, witty and smart, Sisi has everything a woman of her position could ever ask for, except happiness. When Captain Bay Middleton is piloted to the Empress during the hunting season, Sisi sees in him the passion and charm lacking in her own marriage, and despite Bay's engagment to his devoted fiance Charlotte, the attraction is more than mutual.

Despite this definitely being a love story and a love triangle at that between Sisi, the dashing Bay and his sweet and young bride to be Charlotte, I really felt invested in the story due to my love for the characters. I have to say I really liked both Charlotte and Bay straight from the beginning as Charlotte's love for the new art of photography set her apart from other young women of her age. She actually reminded me a little bit of Elizabeth Bennett, except not quite as headstrong, for her refusal to care what others think of her quirks. Charlotte's fortune, gifted to her when her mother passed away, has set her up for a life of comfort, which also means she doesn't have to marry for money.
When she meets the dashing young Captain, Charlotte is warned against his cadish nature, which soon emerges when the Empress becomes quite taken with him.

Throughtout the novel the standout element to me was the characters of Sisi, Bay and Charlotte. I loved seeing Charlotte develop into a woman who was prepared to fight for what she wanted and the historical element of a woman's role in marriage - especially if she holds the riches - was really fascinating to read about. Fans of historical fiction or just straight up romance novels are probably going to enjoy this a lot. There was a lot of 'will they won't they' going on between Charlotte and Bay but by the end of the novel Charlotte's transformation into knowing what she wanted left me even more satisfied than any romantic ending.

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