The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

cover

Before I jump into this book, how about I state the givens… the things that everybody (well, everybody who has been following Glitter & Spice for some time) knows about me and my taste in books:

  1. I love novels set in England.
  2. I really love historical fiction.
  3. I prefer novels with a female lead.

The Fortune Hunter met all of these criteria. So, obviously, I liked it. Didn’t love it, but I liked it.

Written by Daisy Goodwin – the same author who wrote The American HeiressThe Fortune Hunter is about Charlotte Baird, a naive, orphaned heiress with a love of photography. The story centers around Charlotte’s blossoming love for Bay Middleton, a talented rider and hunter with a significant (and widely-known) history with the ladies…. and his affair with Elizabeth, Empress of Austria. There’s a lot going on, but the story is really centered around the juxtaposition of Charlotte’s girlish naiveté against Elizabeth’s womanly sexuality.

One of my favorite things about this novel is that all three main characters really existed. Bay Middleton was indeed rumored to be having an affair with the Empress, and he did, in fact, later marry the heiress, Charlotte Baird. Yes, the chronology is a bit out of order, but it’s still rooted in truth…ish. My real favorite part of the story was the character of Caspar Hewes – a flamboyant, (completely made up) American photographer who takes Charlotte under his wing and explains the ways of the world to the heiress. He was funny. He should’ve had a much larger role. I loved his honesty and his overt flattery – especially against Bay’s (in my mind) faux-romanticism.

The Fortune Hunter is a sweet story about love and love lost, finding oneself and learning how to trust others. It’d be the perfect beach read for upcoming vacations… or even a book to bring on long plane rides. It’s entertaining, glamorous, and quite sweet, and will definitely put you in a good mood after reading it. But if it’s a choice between The Fortune Hunter and The American Heiress, read The American Heiress.

So what are you currently reading?