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The Fortune Hunter

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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  10,297 ratings  ·  1,380 reviews
Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as "Sisi," is the Princess Diana of nineteenth-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the bac ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published November 7th 2013)
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,297 ratings  ·  1,380 reviews


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Erin
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

There aren't many novels available to those interested in the nineteeth century Austo-Hugarian Hapsburgs so I was understandably ecstatic to learn that author Daisy Goodwin was fictionalizing a chapter of their complex history. I’m not exaggerating, there was some pretty embarrassing fangirl-like squealing the day I got my hands on The Fortune Hunter and that is not something I admit lightly.

So what happened? How did a piec
...more
Lori
Aug 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I'm not sure what to think about this; on one hand, it's a 'juicy' potboiler of a read, a high class beach novel about an overwrought love triangle in Victoria's England. On the other hand, a lot about it just annoyed me. So here is what I learned from this novel, which I'm giving three stars, but two and a half is probably more accurate:

1. Always a sucker for a book with a beautiful cover, this one does not disappoint even though it highly resembles a more lovely one: Horan's 'Under the W
...more
Heather VanWaldick
Jun 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Hated it. You know you're in for a bad time when the dashing hero comes across as a self-involved prick within the first 5 pages of his introduction. He didn't improve, either, no matter how much the writer tried to paint him as conflicted yet sensitive. We were clearly supposed to sympathize with him and his infatuation with the Empress, but I was just annoyed with him, because he was SO ready to marry Charlotte, the heroine, but the NEXT DAY, he met the Empress and was like, "Ooh, shiny!", and ...more
Lori
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Dunckley
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty good! I didn't actually realize that it was based on a true story and real people until I was about halfway through. I enjoy historical fiction and this book was very readable.

There were three main characters, the Empress Elisabeth (aka “Sisi”), Bay Middleton, and Charlotte Baird. Sisi was obsessed with her looks, is one of the best female riders in the world, and is bent on having an affair with Bay (despite her Emperor husband Franz back in Hapsburg). Her beauty regimen include
...more
Samantha Trillium ☂
I was initially drawn to this book because of its stunning cover. It was so beautiful, I just picked it up and wanted to read it. But unfortunately, the story didn't enchant me like the cover did...

This story is about a great many characters, whose lives circle around each other for a period of time in 1875/76. The characters in this book are actually based on actual people, and some of the storyline is true, but most of it is fictitious...

So we have Charlotte Baird, who is a comely girl who is
...more
MaryannC. Book Freak
I decided to redo my review on this, because my first one was a quick, slap-dash affair and I want to give this more credit than I did.
I did totally enjoy this novel. Daisy Goodwin has a wonderful way with details when she writes her books, this my second novel by her and like her first one, I was enthralled with all the sumptuousness of her details. The beautiful gowns and finery were vividly imagined, the excitement of the fox hunt, the splendour of the social gatherings of the rich and snobbi
...more
Britany
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Charlotte Baird lives in London in 1875, she's into photography and is about to make her debut in the social scene, when she meets Captain Middleton. Captain Middleton falls for the meek Charlotte, and just as suddenly, also becomes dazzled by the Empress of Austria. This makes for an awkward situation for our narrator Charlotte...

I didn't completely hate this one, and the fact that it is based on real characters is intriguing to me. However, the point of view frequently changes, so it makes it
...more
Becki
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novelties, historical
Irritated by love triangle plot devices, but the last 100 pages had me completely enthralled. Good historical read.
Dramatically Bookish (ReviewsMayVary)
The ending ticked me off and thus I shall never speak of this again.
Laurel
A spirited English heiress, a dashing cavalry officer and a beguiling Austrian Empress form a love triangle that on first glance may look like characters from a romance novel, but in reality are based on actual people: Charlotte Baird, Bay Middleton and Elizabeth, Empress of Austria. Set in 1875 Victorian England, The Fortune Hunter, by the bestselling author Daisy Goodwin (The American Heiress), is the fictionalization of the life of an ambitious horsemen John “Bay” Middleton and the two women ...more
Melinda
Good historical fiction. I am well versed regarding Sisi and Goodwin's dates throw a major curve preventing me from giving it a higher rating. If I lacked the knowledge of Sisi I would place this at a solid 4 stars.
Deb
Jul 05, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A friend of mine won 10 copies of this for our book group.

The general consensus was that the characters were shallow and the plot predictable. We did have some fun looking up pictures of Sisi to see her long hair and clothing - but you can do that for free. Apparently there was an old movie about Sisi too.

This kind of predictable historical romance is just not my cup of tea. There's so much better stuff available. Save your money - or at least use the library.
QNPoohBear
July 1875 Charlotte Baird, heiress to the Lennox Diamond fortune, is tired of being hunted for her fortune. She feels restrained by the conventions her soon-to-be sister-in-law swears by. Through the aegis of her godmother, a talented photographer, Charlotte has discovered the new medium as an art form. She loves it because photographs don't lie. Unfortunately, her family dismisses her passion as a mere hobby. Her brother wants Charlotte to marry his army friend, "Chicken" Hartopp but what Charl ...more
Lucinda
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
A sparkling sensational new novel from the author of ‘My Last Duchess’

Daisy Goodwin’s refreshingly original outlook on historical fiction is wonderfully engaging, highly readable and deliciously evocative. In this brand new novel she combines with assured in-depth insight; clashing cultures set in 19th-century England. I thoroughly enjoyed this uplifting treat, having been suffering from withdrawal symptoms after the end of hugely popular ‘Downton Abbey’. Light-hearted, unpretentious and likea
...more
Stephanie Shearer
I think that this book lacked the rhythm to keep the reader engaged. I had a hard time getting through the book, because there was nothing that really enticed me to keep reading. I found that there was little to like of any of the characters: Bay, Sisi, or Charlotte.
Brooke
Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found to have mixed emotions about this story. I enjoyed parts of it and then other parts mainly the romance fell flat for me. I did enjoy the photography aspect and the writing was fairly engaging, but Bay drove me nuts!
Mary
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a terrific book. One that will be on my Top 2015 Reads. The story is supposed to be about Empress Elizabeth (Sisi) of Austria. But I felt the pull of Charlotte Baird, an heiress who has captured the interest of Captain Bay Middleton. Charlotte is plain and quiet, a girl who is just coming out into society. She's also an orphan, heir to a fortune and whose brother has recently become engaged. Charlotte's mother died from a riding accident and so her father forbids riding so Charlotte mus ...more
Elisabeth
Jun 13, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is loosely based on the true story of Elisabeth ‘Sisi’, Empress of Austria visiting England and her relationship with Bay Middleton. Bay Middleton is a fantastic rider and is asked by the Empress to be her pilot whilst she is hunting in England. However, the more time that Bay spends with Sisi, the more enraptured he becomes to her even though he also has feelings for Charlotte Baird, a young lady who is the heiress to a huge fortune.
The book is basically a lot of hunt scenes and an ex
...more
Julia Fivash-henderson
A great big treat of a book. Engaging characters, great story and beautifully written. What more could you want? Highly recommended.
Susan
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 18tbr
The story got off to a slow start as the main characters and their situations were laid out. Charlotte is a socially awkward rich heiress, who is attracted to Bay, a poor British Army officer who loves to ride and hunt. The attraction is mutual, but Bay becomes entangled with Elizabeth, the aging but still attractive Empress of Austria, who is foxhunting in England. The story picked up some steam about half-way through as it focused on Charlotte’s involvement with a royal photography exhibition ...more
Chrissie
May 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-stars, audiobooks
Telling a fictionalized version of a mashup of true stories, The Fortune Hunter played with my emotions a little but overall was a bit of a let down.

On a whim, I borrowed the audiobook version, as narrated by Clare Corbett, from my library before I hurried outside for a walk—trying to get in the neighborhood course before the summertime afternoon thunderstorms hit. I knew of Daisy Goodwin's name both from having seen the cover of her first book, The American Heiress, out and about (especially he
...more
Lady Delacour
This story was just ok.
Felt like it was more for tweens.
Nicely narrated by Clare Corbett.
Clean except for a little mild language.
Sue Smith
Well , this was not the book I was expecting it to be. It started out as a fine & frivolous romance (which is why I picked it up in the first place), only to find it morph into something else entirely. Then reading the inside book cover synopsis, I further discover that this book isn't about what the first 125 pages covers - but about the ‘Princess Diana’ of her day, the Empress Elizabeth of Austria & her dubious relationship with her English riding pilot Bay Middleton.

Okay. Didn't see t
...more
Heather
Charlotte Baird is the young heiress to the Lennox fortune; an aspiring photographer who wants nothing more than to be left to her own devices. Captain Bay Middleton is notorious as a ladies man but his true passion lies in riding and the hunt; making him the best rider in England. When the two finally meet sparks fly, and despite protestations from her family that Bay is a fortune hunter, Charlotte is determined to set her own destiny. But then enters the Empress Elizabeth "Sisi" the Queen of A ...more
Mara
I really enjoyed Daisy Goodwin's first book and was hoping this would be an equally fun read. Unfortunately The Fortune Hunter fails to fulfill the promise of its first few chapters and is marred by historical inaccuracies ("Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)" being sung in the 1870s? Really?), and inconsistent characterizations. For example, our heroine has been horribly traumatized by her mother's death in a hunting accident and can hardly bear to even see the hunt outside...yet when a horribl ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Wealthy families, the right marriage, the proper husband, dancing balls, horse racing, fox hunting, proper seating at dinner parties, and proper everything is what you will find inside THE FORTUNE HUNTER.

Charlotte is the heiress to the Lennox fortune, and her brother and new sister-in-law to be must make sure the proper suitor is selected for her. Not just anyone can be the husband of the heir to the Lennox money.

Charlotte is a bit of a rebel, though, and wants to choose the man she loves not s
...more
Kate
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books
This is Daisy Godwin's second novel and I received a free copy from BookBrowse.com, where I have also posted a review. I enjoy historical fiction, but this was more of an over-wrought love story and not to my taste. It is based on real people and takes place in 1870s England. Charlotte Baird is an orphaned, wealthy member of high society who is the source of the fortune being hunted. The Empress of Austria has left her husband home to govern and come to England to hunt. The two women intersect a ...more
Ashley
Ok so i'm finished.....
I AM NOT HAPPY!!!

I was excited because i know a lot of the writers prior books have been "Historically Based" This one as the premise of the story was accurate (Charlotte, Her Family, The Empress, and other key-players were real... That's where the "Historical" part ends) the story-line was not...
I understand taking liberties, Having your own story in mind, But Completely butchering FACTS!!!! I just can't get behind that. Sadly I have to say i am not a fan of this book,
...more
Sherilyn
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I especially loved the characters. Both primary & secondary characters were well drawn out and I found I was sympathetic to all of them including characters called Chicken and Caspar. The Empress Sisi, Bay Middleton, the horse Tipsy and the Grand National Horse Race were all immediately googled! This book was really fun without being silly. The line between fact and fiction made for a great and entertaining read.
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DAISY GOODWIN, a Harkness scholar who attended Columbia University’s film school after earning a degree in history at Cambridge University, is a leading television producer in the U.K. Her poetry anthologies, including 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life, have introduced many new readers to the pleasures of poetry, and she was Chair of the judging panel of the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction. That w ...more
“The first thing to realize is that it is is a country that is still being imagined. Here every patch of earth has a story, all your places have nuances; if you say Cornwall to an English person, they think of smugglers, and King Arthur and fish. But there are great parts of my country about which American's know nothing beyond an idea of unimaginable vastness. Of course the Indians that live there know the spirits of these places, but that is not the point. You can't imagine how blue the sky is out West, Charlotte. So much space. It's really wild, not like your Lake District with its little stone walls. In the West the landscape is unmarked by man.” 2 likes
“But you must remember that they are Viennese and nobody is good enough for the Viennese.” 1 likes
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