The Fortune Hunter, by Daisy Goodwin, begins in England, in 1875. This story revolves around Elizabeth, the Empress of Austria. The wife of the Emperor of Austria, Elizabeth is beautiful, wealthy, and envied by many. Because she has always enjoyed riding and fox-hunting, the Empress arrives in England to pursue her passion and to escape the formalities of her life in Vienna.
During her stay in England, Elizabeth is introduced to Captain Bay Middleton, another rider who is to be her pilot during their fox-hunting. The more time that the Empress and Bay spend together, though, the more that the pair become the talk of Europe. Despite their emotional involvement, a marriage never can happen for them, as Elizabeth is the Empress of Austria. As for Bay Middleton, he is engaged to marry Charlotte Baird, a bluestocking heiress and aspiring photographer. Although Charlotte has been aware of Captain Middleton's being labeled as a "ladies-man," including a suspected fortune hunter, she wants to believe the best in him, as well as focus on her aspirations.
While Elizabeth continues her stay in England, Bay remains in lust with her, yet he wants to rush into marrying Charlotte. Meanwhile, Elizabeth becomes clingy and demanding, and Charlotte may be slipping away from her betrothed. Bay starts to realize that he really can't have his cake and eat it....yet he doesn't seem to want to choose.
This is definitely a must-read, especially for those who appreciate a good drama and romance. Feel free to post your comments.
About the author: Daisy Goodwin, a Harkness scholar who attended Columbia University's film school after earning a degree at Cambridge University, is a leading television producer in the UK. She was chair of the judging panel of the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction. Daisy and her husband, and ABC TV executive, have two daughters and live in London.