The Fortune Hunter
St. Martin’s Press/ July 29, 2014 / $26.99 print / $12.99 digital
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.
It's impossible to discuss The Fortune Hunter without addressing the big question: as follow up to the magnificent The American Heiress, does it deliver? The answer is yes. But in this novel, Daisy Goodwin gives us not one, but two heroines: Elizabeth, called Sisi, the glamorous but jaded and calculating Empress of Austria, and Charlotte Baird, a plain but idealistic British heiress. Both are based on true-life women.
Caught in between these two women is a dashing young cavalry officer named Bay Middleton—also based on a historically true person. (And yes, he is a distant relation to Kate Middleton.)