Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: The Fortune Hunter by Diane Farr (4.5 stars, historical)

Full Description: Amazon

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Thoughts After Reading: Farr's Falling for Chloe was one of books that first introduced me to the genre of romance novels, specifically regency romance (the other book being The Season by Sarah MacLean). So when I realized Farr wrote a sequel to Falling for Chloe (about the villain, no less), I knew I needed to read it.

I don't remember Falling for Chloe very well, but I don't think it was nearly as enjoyable as The Fortune Hunter. The basic storyline plays out exactly how I expected it from the synopsis and comments: The hero is looking for a heiress, he enjoys meeting the heroine when he believes her to be a servant, and he basically confesses that he is a rake/charmer as well a fortune hunter. When he finds out that the heroine is the heiress he was looking for, he tries to win her over anyway. It is the implementation of this storyline and the details, however, where Farr truly succeeds. The first third or so of the book is borderline hysterical as the characters meet, both with the characters' banter and the thoughts the reader is privy to. The heroine is amazing as a good-hearted, competent, attractive heiress/spinster who longs for a bit of adventure. She has a deep mistrust of fortune hunters after being falsely courted by one during her season and dislikes the loss of independence associated with marriage. The hero views himself as a villain, but is more of a charming and intelligent rake than anything else. He struggles with having inherited a bankrupted estate, both for his own day-to-day life and for the people who he is responsible for. One thing I remember about Falling for Chloe is that there was a considerable amount of angst, without it ever becoming over-the-top. The angst was well written, drawing the reader in to the characters' emotions. This skillful writing of angst holds true for The Fortune Hunter as well, during the middle section of the book. The hero and heroine easily develop a friendship and attraction between each other, which deepens to full-blown caring about each other (love). The heroine finds that, deep down, the hero is a man who wants to provide for his tenants and is someone who will always have her back. Unfortunately, she can't be sure he isn't marrying her primarily for her money and will be faithful after the marriage. Even the hero doesn't believe he is in love with the heroine, but instead that his number one reason for wanting to marry her is her money and his number two reason is desire. He tries to use the heroine's desire to convince her to marry him. Farr started to lose me a little here (hence less than 5 stars), as I got tired of the angst. I also got tired of the scenes centered on the physical aspects of their relationship, even though it is basically a clean romance (there's only one scene that goes beyond kissing, it is skimmed over, and there is no actual sex). Farr almost completely atones this, however, with a spectacular resolution and ending. I don't want to spoil anything, but I felt she did an excellent of job of forcing the characters to show where their true feelings lie without including anything unreasonable (kidnappings, etc). In other words, the HEA was close to perfect :).

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