Author: Bonnie Dee
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
Page Count: 235
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
A man with nothing finds everything.
Abandoned at birth, WWI veteran Hal Stanton faces bleak employment prospects in post-war London. Desperation spurs him to reinvent himself to hook a wealthy wife, one he will be devoted to even if he feels no real passion. But when he meets his fiance’s cousin, Julian Needham, it’s all he can do to keep his heart in check and his eye on the prize.
From the moment he’s introduced to the charming stranger Margaret plans to marry, Julian suspects the man’s motives yet fights a relentless attraction. He’s determined to reveal Hal as a fraud but must handle the matter delicately to protect his sweet cousin’s feelings. A weekend at the family estate should allow time and opportunity for him to expose Halstead Wiley.
Even as the men match wits in a battle of attempted unmasking, powerful sexual attraction threatens to overcome them both and win the day. Can a true love connection possibly grow between these adversaries without destroying lives and loved ones?
“He loved Hal Stanton with the sort of poetic, romantic, serious love he’d never believed in.
I went through various stages while reading this book. I had a rough time with the beginning, then I started engaging more and more, then my interest diminished because I felt that it dragged, but I LOVED the last 30%. Yup, various stages.
For starters, the time frame of this book is the main reason I wanted to read it. The Fortune Hunter takes place during the Interwar period, these sort of awkward years when the world is wrecked but at the same time it tries to ditch anything obsolete. Not a lot of MM books are set in that period.
The author sets herself a challenge with these unlikeable protagonists. Hal is a fortune hunter and Julian comes off as a self-absorbed prick who walked in on his high horse demanding explanations and judging everyone. But somewhere along the way, without even noticing, these two characters became relatable, and against all odds, they started forming a connection with each other. And somewhere along the way, I started rooting for them. Because I was finally able to see the veteran and the foster kid behind the fortune hunter, and the underdog, the “not strong enough” behind the egotistical prick.
I liked how the issue with Hal’s future wife was handled. There is no cheating and this woman is not ignorant or weak. I can’t even say that Hal strung her along. But I won’t spoil the out come of this storyline although I saw it coming a mile away.
I loved the stolen moments that Hal and Julian spent in Barton Park, bonding. I admit that this is the part where I started getting bored. I think that the story dragged a little or that it needed tightening or at least a little tension.
But then 70% happened and it got me really hooked. This is where the MCs’ true colours and feelings for each other really showed. I loved the brief seperation period (off page), I loved how Julian went to great lengths to reunite with Hal and I loved the way he treated him afterwards. And I absolutely loved the ending; very realistic for the time period, but a HEA nevertheless.
If you’re a fan of Bonnie Dee’s historical books, you should add this one to your list.