Saturday, October 29, 2022

The Fortune Hunter by Meagan McKinney


Meagan McKinney is one of my FAVORITE authors, as anyone who has ever had WHEN ANGELS FALL or LIONS AND LACE foisted upon them by me knows. When I love an author as much as I love McKinney, I'm willing to forgive them a lot, and will continue to buy their books like a sucker even when-- ahem-- they are lackluster. Sadly, WAF and LAL are McKinney's two best efforts that I've read to date, and while she has some other books that are good, none of them consume my thoughts and my soul the way those two titles do. I still think about Ivan and his "let's destroy each other" line. OH MY GOD. *fans self*

THE FORTUNE HUNTER is actually a really good read for Halloween because it's about mediums and spirtualism. The heroine and her "sister" are famous mediums who have gotten rich bilking the wealthy from their readings and now live in a manor home filled with constructions that help add to the illusion. But their latest customer (i.e. rube) is a copper magnate named Vanadder and his bastard son, Edward French-Stuyvesant, doesn't take too kindly to these monies going into their coffers when they should go to his half-sister, Daisy, the true heir.

Edward decides to make it his mission to destroy the Murphy sisters and prove them frauds. He's really quite cruel to the heroine in the beginning, at one point threatening to rape Lavinia and turn her into an unwed mother like his dead mother. YIKES. Holy mommy issues, Batman. And you know I love me a good cruel hero, but Lavinia, spineless con artist that she is, not only convinces herself that she's doing these rich people a favor and using the money to help her young charges (WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN), but she also just spends way too much time fretting over her attraction to Edward, even when he's treating her like something he scraped off his shoe. He never really atones, and they basically go from cat-and-mouse enemies to "I WILL FILL YOUR ROOM WITH POSIES."

THE FORTUNE HUNTER succeeds where lesser works have failed because it has a good story, one of the hottest sex scenes I've ever read in a hist-rom (THEY BANG IN A HAMMOCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM AND HE ASKS HER-- AHEM-- "HOW SHE WOULD LIKE IT" BEFORE TELLING HER WHAT HE'D DO TO HER WHILE SHE BLOWS HIM #BYE), and not one, not two, but THREE secondary romances... which were actually all pretty decent and didn't take up too much page time. I also loved the gothic elements and the supernatural element (even if it was cheesy). It reminded me of McKinney's actual gothic romance GENTLY FROM THE NIGHT, which I loved, but also featured an inexplicably cruel hero who treated the hero like shit until-- boom-- it's love.

Also, the hero has a stupid Colonel Sanders beard and I wasn't into that, so minus half a star.

4 out of 5 stars

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