Saturday, October 20, 2007

Review: The Fortune Hunter by Jasmine Haynes

The Fortune Hunter by Jasmine Haynes
Release Date: November 6th, 2007
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-21917-1

Length: 97,000 words

His Rating: 5 Stouts
Her Rating: 4 Stouts
Okay, so imagine there're glasses of beer there. I'm working on it.

If she wants to realize her lifelong dream of having children, heiress Faith Castle had better find a husband—pronto. But there are two roadblocks on her road to happiness: she knows no eligible men, and she’s not exactly Miss California.

Then she meets Connor Kingston. He’s yummy. He’s available. And he thinks she’s sexy…

But he’s also honest. After a kiss that leaves them hot and bothered, Connor offers to marry Faith, but purely as a career move. It’s far from romantic, but it’s as good an offer as she’s going to get. Each has a caveat, though. She requires his fidelity—he wants a no-holds-barred sex life.

From their wedding night on, they get more and more adventuresome—and Faith starts feeling different about herself and her body. And somewhere in the midst of ecstasy, they come to know the most foreign, exciting aphrodisiac of all—love…


He actually wanted to marry her?

Faith laughed, a real laugh, not one of horror or disbelief. His compliments warmed her, made her sit straighter in her chair. God. Was he starting to win her over? “I’ve never met anyone like you. You just say what you’re thinking, don’t you, without worrying how the other person is going to judge you?”

He leaned back in his chair and spread his hands. “What you see is what you get.”

The girls at the next table in the cafĂ© turned saucer-eyed like one of her little kindergartners. He continued to ignore them. Rather, he didn’t even appear to notice them.

What you see is what you get. What Faith saw was extremely appealing. Broad chest with nicely defined muscles tapering down to a hard abdomen showcased by a formfitting polo shirt. She just didn’t know that what she saw was the same as what she’d get. With a jolt, she realized she was actually considering his outrageous proposal. “So, I get children and a husband who promises not to wander as long as I have sex with him as often as...” She tilted her head. “How often?”

“At least once a day if I’m stressed. It’s a good tension reliever.” He didn’t even crack a smile. “How about you?”

Gee, once a year would be nice. She had low expectations. “I’ve never really thought about it. But we’re talking about the bargain here. Lots of children, no infidelity, as long as there’s sex once a day.” She started to tingle. “And all you want is to run my father’s company.”

He didn’t address the last comment but went back to the sex issue. “Not just wham-bam sex. Real sex.”

She couldn’t believe she was having this conversation. She glanced around to see if anyone was listening, but except for the table of young women too far away to eavesdrop, they weren’t the center of attention. Far from it, they were just another couple in a crowded coffee shop talking about sex. “Define real sex, please.”

His breath whispered across her hair. “Mind-blowing sex. Last night doesn’t count since neither of us had an orgasm, but it was a damn good hint of things to come.”

She had to swallow and not let her erotic thoughts rule her emotions. “What if you get tired of the same woman every day?”

“We won’t get tired if we’re willing to try anything. To experiment. To let our inhibitions go and no limits.”

His use of “we” was so terribly seductive. She tried to appear unmoved. “Anything? I’m not into bondage or stuff that hurts.” She tipped her head one way, then the other. The discussion had become almost a game. Except for the core of heat burgeoning inside her. “Or wife swapping. Or group sex.”

“Just the two of us.” He stroked her middle finger where her hand lay on the table. “No pain. Only ecstasy.”

The Morgan Diaries Review:

JMo: As I started the book, I was struck how much it read like a Historical. The party at the country club was the perfect way to open the book. I instantly found myself drawn into the characters.

Morgan O: See, I didn't get the historical feel at all it felt modern to me right from the start, probably because I grew up near what is now called Silicon Valley. In fact, she’s captured the location very well.

JMo: I've read a lot of Historicals that started with a huge party and the ladies in waiting whispering about the dark mysterious man who just appeared at court. I got that sort of feeling when I read The Fortune Hunter.

Morgan O: Fair enough. It is a time honored institution that carries forward into modern times.

Jmo: The arranged marriage plot just reinforced it for me.

Morgan O: Ah, but the difference is they arranged it themselves.

JMo: That's the twist. Conner came off to me at first as the stylish rogue with a good heart. Faith was the royal bristling at the restrictions she was forced to live beneath.

Morgan O: Good analogy. And I started falling for Connor when he approached her in such a straight forward fashion.

JMo: Even their names reinforced the concept - Faith and Kingston.

Morgan O: Faith Castle and Connor Kingston. A Castle needs a King.

JMo: Too true. I liked his honesty, as well. He was not willing to lie to get what he wanted - the big business side of it, which MS. Haynes described so well. For all intents and purposes the marriage was a merger at the beginning but as the story progressed we began to see Conner was just as vulnerable as Faith. He wanted the love of a woman, children and everything that went along with marriage that his own past made him deny the fact to himself. His research of Faith was evidence of his need for something other than a marriage of convenience. He could have gone with Trinity but he wanted a woman who wasn't superficial—a woman of substance.

Morgan O: Yes, he wanted a lasting marriage, a legacy, to leave behind, a piece of himself, the ultimate goal. Isn't that part of someone's hierarchy?

JMo: He might have said it was the better company he wanted, but we could see the truth. What I liked was the fact at the beginning Conner thought he was in control of the marriage bed but by the end Faith had total control over him.

Morgan O: He didn't just dominate her, he brought her up. I liked how he taught her to own her sexuality.

JMo: And she owned it very well.

Morgan O: Okay, we made it to the sex. What about the sex? Did it in anyway offend your sensibilities?

JMo: Not really. Ms. Haynes did a great job balancing the sex with the emotional content it needed. It just wasn't sex for sex's sake. Each scene reinforced the evolution of Faith and Conner's relationship. Normally I’m the prude in this pair, as anyone will tell you, but the sex was hot without being over the top. What about the panties? And the remote control?

Morgan O: Loved that! Have even used in one of my stories but it will be old news by the time that book gets published.

JMo: See, that was a dominance issue, but then it became him wanting to pleasure his wife and his growing desire to pleasured only by her.

Morgan O: I have to say the sex scenes were varied and fresh I personally loved the piano room scene.

JMo. Who the hell was in that chair watching them? That's what I want to know.

Morgan O: My guess was Lance, or one of her cousins.

JMo: Or the bartender?

Morgan O: Nah, he wouldn't have spread the rumors, it had to be one of the peers.

JMo: Probably, the way the rumor mill was rolling, but I know he said in the beginning he wouldn't cheat on her, but by the end you could see it wasn't because of an agreement.

Morgan O: Very true, but the rest of the world was tripping over themselves to tell her different. What annoyed me were all the people trying to convince her he was so evil. What I loved most was Faith's faith and how she refused to believe all the so-called evidence being thrown at her.

JMo: No, it was the evolution of her faith. In the beginning she had none in herself, those around her except for Trinity. By the end of the book she knew she was worth something more than being daddy's girl and transferred that faith on Conner. He was worth believing in. Their marriage was worth believing in.

Morgan O: She had a choice, stick with Daddy or her husband. Not an easy one to make.

JMo: Overall, I felt she tied the book up very well, and didn't rush to get it over with as so many authors seem to do. Ms. Haynes developed the story and characters and didn’t cheat this reader one bit. The Fortune Hunter kept me reading and wanting more throughout the book until the very last page.

Morgan O: Yes, it came to a very natural conclusion, with tensions high right down to the last minute. All that soul searching and waffling... I don’t want to spoil the ending and we’ve come close to do that, however, we can say it follows the rules of Romance and has the standard Happily Ever After ending we all love so much.

The Final Analysis:

Morgan O: I give this one four beers because I got a little run-over by the mischief makers all sticking their fingers in the pot. Also, the constant focus on sex between them. They needed to spend just a wee tad more time getting to know one another. The sex was hot and varied, the lead characters solid and interesting. The secondary characters were a bit of a comedy act, but many were likeable in their own ways. All in all, a good read, told well. I’d recommend it to my friends!

Jmorgan: I give it five out of five. The Fortune Hunter was a pure delight from start to finish. Ms. Haynes has written a story that draws in the reader and demands they care about her characters. The sex is an emotionally charged rollercoaster leaving the reader panting for the next twist and turn. I couldn’t put the book down and defy anyone to try.


The Bride Series by Regan Taylor said...

I loved this book! One of the things I love about Jasmine's writing is that the reader becomes part of the story. One of the best examples is when Connor and Faith first meet in the garden, during one of the hottest scenes in the book. The reader has the feeling of being RIGHT THERE with Faith. The reader becomes part of the action and what action it is!

Jasmine Haynes said...

Thanks to the two Morgans for such a wonderful review! You guys are great! Plus I'm ever so thankful you liked the book, too! And the format that you did the review in, sort of the discussion back and forth is really the best idea! Two Morgan geniuses on that.

And Regan, fancy meeting you out here. Thanks for loving the book, too!

Thank you!

Jasmine Haynes
The Fortune Hunter, Nov 2007
And join in on my contest at

DeeSKnight said...

I think JMorgan hit it dead on when said she (right?) couldn't put Jasmine's book down. That describes all of her work.

It's rare to find a writer who makes me feel I'm totally emotionally involved with the characters, part of their lives and their feelings, yet Jasmine does that with every single story. I haven't read The Fortune Hunter...yet. But since I've read everything else Jasmine has written, I'm sure that problem will be remidied very soon.

Morgan2x said...

I don't know about geniuses, but we're smart enough to know a great book when we read one!

Unfortunately, Dee the Jmo in this duo is a man, but as the male half of the team I make up for my shortcomings with great taste in authors.


Jenna Leigh said...

The Fortune Hunter sounds like a great book, and Morgan and J give a great He said/She Said review that's honest and refreshing.

But about that prude dude thing.. I think you're more a shy guy. *snickers*

Anonymous said...

You know I totally agree with a lot of what you all said but the one thing that sticks out is where you said the characters didn't have sex just to have sex. The emotional needs were there too and I think that is a big part of a great read. I have read her novel Somebody's Lover and have The Fortune Hunter in my to be reviewed pile. But if the Fortune Hunter is as well written as Somebody's Lover, I am sure to love it as well! Oh and HI Jasmine, you know your #1 fan loves ya!

Savannah Chase said...

it sounds like a really great book, thank you for posting it up..i have to add it to my TBR pile.....

Keira Ramsay said...

I have to tell you, all of Jasmine's books just hit me right in the gut. The Fortune Hunter was no exception. She writes emotion so damned well. I'm sitting here sighing just thinking about it!

Leigh Wyndfield said...

Ooooh! I read this book and it was fabulous! I hadn't really thought of the whole historical angle though... very interesting and totally right on. I've always been a sucker for a good historical, though :)

Jasmine Haynes said...

Thanks so much for enjoying Jasmine's writings! And I do think the great way the two Morgans did the review, bantering back and forth, is highly effective! Great idea! And thanks everyone for your comments!

Jasmine Haynes
The Fortune Hunter, Nov 2007

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to pick this up after reading the excerpt and the review. I love Jasmine Haynes books and this one sounds like another winner.

Rose, one of many fans said...

Absolutely love the way you Morgans do your review. Almost as much as I love reading anything Jasmine Haynes writes. I have a space on my 'keepers' shelf waiting for The Fortune Hunter.