Review: Lady of Fortune by Mary Jo Putney


Print Length: 373 pages
Publisher:  Zebra (February 21, 2023 - originally published September 6, 1988)

From A countess turned servant...

Forced to escape the French Revolution, resilient young Comtesse Marie-Christine D'Estelle flees to London. But when she finds herself unexpectedly penniless, Christa hides her aristocratic background to become a lady's maid... Until rebuffing advances from both her tyrannical mistress’s husband and her lover gets Christa cast into the street—directly into a hero’s arms...

A Royal Navy commander...

After a long absence, Captain Lord Alexander Kingsley has returned to England on medical leave. Now head of his family, he must take charge of his younger siblings. He feels a special duty to his sister Annabelle, a shy debutante in need of a maid. So Alex is delighted to discover that the intriguing, outspoken, and lovely young woman who serendipitously landed in his arms is in need of just such a position...

The heart of a household...

With her warmth, charm, and surprisingly refined intellect, Christa soon wins the hearts of all the Kingsleys—especially Alex. And while their mutual attraction deepens to something more, the gap in their social stations seems an impossible obstacle. Only when Alex and Annabelle become the targets of fortune hunters, will the truth about Christa have a chance to be revealed. But will it mean a chance for true love to triumph?


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This book was slow-going to the point that I found it easy to skim several pages at a time and not feel like I had missed anything (especially when it came to Alex working at the admiralty and all of the talk about his time in the Navy). And while I enjoyed both Christa and Alex as characters when they were together, I didn't feel anything in particular for them one way or another. It was easy to see they had chemistry, but the build-up to them actually getting together took forever. 

This novel also requires you to suspend disbelief on more than one occasion. I mean, I get it; stories are, after all, mere figments of an author's imagination, but come on! First, they have Christa performing (what they call a minor surgery) on a man to remove a piece of shrapnel from a long-ago injury that has worked its way closer to the surface without any type of pain med, laudanum, nothing, but then we are expected to believe that after being on his "death bed" for at least one day before the surgery, and not out of the woods whatsoever after the surgery, he is able to make love to Christa not once but TWICE the same night/next day? I don't think so. 

There was a lot of drama surrounding not only these two (including a lot of things that could have been worked out much sooner had they only confronted one another instead of running away), but also surrounding most of the secondary characters as well. I am still confused as to why the author chose to make the uncle out to be some sort of brute of a man only to have him be perfectly normal later on.

I know this story originally came out in the 80s, and the writing style obviously reflects that, I just feel as though it could have undergone another edit or two to make it shorter before the kindle version was published. The story wouldn't have lost anything, and in fact, it would have been more enjoyable (at least for me).

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                               Lady of Fortune is available on

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