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Proof by Seduction (Carhart #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  3,527 Ratings  ·  407 Reviews
She is his last chance for a future of happiness…

Jenny Keeble has never let her humble upbringing stop her. She’s made her way in the world as a fortune teller, one who convinces her clients her predictions are correct by telling them what they most want to hear. Business is good… until she meets her match in the form of Gareth Carhart, the Marquess of Blakely, a scientist
Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by HQN Books (first published December 15th 2009)
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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

There are so few authors who can make me wish that I could hurry and reach the end of their novel so I can find out what happens, and yet at the same time make me wish that the novel would never end, because that would mean I would have to close the book once and for all. Courtney Milan is one such author. Another rarity among authors is the ability to write emotionally complex characters and not sound “clinical” while doing it. Again, Courtney Milan met that challenge head on and came out victo
Nenia *the flagrant liberal* Campbell

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If Courtney Milan writes it, I will read it. I love that she writes in periods where women really didn't have much agency and does her best to empower them within that limited framework. She's also a lovely person, too, and we were lucky enough to get an interview with her in the Unapologetic Romance Readers book group (where she hints about upcoming projects and ideas - spoilers!).

I've read books from the Brothers Sinister and the Worth se
Gareth Carhart, Marquess of Blakely is anger and appalled when he finds out his cousin is getting taken advantage a “Madame Esmerelda” and is out to prove she’s a fraud to free his cousin from her gasp, only he didn’t count he- himself would fall under the spell of not Madame Esmerelda but the true woman behind the costume- Jenny Keeble
Jenny has made a living as a fortune teller, but instead of telling the future to her clients, she only tells them what they want or need to hear, but when she
Beanbag Love
May 28, 2010 Beanbag Love rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of my friends have reviewed this book and they've loved it, so I don't think I'll go into too much detail. Of course, every time I say that I follow up with about six paragraphs, so we'll just have to see what happens.

Courtney Milan is a very good writer. Her premise was very nicely laid out right from the first pages. We got action, tension, and a pretty good introduction to the characters in short order.

I thought Gareth's "problem" was both fascinating and heart-breaking. Who hasn't been
This book rocked. The main characters are Jenny Keeble, an educated woman who masquerades as Madame Esmeralda, a fortuneteller, and Gareth Carhart, the Marquess of Blakely, a scientifically driven, cold, awkward man. Gareth tries to unveil Jenny of her fake identity since his cousin, Ned seems to take her word as law. And so begins the battle.

I loved both of the characters. Jenny was very real and essentially a modern independent woman, who carries her share of scars. She's exceedingly smart and
Aug 22, 2009 Ally72 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2009 Katie(babs) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I began reading Proof by Seduction I wasn’t sure what to make of it. We have our heroine, Jenny Keeble who is a fraud by playing the role of a fortune teller named Madame Esmerelda. She lives in near poverty but because she is skilled at deceit and believes she isn’t a good person and hasn’t been since she turned nine years old, she does what she has to do to survive. Jenny is not some virginal, innocent British miss but a mature woman of thirty. The only respect she gets is from her client ...more
Feb 12, 2015 Sofia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical

This book came along at the right moment for me, ready to lift up my spirits which it did admirably.

This was Milan first publication back in 2009. I could recognise Milan’s signature in it and compared to her recent work I could easily see her beginning with this one. We got the unconventional heroine, Jenny, whom I liked because of her can do attitude and her positivity against adversity. There are holes in her story which I am sure that had Milan been writing now, would have been well filled.
With a tender, passionate romance, a touch of sly humor, and a gruff and incredibly sexy hero, Courtney Milan’s PROOF BY SEDUCTION is a delicious read from the first page all the way to the very satisfying ending. If you love historical romance you must read this book!
Feb 23, 2012 Susanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Hilarious Stars!
Jan 09, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2read2, favorites
If you knew me personally, you would know I have not read HR in years! You would also know that I would be the last person to pick up a book with the main character being a fortune teller! But this year, thanks to authors like Charlotte Featherstone and Courtney Milan I have found a new love for going back in time with some very beautifully real, flawed and engaging characters.

Gareth, The Lord Blakley, is a stone cold realist. His past shows a stern upbringing and he is taught early on that a "m
Gareth Carhart– Marquess of Blakely – scientist.
Jenny Keeble – Madame Esmerelda – seer and predictor of the future
Ned Carhart – Young cousin of Gareth and client of Madame Esmerelda

Surprisingly, I loved this book. I didn’t think I would. Reading the cover, it was hard for me to imagine I would like, much less love, a hero who was so “rigidly logical, a scientist who retreated behind scientific proof”. But you soon fall in love with this broodingly handsome, complex, intense man.

I loved Jenny,
Kat Desi
Jul 12, 2015 Kat Desi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read Brothers Sinister but even having finished that I still haven't decided then if I liked Courtney Milan or not. After Proof by Seduction, I am now convinced that I DO like her! I didn't expect to be so affected by this book but I was. Both Gareth and Jenny were quite compelling characters and while they were going through some hard ships, my heart literally hurt. Yes, I was THAT involved with the story.

Gareth or Lord Blakely is not your average dreamy alpha Hero but he has his moments.
Katrina Passick Lumsden
I like Courtney Milan's writing. I do. But I think it says something that my favorite pieces of her work have been her short stories. Her characters are phenomenal, her plots are interesting, sex scenes are hot without crossing the line into trashy, and I enjoy the fact that her stories aren't just a bunch of superficial fluff. Real people with real issues, not all of them pretty or petty. That being said, sometimes the characters allow their issues to run roughshod over their own existences, an ...more
I had a hard time reading this book. It was not because I did not like the character's, I did. The story to me was just not that good. While I was reading it, I liked it but when I'd put it down, I had a hard time wanting to pick the book back up. I kept waiting for it to grab me and it did the last part of the book was very good.

If you are thinking about reading this book and read my review, please do not not read this book because of my review. Most of the woman who read this book really like
Mandi Schreiner
Dec 08, 2009 Mandi Schreiner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prior to getting Proof By Seduction, I heard a lot of buzz about this book and debut author Courtney Milan. I was eager to get my hands on a copy, and I was just as eager to see how this book would hold up to all the talk. I am happy to say it held up well, more than well. Courtney Milan writes a very smart, funny and romantic book.

Lord Gareth Blakely is a broken man, a cold, tortured soul. He was raised to take over his title, and it left little room for fun. He knows nothing of showing his emo
Penny Watson
Jan 10, 2010 Penny Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan

This book is delicious.

It is the equivalent of a multi course meal at a fine dining establishment. I'm thinking, luscious creamy bowl of soup as an appetizer, filet mignon and baby vegetables for entree, and lemon tart with fresh berries for dessert. Don't forget an incredible bottle of red wine.

It is decadent, satisfying, surprising, lush and beautiful.

I put off reading this book because the blurb did not sound appealing to me. The whole Madame Esmerelda thin
Aug 28, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This is my third Milan book and the one I've enjoyed the most so far.

The novel immersed me into the characters such that, when I was reading in their POV, I felt I could truly understand what and why they were acting. I felt why they needed each other and the love they felt for each other.

Strangely, my example for how well Milan does this involves the secondary (tertiary?)character of White, Gareth's man of business. In the beginning of the novel, White is a faceless man in a suit scribbling awa
The first book in the Carhart series by Courtney Milan. Jenny Keeble AKA Madame Esmerelda makes her living at telling fortunes and making people feel good. Enter Lord Blakely who knows that Madame Esmerelda is a fraud and is determine to expose her.

I had this on my TBR shelves for a while and since it looked like a quick read I decided to grab it and see how it was. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it as much as I do. I found myself enjoying the characters and rooting for them. I did find
3.5 Stars.

Great banter between the characters
lots of angsty love drama
steamy sex scenes
arrogant male lead
feisty, low-station female lead
lies, denials, hidden desires

Overall a good entry from Courtney Milan.

(view spoiler)
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! (with apologies to Lewis Carroll). You know that moment? When you start an HR with great optimism, you get a quarter of the way in and then you have a really bad feeling: this is going to be a book I don't like?

I am happy to say the Ms Milan totally exceeded my expectations here:)

This was a lovely book. One that I finished with a huge smile and a warm glow in my heart. After all the angst and emotional turmoil, a wonderful outcome.

The story centres around a youn
I genuinely liked this story far more than I could have ever expected coming into it. While it had some caveats in its progression, "Proof by Seduction" has a strongly asserted cast, tone, and genuinely amusing and challenging encounters that drove the story throughout, in addition to its sweetly and passionately asserted romantic moments. Courtney Milan has a powerful command over her character personalities, dialogue and plot progression, and it's difficult to not fall into the sentiments here ...more
3 1/2 stars. This is Ms. Milan's first book, as well as being a NTM author and I have to say I was impressed.

This is the story of two very lonely people finally finding the warmth of one another after years of being out in the cold of human touch.

Gareth our hero is about as emotionless as a human being as you can be, but with his background you understand it, eventually. He can't connect with his sister or his cousin, Ned. But now that he has found out that Ned has been giving his money to Mad
Lady Heather
It took me a few chapters to get into this story, but once there I was hooked. The story is about a women who has posed as a fortune teller for 12 years as a means to support herself, rather than being a governess or a mistress. Jenny wants independence and self worth. Gareth is a Marquess, and a scientist who is bent on proving Jenny a fraud, when He discovers the hold she has on his dependent cousin Ned. Jenny has come to genuinely like Ned, and what started out as a means of support when Ned ...more
Jan 26, 2010 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent debut novel by newcomer Courtney Milan! There are several very good reviews already written about this book so I'll keep mine very short!

This is one of those books that you have no idea where the author is going to take the story. The situations between the hero, Gareth the Marquess of Blakely, and the heroine, Jenny or Madame Esmerelda the fortune teller, are such that honestly you can't figure out how the two of them will ever end up together with their HEA. It will have you turning
The story line is novel, the narrative and dialogue flows, but the characters didn't have much impact on me, emotionally. Not sure why ... too cerebral? Anyway, this is one of Milan's first books. She keeps improving.

I liked her Turner series better, and am now enjoying her Brothers Sinister series.
Charlotte Featherstone
Wonderful! Sexy, and Gareth...YUM! This book was recommended by Amy, and the girl knows what she's talking about! Thanks so much!
i laughed so hard at moments :D this one was a jewel :D
Jane Stewart
Interesting characters, but I was unhappy with the talented & intelligent heroine doing stupid things for the sake of the plot.

Jenny was abandoned at four years old. An anonymous person paid for her to attend a school for ladies until she was eighteen. She was unable to get a job as a governess, so she became Madame Esmerelda, a fortune teller. She has great insight into people and is able to successfully support herself and save for the future. One of her clients Ned has depress
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BR Proof of Seduction Ingela, Irina Sofia 15 Feb 15 57 9 Feb 17, 2015 09:27AM  
  • Revealed (The Blue Raven, #1)
  • The Duke of Shadows
  • A Little Bit Wild (York Family, #1)
  • A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear Family, #2)
  • Delicious
  • Three Nights with a Scoundrel (Stud Club, #3)
  • Like No Other Lover (Pennyroyal Green, #2)
  • Song of Seduction (Seduction, #1)
  • Not Wicked Enough (Reforming the Scoundrels, #1)
  • The Price Of Desire
  • Sleeping Beauty
Courtney Milan lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, a marginally-trained dog, and an attack cat. Courtney wishes she could say she has lived in numerous fabulous places. But aside from her husband, there is a distinct lack of fabulousness in her life. Instead, she is happy when standards in the Milan household hover above mediocrity. Her husband attempts not to kill people for a living ...more
More about Courtney Milan...

Other Books in the Series

Carhart (2 books)
  • Trial by Desire (Carhart, #2)

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“Miss Edmonton: I don't even know where to start. It's too horrifying to even speak of.
Jenny: Nonsense. Let's start with the basics. What did your aunt tell you?
Miss Edmonton: My aunt said that my husband will come into my room and pull my skirt up. And then he'll put himself inside of me. She said it hurts. She suggested I hold my tongue and pretend I am somewhere else until he is done.
Jenny: Yes. I should think it would hurt if you did it that way. Good heavens.”
“Jenny: But surely Lord Blakely could not abandon his estates for so long.
Gareth: No. Lord Blakely could not. Not unless he had someone he could trust to run his estates in his absence. And Lord Blakely...Well, Lord Blakely did not trust anyone.
Jenny: Lord Blakely is talking about himself in the third person, past tense. Its disturbing.”
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