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Proof by Seduction

(Carhart #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  4,367 ratings  ·  504 reviews

She was his last chance for a future of happiness…

A gifted fortune-teller from a humble background, Jenny can make even the most sophisticated skeptic believe her predictions simply by batting her smoky eyelashes. Until she meets her match in Gareth Carhart, the Marquess of Blakely, a sworn bachelor and scientist.

He just didn't know it yet

Broodingly handsome, Gareth is sca
Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published September 17th 2012 by Harlequin HQN (first published December 15th 2009)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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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 ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ 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
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
Lexxi Kitty
I really hate alpha-asshole main male characters. Especially when they go all 'manly' and 'can't help myself' and force themselves on women who 'really want it' because 'he can tell'. Fuck off and die, asshole. Bodies react for many reasons, and she might even really, in fact, be turned on - that doesn't fucking give you the right to force yourself onto her fuckball 'because I know you also want it'.

Odd how this is something like the 13th book I've read by this author, but whatever.
Beanbag Love
May 28, 2010 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
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!
Aug 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jul 30, 2009 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 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.
Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves
The h is likable, the H get there (slowly) while the H's cousin steals the show.
Two things lowered my enjoyment and rating - few outlandish and anachronistic things as also the way the h handles certain things towards the end.

(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
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
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
“Oh he’d sunk to new low, contemplating a woman’s wardrobe.”

Totally exceeded my expectation. I loved how awkward and straightforward Lord Blakely was. Just shipped him and Jenny like crazy! Their whole relationship was one sexy, angsty, satisfying and hilarious roller coaster ride that I finished in a span of one day!

One thing stopped this from being a shoo-in 5 stars = that second couple.

Just no.

When you got the main pair this strong, it’s just a waste of papers/time and actually subtract fro
Jan 09, 2010 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
I think (?) this was CM's first book, and it's so bloody good. The first 20% or so is easily the weakest part. It's a bit jarring in relation to the suddenness with which everything happens and the descriptions and characterisations are a little on the nose - less would've been more. But Milan finds her stride as the book goes on and it gets better and better. The h/H are simply wonderful. Blakely is nicely done, at the start his straight scientist, no emotion, blunt talking schtick felt, as I'v ...more
Kat Desi
Jul 12, 2015 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.
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,
4.5 Hilarious Stars!
2.5 stars.

At 38% I pretty much loathed the H and felt sorry for the h. As other reviewers stated, the H was really an arrogant jerk. It was hard to like him, impossible even, and I couldn't understand why the h would want him. It was the classic "I can't help but dissolve into a puddle of hormones in the presence of his brooding broodiness" and I couldn't help but sigh. I struggled with putting this down as a DNF or powering through.

Upon finishing, I can't say I regret finishing this. DNFs alw
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
Quirky Omega
There is definitely some fantastic grovelling here at the end. Thanks Kim!
Dec 08, 2009 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
Well, this took me by surprise. This is, I think, my fifth book by Milan and I understand it is her first but it is my favorite thus far. The premise, a fortune teller and a Marquess out to expose her as a fraud, did not sound particularly interesting to me but I thought I would try it anyway. So glad I did. I love me some angst, and this had plenty without becoming melodramatic. There were even some lighthearted moments thrown in.

I suppose I shouldn't have liked our arrogant hero Gareth in the
Penny Watson
Jan 10, 2010 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 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
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.
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
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Courtney Milan’s books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller and a RITA® winner.

Courtney lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, an exceptionally perfect dog, and an attack cat.

Before she started writing historical romance, Courtney got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. After th

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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.
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