Publishers Carb the fuck up young adult historical fiction

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She was his last chance for a future of happinessA 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 Maruess of Blakely a sworn bachelor and scientist He just didn't know it yetBroodingly handsome Gareth is scandalized to discover his cousin has fallen under the spell of Madame Esmerelda and vows to prove Jenny a fraud But his unexpected attraction to the fiery enchantress defies logic Jenny disrupts every facet of Gareth's calculated plan until he can't decide whether to seduce her or ruin her Now as they engage in a passionate battle of wills two lonely souls must choose between everything they knowand the boundless possibilities of love

10 thoughts on “Proof by Seduction

  1. says:

    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 victorious with Proof by Seduction where two strangers are brought together by their desire to help one man Gareth Lord Blakely and Jenny Keeble Madame Esmerelda were in a battle of wills – and wits – that kept the story moving at a fast pace They were both looking out for Gareth’s cousin Ned who at 21 years old was – in their eyes – unable to look out for himself And while they both wanted what was best for Ned they had two entirely different ideas about what that was The scheming the plotting and the social status maneuverings made this a story in which I found myself constantly wondering what they would come up with next to test tempt and torment each otheroh and of course seduceOne of the things I really love about this book was how different it is from most romance novels in that in most romances whether they are historical contemporary paranormal or urban fantasy there seems to be a set formula in which the heroine is almost always the one to help the hero free himself of a tormented past to become all that he can be In Proof by Seduction while Jenny does play this role it starts out in a somewhat ‘less affectionate’ manner than we usually see In fact it’s her brutal honesty and manipulations directed at Gareth whom she really doesn’t much care for in the beginning which makes him start to realize what kind of man others see him as – aloof demanding uncaring unfeeling It is Gareth’s unexpectedly honest reactions to what he learns about himself that forces Jenny to take a look at her own life – past and present – and make a choice for what she wants her future to hold People who follow my reviews probably get tired of hearing this but I need to bond with the characters I need to feel what they feel otherwise the story is just a bunch of words to me Courtney Milan did an excellent job of developing the characters into real people She gave them strengths and weaknesses ualities and flaws and she did something else that authors too often fail to do; she gave them hearts and souls I booed their failures and cheered their triumphs I ached for their loneliness and then delighted in their companionship Indeed I connected with themview spoilerWhen Jenny finally admitted to herself that she cared for Gareth and wanted to share his bed even though she believed that was all she could ever have of him she would not allow him to give her any gifts because she did not want to be his mistress She wanted him to see that she was giving of herself willingly because she wanted to be with him not out of a sense of obligation I loved that she would not allow herself to be boughtAnd I also loved that Gareth was albeit reluctantly willing to admit that he was not the man he wanted to be Not only that he was willing to changeThere was one uestion that I wish would have been answered but wasn’t Who was Jenny’s mysterious benefactor? If it was disclosed I missed it and would appreciate if someone could give me the page number It’s not crucial to the story in any way shape or form it’s just one of those things hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || || PinterestIf 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 spoilersI've read books from the Brothers Sinister and the Worth series and was excited to traverse into the world of the Carharts I'd hoped to read this book before the interview so I was a bit prepared for the A session but I am really bad at blogging deadlines because I'm so focused on real life deadlines so that didn't really happenUntil nowThe opening of PROOF OF SEDUCTION is really great We're introduced to Madame Esmeralda who I couldn't help picturing as the Disney Esmeralda gypsy fortune teller extraordinaire She's meeting with her favorite client Ned cousin to a skeptical maruess who also happens to be a scientist and a bit of a jerk He challenges Madame Esmeralda's claims by forcing her to prove herself which results in a battle of wills a reluctant attraction and a rather cringe worthy attempt at matchmakingLord Blakely was an interesting character and his scientific background and stuffy demeanor kept his nastiness from being as unpleasant as it might otherwise have been I enjoyed his verbal battles with Madame EsmeraldaJenny and thought that their interactions were great at adding tension both sexual and otherwise to the story The way that they struggle for control over Esmeralda's attempts to prove herself were hilarious Nary a loophole wasn't exploited to its fullest comedic extentMy problem with this book is that it drags Terribly The beginning is the best part After that it's all downhill Around page 100 I actually asked myself Things seem like they're about to wrap up how on earth is she going to fill the remaining 147 pages?With sex of course and many back and forth arguments The sex scenes are for the most part well written but they are repetitive like the arguments And there are some rather jarring descriptions like a woman's ladyparts being described as her wetness and other little niggling details like that that pulled me out of the moment and made me go ewThen there's Ned I wanted to like Ned And at first I almost did I felt sorry for him He's a boy with a huge pair of shoes to fill and an older cousin who doesn't take him seriously at all But he's also a weenie I get that he was depressed and that depression doesn't always make you pleasant to be around which I think the author was going for to her credit but his characterization just seemed to vacillate so much he started feeling like a cartoon caricature of adolescent weeninessPROOF BY SEDUCTION isn't a bad book and features some great lines But it isn't Milan's best work I get the feeling that she enjoys wrapping up stories neatly and uickly which is probably why she writes so many novellas and why they are so good But that talent doesn't translate well to novels and this one felt like it was very fluffed up when 100 pages or could have been easily shaved off The ending too seemed a bit over the top I mean really An elephant?2 to 25 stars

  3. says:

    Gareth Carhart Maruess 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 comes toe to toe with the Maruess of Blakely there’s at stake then her future but her heart When it comes to brand new authors am always a little leery and give the author a lot of leeway Courtney Milan blew all my doubts of the water from the first few pages in her stunning debut book Jenny Keeble has made a living fooling clients into thinking she can tell the future but what’s she’s really doing is giving them what they want to hear business is going great until one of her normal clients Ned Carhart a man she comes to like for his easy going self brings his cousin the Maruess of Blakely Gareth Carhart whose cold and will use science to answer and prove Madame Esmerelda a fraud Jenny doesn’t want to lose the respect she’s earn as Madame Esmerelda and the money it brings in so she comes up with a plan to break down the shields and coldness she sees around Gareth and the way The Maruees treats his cousin if she’s proven a fraud then she’s going to try and make life easier for Ned giving the Maruess three tasks in order for him to find his bride Jenny is surprised how deeply she’s drawn to Gareth and at a risk of losing her heart to this cold unfeeling man Gareth wants to get his cousin away from this so called Madame Esmerelda and as a scientist he knows exactly how do prove her a fraud with science what he doesn’t count on is Madame Esmerida cleverness and wit When she tells him and his cousin she can find him his future bride along with completely three tasks Gareth goes along with the tasks knowing he has her in his grasp anytime When his attraction to this clever woman is also is set of flame he sees this a bonus of winning the war between her and after winning he’ll have her in his bed and Ned out of her grasp He’s taken by surprise over and over again as Jenny slowly strips away his shields he’s hidden behind and uncages his heart and sets it free Courtney Milan writes two strong characters with a lot of depth and just as much heart even if they can’t see it Even though Jenny does lie and takes people money you see there’s then meets the eye with her She doesn’t just tell people what they want to hear but what they “need” to hear when it comes down to it I felt she was giving advice and hope to the people whom needed it Because of her status in society she wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere in life expect selling her body but Jenny has respect for herself and does what she can to live What makes her so beautiful is she’s able to see the good in people it’s easy for many of us to just see the bad in people and brush them off Jenny doesn’t do that she is able to see the goodness the strength of character in everyone around her even the ice man Gareth Jenny’s childhood in a cold girl’s school and her past would have made someone bitter and untrusting with Jenny is only gave her hope and built up her inner strength in herself and she needed that when she takes on Gareth each of her tasks was to show the respect others open his heart and drop his shields Gareth was a complex and very cold man raised to not to feel not to smile not to laugh or have fun Gareth only felt truly alive on his trip to Brazil He felt in being alone he could be free once he returns to stuffy London he feels even weighed down by his title Gareth has trouble talking with own sister and trying to rule over his Ned but not trying to rule his own emotions and trying not to care When Gareth accepts the give tasks he does them for show and to prove his own point instead of seeing beyond the tasks and what the tasks are meant for Gareth wants to win at all costs but in the end no one is truly a winner at War both sides always lose and Gareth is at a lost in what to do and feel Jenny brings out emotions he’s tried to run away from and to see her as his eual The road to Gareth dropping his complete shields is hard but well worth it Jenny brings him into the light she shows him how good it feels to smile laugh and even give a comfort hug He’s able to see the golden heart in his cousin and the strong woman in his sister things he never saw before until Jenny showed him It was amazing to see Gareth finally thawed out and able to truly smile with his heart Secondary characters are usually there to push along the story but Courtney Milan makes even the secondary characters engaging Ned went to Jenny in his darkness hour and she gave him hope when he loses it again he tries to hold on to the lie she told him but what if that lie became true? Ned was fun lovely but finding himself his worth in the world is something we can relate to Ned needed a little push and with some help with Jenny and Gareth he’s able to find the man inside himself he wanted to be I look forward to of his own story and his future Overall stunning debt by an author whom shows a promising future no need for a fortune teller to tell you either just read this awesome book

  4. says:

    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

  5. says:

    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 happensCourtney 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 there and had that feeling balloon to epic proportions? I could really relate and even when he was bumbling around with his poor attempts at communication I had to feel for himJenny got on my nerves a bit I never uite understood her strategy And she made at least one very stupid move which I thought wasn't completely believable when compared to her obvious uick wit and cunning I don't know that I can pinpoint it but she just seemed a pain at times All in all though this is a very good historical romance It's a bit unusual but familiar enough to be a comfortable read as well Okay not uite six paragraphs but enough to give Proof by Seduction the Beanbag seal of approval

  6. says:

    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

  7. says:

    There really isn't anything better than reading a wonderful book and left feeling happy after it is over The story revolves around Gareth Maruess of Blakely and Jenny Madame Esmerelda Gareth is a scientist and restricted to his numerous responsibilities of being a Maruess Jenny is a well educated orphan who is trying to live an independent life She has few options available to her so she decides to be a fortune teller Gareth's cousin Ned comes to depend upon Jenny for advice and Gareth fears he is being taken advantage of Gareth threatens to expose Jenny and in the process falls in love with her There is so much to this story and depth to the characters than what I am writing about I know I am NOT doing this book justice with my review Proof of Seduction was a beautiful love story where two complicated and intelligent people came together in a perfect fit This book reminds me of Tessa Dare and Julia uinn's especially her older ones books If you like those writers I think you will really like this one too Courtney Milan has become a new favorite author for me to read and I cannot wait until her next book comes out

  8. says:

    This book rocked The main characters are Jenny Keeble an educated woman who masuerades as Madame Esmeralda a fortuneteller and Gareth Carhart the Maruess 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 battleI 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 manages to counsel Ned when he is depressed that was really ingenious Gareth is so perfectly awkward I love how his mind works and whenever he makes a mistake It is one of the few HR that portrays the Hero with self esteem issues he's really NOT good at making friends The Elephant is one of the funniest cutest partA great debut novel and worth reading and even adding to your collection

  9. says:

    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 clients especially a young idealistic gentleman Ned Carhart Jenny enjoys having Ned as her client because he’s such a nice guy and she doesn’t feel lonely even though she continues to take his money And she doesn’t really feel that guilty because if he’s that gullible it’s his own fault But what Jenny doesn’t know is Ned has a cousin with a very critical mind and when he hears about Madame Esmerelda he goes with Ned to visit her The moment Jenny meets Gareth Carhart Maruess of Blakely she knows her days are numberedGareth is not only cold distant and very rude but Jenny also finds herself attracted to him I think in part it has to do with him being compared to a “tawny ferocious and a little feral” lion Jenny is good at reading people and she’s on point when it comes to Gareth Ned is very protective of the Madame while Gareth is annoyed Not only is Ned being played for a fool but Gareth has been forced away from his busy schedule to handle this situation He hates having the responsibility of being a father type figure to Ned Gareth isn’t comfortable with people even his own family He’s been away in Brazil for years working on a nature expedition and now only just returned to England when his grandfather died and had to take over the responsibility of his title He hates his new life and longs for the freedom and seclusion he sacrificedJenny will not be pushed around by Gareth Actually she enjoys the banter with him and wants him to loosen up to smile and enjoy himself She comes up with a game of sorts to prove she’s authentic Jenny is skilled at making things up She tells Ned the spirits have come to her and stated Gareth will marry a woman at a ball they are going to attend From an orange Ned cuts up she sees a vision of an elephant She predicts Gareth will approach his future bride and give her a carved elephant Gareth is stuck in a hard position because if he exposes Jenny for what she really is it will break Ned’s heart He goes along with the ruse but Jenny will also be involved because if he’s going to be made look like a fool than Jenny will alsoJenny and Gareth are complete opposites in everyway Even though life has been less than ideal for Jenny she finds humor in the world around her She tries to make the best of her situation Gareth is so strung tight and can barely function in society or even with his own sister who wants his approval but seems frighten of him As soon as Jenny walks into Gareth’s life he changes for the better He kicks and screams and doesn’t want to change but Jenny forces him Unfortunately for Jenny Gareth is much like a hurricane Once he has been unleashed he won’t be controlled Even though he treats Jenny with contempt he longs to hold her in his arms to bring her pleasure and have it returned And most importantly he wants Jenny to call him by his first name of Gareth because Gareth the man is very different from Gareth the Maruess Jenny is now playing with fire because she decided to tangle with this lionProof by Seduction is a dance between two people Gareth and Jenny are spectacular together When Gareth comes to the conclusion he needs Jenny that’s when things really pick up He wants her with a desperate need because she’s able to pick at his emotional scabs until they are oozing Gareth has cut himself off all because of a sad and lonely childhood that shaped him into the man he has become Coincidentally Jenny’s own childhood is much like Gareth’s Jenny is willing to give everything to Gareth even become his lover without the benefits of marriage but won’t become his mistress where she’ll be bought with an expensive trinket or a nice house in town She tries to teach Gareth these differences with some interesting resultsThe change from disdain to passion and lust Gareth and Jenny have for one another happens uickly and may make the reader do a second take But the scenes where Gareth invites Jenny to sin with him are incredibly sexy These are two people who need touch and intimacy to feel alive and because they have been denied it for so long they latch onto each other There’s so much meaning behind the reasons Gareth wants Jenny to call him by his first name There aren’t a whole slew of love making between these two but they sure make up for it with their kissing and lusty looks When they finally act on their desire it sizzles even though there was one statement that really jolted me out of the story At one point as Gareth is giving Jenny the much anticipated loving with his tongue it’s mentioned he enjoyed tasting the salty sweetness of the woman that is Jenny Sorry I suddenly have a craving for chocolate covered potato chips for some reason Even with that small purple prose description I enjoyed the rest of the passageGareth is one of those wonderful misunderstood stubborn heroes you want to hold close to your heart because of his internal suffering I did feel Gareth held back a bit too much I wanted to see of an explosion on his part an impassioned plea where he finally understands why he’s the way he is and how he would fix itCourtney Milan’s debut is a wonderful read I really loved how Jenny tore off the mask Gareth wears and how they were able to come together and find happiness and love The ending is sweet tender and everything in between Ned also brings forth some lighthearted moments especially his appreciation for a woman’s ankles and his sudden feelings for the woman he believes is Gareth’s future wife Courtney Milan is a very welcomed debut author in the historical romance world and I look forward to her future releases

  10. says:

    This book came along at the right moment for me ready to lift up my spirits which it did admirablyThis 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 But if I close my eyes and ignore the holes than yes I enjoyed this story because of all the characters involved Gareth and especially Ned the character development the inner dialogue and the banter and the smiles and the elephants BR with Ingela and Irina – thanks girls