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Proof by Seduction Paperback – Large Print, April 4, 2011

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Paperback, Large Print, April 4, 2011
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Camden; Large type edition edition (April 4, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1408491591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408491591
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Historical romance fans will celebrate Milan's powerhouse debut, which comes with a full complement of humor, characterization, plot and sheer gutsiness. The setting is 1836 London, where fortune teller Madame Esmerelda, née Jenny Keeble, plies her dubious trade at the fringes of respectability. She draws the ire of Gareth Carhart, marquess of Blakely, when his young cousin and heir falls under Madame Esmerelda's spell. Socially inept scientist Gareth wants to prove that Jenny is a fraud, leading to some delightful nonsense as Jenny inventively complicates the terms of Gareth's proof, but the more these two tangle, the more they come to see each other's attractive qualities among the flaws. If too much psychoanalysis sometimes gets read into a single heated gaze, such freshman flaws barely distract from the joy of watching the characters develop amid delightful plot twists. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Jenny Keeble spent a dozen years building her career as fortune-teller “Madame Esmerelda,” and if the stuffy, unfeeling nobleman Gareth Carhart thinks she’s going to give it up without a fight, he is madder than a hatter. Convinced that Madame Esmerelda is a con, Gareth plans on scientifically proving that the lady is a fraud. Challenged by Gareth to put up or shut up, Jenny declares that she will successfully predict whom Gareth will marry, and so the two begin their battle of wits. Newcomer Milan expertly portrays an irresistible hero whose faith in logic is turned upside down by a sharp-witted, sharp-tongued heroine. Mix in captivating secondary characters, lively writing, and sexy chemistry, and the result is an unforgettable romance debut. --John Charles --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Courtney Milan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical romance. Her books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist.

Courtney lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, a medium-sized dog, and an attack cat. Before she started writing historical romance, she experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, scientificating.... But her favorite job is the one she's now doing full time--writing romance.

If you want to know when Courtney's next book will come out, please visit her website at, where you can sign up to receive an email when she has her next release.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A. Schreiner on December 29, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 emotions or how to interact with people. One of my favorite things is that Gareth stays broken throughout much of the book. There are no overnight miracles. He doesn't take one look at Jenny and start frolicking through a meadow the next day. He has been an emotionless being all his life, and it takes time, and as he learns, much determination, to become someone better.

Jenny is posing in her life as Madame Esmerelda, a fortune teller, who possesses no actual gift, except the gift of persuasion and trust. She has taken what life has thrown at her and made the best of it. Although she in essence swindles money out of people, she has a good heart and would not choose this life if there were other alternatives.

Gareth, a scientist is determined to prove Madame Esmerelda a fraud for his cousin's Ned's sake. Ned went to Jenny years ago with severe depression, with thoughts of ending his life and Jenny predicted a future of happiness and hope. Ned has prospered since then, and Jenny feels a fierce loyalty and protection over him. Blakely feels the same feelings toward Ned, and sees Esmerelda as a liability to him.

Ned, desperate to show Gareth that Jenny is the real deal, pleas with her to predict something.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michelle R on January 2, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not quite a 4, but a thistle seed could barely fit into the gap.

I selected Proof By Seduction because there was a lot of good buzz out there, but also because I'd seen the author around blogs and she seems pleasant, level-headed, professional, and appreciative of readers without feeling a need to sell her soul. After one particularly eloquent reply, I pre-ordered PBS. Ha, just noticed the initials -- for all the people who must contend with literary snobs, they can for a brief period say they were "enjoying PBS."

Set in 1838, we meet Jenny Keeble who has spent more than a decade masquerading as a fortune teller. Through this ruse she's befriended a young man named named Ned who is in line to be a marquess. Jenny, while taking Ned's money, has also used her "abilities" to improve Ned's sense of self-worth. The current marquess, his cousin, is determined to show "Madame Esmerelda" is a charlatan. As proof of her abilities, Jenny tells Blakely, our science-minded hero, that if he follows her instructions that she'll identify his future wife and that he'll be engaged within a month of that. Her out would that he didn't obey on some technicality.

The tasks she asks of him also serve to humanize him and make him reach out to other human beings.

There are many things to enjoy about this debut, and I can see why people are excited about Ms. Milan's future. The characters are all amusing in different ways and most are intelligent. The author is skilled at making you care about them, particularly Jenny. I liked that fairly early on the Madame Esmerelda ruse was disposed of between Jenny and Gareth (Blakely), if not Ned. There was also the wonderful idea what she was so good at pretending to be a seer, because she was a astute judge of people.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By *rose* on April 6, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was a so-so book for me.

It was taking a while for me to get into the book and I wondered why? Seemed like this story line should hook me in! Lady poses as a fortune teller. Man tries to use science to disprove her abilities. Lots of conflict and sexual tension... but, no. It never worked for me and I really wanted it to! Oh, well.

It's not a badly written book or totally uninteresting. For some reason it just never did it for me.

Read the other reviews as there are others who LOVED this book. And you may, too! Wish I did!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ida Kotyuk on February 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have just finished reading Milan's "Proof of Seduction" for the fourth time; months after having read her book three times in a row. Why read a book four times? Because she is brilliant in setting the stage for a comedic scene. In each of my re-reads, though I know what is coming next, I laugh at the same part of the book and laugh louder than the prior reading. As an example, by page 15 we see the heroine who is the gypsy fraud fortune-teller, we see the hero (uncle) who is the scientist and skeptic, and we see the nephew who is the supposed dupe.

Heroine explains she cannot be more precise in her fortune-telling because "In ancient days, soothsayers predicted the future by studying the entrails of small animals... I have been trained in those methods." Called on her abilities, the heroine steps away to retrieve a burlap bag that they fear contains a small animal she intends to eviscerate in front of them. Milan writes: "Lord Blakely gaped. `You kept a small animal in a sack, just sitting about in the event it was needed? What kind of creature are you?'" And our heroine, ever the sham artist, replies arrogantly: "I was expecting the two of you. ..." What follows is a visual scene not written since the Marx Brothers' or Oliver and Hardy movies.

What a talented gift! I love to read Regency romances for the Oscar Wilde wit and thigh-slapping Marx Brothers' scenes and humor. Milan gives us both here and I hope she can keep it up.
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