Sunday, April 11, 2010

Book Review: Proof by Seduction

Title Proof by Seduction (Hqn)
Author Courtney Milan
Rating ****

Historical romance is hard to do. It is difficult to give a sense of the period and still follow the romance writer's genre conventions. The upper-class rarely married for love, and insisted on rigid adherence to society's mores, and that plays havoc with happy endings. Then there is the problem for romance set in eighteenth and early nineteenth century fiction set in England in always being compared to Georgette Heyer who made that period live and breathe in her books.

Courtney Milan does a good job of it in her book. She doesn't immerse one in the period as well as Heyer, and she plays somewhat fast and loose with what would have been possible at the time. But she makes you WANT her story to be true.

Jenny Keeble makes her living as Madame Esmerelda, a fortune teller. Young Ned Carhart, heir to the Marquess of Blakely, has been devoted to her advice for two years. Blakely, however, is a man of science and tries to force Ned to see Esmerelda as a fraud. Jenny, of course, can't let him do that much damage to her livelihood, but what is she to do about the great attraction between herself and Blakely?

Fairly well written, good characterization, though the writer is sometimes inclined to tell us about the characters rather than reveal who they are by their words and action.

Quite readable, and Milan's next book due out about Ned should be worth reading as well.

Publication HQN Books (2010), Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Publication date 2010
ISBN 0373774397 / 9780373774395

Posted via web from reannon's posterous

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