Saturday, January 13, 2018

Series Review: Carhart

Carhart series

by Courtney Milan
Book #1:  Proof by Seduction | Goodreads | Rating:  4.5 Stars
Book #2:  Trial by Desire | Goodreads | Rating:  4.5 Stars
Book #0.5:  This Wicked Gift | Goodreads | Rating:  2.0 Stars

I'm not sure I have much to say about this series.  I became a fan of Courtney Milan after reading her Brothers Sinister series not too long ago and had planned on picking up more of her work after seeing a lot of great reviews about them.

Truthfully, Courtney Milan's writing is wonderfully witty and fun, and I love the concept behind both of the Carhart novels, even if some of it got a little heavy.  The chemistry between our characters was wonderful, and I just love the dialogue!

Milan includes an author's note, as well as discussion in Q&A at the end of the new enhanced Kindle edition, a volume that includes both books as well as the novellas and short stories, that the Carhart books were not her favorite creations.  I assume that these are her debut novels/series, and it definitely shows.  If I had to make a comparison, the Brothers Sinister series was definitely much more well-written, and the characters much more lovable than the ones in the Carhart series.

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 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 know...and the boundless possibilities of love.

Aside from the beginning of the book wherein I really wanted to put my fist into Lord Blakely's face... the rest of the book made me squeal.  Because then we find out that "Rude, Despicable, Arrogant Gareth Carhart" was really just "Socially Award, Misguided Gareth Carhart"... and I'm all squeals.  Though not as much as I'm all squeals about Jenny--I absolutely LOVED her!

Not much else I can think of to say.  The characters were outstanding, although I did find myself a bit frustrated and annoyed with Ned a lot of the time.

The elephant thing was fabulous!


In the three years since her husband left her, Lady Kate Carhart has managed to forge a fulfilling life for herself.  But when Ned Carhart unexpectedly returns, she finds her tranquility uprooted --- and her deepest secrets threatened.  Though she has no intention of falling for Ned's charms, Kate can no longer deny the desire that still burns in her heart.


Ned is determined to regain his wife's trust by using unbridled seduction.  But just as Kate surrenders to Ned's passion, her carefully guarded past threatens to destroy her.  Now Kate must place her faith in the only man she's ever loved, and the only one who has ever betrayed her ...

I can't decide how I feel about this book.  On the one hand, I really, really loved Kate, a lot!  On the other hand, the main conflicts in this romance/self-revelation historical were kind of frustrating.  It really wasn't until the second half of the book that things started picking up a little bit.

And I can't believe that I actually found myself annoyed with Jenny's behavior after all the things she'd been through in the first book.  I hadn't expected the snobbish dismissals she directed at Kate, and still don't understand the explanations given in the end for her rude behavior.

I understand that there's a deep, underlying conflict to do with Ned... but I just couldn't help but feel like his stubbornness got dragged out a bit.

In the end, it was really Kate who won me over.

Lavinia Spencer is too poor to be anything but practical.  But when her younger brother lands himself in trouble, she has no choice but to do the unthinkable.  She accepts the help of the dishonorable man that she’s always wanted, even knowing that it might mean her ruination…

I think that this novella was doomed to fail the moment our hero chose to coerce the heroine into having sex with him.  The fact that our heroine didn't need coercing and was very willing to sleep with him doesn't make a difference.  I feel like I wouldn't be able to trust a man who'd be willing to do such a thing, whether or not there were justifications revealed left and right.  He didn't know that she was willing, and he didn't know that she could very well have refused him--he still went there.

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