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 comes toe to toe with the Marquess of Blakely there’s more 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 Marquess 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 Marquees treats his cousin, if she’s proven a fraud, then she’s going to try and make life easier for Ned, giving the Marquess 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 more 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 more 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 more 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 equal. 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 more 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!