Aug 162018

Witty Repartee At It’s Best!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

TYPE OF NOVEL: Regency Romance, Historical Fiction

SETTING: Bath, 1816

SYNOPSIS: At the age of twenty-eight, Abigail Wendover remains an unmarried spinster of independent means. In the last few years she has been setting up house with her older unmarried sister, Selina, in Bath and raising their young orphaned niece, Fanny. Even though Abby isn’t at all opposed to marriage and would gladly entertain changing her situation for the right man, she has a bigger dilemma that is preoccupying her greatly at the moment – her beloved niece, at the inexperienced age of seventeen, imagines herself “violently in loves” with a fortune-hunter dandy in deep debt. Abby is determined to protect her niece’s heart and reputation at all costs!


  • Miles Calverleigh: Considered the black sheep of the family, Miles was sent to India twenty years ago because of his scapegrace, youthful indiscretions. Now he has returned with questionable manners, indifferent fashion, and uncertain fortune. I absolutely adored Miles – he is such an unconventional hero (Ms. Heyer portrays these sorts so well!) and I love that he is more mature and not at all modish! He is deliciously enigmatic, provokingly literal, and quick to know his own mind. And I absolutely love his habit of forthrightly stating what he wants – and how it throws Abby completely off balance! 😉
  • Hilarious Conversations: The meet cute in this story is phenomenal and pure genius! What a mix-up, what a hilarious misconception! As many Georgette Heyer fans know, Ms. Heyer is masterful at comedic repartee, nonsensical exchanges, and witty banter. And readers can see brilliant examples of that in the conversations between Miles and Abby! I absolutely loved their outlandish discussions together and how often Abby was unable to suppress her giggles!
  • Abigail Wendover: I’m noticing a trend: I tend to love Georgette Heyer’s more mature heroines much more easily than her younger one. And sensible, fun-loving, yet romantic Abigail Wendover is no exception. In Abigail, I was reminded of some of my favorite Jane Austen characters: Elizabeth Bennet (dearly loves a laugh and charming personality), Emma Woodhouse (care and consideration for her family), and Marianne Dashwood (not afraid to go against propriety and desires romance in her life).
  • Bath and Jane Austen: I love that this story took place in Bath, especially since I was in Bath a few months ago! It was great to read about places I’ve actually been to like Sydney Gardens and the Pump Room. In addition, as always with Georgette Heyer, I love spotting some subtle Jane Austen nods whether in characters, personalities, or text. I thought Selina’s extreme concern over her own poor health was similar to several Jane Austen characters, and I did spot the phrase “excessively diverting,” which I don’t think was a mere coincidence!


  • Falling Action and Ending: In the last quarter of the story I found myself missing Miles and wishing he wasn’t away for so long. And that might be because I wasn’t as interested in Stacy and Fanny. Oftentimes, I adore the secondary characters in Georgette Heyer’s novels, but in this story none of them engaged me as much as Miles and Abby. In addition, while the ending was in many ways satisfying and adorable, I do wish it wasn’t so abrupt. Maybe an epilogue would be all that’s needed, I’d love to know what happened to all these characters in the future.


With a supremely charming yet rational heroine and an irresistible yet unorthodox hero, Black Sheep is a romantic adventure that is sure to enchant and delight readers! Full of elopement schemes, clandestine meetings, intrusive family members, and a desperate fortune-hunter this tale has a host well-known Georgette Heyer trademarks, but where Ms. Heyer’s talent truly shines is the sparkling, stimulating, and teasing exchanges between our dear hero and heroine! I highly recommend!

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Want to join our discussion on Black Sheep? Check it out here!


Georgette Heyer Birthday

For the past five years I’ve made it a tradition to post a review near/on Georgette Heyer’s birthday (August 16th) in celebration!  I’ve read several Heyer novels not during August too, you can find all my reviews HERE.


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  22 Responses to “Black Sheep – Georgette Heyer”


    I shall have to make time to read this again for it has been so long that I forgot many of the points you made. I meant to re-read it before your post but, alas, real life intervened. I hate it when that happens. 🙂


    Today is Georgette Heyer’s birthday, which I think you knew! Love all of her Regencies, especially this one!


    Thank you for the fantastic review, as always, Meredith. I haven’t read “Black Sheep” but I will have to find it now – – it sounds positively delicious.

    I visited Bath for the first time last autumn (loved it!) and, like you, I do enjoy reading about places I have been. Happy Thursday!


      Thanks for checking out my review, Lori! I had about 11 unread Heyer books I asked friends and fans to choose from and this book got the most votes! I’m so glad as I really enjoyed it! 🙂


    Lovely review Meredith. I too loved the dialogue and would have loved an epilogue. I ‘re read this last week for the zillionth time. I love all her books. I started reading them from the library about 40 years ago and started collecting them when I was able to. I have read them all many times (including the mysteries) and have so many favourites. I envy people who are reading them for the first time.
    I too loved checking out the places mentioned when I was in Bath in fact we stayed in Henrietta Street which is just off Laura Place.


      Thank you, Glynis! I appreciate you checking it out! I love that you envy people reading her stories for the first time! However, I bet rereading Georgette Heyer is a little like rereading Jane Austen, you always find something new to understand and appreciate!


    This is one of my favorite GH books. I agree with you Meredith about Fanny and Stacey, they didn’t really catch my interest. In fact Fanny got on my nerves quite a bit towards the end of the novel. Abby and Miles interaction was definitely the best part of the story and Miles would be one of my fav heroes in Heyer books, Sir Waldo Hawkridge being another.


      You know, I felt the same way about Fanny too! My sympathy towards her started to waiver, I’m glad she wasn’t fully onboard with the elopement scheme – but who knows what she would have actually done.

      Ooh I don’t know Sir Waldo Hawkridge, which book is he from?


        Sir Waldo is the hero of The Nonesuch – another delightful read and it is among those of GH’s books available in Kindle Unlimited as ebook and audio as well!

        Fanny won me over when she resisted the elopement idea and would not offend her aunts with missing their entertainment event, and then supporting Abby as Selina tried to prevent her going off/going out with Miles


    I’ve enjoyed a lot with your review. I didn’t know this title and I’ll put it in my wishlist 😉
    And of course, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Enjoy your special day with Mr Bingley and your beloved ones!


    I recently revisited this Heyer via audio, having read it a few times and listened to it (not a zillion times like Glynis, I started late in life) multiple times. This is in my top five Heyer’s. I know what you mean about Fanny and Stacey but without their story you wouldn’t have seen Abby’s devotion to and pull from family responsibility that kept the tension up until the end, whether or not Abby and Miles would get together. I thought of Anne’s situation in Persuasion. And, Oh MIles! Swoon. One of my favorite heroes.

    I too wish that Heyer had given us an epilogue, but I can’t recall her ever giving us one, can anybody answer that? I think they all end similarly. ‘The kiss on the last page,’ as I like to say. I can think of another of hers that ends on a road with the hero kissing the heroine, and an approaching coach, “oh, the embarrassment.” That is The Corinthian, which I also love.

    I really liked some of the supporting characters, Abby’s friend, Mrs. Grayshott and her son and daughter. Especially Oliver, the junior hero.

    Loved your review, Meredith. I love this tradition of reviewing a Heyer book, on yours and Georgette’s birthdays. Cheers, Meredith. Hope your day is going wonderfully.


    No Michelle, no epilogues, I never noticed until I started reading JAFF and now it’s such a let down if there isn’t one. But it won’t stop me ‘re reading Heyer 🙂


      I bow to your superior expertise. I know what you mean about the let down. But it’s like the ‘fade-out’ in one of those old movies where the guy finally kisses the girl. 🙂


    I adored Miles and Abbie together. Heyer understood chemistry and banter so well and struck just the right amount of both. Agreed about several of her books pulling away from finishing things with the romance pair. Glad you had a lovely read for your birthday.


    I have downloaded this to listen to on audible when I do my daily 1/2 hour walk. It will take longer but I will get there. Great review, Meredith.


    Haven’t read this one yet but put it on my wishlist, which is ever growing 🙂

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