Guest Review: Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer (1966)

I was really excited to have the opportunity to participate in this Georgette Heyer event on Stiletto Storytime.  I had actually never read any Georgette Heyer before, and this gave me a great reason to do so.  I have to admit that I don’t really consider myself a romance reader, so at first I had avoided Heyer’s books.  But then I found out that they were actually romances in the same vein as Austen, not historical bodice rippers at all.  And I had multiple people whose reading tastes I share and trust, including Miss Stiletto Storytime herself, mention that they really loved her books, so I knew I really needed to give her a try.  I’m so glad I did.I loved my first Heyer experience!
To quickly summarize my selection, Black Sheep: Abigail Wendover is a 28-year-old “spinster” living in Bath who, along with her sister Selina is responsible for the care of their orphaned 17-year-old niece Fanny.  Abby returns from a visit with relatives in London and discovers that Fanny has developed a relationship with the handsome Stacy Calverleigh, a man Abby senses is only after Fanny’s fortune.  When Stacy’s uncle Miles, considered the black sheep of the family, arrives in Bath as well, Abby seeks his assistance in putting an end to the relationship and falls for Miles herself, despite her better sense telling her she should stay away from him.
Even though Black Sheep was filled with character types we’ve all seen before – the heroine who’s considered past her prime; the suitor with a dark past; the silly young girl carried away by her first crush; the dashing young man who may not have the best of intentions – Heyer managed to develop each of these types into fleshed out characters the reader cares about.  I thought that the plot was turning out to be somewhat predictable as well, but Heyer managed to surprise me with a nice twist or two in the end.  The best thing about Heyer’s writing by far is her way with words and her great sense of humor.  I found myself laughing out loud several times while reading this book.  The only negative thing I can say about the book is that I felt like it ended too abruptly.  I wanted the ending to be a little more developed, to find out a little more about the future of the characters I’d come to love.  I’m looking forward to reading more Heyer, and not just her historical romances, but her mysteries as well, as I’ve heard they’re wonderful, too.Thanks for including me in this event!
~The Lovely Librarian at Learning to Play the Bassoon
*Don’t forget to enter to win one of two fabulous Georgette Heyer Prize Packs from Sourcebooks. Also each “meaningful” comment on any Georgette Heyer post (including this one) in the month of August at Stiletto Storytime will also get you additional entries.*


Filed under Adult Books, Events, Georgette Heyer, historical fiction

4 responses to “Guest Review: Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer (1966)

  1. Wow I am glad to hear that you were wary to read Heyer as well in the beginning because you weren’t sure if you would enjoy the romance…I have been the same way but after reading all about her this month I am excited to give her a try! Thanks for the review Black Sheep sounds great and I am eager to see what twists she puts in the story!

  2. Mary Preston

    A wonderful review for BLACK SHEEP. I am glad you enjoyed your first Georgette Heyer. I also love the humor in her stories.


  3. stilettostorytime

    Thanks so very much for being part of the Heyer event…I am so glad you enjoyed the book and now have a whole new author to discover among all those lovely library shelves!

  4. Her sense of humor is one of my favorite things about her writing. I also laugh sometimes when I read one of her books. Thank you for such a good review. I have been scooping up the ones I haven’t read yet. 🙂

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