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on 13 January 2018
Abigail Wendover, a spinster in her late twenties and a respectable resident of Bath, is trying to detach her impressionable young niece from a fortune hunter with whom she is madly in love. Feeling as though she's past the age where she needs to observe the strict regime demanded of young women of marriageable age, Abby's a little more independent than your average Regency miss, and her direct speaking sparks off a friendship with a rogue, Mr. Miles Caverleigh, the black sheep of the title and also, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the uncle of the fortune hunter. Yes, it all turns out well in the end, this is Georgette Heyer, after all. Very amusing. One of the better Heyer 'Regencies', I think.
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on 26 April 2008
'Black Sheep' is one of Georgette Heyer's later Regency novels and shows all her skills as a writer, including her much-praised historical accuracy for this period. The 'Black Sheep' of the title is Mr Miles Calverleigh, a gentleman who was sent to India twenty years before after shaming his family. Unfortunately for Miss Abigail Wendover, the absent Mr Calverleigh's nephew Stacy is apparently trying to beguile her spirited niece Fanny in order to get his hands on her fortune. Abigail and her sister Serena have stood as parents toward Fanny for many years but Abigail begins to discover that Fanny has grown up enough to want to rely less on her aunt and more on her own heart.

It is into this situation that Miles Calverleigh steps, having finally returned from India. The first scene between him and Abby, a case of mistaken identity, is a wonderful example of Heyer's skill in writing two spirited and interesting characters. Abigail tries to get Miles to help separate his nephew from her niece but she finds herself thwarted by his apparent lack of interest in the cares of others and his apparent wish to thwart her own strict views on being a support to her own sister which may prevent her from following her heart.

There are some similarities between this book and 'Lady of Quality', also written late in Heyer's career, not least in the age of the heroes and heroines who aren't the youngsters of 'Friday's Child' or 'Cotillion' but are mature people who may perhaps feel that the opportunities in life have passed them by. As usual the side characters are excellent in this story, including the very amusing Mrs Clapham and even the straighlaced James Wendover. This book seems to contain less of the cant phrases that can render some characters in other books almost incomprehensible but the overall standard of dialogue is excellent. 'Black Sheep' makes an excellent introduction to Heyer's Regency novels and can be enjoyed again and again.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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on 26 July 2015
As always, Ms Heyer's heroines are lively, and her heroes interesting. This tale is set in Regency times, in Bath, and describes the life, weather, assemblies etc, as the main story and sub plots develop. The return of Miles Calverleigh from India allows a twenty year old scandal to resurface and interfere with the lively relationship developing between Miles and Abigail Wendover. Delicately humourous and very slightly farcical, and love eventually conquers all. Lovely light reading.
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on 8 May 2015
As with most others, I thoroughly enjoy Georgette Heyer's books. My only frustration is that they always end so abruptly and Black Sheep is no exception.

It seemed to be the way with films made during and just after WWII that as long as the couple got together it was all right to end. Nowadays the loose ends are tied up much better, as did Austen in her books come to think of it.

Other than that, a good read again.
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on 29 August 2016
Another of Georgette Heyers stronger books. Unlikely hero and heroine, who should not suit, find each other unexpectedly attractive. Finding the road to happiness through a tangle on other involvements is a joy to read. Easy, happy reading.
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on 1 February 2018
Love the story but really don't care for the narrator. Her voice is far too old for the characters and I couldn't distinguish between her Selina voice and her Abigail voice so that I couldn't make out who was saying what. I got as far as the niece coming in then had to give up so I've wasted my money. Such a shame as I've enjoyed others with better speakers
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on 25 November 2016
Typical G.H. well researched characterisation and depiction of the roles taken from bottom to top of society during this time with accurate syntax. Nothing is more annoying than reading a book set at a time and place to encounter modern expressions and flawed interpretation of society.
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on 17 November 2017
Not read yet, but this author is well-liked in this family and if her others are anything to go by, then I look forward to reading this.
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on 22 August 2017
Just such a shame that the story ends so abruptly. Ok Miles narrates the probable outcome and one has to assume a HEA.
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on 4 June 2017
A VERY GOOD STORY LINE. FOUND MYSELF WANTING TO READ TO END QUICKLY, THEN .SORRY I'D GOT THERE! HAVE NOW RE-READ THE BOOK.
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