Abigail Wendover, on the shelf at 28, is kept busy when her niece falls head over heels in love with a handsome fortune hunter and Abbie is forced into a confrontation with his scandalous uncle.
Miles Calverleigh is the black sheep of his family- enormously rich from a long sojourn in India, disconcertingly blunt and brash. But he turns out to be Abbie’s most important ally in keeping her niece out of trouble.
But how can he possibly be considered eligible when she has worked so hard to rebuff his own nephew’s suit for her niece? And how can she possibly detach from an ailing sister who needs her? This is a heroine who has to be, literally, swept off her feet…
I had originally started reading this title first but the beginning was a bit slow so I switched to Friday’s Child. However, I’m oh so glad that I quickly returned to Black Sheep because I actually prefer it to FC.
Black Sheep begins with Miss Abigail Wendover returning to Bath from a trip to London. She goes to see her sister, with whom she lives, to discuss the goings-on in Bath during her absense. Immediately she’s informed about Fanny, her niece, showing particular favor to a man from London. Abby finds this very disturbing because Fanny is an heiress and any man who shows an interest is immediately under suspicion of being a fortune hunter. And Abby is certain that Stacy Calverleigh is a fortune hunter.
I found this introduction to Abby and Fanny’s situation a bit much. But once Abby meets Miles Calverleigh, Stacy’s uncle who’s been in exile in India for 20 years, Black Sheep picks up and never stops.
Miles was exiled to India in his youth for his behavior. He himself tried eloping with an heiress and it was just too much for his family and off he went. Miles is a great character because he doesn’t give a fig for societal conventions but he’s still endearingly charming and you can’t help but like him. He’s immediately drawn to Abby and especially loves firing her up. Abby is a good character too. She’s 28, raising her niece with the help of her elder sister Selina, who is sickly, and considers herself too old for marriage. So when she finds herself attracted to Miles, who is the opposite of everything she wants in a man, she knows better than to act like a love-sick fool. She also realizes that her family would object greatly to her marrying Miles.
Is Abby going to sacrifice her happiness to keep her family happy?
Oh my goodness did Black Sheep ever turn into the most surprising book. I am quickly coming to love Heyer’s writing. (I already picked up Faro’s Daughter.) Abby and Miles are great characters. The secondary characters are well written and Fanny’s story offers a good balance to Abby’s. Fanny is 17 and in love for the first time. She’s young and impetuous and Abby is everything she’s not. This creates a nice contrast. But really, this novel is all about Miles for me. He does something very surprising in this novel and once you realize what’s going on, you’re like, “OMG, he’s awesome!” And yeah he is.
4.75 out of 5 (A)