Book Review: Black Sheep and Cousin Kate

I am going to review two books in one review here. I just finished Black Sheep and Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer. I really enjoyed Ms. Heyer as a writer. The novels are fast-paced but not too fast. These are Regency romances, and somewhat reminiscent of Jane Austen, but with a modern flair. All the characters are very mannered, but a bit ruder and off the cuff than Austen’s characters ever were.

However, the books do succumb to a common affliction of romance novels. In the end, the guy has to get the girl. Ms. Heyer seems to come to the end of her books with an ending still out of reach of the characters, so she quickly pulls together all the threads and weaves an ending. I think, particularly with Black Sheep, that the plot would benefit greatly from just a little bit more working through of the problems, and just a little less ‘let’s get this over with.’

If you like Regency romances, I highly recommend these books.

Four out of five stars.

Leave a comment


  1. Morgana, I love Georgette Heyer too. I remember “Cousin Kate” most vividely and haven’t read it for nearly 40 years. “Black Sheep” too.

    You’re right, she’s a lot like Jane Austen. The difference is that Austen wrote about her time for people of her time, so if you don’t know about the era some of her books may seem obscure. Heyer, on the other hand, wrote about Austen’s time from the vantage point of 20th century England. She doesn’t assume we’ll know or understand referrence to people and things and plugs in explainations.

    You will know what I mean with this statement which I clipped from an old post of mine:
    “Once, forty-years, seventy-pounds, and 3,000 miles away, I was addicted to Regency romances by Georgette Heyer. I think if she would have written about this room with it’s fine, healthy plants, good books, good music, and hodgepodge of furniture, she might have described it as “shabby genteel”. That’s okay by me. I’ve got no one to impress and it serves my spirit and my latter-day ambitions well.”

    Heyer also wrote more contemporary mystery stories, which are a lot of fun. I remember thinking she wrote the best car chases.

    Thanks for posting this review, Morgana. It was fun to read and wonderful to bring up good, old reading memories.

    Happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate.
    Jamie Dedes

    • I’m glad you liked it. I think I will have to find some of those mysteries — my library has 2 shelves full of her books. I do celebrate Thanksgiving, and I thank you for your good wishes. The same to you, if you celebrate.

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