Disguised as a highwayman, Jack Carstares, the wrongly disgraced Earl of Wyncham, found himself again face-to-face with the wicked Duke of Andover. This time the Black Moth was attempting to abduct dark-haired beauty Diana Beauleigh. Once more Jack's noble impulse to save the day landed him in trouble, but not before sending the villainous duke scurrying. Diana took her gallant rescuer in and nursed his wounds, and soon truer emotions grew between them. But Jack couldn't stay, for a lady and an outlaw would make a scandalous pair. Torn between his tarnished past and the hope for Diana's hand, Jack had one dangerous chance to reclaim his honor -- by defeating the Black Moth for good!...Continua
The first novel of Georgette Heyer was apparently written to amuse her brother. She wrote it at fifteen years of age and it was published when she was nineteen.
It does not read like a novel written by such a young author, though. Heyer was clearly some kind of prodigy. It is well written with an engaging cast. There is a bit of intrigue and villainy to temper the inevitable romance. In short, classic Heyer. She really is such a pleasure to read, and historical romance is definitely not my usual interest. I was so impressed by her Regency novel, The Quiet Gentleman, which had strong elements of murder/mystery in it, that I had to read some more of her. The Black Moth has more of a romance focus, but nothing even as cloying as your average TV drama nowadays.
Heyer in general is, in fact, Downton Abbey set a hundred or two years earlier. Seriously, Downton Abbey unfolds like The Quiet Gentleman, and includes elements like the widowed dowager, and the new heir returning from far off lands to take over the management of the estate amid fraught romances and undercurrent class rivalries, and the odd murder or blackmail thrown in here and there. If you like Downton then you should like Heyer in general, who seems to be the original and best creator of such sagas....Continua