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Flashback: The Black Moth

June 11, 2007

The Black Moth 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!

Author: Georgette Heyer
ISBN: 0-373-83558-2 (Harlequin)
Finished: 2005
Who: Diana Beauleigh and Jack Carstares, Earl of Wyncham
When: 1751

The Black Moth has some great characters: Jack’s best friend Sir St. Miles O’Hara and his smart, sassy wife, Molly. Jim Salter, Jack’s much-put-upon valet. Richard and Lady Lavinia Carstares, Jack’s troubled brother and his flighty wife. Miss Elizabeth “Betty” Beauleigh, Diana’s maiden aunt and Jack’s nurse after his first duel with Andover. In fact, the supporting cast over shadows the hero and heroine: we see very little of Diana, and Jack takes a back seat to Richard and the Belmanoirs. The earl and his future countess do not actually meet until Chapter 13. However, Ms. Heyer takes time to establish the relationship of Jack and Richard. The brothers love each other dearly. Richard is not a bad person, just someone who made a bad choice. Jack refuses to return to his rightful place out of a sense of duty and honor. The Belmanoirs, on the other hand, are different. Tracy is a schemer. He threw his sister in the path of the Carstare brothers and knew all along that Richard was the cheater. Lady Lavinia is a spendthrift and has the family gambling habit. When the reader first meets her, there is an urge to strangle the woman. However, she evolves some during the story. This should have been a book about Richard and Lavinia, as it’s their relationship that takes up most of the story. As for the villain, the Duke is a bizarre, unbelievable character. Though he confesses to being a changed man, the reader is not given the same insight into his character as we did with his sister.

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