Review: The Black Sheep


Title: The Black Sheep
Author: Patricia Ryan
Publisher: Green Darner Press
Release Date: April 2012
Length: 188 pages
Series?: North Moon Bay #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance

While house-sitting at a waterfront estate, sweet, straight-laced Harley is stunned by the arrival of her employer’s supposedly dead son, an Alaskan bush pilot with a bad boy rep who’s been wounded in an airplane crash. Coming home after years of estrangement–and a stint in prison–to make amends with the old man is difficult for Tucker, but not half as difficult as keeping his distance from the super-sexy but virginal Harley while they share the house, awaiting his father’s return.

Having given up on the idea that he’ll ever fully heal from his ravaged leg, Tucker balks when Harley urges him to swim as physical therapy–until she adds a unique incentive: “Catch me and you can have me.” Her certainty that he’ll never be able to swim that fast evaporates when he embarks on a rigorous training regimen, determined to claim her as his prize. But when she unearths the dark secret in his past, will she still be willing to pay up when the time comes?

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

The Skinny

Tucker Hale, the prodigal son, has returned home after 21 years after running off as a teen. After a plane crash and months of therapy, he still walks with a limp. Now he wants to reconcile with his father. He is surprised when he arrives at his father’s home that it is dark and he is gone, but the house isn’t empty. Harley Sayers, a 23-year-old college student, takes a bat to Tucker. She is housesitting for Mr. Hale for the summer while he is away on vacation.  Harley is flabbergasted when Tucker reveals his identity. She inferred from his father that he was long dead.

Harley convinces Tucker to remain for the summer until his father will arrive back home. She also wants to help him improve the strength in his legs. It is evident Tucker wants Harley, so she uses that to her advantage to help him with his legs. If he can catch her in the pool, requiring him to swim and strengthen his leg muscles, she will submit to him. It’s her way of admitting she does want him but requires him to put in a lot of effort and confront pain first.

The Quote

“That’s not fair.”

“I never said it was.” He was calmer now, weary. “It’s the truth. The truth doesn’t have to be fair.”

The Highs and Lows

  • Short. The entire novel is less than 200 pages, so it read more like a novella and was a quick read.
  • Age Difference. There is a bit of an age gap between the two characters, nearly 15 years. The age difference bothered me a bit, especially since Harley was only a couple years older than all the time Tucker’s been away. The perception of an imbalance of power was something I picked up on, and the fact that neither really mention their age or talk about the difference at all for the entire summer seemed ingenuine to me.
  • The Agreement. Harley wants Tucker to stay the rest of the summer until his father returns so that he could do what he came there to do. In order to battle the attraction they feel for one another, Tucker agrees to Harley’s bargain. He must swim and catch her before she reaches the other side of the pool. It requires him to continue his therapy and strengthen his legs. Tucker is striving for the day when he can slice through the water and be fast enough to catch Harley. As the summer wears on, the two share more and more time together and learn more about the other. Slowly a relationship starts developing.
  • Misunderstanding. On the day that Tucker does happen to catch Harley, she unwittingly discovered some series background on Tucker that completely changes her mind about him. What she thought she knew about him is shaken. Just what was he hauling in the Alaskan bush? Is that how he made such a lucrative business? Armed with this knowledge, she reneges on their bargain. It creates a mine of distrust and unease between the two of them, and Tucker resorts back to the smoking he had quit shortly after meeting Harley.
  • Explicit. The entire plot is leading up to intimacy and when it finally does occur toward the end of the book, there are two explicit scenes I wasn’t expecting. I also found that level of sexuality unauthentic for a virgin in her first ever sexual encounter.



Overall I enjoyed this book. The pacing makes this a quick and easy read. The plot is pretty predictable with minor twists and surprises, and in the end things work out for Harley and Tucker as well as other characters.



Patricia Burford Ryan (born August 9, 1954 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States) is an American writer of romance novels as Patricia Ryan, mystery novels as P.B. Ryan and erotica novels as Louisa Burton. She is the twin sister of the romance writer Pamela Burford.

She won a Golden Heart award in 1994 in the category “short contemporary series” and a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her book Silken Threads also won a RITA, the top award of the Romance Writers of America, for “Best Long Historical Romance” of 2000.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

5 thoughts on “Review: The Black Sheep

  1. Now that’s how to do a review. It’s probably not a book for me but I sure enjoyed your thoughts on it:)

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