29 Aug '11
Review – Tangled Past by Leah Braemel (3.5 Stars)
Tangled Past by Leah Braemel
Series: Tangled #2
Published by Carina Press on 2011-06-13
Genres: Historical, Western
Amazon US • Amazon UK •
Forced to marry a man she just met, Sarah McLeod clings to the hope that she’ ll finally find the love and acceptance she’ s always craved. Her tenuous dreams of a happy life on the frontier are in danger of being dashed by the one thing she can’ t change—her husband’ s love for another man.
Jackson Kellar’ s determined to do right by his bride, yet he’ s torn between his newfound love for Sarah and his still-burning desire for Nate.
Ranch owner Nate Campbell loves them both. He hates to see Jackson’ s loyalties so divided, and doesn’ t want Sarah hurt either. How can they fix the tangled mess they find themselves in? Nate suggests a possible solution—a permanent threesome.
With the open frontier closing in around them, is Nate’ s solution their path to happiness—or will others destroy what they’ ve found together?
FTC : I got this book for review. Also, this review seems spoilery but I don’t go much beyond the blurb ….
I always like ménage books where all the members are attracted to each other but I spent a lot of this book feeling sorry for all involved in this tale. It felt like they were forced into this path; that life would have been very different if it wasn’t for a surprise visit to the barn by some major players in the book, interrupting a lovely relationship between the two men. I had no idea where it was going, or if I’d ever accept what was the likely outcome, but I certainly didn’t want to put it down.
Sarah has a shit life. She is made to feel unwanted by her Step-Father after her Mother died, is under constant threat of sexual attack by the sleazy Walt and then is forced to marry a man she doesn’t know. He could have been a serial killer for all she knew, but she still had to go with him. After the way her Step-Father treated her, she can’t bear to be an unwanted presence in someone else’s house but she is left without a choice. Her situation was untenable…I wanted to cry for her. She quickly bucks up and tries to become a good wife to Jackson, but part of her wants him to be happy, which she assumes will only happen if he is with Nate.
Jackson steps up to the plate and does what he thinks is right when confronted by Sarah’s douchey Father. He loves Nate, but they both know that there will soon be dangerous whispers about how close they are. As he is the one naked, her Father assumes that he is the one that slept with her, so he has to be the one that marries her. He wants to be a good husband but, unfortunately, Jackson isn’t the richest person in the world and they have to go live with Nate. The situation isn’t exactly ideal! He loves Nate, fantasies about Nate and it breaks his heart to see him miserable in this situation. Yet, he can’t help but fall in love with Sarah. She’s feisty, protective and accepts him for what he is. How can he help himself?
My heart broke at various intervals of this book for poor Nate. First he has to watch the man he loves marry the woman that he is attracted to (he actually did spot her first), then he has to watch them figure out to become man and wife and to top it all off he has to listen to them have sex every night. There is a particularly erotic scene where he masturbates to the sound of them “knocking boots” whilst fantasizing about being with them both. It is hot, yet a little sad at the same time as it showed his loneliness. I had very conflicting emotions throughout this book!
The suggestion to become a threesome comes at the end of a series events that are, again, very bad for Nate. It felt like the only solution, they clearly weren’t going to be happy any other way. On a side note, I’m not telling you anything that isn’t in the blurb here so this isn’t a spoiler. The twist at the end was random. I could have done without being thrown a curve ball at the end of a novella I enjoyed, but it was a small enough scene to make me gloss over it.
An angst-filled novella that was steamy enough to hook me whilst having enough drama to keep me entertained at the scenes in-between. A good read.