29 Aug '11

Review – Tangled Past by Leah Braemel

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Nate and Jackson find themselves staying the night in Mr McLeod’s barn when they visit his home to buy a horse. Little do they know that McLeod is a horse rustler and plans to attack the two men and steal back the horse after they leave. McLeod’s stepdaughter, Sarah, overhears the dastardly plan and heads off to warn the two men, unwittingly interrupting them during an intimate time. McLeod, who has always hated Sarah as she is blatantly not his child, finds Sarah in the barn with the half naked men and assumes the worse. He forces her to marry Jackson (who is actually naked!), ultimately ending the men’s relationship and sending Sarah away with a man he knows nothing about. Fortunately for Sarah, Jackson promises to be a good husband. As he has no home of his own, the happy couple are forced to move into Nate’s house. As content as everyone seems on the surface, the situation is not easy on any on any of them. Jackson has to try to turn off his feelings for Nate, Nate has to deal with the sounds of the happy couple having sex through the adjoining wall and Sarah has to deal with the fact there is a real possibility she has taken her husband away from the person he truly loves. Will any of them truly be happy or will they have to shut off parts of themselves to be content with the situation. When Nate suggests a permanent threesome, it seems to be the only solution to their problems. But this is 1800’s, will this be a situation that will be appealing to Sarah? Moreover, how will everyone else react?
I always like ménage books where all the members are attracted to each other. In this book it begins with the men’s relationship; the only reason Sarah is introduced into it is for proprieties sake. The men know that their relationship will not be accepted by the general populous so Sarah’s impromptu visit to their sleeping quarters was fortuitous for the both of them. Poor Sarah didn’t have really much of an option and I did feel sorry for her. She was made to feel unwanted by her Step-Father after her Mother died, 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.
Enter at Dawns blog for a Giveaway of this book!

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4 Responses to “Review – Tangled Past by Leah Braemel”

  1. I prefer menage stories where everyone is involved with everyone too. Was it clear from the start that both men were bisexual?

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