Tangled Past

Jackson Kellar and his boss and friend, Nate Campbell are visiting the McLeod ranch to buy horses. Neither expect to get attacked while looking around! Swinging a shovel and trying to cause damage is a woman with obvious Indian blood. What is going on?

Sarah McLeod is kind of the daughter of the owner of the ranch. Kind of because her mother had an affair with an Indian so her real father is not her mother's husband and he doesn't let her forget it! Sarah is furious that these men have come to buy her horse! Surely, Mr McLeod did sell him. However, he did and Sarah is livid.

That doesn't stop her from wanting to alert Jackson and Nate about his plans on stealing the horses while they are on their way home. As she sneaks out of the house, Sarah has no idea that in minutes her life will be changed forever. Jackson and Nate are more than friends, they've become lovers. Finding them in a some what compromising position and being caught in her night clothes with a half dressed man puts her in a position she never wanted to be in, get married to Jackson or expose the two men.

Sarah ends up married and Jackson swears to do right by her. The men try to deny their feelings but is that fair? Nate had volunteered to marry Sarah as he is attracted to her. Can he find those feelings? There is a lot of sexual tension on Nate's ranch and in his house. Can these three figure something out that will satisfy them all?

This book is set in Texas in the year 1887. The descriptions of the land have you almost visualizing the area. There isn't much out there. The attitudes of the era also come across. Barbed wire was being introduced and open ranges were being enclosed. Not everyone like this. Sexual behaviors were restrictive and not discussed. Indians and those with Indian blood were seen as not as good as those who are white. All these things become the backdrop of this story.

The characters were very well done. Sarah has been treated as a servant most of her life by the man who is suppose to be her father. She's had little love or acceptance yet she knows right from wrong and isn't afraid to act upon her convictions. Jackson doesn't have much but feels Sarah deserves more than he has. He's willing to work hard to give her what he can and goes into his marriage knowing what he is doing, and what he is giving up. Nate wants it all but knows that is probably impossible. He wants Jackson and Sarah to live with him, even if he'll never be more than a friend.

This book comes from a comment in Ms Braemel's previous book, Texas Tangle. There one of the main characters was told that his great grandparents had an unusual relationship similar to the one he was beginning. From that comment, this story was developed. While the relationship is similar to the one in Texas Tangle, it is definitely not the same. Everything from the way to came about to how the participants interact is different. What is similar is that the main characters are two men and one woman.

I thought this story was fantastic. Elements of the old west were mixed in with what we think of as a new romantic element perhaps showing what is old can become new. Regardless, the characters and the story line drew me in and kept my interest. I wanted to see how these characters were going to figure out their relationships. How were they going to deal with a rigid society? What is going to happen to Mr McLeod, if anything? Lots going on including my interest! Once again Ms Braemel has made her story come to life and taken me along on the journey.

Book Blurb for Tangled Past

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?

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2011 5.00