Set in the old west, Tangled Past is a sensual love story with forbidden themes. Jackson Kellar is a ranch hand and best friend of Texas landowner Nate Campbell. What people don’t know is that the men are lovers as well…at least until Jackson is forced into marrying Sarah MacLeod. Sarah is aware of her husband’s secret love for Nate, and rather than being disgusted by it, she is sad for having come between the two men. As a half-breed, Sarah is also viewed as an outcast in their narrow-minded society. As both men grow to love and admire Sarah, Nate presents a solution for all of them to have their happily-ever-after.
I almost never read westerns, so I wasn’t sure I would like this one, but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. What intrigued me was the unconventional love story in this uber-conventional setting. Homosexuality and multiple-partner relationships are ‘forbidden’ barely accepted in modern society, so I wanted to see how the author handled them in a staunchly conservative time period. In general, I thought the love story worked well. I really felt badly for Jackson and Nate. They knew from the start that one day, they would be expected to marry and their time together would end. The fact that Sarah was forced on them so quickly, leaving them no time to prepare, was heart breaking. I also found Sarah’s acceptance of their relationship believable. I think most women would be horrified to learn that their husband was in love with another man, but because of her unique upbringing, she was more tolerant than most. When the story eventually evolved into a threesome, it made sense for the characters and worked.
This is an erotic novel, there were plenty of steamy sex scenes. Overall, I found that they added to the story and didn’t feel gratuitous. Lately, the “virgin woman with an experienced man” thing in romance novels has been getting on my nerves, but in this story it made sense for the characters and time period, so I can’t complain.
Overall, I give Tangled Past…
Plot –3 bookmarks (A bit predictable, but that’s okay.)
Character development– 4 bookmarks
Love story – 4 ½ bookmarks
Sex scenes – 4 bookmarks
Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Tinsel Korey (Sarah), Chaske Spencer (Jackson), Henry Cavil (Nate)