This book is part of the Texas Cattleman's Club series. I wasn't sure if I would like a series that was continued but written by different authors but...moreThis book is part of the Texas Cattleman's Club series. I wasn't sure if I would like a series that was continued but written by different authors but I must admit it works. I haven't read all the series in the books but so far they have all been great.(less)
Theirs To Keep is the first book in the Tangled Hearts trilogy by Maya Banks. After following Maya’s posts on Facebook regarding this trilogy I was really excited to read it and as usual, she did not disappoint! Where a lot of Maya’s most popular series center around a group of friends and/or family, with each character having their own story, this series is going to focus on the core relationship between Elle, Cade and Merrick.
Cade Winslow and Merrick Sullivan are best friends who own their own private security business. Merrick is also a professional mixed martial arts fighter who is on the cusp of his shot at the championship. When the two are pulled out of bed to investigate a break-in at one of their clients, they discover Elle hiding in a cupboard covered in blood, terrified out of her mind, and unable to remember who she is or what happened to her. Both men are instantly drawn to the wounded woman, and after getting her some medical help, they take her home to help her recover. Elle may not remember anything about who she is or who hurt her, but she instinctively knows she is safe with the two men. As she recovers physically, small snippets of her past come back to her, but she is still unable to remember her name or any other important details.
With most books that have this type of a relationship, the men have experience sharing a woman before they meet “the one”. That was not the case in this book. Cade and Merrick both want to protect Elle, but they also both start to develop feelings for her. The two decide that their friendship is too important to them and that the answer to their problem is for both men to be in a relationship with her. One thing I love about Maya is her steaming hot sex scenes, but in this book the sex doesn’t come until much later in the story. If you are looking for a purely erotic book then this one isn’t for you, but the fact that the sex took so long completely made sense with the story that Maya was developing between the three. The focus is on the emotional relationship between them and was really about Elle and her journey to get strong enough that she was ready to remember her past.
The book takes place over the span of about a year and during that time Merrick makes his play for the championship, while Elle helps Cade with the business to free up Merrick’s time. The two men have made some enemies in the course of business and that provides some of the action to keep the story going at a fast pace. Cade and Merrick are completely lovable and their loyalty to Elle and their determination to protect her at all costs comes off as endearing not assholish. Elle is a very fragile and wounded woman when we meet her, but she grows throughout the story. She almost doesn’t want to remember her past because she’s so happy with what she has found with the two men but she eventually realizes that she can never be whole unless those pieces are filled in.
Warning – if you are not a fan of cliffhangers then you may not like this book as much. This isn’t a story where Elle meets the men, falls in love, gains her memory back and they all live happily ever after. I suspect that there are some very unhappy times coming up for this trio in the next book and I’m hoping that in the end they come out stronger than ever because I really loved all three. If you like your stories tied up all nice and neat then you will be disappointed, but it is a beautiful story that sets up the next book perfectly and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one!(less)