Thursday, May 6, 2010

Impressions: Brothers in Arms Series by Samantha Kane

A couple of years ago, I read The Courage to Love by Samantha Kane, the first book in her Brothers in Arms erotica series. This past month, I decided to read a few of the other books in this series and as result re-read The Courage to Love to refresh my memory.

There were a few different aspects to this book I really liked: the setting is historical England, male protagonists Jason and Tony are ex-soldiers who fought in the English/French war, female protagonist Kate is a lady turned mistress who after falling on hard times is shunned by the ton.

Does this sound like another historical romance? It might be, except Kane gives it an interesting erotic twist. Jason and Tony began sharing a woman as soldiers during the war. They found that it allowed them to maintain a much needed human connection and alleviated battle trauma - a type of disconnect and inner isolation. That bond continued after the war ended, until they found themselves loving and wanting to share it permanently with a woman through marriage.

That is the basis for the entire Brothers in Arms series. During the war, hoping to help a few of their fellow soldiers cope with their own trauma, Jason and Tony shared with them their new-found solution, their bond. Slowly, those soldiers paired up during the war, making up a tight circle of friends who after the war continued to share this lifestyle. Eventually, they all yearned for the same thing: a woman who would share their lives permanently, a family.

Although there's an eventual "happily ever after" to all the stories and emotions are involved and addressed, the erotic in this series is the core. In The Courage to Love, the sexual scenes between Jason, Kate and Tony are scorching hot and amazing. But Kane also incorporates subtle homoerotic hints that build slowly and get hotter as the story progresses. By the time the whole story unfolds, there's loving all the way around and heat sizzles off the pages. Kane doesn't leave anyone wanting.

This homoerotic build-up is also found in some of the other books I've read as part of this series. As in The Courage to Love-Book 1, in Love Under Siege-Book 2 and Retreat from Love-Book 5, the male protagonists share strong bonds, but don't realize their true needs until the woman they love becomes part of that bond. In Love's Strategy-Book 3, the sexual relationship between the men is established before they approach their lady, giving this installment a different perspective. The females encourage these relationships, are lusty and loving of their men.

The above-mentioned similarities make this series feel repetitive after a while. Also, the fact that all these men need to or must have this type of relationship to go on with their lives after the war, makes the improbability factor creep in. It does make for highly erotic, scorching situations and Kane certainly knows how to write those beautifully. The couples are all likable, lovable and sexy, but the stories do tend to get mixed up after a while.

Two books that stand out for me in this series:
  • The Courage to Love was fresh and new, however after re-reading it, I realize that it still holds up as a stand out with the best homoerotic build-up in the series, and excellent threesomes all around. 
  • Retreat from Love has some of the most erotic M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F, M/M scenes of the whole series in addition to emotional angst galore and an interesting storyline to back it up -- I'll never look at leather gloves the same way again! 
Love Under Siege was more of an average read for me and I thought Love's Strategy was the shortest and least developed of the four books, making it the weakest installment.

If you like M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F, M/M with your erotica, these books are sizzling! Definitely high on the erotic scale. However, I do recommend that they be read far apart from each other for better enjoyment.

Genre: Erotica/Historical setting

Complete Brothers in Arms Series:
The Courage to Love - Book 1: Grade B
Lover Under Siege - Book 2: Grade C
Love's Strategy - Book 3: Grade C-
At Lover's Command - Book 4
Retreat from Love - Book 5: Grade B
Love in Exile - Book 6

Visit Samantha Kane here.

11 comments:

  1. I've really enjoyed this whole series. I think that though they follow similar themes with the menages there's enough m/m in them to really make it different. I live the historical settings as well and that's something I don't normally care for in my m/m books. Glad you liked it!

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  2. I love Sam Kane's writing, and have been meaning to get back to this series! I think she is so great at conveying the love between the triads.

    Thanks for the overview, Hilcia!

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  3. I read the first one in this series - I didn't realize there were more!

    Thanks for the overview.

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  4. Hey Hils!!! I'm with you on the repetition. I think I did myself a disservice by reading them all back to back. I did get fatigued after a while, although I did enjoy her writing and the characters. Some characters I enjoyed more than others, but overall a nice series.

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  5. Tracy, the m/m scenes in these books are wonderful. I enjoy them as much as the threesomes, which I think are just as good. Definitely enjoyed it. :)

    Renee, Kane definitely conveys that love. She doesn't neglect anyone and that's so important when writing a good threesome. Enjoy the rest of the series.

    Victoria, you have 5 more books to look forward to! I hope you enjoy the rest of this series, it's hot!;P

    Mariana, I did the same thing -- read them all back to back to back -- and agree with you. These is a good erotica series, better enjoyed when spaced out. I'm definitely reading the 6th book, but will wait a while before I pick it up. :D

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  6. One of the reasons I was interested in this series was because of the historical setting. M/F/M isn't exactly accepted now so I was curious as to how it would play out a couple hundred years ago.

    Thanks for giving the mini reviews and the general overview of the series. Once I start reading, I'll know to pace myself and not read the books too close together. :)

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  7. Leslie, I hope you enjoy this series. I'd love to read your thoughts on the historical setting, that's not really something I addressed on my overview. :D

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  8. Wow, looks like you indulge yourself, LOL.

    I've heard so much good about Samantha Kane that I bought Love in Exile while I was at RT. Looking forward to read it! However, do you think it's okay if I haven't read the previous books?

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  9. It was definitely an indulgence. *g* Oh, I hope you like Samatha Kane!

    These books can be read on their own, Nath. I think what happens with them is that you get curious about the other characters, though. So if you like Love in Exile, later you'll probably want to read the other ones. :)

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  10. I wish I could read all these books in book form instead e reader I just love the ones I have tead

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  11. Anonymous I believe these books are available in print. I've seen them in amazon, although I'm not sure if they are all in stock at the moment. You might want to check it out. :) They ARE wonderful reads, right?

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