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.
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.
- 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!
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.