The Courage To Love is the first book in Samantha Kane's Brothers in Arms series. Jason Randall and Tony Richards return from their sojourn on the continent to claim the woman they love. Kate has been living as a mistress to several men. Jason and Randal received a letter from one of Kate's friends suggesting that Kate needed their help and would be ready to settle down with them and start a new life as their wife. When Jason and Tony, go to see Kate, they know immediately that something is not right. She is not her usually happy self. She seems jumpy and frightened by them. They need to find out what happened to Kate while they were away.
I had quite a few problems with this book. The biggest problem I had with the book was the believability factor. I just couldn't grasp how open these men were with their unusual relationship with each other and Kate. In no way could I suspend disbelief to believe that two men, in this time period would be that open about their homosexual feelings. Back in this time period sodomy was a hanging offence. I don't think these men would have been as flagrant about it as they were in the book. Nor, do I think Lord Randall's mother would be as accepting as she was.
I also felt like the dialogue was very weak. The men would say things that no man would ever be caught dead saying, or think thoughts no man would be likely to think. One other minor detail that left me grinding my teeth, was that Jason is a titled Lord, but it is never specified to exactly what title he holds. Little details like this would have gone along way into beefing up the story.
It is never really explained as to why these men love Kate. The beginning of the story starts with them already having an established past together. While this helps the believability of the characters being able to jump into the sex right away, it also weakens the plot. I think the story could have been strengthened with flash backs, or something to give the reader insight into how they fell in love. As far as I am concerned that the author could have inserted any woman into Kate's role and it would have read the same.
This m/m/f menage set in regency England was enjoyable. The characters are instantly likable and the scars carried by Kate actually make her stronger and Tony and Jason become protective but not cavemanish about her security. Even the budding sexuality and sassy attitude of her young teenage niece was a perfect accent to this tender sweet story.
Tony and Jason know they love Kate. Kate knows Tony and Jason like to have menage a trois. The real emotional turn comes when Jason (the dom) almost falls to his knees at Tony's display of total submission while playing a game of Everyone Wins. I look forward to the next book in the series.
The three-way sex scenes were pretty good, but the plot - what plot? There were enough holes in this story to make it a sieve.