When I read that Samantha Kane was coming out with a new release in December, I literally “squeed!”. Normally, I like to think I’m far too dignified for squeeing, but that is pretty much what I did. And when I found out that the book featured Freddy and Brett, the playful and seemingly carefree Duke of Ashland and his constant companion, respectively, I was even more delighted to see what she’d do. And while Retreat from Love isn’t my favorite in the series, I still strongly recommend it.
As I mentioned in the above paragraph, Freddy is the Duke of Ashland. He was sort of thrust into the role when his two older brothers died. He is relatively young for a hero, and a lot of the growing up he’s had to do to get him to the point where we meet him has happened offscreen. His friend Brett Haversham has provided a steadying influence on him. Trouble is, Freddy is in love with Brett, but Brett feels that doing anything with Freddy would be a betrayal of Freddy’s older brother, whom Brett served with in the war that is a backdrop to all these stories. Complicating all of this, Brett is also in love with Anne Goode, Freddy’s brother’s former fiancee. And, of course, when Freddy meets Anne, he falls in love with her, too. But can they get past Brett’s feelings of betrayal and Anne’s stubborn pride to have a happily ever after?
I really liked Anne, who I think may be my favorite heroine Ms. Kane has written to date. She’s spunky, she knows her own mind, and she’s not about to take crap from anybody. Her reputation is already tarnished beyond repair, so she’s just going to enjoy her life. She’s decided that she wants both Brett and Freddy, and she goes for them. I really liked that about her, and I thought her refusal to marry Freddy and become the duchess was based on some legitimate fears and wasn’t just an excuse to draw out the conflict.
Brett was, quite honestly, the harder for me to like of the two heroes. While I could understand and sympathize with his feelings that he should stay away from Anne and Freddy because of Freddy’s brother, Bertie, his fits of emo got a little old. He was as much a martyr as those heroines in more traditional historicals that I hate. That being said, when he realized that he had been being kind of a shit to Freddy in some ways, I was cheering for him, because it can’t have been so easy to come to that decision.
Freddy totally made this book for me, which is maybe one of the reasons I’m so hard on Brett. I liked that he was significantly younger than both Anne and Brett, because that’s not something I see a lot of in my romances, where it seems that men are rakes until they’re at least 35. I loved that, though Freddy had been rather spoiled and cossetted as a child, he turned into such a loving, generous man. He really wants to do what’s right by the two most important people in his world, and I felt that he really needed Brett and Anne’s love in ways that the other two didn’t, because they loved him for who he was, and not his title.
The chemistry between the three is definitely high, and the sex scenes are scorching. What’s more, and as is usual for Ms. Kane I totally felt that none of the trio would be complete without the other two.
This would be an excellent book for anyone who has ever wondered about this series to start out reading. There are allusions to previous characters, but there are no reunions with past happy couples, which is OK with me. Ms. Kane obviously has a lot of other things up her sleeve with this series, and I continue to live in hope that one day Stephen Matthews, the vicar, will get his own story. We also got introduced to Gideon North, and, oh,but I love me some Beauty and the Beast stories, so I really hope she writes his book soon as well.
Oh, and one last thing that I loved. Each chapter of the book opens with a letter, usually written to Anne, but not always, from the people fighting in the war. I absolutely adored this particular touch, because the letters were so full of poignancy and helped to illustrate the characters and make them come alive more for me.
The only reason this book doesn’t quite hit A status for me is that I felt that the middle dragged on a bit. Brett and Anne were busy martyring themselves, and I just wanted them to get over themselves and make Freddy happy. That being said, I can’t complain too much, because Ms. Kane’s longer works are by far her best works, and this was definitely long enough to sink into.
Despite a bit of dragginess toward the middle, this book is definitely a great addition to the Brothers in Arms series. If you like your regencies hot, and you like your menage stories M/M/F, this is definitely worth the cash.
Read other reviews of books in this series by clicking on the Brothers In Arms series tag.
A man with everything except his heart’s desire.
Frederick Thorne, Duke of Ashland, has been in love with Brett Haversham for years. If the only way to have him is to give him what he wants Freddy will share him, in bed and out, with the woman Brett loves. The woman who was Freddy’s first love.
A man sacrificing everything for the past.
Brett Haversham is in love with two people he’s sworn never to touch. But his desires prove to be stronger than his resolve when they both set out to seduce him — together. The incredible sex they share overwhelms him.
A woman with nothing left to lose.
Anne Goode lost her fiancé Bertie in the war. Now his younger brother Freddy is back, all grown up into the handsome and powerful duke. And he’s brought Bertie’s best friend Brett with him. Lonely and already ruined, Anne can’t resist taking both of them as her lovers. Is the uncontrollable desire between the three enough to heal the wounds of the past and overcome the problems of the present? They must accept love rather than retreat from it.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in the series: