Defeated by Love by Samantha Kane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s been years since I’ve read a Samantha Kane book but I vaguely remember enjoying her Brothers in Arms series. However, to be fair, I only read the first four books and remember absolutely nothing from them, except they were m/f/m threesome books. Oh and reading her books made me long for m/m only instead of the predictable female that was always interesting but pretty much the same. So I chose this Kane book because it’s advertised as m/m and I knew the writing would be good. The book is indeed well written as expected and has some interesting twists to keep the action moving. However, the focus is on the erotica between the main couple – Daniel and Harry – and a secondary couple – Christy and Simon. Because of that I didn’t really care about either couple very much but enjoyed the author’s writing and sense of humor anyway.
The main thrust of the story is that Christy, Harry’s wife, shows up on Daniel’s doorstep pregnant and needing help. Harry abandoned his wife ten years ago and fled to America in search of adventure. In the meantime Christy has tried to live quietly but eventually she got too horny and screwed a coachman, ending up pregnant. Since Harry left Daniel to marry Christy, Daniel has nursed a pretty substantial grudge and wants nothing to do with any of it. Daniel’s best friend Simon is happy enough to screw Christy but due to his own fears of his past, he won’t actually marry her or claim her.
It’s pretty convoluted but not confusing. I could follow the plot easily enough, even with all the seemingly unnecessary added twists and details. Admittedly I haven’t read the previous book with Daniel and Harry and remembered nothing of the previous couples that crop up in overbearing and obnoxious ways so no doubt my enjoyment is tempered by those facts. Long time readers of the series may enjoy these inclusions considerably more. I found the story easy enough to read as a stand alone but perhaps not as enjoyable or entertaining as I would have if I followed the series.
Which may play into the fact that I never connected with the two main couples of the story. I liked all four characters and felt they had enough depth and interest to carry my attention but I never really cared what happened to any of them. I could understand and even empathize with Daniel’s hurt feelings but he goes from hatred to love in the blink of an eye, forgiving Harry easily because his friend told him to. I’m not against the forgiveness, it had to happen for a happy ending, but it was emotionally unfulfilling since someone tells him to do it and he does. It has no real weight and meaning since any emotional turmoil he must go through happens off page. In fact the scenes between Harry and Daniel mostly center upon their chemistry and the sex they have as soon as Harry returns. The erotica is well written and steamy but lacks an emotional impact that made me care whether these two were in love beyond the physicality.
Likewise the inclusion of Simon and Christy’s storyline felt much the same. They have an intense chemistry, and even a graphic sex scene, but no real emotional connection. There’s only one scene where I realized they could even have emotions towards each other – the one where Christy admits she can only be herself with Simon – otherwise I thought it was merely a sexual fling between two overly horny adults. It’s an interesting enough side plot but not one I cared much about nor was it needed to further the main part of the story.
Overall I enjoyed reading Defeated in Love but not enough that I would want to read either previous books in the series or any more to come. Kane is a very good writer and the subtle sense of humor that she deploys in books is perhaps one of the best, if not the best, attributes to her stories. Her characters are always well developed in complex ways with easy to follow, if complicated, plot lines. I’m sure fans of the series will enjoy the interconnected nature of the books more than those random readers like me. In the end I’d recommend this more to fans of the author and series as it remains a well written and enjoyable but unsatisfying romance read for me.