Author Carolyn Crane Asks: Why are man tribes so sexy and compelling? *Giveaway*

Why are man tribes so sexy and compelling?

My first awareness that I loved man tribes was watching Bachelorette. In the season I watched, the guys were all fighting over the bachelorette, as usual. And then one night when she wasn’t around, they got drunk and all jumped in the pool and swam and, not to sound like an old lady, but they roughhoused. Very roughly and sexily. Playing chicken and stuff. Being all drunk and guy-like. I felt like I was looking at the secret life of a man tribe.

And it was awesome.

I have been a fan of man tribes since then. In books, in shows, wherever. What is it about man tribes? For your convenience, I have isolated some of my favorite aspects.

Otherness aspect.

My cats have this video called Kitty Safari, with footage of mice and birds twittering around, and they love to watch it, and sometimes they paw the TV set. That’s kind of how I felt with this Bachelorette man tribe. And man tribes in books, too.

Like I am looking in on this world that is strangely attractive that I can’t quite get at. There is an otherness thing there that makes it special and almost exotic.

Chicken soup aspect.

I discovered the Black Dagger brotherhood some years after Bachelorette. That man tribe is a total thing of beauty with their music and their little sayings and their Grey Goose and they way they call each other my brother. It’s predictable—you know they’re going to do it every time, but it’s soooo gratifying.

I also love Carolyn Jewel’s My Immortals tribe with its political structures and oaths of fealty. There are women in it too, but I think of it as a man tribe. They have this fingers-to-the-head greeting they always do when they encounter each other. I so love when they do that.

I’m always stupidly excited when I come to a scene where my spies run into each other, and they have this code they use—one guy says, nice morning for a coffee or something like that. And the other has to answer, Clears the mind. When both parts are said, it means, everything is cool. We can talk. It started as a spy thing, but it has taken on man tribe aspect in my mind, like a spy secret handshake.

Patheticness aspect.

Lately, I’ve enjoyed Shannon McKenna’s McCloud series. One of the things I enjoy in this series is when one of the heroes or their hunky friends is in an emotional dilemma and the guys sort of give each other heartfelt, but sort of simplistic advice. Stuff like, you gotta go after her, man. That’s not actually a McKenna line, but you get my point. It’s weirdly sexy.

Why do I think it’s sexy when semi-clueless guys are trying to help each other with their woman problems? I don’t know, I just DO!

Why do I love making my own guy characters gruffly help each other, with emo advice? Or help when they really, really shouldn’t. Why is that so pleasurable? I don’t know. But I can’t stop myself.

Brotherly love.

So there’s this scene in Off the Edge where Macmillan and his hitman friend are talking and the hitman is like, we have to stop this arms dealer, that is my priority. And Macmillan says, that is my priority, too.

And then there is this awkward silence where Macmillan realizes he has changed; his priority has shifted to the heroine. The hitman, of course, knows that, being Macmillan’s buddy. And the hitman is all grumbly like, you know I’ll help you.

Those bonds within man tribes are so delicious to me. Oh, man tribes.

Awesome badass firepower strength.

There is nothing like a man tribe in the full bloom of war. This is something Katie Reus does really well in her Red Stone series. It is just so gratifying when one of the guys is in trouble, and his man tribe comes and totally kick some ass.

Liliana Hart does this beautifully in her Mackenzie series, where the guys regroup in different ways and come to aid each other. It’s awesome to see her man tribes fight the bad guys with their full firepower. Or when they circle the wagons at their family homestead, and anybody trying to mess with them is so screwed.

I also like Anne Stuart’s Committee spies for this reason. These guys are all intensely lethal and dangerous on their own, but when they pull together in pairs, it’s a thing of beauty. Here’s to a New Year full of man tribes! Yeah!

Off the Edge Carolyn Crane The Associates series book 2


For deadly secret agent Peter Macmillan, language is a weapon—one he uses to hunt criminals, destroy plots, and charm enemies. Seducing information out of a beautiful singer in a Bangkok hotel should be easy…except this particular singer has the power to destroy his cool façade, and with it, his last defense against a dark past.


He tricked her. He helped himself to her body and her secrets. He has enemies everywhere. Laney Lancaster should hate Peter, but when she discovers him shirtless, sweaty, and chained up in the hotel’s dungeon, all she can think about is freeing him. Because she knows what it’s like to be trapped and alone. And she could use a dangerous friend.

They might be wrong for each other, but the instant they join forces, Laney and Peter are plunged into an odyssey of hot sex and dark danger. To survive, they must trust each other with their lives—and their hearts.


About Carolyn CraneCarolyn Crane

Carolyn Crane writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and other tales of adventure and romance; she also writes erotic romance about bank robbers as Annika Martin. She lives in theAmerican Midwest with her husband and two cats. During rare moments when she’s not at her computer, she can be found reading in bed, running, or helping animals.

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What is your favorite man tribe? I’m giving out one paperback copy of Off the Edge (US & Canada only) and one Off the Edge ebook (international) to random commenters!

You have until end of day Jan. 10 to enter, winner will be announced soon after.

Giveaway sponsor Carolyn Crane

No purchase necessary to win, void where prohibited. The number of eligible entries determines the odds of winning. FVBR is not being compensated for this giveaway. If the winner declines to accept or fails to claim their prize within 72 hours of the announcement, they forfeit their prize(s). Prize distribution is the sole responsibility of the giveaway sponsor. Fiction Vixen Book Reviews will not be held responsible for lost or misdirected prizes or for circumstances beyond our control. More information here.


  1. Rebe says

    I like Raphael’s Seven in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series! We’re starting to see more of their interaction in the books than we used to. Love it!

  2. says

    I think the semi-feudal tribe of brothers aspect is one of the reasons Sons of Anarchy is so popular. I don’t know if SAMCRO is exactly my favorite man tribe, though…
    I love how you break it down for us here – I’d add Joanna Bourne’s spies to the list, and even a dude group/clan like the Cynsters from Stephanie Laurens (the early books) really worked for me because of the clannishness and depictions of brotherly bonding.

    • says

      How could I forget the SOA man tribe??? Thank you for bringing that in. And the feudal idea of them. They are like this. It’s wonderful. And yes, Joanna Bourne’s spies. Love them.

  3. Margaret says

    I recently found Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc series. Tattooed, motorcycle riding, gun toting, badass man tribe.

  4. says

    One of the first Man Tribes that I got into was Cindy Gerard’s Black Ops, Inc (B.O.I. ) series. It was my first and I still think one of the best. I can read that series over and over again. My newest is the Signal Bend series by Susan Fanetti. This is an a-typical MC series….gut-wrenching and heart-stopping.

    • says

      Sunny, do you mean an atypical main character? I’m intrigued! Looking it up now. I love an atypical main character! If that’s what you meant! lol.

      • says

        Actually, I meant an atypical Motorcycle Club story. In that vein, yes, Isaac is an atypical President of a MC. The first book is very good with the relationship between the two main characters at it’s center (and less to do with the MC ), but the second book storyline blew my mind away. 3 weeks later, I’m still reeling from it.

  5. Kassandra says

    Just started reading Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series and Raphael’s Seven are very intriguing. (I saw someone already mentioned them though >.<) Hrmmmm, BDB does come to mind first when I think of a close group of males. Oh! The Cut&Run series by Abigail Roux………..The Sidewinder group of men are a fantastic example of a man tribe!!


  6. martha lawson says

    The Black Knights by Julie Walker is one of my favorites! I also adore the KGI series from Maya Banks. The McCloud Brothers is another favorite. I’m putting this one on the wish list, it looks fabulous!

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  7. Jessie F says

    There are a few but the only man tribe I wait up until 12:01 on release day is The Black Dagger Brotherhood. They are “MINE.” You feel me?

  8. erinf1 says

    what an awesome post! You put it exactly right! I know it’s already been mentioned but Raphael’s Seven in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series is one of my fav supernatural “man tribes” and Suzanne Brockmann’s Seal team 16 and Troubleshooters Inc. is my fav contemporary :) Thanks for sharing and congrats on the new release!

  9. Diane Sallans says

    I love it that Laney gets to rescue Peter.
    Suzanne Brockmann created a really great man-tribe with her SEAL series.

  10. LSUReader says

    My favorite “man tribe” is Spenser and his group of trustworthy gun-slinger/protectors from Robert B. Parker’s Spenser mystery series…Hawk, Vinnie, Teddy, Bobby Horse, Chollo, and more. I loved those books. RIP Mr. Parker.

    Off the subject, Carolyn–just how many videos do your cats own? (Congrats on the new book!)

    • says

      Hey LSU! They have just the one. It’s called Kitty Safari. Though the bird feeder is in full swing now, which is very much like the video. Thanks for the man tribe tip.

  11. SoCalGal5 says

    I have to say the BDB by J.R. Ward (just starting Lover At Last) and the Troubleshooter series by Suzanne Brockmann.

  12. Texas Book Lover says

    I’m rather fond of the JR Wards BDB and Raphael’s Seven from Nalini’s Archangels series!