Romance & Veterans

Did you know there’s a chapter of romance writers who are also veterans? Check out my favorite page on their website: The Before and After page with military photos and current photos as well. To all of you marvelous ladies, and to all those who have served in the armed forces of any country, Happy Veterans Day.

So, here’s a question for you: which is your favorite military romance, and, which is your favorite romance written by a veteran?

For me, military romance is a tough sell. There are some military romances that featured violence that still gives me the shivers, but there are some military romances that have rocked my socks. One of the first reviews I wrote for this site was Suzanne Brockmann’s Unsung Hero, which I liked – and gave a B.

But as for my favorite veteran writer, it’s totally PC Cast. Whether she’s writing about heroines who are HALF A HORSE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD or starring in female centric re-tellings of ancient myths, I love Cast’s books, especially the Goddess series.

Happy veterans day to those who have and continue to serve. You rock like damn and whoa and merde and mon dieu (TM Nathalie Grey).


Random Musings

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    My shout out for fav military romance written by a veteran is anything in the genre by Nathalie Gray. COMPROMISED and AGENT PROVOCATEUR were both edge-of-your-seat rides.

    Ditto for Sandra McDonald. Her THE OUTBACK STARS trilogy rocked my world.

    And I’m already panting for Susan Grant’s space pirate adventure SUREBLOOD.

  2. 2
    Ann Rose says:

    There will always be a soft spot in my heart for Lindsay McKenna’s old SSE trilogy “Women of Valor,” in which she depicts three friends who take different approaches to pursing a career in the military (all three choose fighter jets, but one designs flight tests for them rather than wanting to pilot them). There was a fourth, might also be listed in the WoV series. Her Black Jaguar Squadron series was good, too, but maybe more para-military/black ops than mainstream military.

    I tried reading Brockman’s Gone Too Far, but the excessive use of expletives (which I don’t normally mind, and use far too often myself) just felt artificially macho and really forced.

    Catchpa: because53 swear words per page will drive even sailor-mouthed me away from a romance!

  3. 3

    Thanks so much for mention our veterans. The ROMVETs is a great group of gals and one I’m proud to be part of.
    My favorite veteran story is Laura Kinsale’s Seize the Fire. It’s a fantastic story about love and returning from war and the bravado of someone who never lived through war. Highly recommend.
    Jess Scott

  4. 4
    Ros says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever read anything written by a veteran (or at least not knowingly) but my favourite military romances are, surprise, surprise, Heyer’s.  In particular, I think that An Infamous Army deserves to stand as one of the greatest battle stories ever written (and yes, the rumours that it was on the recommended reading list for officers training in the British Army are quite true), and the romance is quite wonderful, too. 

    I’m also very fond of The Spanish Bride, though I fear I am alone in that.  It’s the true story of an English officer in the Peninsular Wars who marries a young Spanish girl and takes her on the campaign with him.  Incidentally, Harry and Juana Smith later spent several years in South Africa and the town of Ladysmith (of Ladysmith Black Mambazo fame) is named after her.

  5. 5

    My husband retired with almost 22 years of service in the Air Force. I’d have to say he’s my favorite military romance. ;o)

  6. 6
    shoes says:

    I agree about Heyer and Kinsale.  Seize the Fire was dedicated to Vietnam vets, an unusual dedication when it came out.

    Carla Kelly has written many excellent military romances set in the army during the Spanish campaign and in the British navy during the Napoleonic wars.

    Kate Moore wrote a very good book about a Peninsular army vet readjusting to returning to England and reclaiming his life.  My brain will not retrieve the title just now, sorry.

  7. 7
    closetcrafter says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the ROMVETs link, that was such a pleasure to look at and reminded me of how capable, diverse, and awesome women are.

  8. 8
    Kristina says:

    for me all the Sandra Hill Viking/Navy Seal time travel books are pure gold.  I buy them the day they come out.  :-)

    When i was younger I really like Suzanne Brockman?  Navy Baby?  Read that book over and over for some reason when i was in middle school and high school.

  9. 9
    Sweetg says:

    My favourite are On Wore Blue followed by One Wore Grey by Heather Gray. There’s also one that is escaping me right now… it takes place in England and it is a parallel story of a modern day couple that research history to find that their relatives had an unrequited love story or some such thing.

  10. 10
    Diana says:

    Thanks for sharing this link! I work at a library in the city that founded Veterans Day – Emporia, Kansas – and this site will help us build an awesome display next year.

  11. 11
    Nadia says:

    I’ve read so many military romances that I’ve enjoyed by Brockmann, Mann, Lovelace, Dees, just to name a few.  One of my favorites is Cindy Gerard’s “To the Brink” in which the hero is a former Special Forces soldier whose marriage hits the skids because of the mental effects of the violence of his job.  Gets me every time to read the vulnerability of the seemingly indestructible alpha.

  12. 12
    Saucy Sam says:

    Thanks for the RomVets link and the veterans day shout out! I am an Airman in the USAF in military intelligence school right now. I have been a huge fan of the Smart Bitches for ages. When Bosoms came out I brought it with me all over base and I think I converted a few. I can always be counted on to have a paper back stuffed into the cargo pocket of my uniform! I’d have to say that was one of the biggest challenges of Basic Training, not being allowed books. I havn’t read much military romance, but I read a lot of military historical fiction. My favorite is Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series, that has romantic elements & Sharpe is just plain dreamy. Thanks again bitches! You guys rock my socks!

  13. 13
    senetra says:

    My favorite military book (which I just re-read last night!) is Her Perfect Life by Vickie Hinze.  Katie is a newly-rescued POW who spent 6 years being tortured in an Iraqi prison.  She comes home to find her husband remarried and her kids calling his wife Mom.  They were 6 and 3 when she was captured.  Her best friend from the military is C.D., and was wounded on their mission and feels guilty that she was left behind after being declared dead when they found her plane.  It’s really more uplifting and hopeful than it sounds, though, and this is definitely a hard-won HEA.

    My favorite RomVet authors are Merline Lovelace and PC Cast.

  14. 14
    Teresa says:

    Thanks for thinking of our vets today and mentioning RomVets—a great group.

    I played in a band in the Army. Every year on Veteran’s Day I remember playing in the parade. Memorable because it was the smallest crowd of any parade we played. We marched down a big divided boulevard in Virginia Beach with traffic zooming by on the other side of the road. The old veterans in the parade must have wondered whether anyone else cared. It’s great to remember out troops and all those who have worn the uniform and carried our flag over the years.

    My favorite book featuring a veteran—One Night for Love by Mary Balogh. Favorite movie—The Best Years of Our Lives.

  15. 15
    MelB says:

    I love military romance, but I have to say that my favorite veteran story is A Soldier’s Heart by Kathleen Korbel. It’s about a Vietnam vet going in search of the nurse who didn’t give up on him when he was severely wounded. She saved him and when he finds her, he discovers that she never laid her ghosts to rest. I sobbed in many places in this book. I love how it spotlights the work of the Army nurses.

  16. 16
    veronica says:

    i really liked the two book set from blaze this year. the first was “letters from home” and the second was “the soldier.”

  17. 17
    sazzat says:

    Does Bernard Cornwell count?  Because I love the Sharpe series, even though it’s more of a historical drama – lots of strategy and adventure and friendship, and an eventual (long time coming) HEA.  I also love Gallows Thief – a mystery with some romantic elements, but with a main character who is a veteran of good family but no funds.

  18. 18
    library addict says:

    I read a lot of military romance and did know about the RomVets. 

    Merline Lovelace and Susan Grant are among my favorite authors. 

    It’s too hard to name just one favorite military book, but I really like Cindy Gerard’s Show No Mercy and Rachel Lee’s Exile’s End and her early Conard County series (the first 6 or so).

  19. 19
    Corrine says:

    As far as Brockmann goes, Hot Target is my favorite of her Troubleshooters series. It’s also my 2nd favorite romance of all time.

  20. 20
    Tina C. says:

    Both my dad and my mom were in the Air Force.  I was in the Air Force.  My ex-husband was in the Air Force.  Our two sons are in the Navy—go figure.  So, thanks for the shout-out to the vets and the link.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a chapter of romance writers that are also veterans. 

    As for military romance, I agree that Seize the Fire was just magnificent.  I also really enjoy the Brockman books.  I loved the Paksenarrion series by Elizabeth Moon (she was in the USMC), but they are SF and not romance.  Tanya Huff was in the Canadian Naval Reserve, so I guess that counts.  She wrote the Valor Confederation series, a SF series with some romantic overtones (especially in the later books), that has a great female protagonist who is a marine non-com in space.  (They are really awesome books, btw.)

  21. 21

    Carla Kelly for historicals.  Most Regency readers are familiar with her work, but not everyone knows about her collection Here’s To the Ladies, dealing with life in the military for soldiers and their women on the American frontier.  Have your hankies handy.

    My favorite contemporary is Annie’s Wild Ride by Alina Adams, about Air Force officers married to their careers and each other.

  22. 22

    Wow! thanks for remembering us vets – hope everyone stopped by to visit the before/after photos.  And I want to thank all you tax payers for my GI bill – it paid for my MA and a second BA in History.  So after teaching Western Civ and American History at the local collage, I’m now writing historical romance.

    Terry Irene Blain

  23. 23
    Kim says:

    I agree with Kristin’s response, “My husband retired with almost 22 years of service in the Air Force. I’d have to say he’s my favorite military romance” – my active duty husband remains my romance!  Plus he foots the bills for me to attend romance conventions!

    As a RomVet who promotes romance (instead of writing it), I have come to know other RomVets through our Yahoo group.  They have created a warm and fun sisterhood.  The RomVets continue to give to the military community – I thank them for their support of my literary projects at Fort Meade, MD and Hickam AFB, HI. 

    If I had to pick one as my favorite, I defer to the first romance book I read – Cathy Maxwell’s The Marriage Contract.  In fact, Cathy wears many hats – Navy Veteran, Navy Spouse, Navy Mom and NYT’s bestseller.  I am awed how she mentors and leads others in the romance industry.  And her books are a great escape from the challenges of military life. 

    My favorite “veteran” book is Lori Wilde’s Addicted to Love.  The hero is a Army amputee turned country sherriff.  There is a very touching scene when he is embarrassed that the heroine sees him without his leg, but the heroine on sees him as sexy man. 

    Thanks, Smart Bitches, for this Veteran’s Day Salute!

    Kim Lowe, USAF
    Honolulu, Hawaii

  24. 24
    Kathy says:

    @ Kim and Tina C.- Hoorah Air Force!  I was in the Air Force too.  Just wanted to show some camaraderie with a shout out.

  25. 25
    JaniceG says:

    You’ve mentioned them here before, but I immediately thought of the Julia Spencer-Fleming series, in which the heroine is a veteran helicopter pilot.

  26. 26
    Sycorax says:

    My favourites featuring veterans would have to be England’s Perfect Hero by Suzanne Enoch and A Perfect Stranger by Anne Gracie (I don’t suppose I can count The Unknown Ajax). Enoch’s is quite a painful read.

    I don’t know how much of a profile Anne Gracie has outside Australia, but she was my introduction to romance novels as an adult – I don’t count reading the complete works of Georgette Heyer when I was 14 – and she’s good.

  27. 27
    Tae says:

    thanks for that link, military romance is probably my favorite genre and I’ve loved everything Lovelace has put out.  Suzanne Brockmann and Vicki Hinze are probably my favorites though, even if they’re not vets themselves.

    Elizabeth Moon, non-romance writer, is also a vet and she writes great female military characters

  28. 28
    Lisa#2 says:

    Another Air Force vet here married to an AF vet and my son is going to see the Army recruiter on Friday. I don’t usually read miltary romance. However I enjoyed Brockmans books. Go Air Force!

  29. 29
    Teresa says:

    For some reason I feel the need to jump in here and say—Go Army!
    (I mean love the Air Force too, but . . .)

  30. 30
    Susan/DC says:

    Despite the fact that my oldest son spent 8 years in the Army Reserves (one of them in Iraq), I don’t usually read military romances.  For example, the only Suzanne Brockmann I’ve read is Heartthrob, about the movie industry, not SEALS or soldiers.  Seeing the titles listed here, however, I realize I’ve read quite a few.  Totally agree with the recommendation for Carla Kelly’s books.  Her heroes are often navy men (with a few Army officers too) who are the embodiment of honor and strength, with a quiet sense of humor to leaven the mix.  I’ve also liked Merline Lovelace and Susan Grant (loved her quote on the Romvets site about not being allowed to fly fighter jets “due to body parts beyond her control”), and thought Suzanne Enoch’s “England’s Perfect Hero” was quite touching.  I’ll have to seek out some of the other recommendations.

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