GS vs STA: Special Forces Heroes

SEAL romances: popular. I have no idea why. KIDDING.I’ve received two email messages asking for Navy SEAL romance recommendations.

I WONDER WHY.

So list night I asked on The Twitter if anyone would be interested in a reader-generated list of recommended SEAL and special forces romances. The response was very, very positive.

AGAIN. I wonder why. (Not.)

So if you’re thinking a military hero would totally rock your reading socks right now, bring it on. Lynn Raye Harris said last night that she would want to learn more about any “Special Forces romances…. Army’s Delta Force is pretty bad ass. Marine’s Force Recon aren’t slouches either.” Hell, yes. And we’re not limited to US military special forces. Bad Ass Mounties are totally welcome! Bring on a Special Forces Good Shit vs. Shit to Avoid!

My obvious recommendations are Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series, beginning with The Unsung Hero.  This was, incidentally, one of the very first books I reviewed here back in 2005.

There’s also Brockmann’s Tall Dark & Dangerous series.

An early thread about this topic yielded a bunch of different recommendations, including Catherine Mann’s Wingman Warrior series.

Finally, Jill Monroe has a SEAL series for Harlequin Blaze, the first of which features a SEAL instructor hero recovering from an injury. Because, you know, those who can, do, and those who can’t make the very best of badass teachers.

But many of these recommendations are for older books, and I know a lot of military heroes have been published since. What are your favorites? Got a recommendation for a reader looking for some military romance heroes?

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    T says:

    My SIL married a tall, dark and handsome Special Ops guy.  He’s now over in hot and sandy places, and she’s only going to see him once in the next year.  I think I prefer my romances with alpha heroes who aren’t impelled to leave for destinations unspecific for long periods of time.

  2. 2
    jcscot says:

    I don’t have any recommendations but I’m looking forward to seeing what others suggest.  I quite like the romantic ideal of the military man, especially as I have to live with the day to day reality of being married to a an Army man (I suspect the reality doesn’t quite live up to the romance!).

    For example, those scenes in films/novels where the heroine rushes to embrace the hero returning from war/battle/exercise – hahahahahah!  The grim and whiffy reality of getting within six feet of a man who hasn’t had a shower for a fortnight while living in a muddy ditch somewhere in wet and windy Wales means that I’m more likely to wash him down with a garden hose than give him a hug!

    Still, it doesn’t mean I don’t like reading about military men.  Can I suggest my favourite military hero of all time – Captain Frederick Wentworth from Persuasion.  Perhaps some of the suggestions will occupy my evenings when he goes back to hot and sandy places later this year.

  3. 3
    PennyAwful says:

    What, no love for Sandra Hill??? Come on!  Time-travelling, Navy-Seal Viking Comedy-Romances anyone?

  4. 4
    Lisa J says:

    Okay, they’re not SEALs but covert ops. 

    Maya Banks – KGI Series
    Shannon Stacey – Devlin Group

    I enjoyed the early Lora Leigh SEAL stories, too.

  5. 5
    AmyD says:

    Linda Howard’s Mackenzie’s Pleasure is a perennial favorite.

  6. 6
    PennyAwful says:

    I also always liked the (way old) SSE “Women of Glory” books by Lindsay McKenna.  No Quarter Given was my favorite, as I recall.

  7. 7
    Anony Miss says:

    True story: I will happily flip through my husband’s Tom Clancy novels scanning for the bits and pieces of couple stories in them.

    Rowrrrl.

  8. 8
    HeatherR says:

    I’ll second the Linda Howard recommendation. If you have a kindle there’s a bundle with Mackenzie’s Mountain, Mac’s Mission, Mac’s Pleasure, and Game of Chance all together. So that’s Vietnam special forces, Air Force colonel, SEAL, and a covert agent all together in one bundle.

    I have to say, whenever someone mentions SEALs in romances, I flash back to all of Bob Mayer’s rants about SEALs (and the fact he was a Green Beret and *not* a SEAL.)  Here’s one I still remember.

  9. 9
    jcscot says:

    I think I prefer my romances with alpha heroes who aren’t impelled to leave for destinations unspecific for long periods of time./quote]

    That’s what I mean about the reality not matching the romance.  Take this weekend, for example.  It was our eleventh wedding anniversary, the husband is unable to get home (he currently serves unaccompanied and only comes home every two to three weeks for a weekend) and our three children – aged four, two and eight months – come down with gastroenteristis.  His general be-uniformed hotness and stiff-upper-lip-duty-honour-etc character are little consolation at such times!

    I can accept the “glossing over” that happens in romance novels because they remind of all the good things that made me marry my husband, especially when I’m facing some of the trials and tribulations that come when you marry someone whose first loyalty will always be to his unit and his men.

  10. 10
    jcscot says:

    Sorry, I appear to have mucked up the quotation in my last post which should read as follows (blame it on sleep-deprivation after four nights of cleaning up after the children):

    I think I prefer my romances with alpha heroes who aren’t impelled to leave for destinations unspecific for long periods of time.

    That’s what I mean about the reality not matching the romance.  Take this weekend, for example.  It was our eleventh wedding anniversary, the husband is unable to get home (he currently serves unaccompanied and only comes home every two to three weeks for a weekend) and our three children – aged four, two and eight months – come down with gastroenteristis.  His general be-uniformed hotness and stiff-upper-lip-duty-honour-etc character are little consolation at such times!

    I can accept the “glossing over” that happens in romance novels because they remind of all the good things that made me marry my husband, especially when I’m facing some of the trials and tribulations that come when you marry someone whose first loyalty will always be to his unit and his men.

  11. 11

    Penny Awful – I love Sandra Hill’s time traveling Vikings turned Navy Seals!

    Plus Lindsay McKenna and Catherine Mann rock … because they have been there, done that.

    I recommend visiting the RomVets – veterans who write romance – at http://www.romvets.com  You. might be surprised to learn who is a veteran!  They write from experience about duty, country, and honor.

    But my favorite non-RomVet book is Addicted to Love by Lori Wilde.  The hero is a Iraqi War Amputee turned small town sherriff.  There is one scene that is incredibly heartwarming when the herione see’s the hero’s amputated leg for the first time.

  12. 12

    FYI

    < May is Armed Forces Appreciation Month with May 13 as Military Spouses' Appreciation Day.

    I’ve seen tweets suggesting readers send packages to deployed personnel – I offer three suggestions:

    - USO,

    http://www.uso.org has m,any ways to help military families.  Its theme is “Until everyone comes home.”

    - SOS America has been connecting readers with deployed personnel since 9/11.  Contact Kelley at columbussos @ gmail.com.

    - Operation Paperback, http://www.operationpaperback.org enabl,es readers to donate used books to deployed personnel, veterans’ centers, and other locations which support military families.

  13. 13
    Ann Stephens says:

    Ahhhh, military heros…so yummy. First off, I’d like to say how much I admire military spouses. You guys have the Real Deal, with the good, the bad and the Very Bad that comes with it. I hope you & your loved ones stay safe.

    As far as military romances go, I second Suzanne Brockmann’s books! But my favorite military hero isn’t from a romance at all. It’s Richard Sharpe, from the series by Bernard Cornwell. I find the TV series based on the books campy at points (although I own several episodes because Sean Bean is dead sexy in the title role), but the books themselves are good reads.

  14. 14
    Regina says:

    I think the first Military/Hottie/Hero type book I read was Suzanne Brockmann’s series, but there was also Linda Howard’s MacKenzie’s that blew my mind.  Love them both.  The Black Ops/Covert Spy type books are some of my favorites as well.  I’m reading Dee Davis’s Dark series right now.  I guess there’s nothing like having an Alpha male willing to put himself on the line for his country and his woman, is there?  But then there’s the strong female who won’t sit there and just let said Alpha-man save her without putting up a good fight of her own.  Wish I could write books like that.

  15. 15
    Erica H says:

    Besides my favorite Brockmann series:

    Joann Ross has a series of elite military heroes starting with Freefall, and then Crossfire, Shattered, and Breaking Point.

    Mary Margret Daughtridge writes a series of books strarring Navy Seals. They are more sweet versus suspense. The first one is SEALed with a Kiss.

    Amy J Fetzer wites romantic suspense series starting with the Naked Truth.

    Shannon K Butcher has a Delta Force Romantic Suspense series: No Regrets, No Control, and No Escape.

    Finally, Roxanne St. Clair, and Cherry Adair both write romantic suspense books about elite task force heroes.

    I hope this helps

  16. 16
    Donna says:

    Oh yes, Linda Howard’s MacKenzie’s are on the cold dead hand shelf. And for make believe spec ops: Tara Janzen.

    Having encountered the real deal on the Anapolis campus – there is nothing better than a SEAL. And props to the bff’s baby bro the Army Ranger.

  17. 17
    Donna says:

    Apologizing ahead of time. Sorry, has to be said:

    when the herione see’s the hero’s amputated leg for the first time.

    He kept it?

  18. 18
    jcscot says:

    He kept it?

    Hahahaha!

  19. 19
    Kim in Hawaii says:

    Opops!  I meant to write “stump for the first time”.

  20. 20
    LisaJo885 says:

    All hail Queen Suzanne! She’s definitely the queen of military romance. I’ll also second the Adair, St. Clair and Janzen recommendations. The only other one I’d add would be Christina Skye’s “Code Name” books. Uber-secret military guys with psy powerws of various sorts.

  21. 21
    Bri says:

    second JoAnn Ross – and they are HOT!!!! – the newest one in the series comes out in early june.  and some of her other book feature former military men too

    there are a few series romance ones by Harlequin – right now i like the uniformly hot miniseries with a new book each month making the rounds around the 4 service branches.  they are by various different authors

    not romance, but I also like the Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flyn

    will be tkaing copious notes for my TBR!!  Love me a military man!  :)

  22. 22
    orangehands says:

    The first one that came to mind that haven’t been listed is Maritime Men and its sequel Anchors Aweigh by Janey Chapel. It’s m/m about two Navy SEALs, and has one of the best voices. 

    Thinking about it…does anyone know a book where the heroine is some kind of military (retired or not) and the hero isn’t? Because I can think of heroes who are, and some couples who are, but none when its just the heroine.

  23. 23
    Lori says:

    Denise Agnew wrote some military heroes that I quite liked.

    Mary Margret Daughtridge writes a series of books strarring Navy Seals. They are more sweet versus suspense. The first one is SEALed with a Kiss.

    A head’s up about the SEALed books—IMO the plot of the first one was ridiculous. I liked the characters, but the reason given for them to stay together long enough to fall in love so totally failed to work for me that I almost didn’t read the 2nd book. Fortunately the other books don’t have the same problem.

  24. 24
    JudyPatooty says:

    Another shout-out from me for the Sandra Hill time-traveling Viking-Navy SEALs!  Very funny, very sexy books!

  25. 25
    jcscot says:

    Thinking about it…does anyone know a book where the heroine is some kind of military (retired or not) and the hero isn’t? Because I can think of heroes who are, and some couples who are, but none when its just the heroine.

    One of the recent free HQN ebooks Dancing in the Moonlight by Raeanne Thayne has an ex-military amputee heroine and a local doctor hero.  It wasn’t half bad, actually.

  26. 26
    Alex says:

    Ooh I was just about to mentioned Janey Chapel’s two books (novellas?  I’ve got them on the Kindle app on my phone and I can never tell how long books on there actually are).  She writes so well about the training and day to day work, as well as the relationships between the SEALs.

    Thanks for the comments everyone.  I’ve only discovered Suzanne Brockmann in the last couple of months and am absolutely hooked on military/suspense type romances at the moment.

  27. 27
    Carin says:

    I have been listening to Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series audiobooks and am on book 6 now.  So addicting and good!  When the news flash came on about Bin Laden, I immediately thought, “I bet it was the SEALS!”  And I owe my Navy SEALS education totally to Brockmann.

  28. 28
    Juice says:

    A couple of people beat me to it! Mackenzie’s Pleasure! Zane Mackenzie is my absolute favorite. In fact, I actually thought “Zane would have been on that team” when I heard the news. All of the Mackenzies are kick-ass awesome.

  29. 29

    Just released this week – Pamela Clare’s BREAKING POINT.  I posted a review on Amazon and Goodreads.  I typically do not read romantic suspense (as it comes too close to home) but I received this ARC.  It was riveting and heartwarming.  The hero is a former Navy Seal dealing with survivor’s guilt.  He plunges himself into dangerous missions as a Deputy US Marshal. 

    It is part of Pamela’s I-Team series with heroines who are investigative journalists (I had not read the previous books but was able to read BREAKING POINT as a stand alone book).  The previous four books paired the heroines with other law enforcement officers who make a guest appearance in BREAKING POINT.  Together they contribute to an explosive scene that demonstrates it is teamwork that generates success – just as the intelligence community and Navy Seals demonstrated on Sunday.

  30. 30
    Elli says:

    Just a few more additions to the SEAL / kick-ass heroes:
    -Cindy Gerard
    -Marliss Melton

    If you want to go for historical, there’s always Stephanie Laurens’ Bastion Club series and the books from Joanna Bourne.

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