Military romance is a relatively new genre in the world of novels, but it is one of the fastest-growing. (Hurrah!) Perhaps it’s the electric combination of high-stakes combat, lust and love that inspires readers to keep coming back for more, or maybe they enjoy the high-octane stakes mixed with a love story! Whatever it is, there is a huge global demand for military romance novels. But, how did this sub-genre of romance come about? The answer lies with influential military romance novels.
There are a few heavy hitters — seven in particular — who have written the most influential military romance novels that define the genre.
1. The Darkest Hour
by Maya Banks
Maya Banks is a bestselling author with a massive following around the world, and one of her most successful books is The Darkest Hour. This KGI series story follows former Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly as he struggles with the overwhelming grief caused by the loss of his wife. Ethan retreats from reality and those closest to him. Until, he hears word that his wife is still alive.
This incredible story demonstrates just how far someone will go for the person they love. Action-packed, heart-wrenching and beautifully romantic, The Darkest Hour encapsulates what the genre is all about and is often cited as a top influential military romance novel.
2. The Unsung Hero
by Suzanne Brockmann
Many critics and fans regard Suzanne Brockmann as the creator of the genre, and the Unsung Hero proves why Brockmann is referred to as one of the most influential military romance authors.
Navy SEAL officer Tom Paoletti is recovering from a terrible head injury, but that doesn’t stop him from taking action when he spots an international terrorist in his hometown.
Despite asking for help from his former bosses and colleagues, Tom is dismissed as a brain-damaged fantasist. However, to avert a major act of terror, Tom forms his own assault team, comprised of veterans, teenagers and Dr. Kelly Watson. As a result, chaos, heroism, and love ensue.
3. Wild Card
by Lora Leigh
Lora Leigh’s Wild Card tells the story of Navy SEAL Nathan Malone, whose mission to rescue three girls from a Colombian drug cartel ends in his capture. Malone’s wife mourns her husband for three years in the belief he died, unaware he is alive and well and living with a new identity. For those reasons, the conflict between them sizzles!
Wild Card is a tale of love, loss and how some bonds are unbreakable, and has proved time and time again, that it is one of the most influential military romance novels.
4. Killing Time
by Cindy Gerard
Cindy Gerard is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, and Killing Time is a heart-stopping example of her talent. This is a tale of good versus evil, and how the lines between them are often blurred in this influential military romance novel.
Eva Salinas is a rogue operative who is determined to exact revenge on a traitor responsible for a disastrous military operation. In her quest for justice, Salinas enlists the help of battle-hardened hero Mike Brown. Certainly, Eva and Mike will have their work cut out for them.
5. Lie with Me
by Stephanie Tyler
Stephanie Tyler’s romantic thriller Lie with Me is part of the Shadow Force series of books featuring Cameron Moore. The former Delta Force operative was framed for murder, but he’s given a chance to rebuild his life by the CIA. However, Moore can only get his life back if he takes on questionable black ops work. There’s always a catch, isn’t there?
Angered by the CIA’s treatment, Moore hatches a plan to kidnap the novelist daughter of a senior CIA operative. What he hadn’t planned, however, was to fall in love with her. This classic influential romance novel was highlighted by Bookbub’s military appreciation list.
6. After the Night
by Linda Howard
Linda Howard holds the romance industry title of the “queen of romantic suspense.” Her book After the Night demonstrates why. The story follows Jina Modell as she excels in her job as a communications specialist for a paramilitary organization, and it isn’t too long before she’s reassigned as a drone operator. Her new role requires some arduous physical training. This, of course, is delivered by handsome team leader Levi.
Eventually, Jina and Levi develop a friendship that soon leads to love, but when their base is attacked under the orders of a powerful Congresswoman, Jina is left to fight for her life. Luckily for her, she has Levi willing to fight for it as well.
7. Hell or High Water
by Julie Ann Walker
Hell or High Water is the first of Ann Walker’s Deep Six Series. The story begins with the sinking of treasure-hunting ship Santa Cristina in 1624. The action then fast-forwards to the present day, as we follow former Lieutenant Leo Anderson and five colleagues as they try to locate the shipwreck in the Florida Keys. After CIA operative Olivia Mortier asks Anderson to retrieve deadly chemicals that have been dumped in the area, danger ensues — as well, as a blossoming romance.
A guest blogger submitted this post.
So, have you read the books on this list?
8. Bonus! WINTERS HEAT
by Cristin Harber
WINTERS HEAT is a FREE READ. It’s a bestselling and award-winning military romance novel.
Colby Winters is a Navy SEAL and single dad. He’s not looking to play the white knight role to a damsel in distress. Military therapist Mia Kensington has a mission of her own, and she knows the lives of covert operatives hinge on her work. Of course, Colby has a plan. But, Mia didn’t ask him for help.
When Colby and Mia collide, sparks fly! However, their relationship turns more serious when Colby’s daughter is in danger, and Mia sacrifices her safety to protect the baby.
Dawn Dvorak says
Kaylea Cross Hostage Rescue Series is awesome. Actually anything by her is awesome. Her FAST Series is great too
Cristin Harber says
I love her books! For anyone who needs to start reading Kaylea Cross, here you go: http://kayleacross.com/v2/books/
Kay Caley says
I love Linda Howard’s Mackenzie series
Cristin Harber says
Linda Howard’s MacKenzie books might’ve been one of my first binge reads!