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The Military Romance Genre
What is the Military Romance Genre?
This genre is called the “military romance genre” for obvious reasons: it involves a hero who is currently in/was in the military. Often the heroine also has some military connection – she is a military brat, lost a husband/fiancé or brother who was in the military, etc.
These novels age pretty well, since military heroes easily cross generations.
What to Expect in the Military Romance Genre
- The heroes are always brave and physically strong
- Usually feature stories and situations that involve some kind of suspense (someone being stalked, someone who is in danger, etc)
- Heroes are willing to risk selves to save those they care about
- Heroes always display honor and are willing to “do the right thing”
- There are also some very serious topics, like PTSD, which are sometimes addressed
- The heroes usually have a lot of secrets about the things they have seen and done
Military Romance Characteristics
- Level of Angst
On a scale of 1-10, the level of angst in this genre is usually about a 5, depending on the situation. A lot of these heroes have been through and seen a lot, and they always seem to want “no strings attached” when it comes to relationships since they don’t want to get close to someone and risk losing them. This means that this genre does develop a certain level of angst in terms of how the relationship will move forward and it can sometimes be frustrating for the reader to keep having the hero and heroine not get together for a large part of the book. I wouldn’t call it a tease, exactly, although it does have the same effect.
- Character Development
This genre’s character development seems to have a lot in common with the other “hero” romances, featuring firemen, policemen, etc. The military men are men’s men with a lot of buddies, and they are fiercely loyal to those they care about. Generally these characters are pretty easy to develop and the reader can easily identify with them.
- Plot Strength
Some of these novels take a really interesting approach in developing the characters and the stories, and others just have “complicated” heroes who cannot commit and the heroine spends the whole novel trying to break down all of his walls. Like most romance novels, the strength of the plot is heavily dependent on the individual writer, and how they choose to develop the story.
One thing that most of these novels have in common is that the heroes are very conservative, and they usually want a heroine who will stay home and raise the kids. That is a point of contention for a lot of the heroines in these books, who are usually professional (and modern) women who want to work.
- Romantic Tension
There is little romantic tension in this genre. The genre is somewhat formulaic by design, and we know that it might take a while, but eventually the heroine will manage to break through to the hero, and will get him to commit to the future.
- Level of Eros
This genre probably has one of the higher levels of eros since it often features a “damaged” hero. So, when they hero and heroine do eventually get together it will be powerful, both physically and emotionally.
- Prose Quality
There is a lot of variation in the quality of writing in this subgenre –it is all dependent on the individual author. Since this genre is pretty formulaic, the impact of the writer’s writing skills are pretty significant in the development of the hero, in particular. We want him to have all of the admirable qualities of a hero, but he cannot be too untouchable or withdrawn or we lose our investment in wanting to see him happy.
Related Romance Subgenres
There are several subgenres for the genre which were mentioned above, and which include the other “hero” genres.
Military Romance isn't for you if
You like glitz and glam – these heroes are usually as blue collar as they come. You like time-travel/the supernatural, and you don’t like mysteries/suspense.
Military Romance is totally for you if
You like “complex” heroes, challenge, and you like your heroes to be “men’s men”.
- 1 A Dangerous Leap (2015)
By Sharon Calvin. Is about two Coast Guard members who are attracted to one another, and find themselves facing a dangerous approaching storm.
- 2 The Darkest Hour (2010)
By Maya Banks. Is one of numerous novels in this genre by Banks. This one focuses on a Navy SEAL who finds out that his missing-and-presumed-dead wife is actually still alive and being held by a vicious drug cartel.
- 3 Unsung Hero (2000)
By Suzanne Brockman. Is a classic military romance featuring a Navy SEAL who hears about a terrorist plot happening in his hometown. Dismissed as a byproduct of a head injury, when government officials ignore him it becomes up to the hero to save the town, and the love of his life, from impending doom.
- 4 Hell on Wheels: Black Knight (2012)
By Julie Ann Walker. Focuses on a motorcycle shop that is a cover for a secret special ops team. The first of seven novels, this one focuses on an ex-Marine sniper who has fallen in love with his best friend’s little sister – who is totally off limits until he needs to rescue her from an international threat.
- 5 Deadly Descent (2016)
By Kaylea Cross. Focuses on the story of an Air Force Officer who is determined to protect her heart and the enlisted man who is determined to own it. Set on a base in Afghanistan, this novel features some interesting perspectives about life on base.
- 6 Show No Mercy (2008)
By Cindy Gerard. Tells the story of an ex-military man serving as a private security guard who reconnects with a woman he rescued once before. He let her go the first time, but he is determined to hold on to her with his second chance.
- 7 Cover Me (2011)
By Catherine Mann. Tells the story of a pararescueman who has saved a woman from a snowstorm when they uncover a devastating crime scene, and the cover-up which threatens them both.
- 8 Forged in Fire (2012)
By Trish McCallan. Focuses on a woman who starts dreaming about events that will happen in the future, and the Navy SEAL who has his own psychic premonitions. Brought together as they strive to prevent a hijacking with global implications, their attraction grows as the danger deepens.
- 9 Worth the Fall (2014)
By Claudia Kinney. Is the story of another Navy SEAL. Set at a local beach, he is seeking to heal his physical and mental wounds, and she is looking to give her four children some fun which has been missing in their lives. Brought together to heal one another, they soon find that even “forever” might not be long enough.
- 10 Hot Pursuit (2013)
By Lynn Raye Harris. Tells the story of an Army man who took his friend’s virginity and never looked back. Now he needs to save her life, and help them both to forgive and claim what they have both been waiting for.
Publicly Ranked Version of the List21 items >>
- Emma (Jane Austen)
- Saving Grace (Julie Garwood)
- Persuasion (Jane Austen)
- Katherine (Anya Seton)
- Ravished (Amanda Quick)