11/11 has always been a lucky day for me. I met my husband many, many years ago, on 11/11. And, doesn’t everyone make a wish on the clock when you catch it at 11:11? No? Just me? Right, like I’m the only superstitious one in the bunch! Armistice Day has an origin story that relates back to the 1918 Armistice with Germany, specifically World War I, which ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. That’s a whole lot of lucky elevens! However, the US renamed it to Veterans Day in 1954. Not to be confused with the meaning behind Memorial Day, which defines itself right there in its name, “Memorial” as in honoring those who have died. Veterans Day honors all who have served. Thus, concluding your small history/civics lesson for today. Let’s take a #ThrowBackThursday look at military-themed books.
It would be impossible to make a list of military-themed books without including the likes of Suzanne Brockmann, Julie James, and Tonya Burrows. I mean, tomes can be written about Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series, no? I’m going to highlight a few different books for your consideration on this Thursday before Veterans Day.
Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye
I’ve mentioned Laura Kaye’s Warrior Fight Club series for the way it depicts the many different and sometimes unconventional ways people cope with PTSD. Kaye’s Warrior Fight Club series was not her first foray into military-related characters. Her Hard Ink series is one of my all-time faves. Hard As It Gets hits the ground running. Our hero Nick Rixey owns a tattoo parlor. This is not his first career, he started in the military. He was the leader of a special ops team that was buried on the “need to know” top covert secret of military lists. Nick and his team were betrayed by their trusted commander and unceremoniously kicked out of the military after a terrible battle gone wrong.
Our heroine Becca is the daughter of said betraying commander, and her brother has gone missing. She fears for his life and has nowhere to turn except for the secretive and grudge-holding Nick. Becca makes a compelling story out of her brother’s disappearance, and eventually, Nick gets the band back together. Finding Becca’s brother could be the key to clearing their name and bringing honor back to their mission that cost them so much. Kaye does a great job writing the suspense part of romantic suspense in this entire series. If you haven’t read the Hard Ink series, start here and be prepared to fall down a rabbit hole of characters, a band of brothers so loyal and protective, it’ll make your heart swell as they face their demons and finally find peace.
Forgotten Sins by Rebecca Zanetti
Forgotten Sins is a favorite of mine. Our hero, Shane Dean, is definitely military, he just has amnesia and can’t remember anything. Especially the beautiful woman claiming to be his wife, Josie. Josie and Shane fell in love, hard and fast, and then he disappeared. Two years later, she gets a call saying her long lost and feared dead husband was very much alive and in the hospital recovering from severe wounds.
I love this book for many reasons, not the least of which is Josie’s badass personality. Yes, she makes some in the heat of the moment stupid decisions, but, all in all, she’s a very self-sufficient character, which is precisely what she needs to be because Shane’s backstory is straight-up crazy! Shane may not remember the details but, the moment he sees Josie, he knows instinctively that he needs to honor and protect her. Through the course of this book, Shane and Josie are under constant attack by whatever caused Shane’s disappearance and ultimate amnesia. This is a story of military men who are more or less made in a rather DNA-altering style, along with some kick-ass military training. The series is called Sin Brother’s, and there are more Shanes just waiting for you to uncover. There’s also a hint of paranormal/genetic altering that keeps the intrigue on edge and the pages turning.
Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor
Worth the Fall is a family story that will make you swoon. Abby is recently widowed, has four kids under the age of 6, and is pregnant with number five. She is vacationing on a beach in North Carolina, a little respite before baby #5 appears, and to give the kids a little dose of happiness after so much loss. On the beach, she meets Matt. Matt is a Navy SEAL visiting his cousin while recovering from injuries sustained while on a mission. He has one week and certainly didn’t see himself falling for a woman with four little ones and one on the way, but that’s exactly what happens.
Let’s just stop right here and yell a super loud HELL YEAH to a man like Matt that falls for a pregnant mom! Hello, that is a special kind of man and speaks to his character as much if not more than the fact that he’s a freaking Navy SEAL. It’s a beautiful story that will transform you into the human version of the heart eyes emoji, so be ready to swoon. Connor does a great job incorporating the kids into the story without taking away from the growing sensual relationship building between Matt and Abby. She is a woman that’s lost a lot, so the idea of hitching her newly single wagon to a man that literally throws himself into the line of fire regularly, well, it gives her, and the reader pause to say the least!
Again, the more prominent theme of military books can always be related back to the character of our heroes. The inherent desire to serve and, more importantly, protect is strong in these men. It’s a glorious thing to read!