May 12 marks Military Spouse Appreciation Day, a day to express gratitude to all husbands and wives of our military heroes. In celebration, we’ve collected a list of the great romantic suspense novels that feature servicemen and servicewomen saving the day — not just for glory and duty, but for love! Publishers’ descriptions included below.
The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks
The Kelly Group International (KGI): a super elite, top secret, family-run business that handles jobs the US government can’t. Qualifications: Military background, high intelligence, and a rock hard body…
It’s been one year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly last saw his wife Rachel alive. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over his failures as a husband, Ethan shuts himself off from everything and everyone.
His brothers have tried to bring Ethan into the KGI fold, tried to break through the barriers he’s built around himself, but Ethan refuses to respond… until he receives an anonymous phone call claiming Rachel is alive.
To save her, Ethan will have to dodge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise. And even if he succeeds, he’ll have to force Rachel to recover memories she can’t and doesn’t want to relive — the minute by minute terror of her darkest hour — for their love, and their lives, may depend on it.
The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
After a near-fatal head injury, Navy SEAL lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a terrifying glimpse of an international terrorist in his New England hometown. When he calls for help, the navy dismisses the danger as injury-induced imaginings. In a desperate, last-ditch effort to prevent disaster, Tom creates his own makeshift counterterrorist team, assembling his most loyal officers, two elderly war veterans, a couple of misfit teenagers, and Dr. Kelly Ashton — the sweet “girl next door” who has grown into a remarkable woman. The town’s infamous bad boy, Tom, has always longed for Kelly. Now he has one final chance for happiness, one last chance to win her heart, and one desperate chance to save the day…
Wild Card by Lora Leigh
It was supposed to be simple. All Navy SEAL Nathan Malone had to do was rescue three young girls from a Colombia drug cartel, then allow himself to be captured just long enough to draw out a government spy. That was before his mission went disastrously wrong… and before his wife, Bella, was told that Nathan was never coming home.
Bella’s mourned her husband’s death for three long years. But she has no idea he’s still alive. Forced to assume a new identity, the man Nathan was is now dead. If he can get back to his wife, can he keep the secret of who he really is… even as desire threatens to consume them? And as danger threatens to tear Bella from Nathan’s arms once more?
Winters Heat by Cristin Harber
After putting her life on the line to protect classified intelligence, military psychologist Mia Kensington is on a cross-country road trip from hell with an intrusive save-the-day hero. Uninterested in his white knight act, she’d rather take her chances without the ruggedly handsome, cold-blooded operative who boasts an alpha complex and too many guns.
Colby Winters, an elite member of The Titan Group, has a single objective on his black ops mission: recover a document important to national security. It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out operation. But now, by any means necessary becomes a survival mantra when he faces off with a stunning woman he can’t leave behind.
When Titan’s safe houses are compromised, Colby stashes Mia at his home, exposing his secret — he’s the adoptive father of an orphaned baby girl. Too soon, danger arrives and Mia lands in the hands of a sadistic cartel king with a taste for torture. As hours bleed into fear-drenched days, Colby races across the globe and through a firestorm of bullets to save the woman he can’t live without.
Cover Me by Catherine Mann
It should have been a simple mission…
Pararescueman Wade Rocha fast ropes from the back of a helicopter into a blizzard to save a climber stranded on an Aleutian Island, but Sunny Foster insists she can take care of herself just fine…
But when it comes to passion, nothing is ever simple…
With the snowstorm kicking into overdrive, Sunny and Wade hunker down in a cave and barely resist the urge to keep each other warm… until they discover the frozen remains of a horrific crime… Unable to trust the local police force, Sunny and Wade investigate, while their irresistible passion for each other gets them more and more dangerously entangled…
SEAL of Honor by Tonya Burrows
It’s a good thing Gabe Bristow lives and breathes the Navy SEAL credo, “the only easy day was yesterday,” because today, his life is unrecognizable. When his prestigious career comes to a crashing halt, he’s left with a bum leg and few prospects for employment that don’t include a desk.
That is, until he’s offered the chance to command a private hostage rescue team and free a wealthy American businessman from Colombian paramilitary rebels. It seems like a good deal — until he meets his new team: a drunk Cajun linguist, a boy-genius CIA threat analyst, an FBI negotiator with mob ties, a cowboy medic, and an EOD expert as volatile as the bombs he defuses. Oh, and who could forget the sexy, frustratingly impulsive Audrey Van Amee? She’s determined to help rescue her brother — or drive Gabe crazy. Whichever comes first.
As the death toll rises, Gabe’s team of delinquents must figure out how to work together long enough to save the day. Or, at least, not get themselves killed. Because Gabe’s finally found something worth living for, and God help him if he can’t bring her brother back alive.
Killing Time by Cindy Gerard
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cindy Gerard plunges readers into the heart of a seductive contest of wills between a hard-living hero and a beautiful rogue operative who is on a mission to dig up the secrets of his past. Tension sizzles in this pulse-pounding first adventure in Gerard’s action-packed new series as Eva Salinas lures Mike Brown from the sultry streets of Lima, Peru, to the desolate Idaho wilderness on the hunt for the cold-blooded traitor behind a fatal military operation that haunts them both.
Lie with Me by Stephanie Tyler
Framed for a double murder, Delta Force operative Cameron Moore is given a new lease on life by the CIA — provided he pays them back by doing their black ops dirty work. But now Cam is ready to renegotiate the deal, and he thinks he’s found the perfect bargaining chip: Skylar Slavin, bestselling author of espionage thrillers and the daughter of the CIA man who saved Cam from a prison sentence.
Skylar has been living in anonymity, never suspecting that someone so dangerous — and so desirable — would plunge her into a world as treacherous as one of her spy novels. But how can Cam go through with his plan to kidnap Skylar when just the sight of her sets off an explosive attraction he’s never experienced before? And when Skylar falls prey to an even more perilous threat, this special ops soldier must call upon all his combat skills to protect the one person who can help him win his freedom — and the only woman he’s ever loved.
No Regrets by Shannon K. Butcher
Renowned cryptologist Noelle Blanche refuses to have blood on her hands. So when the military asks for her help in a covert operation, she refuses — until masked gunmen raid her home and threaten her life. Suddenly it’s all too clear that any blood spilled may be her own. Noelle has no choice but to trust the dangerous stranger sent by the military to safeguard her. A stranger who is everything she detests, everything she fears… and everything she desires.
Former Delta Force operative David Wolfe thought he had left it all behind — the horror, the hurt, the guilt. But now the men who savagely murdered his wife have set their sights on a brilliant cryptologist who can lead them to the cache of weapons they prize. As passion ignites between David and the woman he’s sworn to protect, what began as just a mission escalates into the fight of his life. But can he prevent history from repeating itself?
Forget Me Not by Marliss Melton
Gabe Renault doesn’t know why he was in a prison camp. He has no memory of the past three years or of the Navy SEAL mission that went wrong. Only two things kept him going: thoughts of his wife and the certainty that he must escape.
After Gabe is presumed dead, Helen Renault pulls the tattered pieces of her and her daughter’s lives back together. Married young and for all the wrong reasons, she’s standing on her own two feet at last — and proud of it. Then comes the biggest shock of all — Gabe returns home. Gone is the distant, secretive husband he once was. This new Gabe is a man she could easily, finally, lose her heart to. But his memory is slowly returning, exposing a trail of government treachery… and jeopardizing his and Helen’s second chance at love.
Target Engaged by M.L. Buchman
Delta Force: The most dangerous elite counter-terrorism force on the planet.
The deadliest shooters.
The most out-of-the-box thinkers in any military.
Will die to get the mission done.
Sergeant Kyle Reeves: The premier soldier of the new recruits.
Sergeant Carla Anderson: The first woman of Delta Force.
If the training doesn’t kill them, their passion may — but Kyle Reeves and Carla Anderson blast right in. Show no fear. Have no fear. Then they get the call. The most powerful drug-smuggling ring in Venezuela needs a takedown, and Delta’s newest team leaps into the deep jungle to deliver. Giving their all? Not a problem. Giving their hearts? That takes a new level of courage.
SEAL My Destiny by Sharon Hamilton
Navy SEAL Luke Paulsen, on the verge of PTSD stemming from the death of his fiancée and a brutal tour overseas, knows he is damaged goods and unsuitable for relationships. While paying respects to a fallen comrade, he is unprepared for the chemical attraction he feels for the carefree dark-haired beauty playing in the surf one evening.
Julie Christensen befriends the troubled SEAL, motivated by her yearning to soothe the young man’s troubled soul. Fueled by intense mutual desire, they succumb to one night of mind-numbing passion. Afterwards, he is unable to shed the memory of his lost love and disappears.
When they meet again at a wedding that will forever bring their two families together, their passion and longing for one another forces them to confront their pasts in order to find a future together.
But soon the trauma of his service separates them. Julie goes back to teaching and Luke deploys for North Africa with SEAL Team 3. Upon his return, he receives a frantic call that Julie’s life is in danger. Will he make it in time to save the woman he now knows he wants to marry and spend the rest of his life with?
Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton
US Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller — call sign Burn — loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.
Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down.
One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…
Skin Deep by Pamela Clare
Broken on the inside
Megan Hunter has worked hard to get back on her feet, leaving the nightmare of her teenage years behind. The last thing she wants or needs in her life is a man. But when she is attacked by someone from her past, a scarred stranger intervenes, saving her life and that of her little girl. Looks can be deceiving, for despite the man’s rough appearance, she feels safe with him. And for the first time in her life, she knows the stirrings of desire.
Broken on the outside
Nathaniel West paid a high price serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. He returned to his family’s ranch in the Colorado mountains to heal — and be alone. Disfigured as he is, he has put all thoughts of sex and romance aside. But something about Megan brings him back to life, heats his blood, makes him feel like a man again. As danger pursues her, and the truth about her past is revealed, he vows to protect her — and to heal her wounded spirit. But confronting the past is never easy — especially when it’s carrying a gun. Megan will have to learn to trust Nate to survive and to claim a passion that is much more than… Skin Deep.
SEAL’s Honor by Elle James
SEAL Reed Tucker doesn’t believe in commitment, until he tangles the sheets with one hot pilot, Delaney O’Connell. His phobia against commitment is challenged when his best friend asks Delaney to marry him first.
As a helicopter pilot for the 160th Night Stalkers, Delaney knows the risks of loving a SEAL. When her lover’s friend loses an arm in battle, she can’t refuse his marriage proposal when he’s already lost so much. In love with one man, pledged to marry another, she’s torn.
Tuck and Delaney must come to grips with the happiness they owe themselves and the happiness of their friend who has lost so much.
Fighting Temptation by K. C. Lynn
Jaxson is arrogant, angry, and aggressive. Yet he’s also beautiful, strong, and honorable. I unconditionally and irrevocably love every damaged part of him. And for the boy, who didn’t believe in love, he would always and forever have mine. – Julia Sinclair
Julia was different from anyone I’d ever met. I never thought someone so good and genuine existed until her. The more I saw of her the more I became addicted to her. Every time I was around her she would destroy some of the darkness that lurked inside of me. She made the bad shit in my life seem not so terrible. Then, before I knew it, I had fallen for a girl from another world.–Jaxson Reid
Two unlikely friends — the innocent, good girl and the notorious bad boy. One fateful night brought them together, and they formed a bond — one so strong it was unbreakable — until one night they gave into temptation.
Fast forward five years and Jaxson is back to fix the mistakes he’s made with the only girl who’s ever mattered to him. Only someone isn’t happy with his return, someone who thinks Julia is theirs and they will stop at nothing to make sure it stays that way — forever.
Jaxson will not only fight to protect Julia, but will also battle the new and existing demons that haunt his soul from death, corruption, destruction, and war.
The Marine Next Door by Julie Miller
Maggie Wheeler never stopped looking over her shoulder. It was a habit she’d learned from being a cop… and from a devastating event in her past. So when John Murdock moved in next door, Maggie didn’t know what to make of the sexy marine. But once her son formed a bond with the mysterious stranger, Maggie knew that past might not remain hidden much longer…
With his unwavering sense of duty, John would never let a call for help go unanswered. Especially from the beautiful wounded warrior who refused to give up her secrets. Although she likely knew more about who was after her than she’d ever let on, John vowed to protect those in need. Only then could he find peace, maybe even a door away…
Have you read any of these books? Share in the comments!