Saturday, May 25, 2013

SUMMER READING SATURDAY: MILITARY MEN EDITION

Courtney and I decided to dedicate the next few Saturdays to summer reading suggestions. We thought we'd kick off this week with our favorite military men.


Initially I was scratching my head on this one; I honestly couldn't remember many books where the featured man is in (or was in) the military. The more Court and I chatted, though, the more it all came back to me. I had a hard time ranking these as favorite to least favorite because I found them to be equally awesome; so this week my list is not in any sort of hierarchy.

1. Hawk in Kristen Ashley's Mystery Man. He's stealth, protective, smart, loyal, and OF COURSE hot. This story isn't really about his military experiences but it IS evident that there is no way he'd be doing in his current career if he hadn't been in the military. (Could I be more vague?). His training allows him to be a bad ass in "security" which ends up being more than helpful as his 'woman', Gwen, gets mixed up with her sister's drama. This series is just as satisfyingly funny and sexy as the Rock Chick series and I highly recommend it--just be prepared for a book hanger over when you finish it.
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2. Nix in Sawyer Bennett's Off Limits. I loved the way this character was written. He was flawed from his experiences in war but he was coping. I enjoyed that Sawyer showed the ugly side of war and how it impacts not just the soldier coming home but also the people who care about him. She also writes about Nix as someone who actively uses therapy to overcome PTSD and I just have so much respect for her willingness to write that into the novel. I think it's important that when people need help they get it and use it.
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3. Kale in Kelsie Leverich's The Valentine Arrangement. This unconventional love story features an active duty military man. The heroine has interesting feelings for men in the military and Kale doesn't really play into how she sees her future or how she viewed military men. This book was a happy surprise and one of the only ones I've read that has an active duty military man in it. I liked how Leverich wrote about her characters handling the hardships that come along with military life.
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4. Luke in Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick series. This former military man uses his training to help protect the Rock Chicks and is second in command on Lee Nightingale's team ...all while being sex on a stick. Man is this guy hot. And let me tell you, I'm not one for mustached men but Luke...well I could totally be for him. This is one of the last rock chick books but as with all of its predecessors it's full of comedy, crazy bad guys and, of course, our Rock Chicks and their Hot Bunch of boys.
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5. Rome in Jay Crownover's Rule. He's one of the few other active duty military men I've had the pleasure to read about. We, unfortunately, don't get nearly enough of him in Rule as this book is more focused on his brother's love story.  What we do get glimpses of, though, are extreme loyalty and love and protectiveness of those he regards as family. While he's home he does everything he can to help mend broken family relationships and take care of those around him. When he has to return to duty, he does so with willingness and honor. 
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It's a small miracle that I didn't use a Rock Chick man in each of my slots--it was tempting for sure--but once I really thought about it, I realized that I've met more military men (in books) than I originally thought. It also made me happy to know that authors write military characters as the honorable, upstanding men we know that they are in real life.


My picks too are in no particular order, but I can definitely say that military men are some of my favorite book guys. If they have that touch of alpha dominance, sweet side for their woman, and confidence in their looks and life, I am there. I can attest that this could have been another homage to Kristen Ashley! 


Cash McCoy from Elle Kennedy's Feeling Hot. The Out of Uniform series is about a group of young, hot navy seals/good friends when they're home from their missions. And do they love to have fun and sexy times when they are off work. Yes. Yes, they do. There are 8 books in the series, I think, at this point and this one is my favorite, but I also read it first because I wasn't paying attention to order number before I bought it and finished it. I blame this lack of awareness on the cover! Be warned, erotic romance in every sense of the word, so it will set your e-reader on fire. I enjoyed the story too, so don't worry, there is one in there.
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Lee Nightingale from Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley. Yes, we are obsessed with her at this point...but I am so excited, because I haven't had an author with this many books out in a long time that I am obsessed with every single book she writes, each one even more than the last. Lee is the big boss of the Hot Bunch and is good at what he does. He was in the Army, and has turned private investigator. While some might think he has a foot on either side of the law, he proves throughout his story and every other Rock Chick book that he is one of the best guys around. Love him. 
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Travis from Trish Dollar's Something Like Normal is one of my favorite military men, ever. Not only is this book about his coping on leave from the military, but it is told him his POV. He's struggling, his family is struggling, he lost his best friend in the war, and the last thing he seemingly needs is another girl in his life. Emotional + raw = I really enjoyed this one. 
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Here we have the Black Knight, Inc being made up of ex-marine's who are each crazy skilled in their specific area of expertise, and are now in the covert contracting business. Nate "Ghost" Weller fits the bill for what a friend says is my usual MO. Military - check, Gorgeous - check, Rides a motorcycle - Check, Mysterious - Check. Okay, he has all of those things, and the love story is great...but so is the huge backstory with all of the secondary characters and what happened to Ali's brother who was also Ghost's best friend. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I fell in love with this crew.
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Because of You is probably the most emotionally charged novels in my list. It was crazy good, and so raw. Shane meets Jen at a bar the night before they ship back out to go overseas and they share a kiss. He never dreams when he sees her again, it will be in the hospital with her taking care of his war ravaged body as his nurse. There is a lot to this book with his wounds, his healing, his mind and how upset he is that he is not still fighting and leading his men. Glimpses of how hard life can be for the wives left behind is here too, so there isn't a stone left unturned with the sacrifices that our service men and women and their families make for us every single day, at home or deployed. It's been a while since I read it, but thinking of it now makes me want to read it again!                GoodReads

Honor our service men and women this weekend, as we celebrate Memorial Day, and we hope that you recognize some of these stories above or will feel like checking them out! Join us again next Saturday for our  Summer Reading Saturday Series #2 with all things rocker

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