Vintage War Romance

Tomorrow is the forty-second anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. It wasn’t all that long ago authors like Suzanne Brockmann were still using Vietnam veterans as their romantic heroes!

There’s an idea that romances from decades ago were all doctor/nurse, boss/secretary power plays, but I came across Vietnam Nurse the other day.

I actually think this one, from 1966 and now fifty-one years old, sounds interesting. I wish more authors were brave enough to use current events in their stories (most military books I’ve read recently have involved totally made-up situations).

Vietnam Nurse by Della Field released September 1966

Natalie Knight of the Navy Nurse Corps had come a long way from Oregon to the battle-torn plains and jungles of Vietnam. But it was a journey of love and devotion. She was looking for Tom, her Green Beret fiancé. He had been reported as missing, but Natalie did not give up hope. She knew that Tom, and hundreds like him, needed her…

Blindsided (Men of Steele #3) by Gwen Hernandez

Blindsided (Men of Steele #3) by Gwen Hernandez

SHE’S RUNNING FOR HER LIFE
Framed for espionage, reformed hacker Valerie Sanchez has no choice but to run. Worse, when the proof of her innocence is destroyed, things turn deadly. Can she trust the sexy terrorist hunter who mysteriously turns up to protect her, or is he the real threat?

HE’S HOT ON HER TRAIL
Former Marine sniper Scott Kramer’s job was supposed to be easy. Follow the hot computer geek who stole plans for classified weapons until she meets her buyer, then let law enforcement take over. But when Valerie becomes an assassin’s target, Scott’s gut says she’s innocent. Now, he must risk his life—and his heart—to keep her safe.

Blindsided (Men of Steele #3) by Gwen Hernandez

I owe Gwen Hernandez an apology. I had a review copy of Blindsided sitting on my desktop from before I went away in February, and then forgot to review it!

Behind this generic Torso-Man cover is a VERY intelligent, detailed and complex romantic suspense book. Hernandez has done her research and put together a plot that involves hacking, espionage, and a whole lot of distrust.

This is not your generic romance.

You would never know this was part of a series; it’s a complete story in its own right, and because hero and heroine are on the run for most of the book the focus hardly shifts to secondary characters.

I go on about books with “more” quite often; this is one of them. I don’t know how it works, but some authors pack so much more plot, characterisation, more everything into the same word count as authors who use a lot of exposition as padding. I appreciate books like this one so much more.

I have no idea how the author knows so much about computer hacking, but the knowledge made the scenes involving it much more realistic. I really believed this was a heroine who was at the top of her game.

This is one of those romantic suspense books that is proper suspense, with each scene moving the action forwards, and things not being wrapped up until the very end (so no waffling scenes at the end to up the word count).

One thing I didn’t love was the way the hero kept referring to the heroine’s tits, and her rack, and all of that. It’s probably pretty accurate for a guy’s mind, but it made me think a little less of him. However, this did change as the book went on and his feelings towards her grew, which was a nice touch.

On the other hand, I loved that he was just average-sized. Not every hero has to be a hulking great giant. Another thing I loved about him was that his “I don’t do relationships” attitude that drives me totally insane in most books had an actual background and valid reason here, and he didn’t fight it too much when he realised things were changing.

I really enjoyed this solid suspense story that had a lot more depth than most in the genre. It’s nice to be reminded what’s so great about romantic suspense.

 

Review copy provided by the author.

Anzac Day – Recommended Reads

Vietnam War Memorial Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 30th May 2015

Me on Anzac Parade, the huge, memorial-lined road that leads up to the museum.

Today is Anzac Day, Australia and new Zealand’s biggest day for our war veterans. The national ceremony at the Australian War Memorial here in Canberra is televised, and before that there’s a dawn service (which I have never been to, despite coming from a family of veterans, but I always hear the neighbours getting up at about 4am!).

hall-of-remembrance-australian-war-memorial-canberra-australia-anzac-day-25th-april-2015-sonya-heaney-oksana-heaney

We usually drop by the War Memorial a little later in the day and spend some time at the Vietnam War section.

I was trying to think of romance and suspense reads that involve Australian military or veterans, and came up with a few authors.

Hélène Young writes suspense books with some romance, and featuring Australian military characters.

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Barbara Hannay’s The Secret Years is set half in the Second World War and half in the present, and I really enjoyed it. The woman in the WW2 part is posted to the consulate in Canberra.

The Secret Years by Barbara Hannay

Sarah Mayberry has a really good book about a female veteran.

More Than One Night by Sarah Mayberry

Joan Kilby’s Protecting her Son involves an Australian Special Forces veteran, and has a scene at the end set at the War Memorial above!

Protecting Her Son

Fiona Greene’s Home For Christmas – well, the cover and title tell you what you need to know!

Home For Christmas by Fiona Greene

Karly Lane writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction, with some themes involving veterans.

tallowood-bound-by-karly-lane

And, for Kiwi veteran heroes, there is Karina Bliss’ New Zealand Special Forces series, beginning with Here Comes the Groom.

here-comes-the-groom-by-karina-bliss