This week’s Romance Sub-Genre or niche that I will be focusing on is Men in Uniform. It’s an old favourite, but this week it is getting a pretty popular so we figured it was time for a post on the subject. To make it a touch easier on us, we have decided to use the Military Romance category on Amazon, though with a little bit of careful editing to weed out the books erroneously put on the list. This appears to be a problem with some of the Romance Sub-genres, that they are mis-classified, something for writers to keep an eye for themselves.
First up, in this genre there is a lot of paranormal romance influences, with a lot of the characters being both shape shifters, or fae, and in the military of either a real world country, or in the military of their species. Jade Alters has written a Reverse Harem, Shape Shifting, Military, Men in Uniform, Romance, called Mated to the Pride. In it the heroes are an undercover military ops team, which combines a potential reader’s wish for Men in Uniform with Spies and Assassins. Also in this small sub-sub-genre, is Stolen by the Fae, in which a trained assassin abducts the accidental victim of his latest attempted kill. This book, much like the last one, features a fated mate story line, but has a version that is a lot darker, and involves an abduction and other trademarks of the genre. Similarly, Sci Fi has a lot of books with Fated mates and Abduction story lines in this week’s charts, with Taylor Vaughn’s, His to Steal stealing the top spot.
Nicole Snow has several books in the Military Romance chart this week, her Accidental series in particular has several, all featuring some sort of Marriage Mistake, Marriage of Convenience, or similar plot, with Alpha Male heroes. Some of her books also incorporate other trends, such as Single Dad, Friends to Lovers, Enemies to Lovers, Small Town, and Second Chances.
Surprisingly, there are a lot of Mafia stories, often with Abduction, Marriage of Convenience, Bodyguard, and other trends on show, but again, these tend to also have Alpha Males, BDSM, and Dark Romance elements to them as well. Sold by the Cuban Mafia, is one example, which features an Auction and Accidental Pregnancy story line.
Brittany Sahin’s, Stealth Ops Series shows once more that this is a popular part of the military for military heroes to be a part of. Find His Mark, the first in the series, features a heroine who is coincidentally writing for a show which is very similar to the lives of the men who’s mission she get stuck in the middle of. This means that secrecy, from the outside world and from inside the potential relationship, is a major theme in the book and an obstacle for the hero and heroine.
Several box sets are doing very well and they seem to be sticking to the Men in Uniform line a bit more than some of the other books on this list, with Lexi Wilson’s, The Hot SEAL Complete Series Box Set, and, K. C. Crowne’s, Firemen Fantasies: Firemen of Manhattan Series and A Reverse Harem Box Set, also featuring Men in Uniform. Also in these box sets are books in the Reverse Harem, Billionaire, Small Town, Accidental Pregnancy, Second Chances, and Single Dad story lines.
Several of these themes are proving very popular across the board, Single Dad, Accidental Pregnancy, and Daddy Kink in particular. For example, Mia Ford’s, Next Door Daddy. There are also plenty of Taboo story lines as well, from My Fiance’s Brother, by Odette Stone, and Mia Ford again, with His Boss’s Daughter, pushing against what is seen as Taboo.
So all in all, the Military Romance sub-genre has everything going for it. You would be hard pressed to find a popular niche or trend not represented in the books on this chart. Which may be why it succeeds so well, Men in Uniform, or Military Romance (a term I find generally inaccurate since often the people involved are not in the military, but may be firefighters or police, instead) as it is categorised as on Amazon, works because it adds spice to the story, often having only a limited amount of relevance to the lot. Other times it is used as a method to get characters who would not normally interact to meet, and be in a high stakes event which is used to encourage quick emotional ties.
Very interesting to look at the breadth of different types of story making their way onto the charts for this genre, it really makes it clear that readers are not a single monolith, but have many varied wants and desires. But one thing the writers wanting to serve this niche should be aware of is that action and violence are often used in this niche, as is PTSD or mental health issues arising from time in the military. These are complicated topics and should be used with research and respect.
That’s all for this genre, folks, what did you think? Did you find anything interesting out from our work? Drop us a line if you did!