Romance Novels and SEALs, Revisited


Last week I blogged about a collection of romance stories about Navy SEALs called “SEAL of my Dreams” and gave the entire concept in general a hard time. While not a romance novel reader myself (yes, I have read at least part of one before), I found the concept and, in particular, the promo video made to advertise the book highly cheesy. And so I poked fun at it.

What I did not expect was a steady stream of comments from some of the book’s 18 authors. Most of the comments were gracious, some of them gave me a hard time in return — but all of them made a good point: if romance novels are your thing, and they are for a lot of people, why not read this one?

Since the aim of my first post was to comment on the outcome of the SEAL craze sparked by the bin Laden raid (although I do know there were some SEAL novels before that), I left out of the post things I didn’t think were relevant, including where the money for the book goes and the fact that plenty of people think romance novels are awesome.

But the commenters did think they were relevant. I am not an all-knowing, infallible blogger — just the regular kind. And while I do stand by my opinion on the subject, the authors are the subject matter experts, and they deserve the floor too. And just in case you only read my post and didn’t scroll through the comments the last time, here is your chance to hear some of what they had to say. You can see the rest here.

One of the things I left out of the post (and I did have my reasons for doing so) is that all proceeds from “SEAL of my Dreams” are benefiting Veterans Research Corps., a nonprofit organization for wounded vets. Here’s what Roxanne St. Claire said in her comment about that.

I was so honored and delighted to be asked to participate in SEAL of My Dreams because every single dime of the proceeds will go the Veterans Research Corporation to help support medical research for veterans. My nephew, an Army Ranger who spent 15 months in Baghdad, returned home with a host of medical issues that, as you can imagine, will be with him for the rest of his life. I was thrilled that my time and talent could not only help him in some small way, but also the many veterans who sacrifice so much for our freedom.

If thousands of women get to escape into the arms of a fantasy SEAL (so many of us don’t get to do that in real life, like you do!), then all the better. I hope you and your fellow military spouses get a chance to read SEAL of My Dreams because I think these stories of heartache, hope, and lifelong love will not make you gag, but beam with pride.

A second author, Cindy Gerard, used the bulk of her comments to defend the value of romance novels. Since they are not my thing, I can’t really speak confirm any of what she says. But it certainly deserves to be heard.

Contemporary romance novels today are about strong women, pertinent and relevant issues and all about empowerment. They replenish, not deplete and speak to core values – like, say, a group of authors banding together for a common cause. And yeah, they have hunky guys in them. They also have wounded guys – physically and emotionally – and our stories explore how they set about salvaging their lives and their relationships.

Bottom line: I may not be a romance novel fan, but a lot of women are. If this is your cup of tea, this book may be worth a look. And here’s one thing we can definitely agree on: proceeds from the book support a cause we can all get behind — the care of wounded warriors.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of’s spouse and family blog A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • cindygerard

    Thanks, Amy, for revisiting this discussion. You didn’t have to do that and the fact that you did, says a lot about you. Your effort is appreciated. As you said, romance may not be everyone’s cuppa, but the cause and the reason behind the SEAL of My Dreams collection is something everyone can appreciate.

  • Definitely a romance fan here! I love that what SEAL of My Dreams is planning to accomplish for so many. I do have to say that what I most enjoy about the military romances in the last few years is the reality of the subject that are being dealt with. And those subjects can resonate beyond the military realm: wounded, battered, abused, low self-esteem, striving to be more/do more, family issues, etc. Yes, romance novels are escapism. Yet, there are certain times when something in those books will resonate. That I why I like authors such Roxanne St. Claire, Cindy Gerard, Marliss Melton, Lindsey McKenna, Suzanne Brockman, Catherine Mann and more. ;-) And for those authors listed who’ve contributed to the ‘More Than Words” Series that showcase amazing women in our communities who’ve seen a need and filled the gap . . . where else but in the world of romance can you find that too??!! ;-)

  • MsCamo

    I did read the comments the first time around and bought it as soon I saw where the money goes. I read alot, mostly for enjoyment, not to learn anything, I’ve been going to school for what seems like forever, so I have enough reality/educational reading to see my to my dying day. When I read for enjoyment I want to escape and read something fun and/or funny and exciting. Even better to get an anthology type book, because you can read one story and finish it then wait on the next without feeling like you need/want to read the whole thing at once. Awesome. Available on Kindle for $2.99, not a hardship for a good cause!

  • Thank you, Amy! It was my tweet that sparked the project and I’m very proud of what we’re doing for charity and also of the stories themselves. Clearly romance =is= my thing, and I appreciate that you took the time to note the good cause even though it’s not your cuppa.

  • I picked up a book when my husband joined the Army called You Know When the Men are Gone that we both thought would be heartwarming and encouraging. It took the worst of what can happen in a loving relationship and magnified it–infidelity, loss, and pain. Fiction does not always have a happy ever after or even a happy for now unless it’s romance. I’ll get behind that one any day because life is hard enough all by itself. I love that the book is for a good cause and will purchase it myself even if I do find a cheesy story in the bunch. :) Thanks for sharing Amy. I love a good romance!

  • Ronie Melvar

    Romance is a genre that is close to my heart. Military romance books are great reads all in all. Thanks a lot for revisiting the topic – I was able to delve deeper in this subject and am glad I have revisited your blog.