The best books about special forces

Who picked these books? Meet our 17 experts.

17 authors created a book list connected to special forces, and here are their favorite special forces books.
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What type of special forces book?


57 Hours

By Vesselin Nedkov, Paul Wilson,

Book cover of 57 Hours: A Survivor's Account of the Moscow Hostage Drama

David Satter Author Of The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep: Russia's Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin

From the list on contemporary Russia.

Who am I?

David Satter is a leading commentator on Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of five books on Russia and the creator of a documentary film on the fall of the U.S.S.R. He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He has been a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, and an associate of the Henry Jackson Society in London.

David's book list on contemporary Russia

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

Vesselin Nedkov was in Moscow on a business trip when he decided to buy a ticket to the Broadway style musical Nord-Ost, which was being shown at the Theater on Dubrovka. This book is his harrowing account of the ordeal as the theater and its thousand visitors were seized by armed terrorists and held for 57 hours before being "liberated" by the Russian special forces who attacked the theater with lethal gas. Rich in detail, his book also raises the many unanswered questions about the massive loss of innocent life. 

By Vesselin Nedkov, Paul Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 57 Hours as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To celebrate the last night of a business trip in Moscow, Canadian resident Vesselin Nedkov and a friend picked up two tickets to the hottest musical in town. Halfway through the show, his life was changed forever. 57 Hours is Nedkov's harrowing account of being trapped between two immovable and unpredictable forces: inside the theatre, suicidal Chechen rebels, loaded with explosives, demanded an end to the bloody civil war that was ravaging Chechnya; outside, Russian special forces prepared to storm the theatre, refusing to negotiate with the rebels. Through fifty-seven hours of fear and fatigue, Nedkov discovered courage and ingenuity…

Battle Scars

By Jason Fox,

Book cover of Battle Scars: A Story of War and All That Follows

Joe Talon Author Of Counting Crows

From the list on spooky minds and old soldiers who never give up.

Who am I?

I’ve written about war for years. To be honest, it all began in school when we studied the terrible events of The Great War. Hearing the hearts shatter of men on the frontline never left me. I wanted to understand. I needed to understand. PTSD is something I’m familiar with, even if I’ve never been on the front line in battle. I’m also obsessed with myths, legends, ghost stories, and mysteries. My Lorne Turner series combines my passions and the books shine a light, in fiction, on what happens to old soldiers when they come home.

Joe's book list on spooky minds and old soldiers who never give up

Discover why each book is one of Joe's favorite books.

Why did Joe love this book?

Another story about a mind broken by war. Jason Fox is former Special Forces, and it shows. Exploring the effects of war on the mind of a soldier who is trained to abhor weakness in all its forms is deeply moving. Also, reading about man’s life descending into chaos when it’s been so ordered is tough. The effect on family and friends, work colleagues. Again, not an easy read, because this is real life folks, but well worth the effort. It’s also very interesting to read about the conflicts from a warrior’s point of view.

By Jason Fox,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Battle Scars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



'The most important book you'll ever read... Battle Scars will save lives.' TOM MARCUS, author of SOLDIER SPY

Battle Scars tells the story of Jason Fox's career as an elite operator, from the gunfights, hostage rescues, daring escapes and heroic endeavours that defined his service, to a very different kind of battle that awaited him at home.

After more than two decades of active duty, Foxy was diagnosed with complex PTSD, forcing him to leave the military brotherhood and confront the hard reality of what follows. What happens when you become your own enemy?…

Bravo Two Zero

By Andy McNab,

Book cover of Bravo Two Zero: The Harrowing True Story of a Special Forces Patrol Behind the Lines in Iraq

Tim Pritchard Author Of Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War

From the list on battles that go wrong.

Who am I?

In 2003 I was travelling through Baghdad with US forces to report on the Iraq war. Suddenly an ear-shattering explosion cracked through our Humvee and a rush of hot debris swept past my face. The heavily armoured door warped inwards, and the vehicle lifted off the ground. Soldiers were screaming in terror and anger, clutching at bloody faces, arms, and legs. We’d been attacked by unknown members of the Iraqi resistance. The sheer terror of that moment gave me a new understanding of war  the sight, smells, sounds, and touch of combat – and a desire to tell the stories of the young soldiers who get caught up in it.  

Tim's book list on battles that go wrong

Discover why each book is one of Tim's favorite books.

Why did Tim love this book?

This is a detailed account of a secret military mission behind enemy lines during the first Gulf War and how a series of minor setbacks can quickly escalate into a full-blown disaster. I first read it years before I'd had any knowledge of a battlefield. I read it again after I'd been caught up in my own terrifying experience of combat and took away a new appreciation of the realities of war – how stress on the battlefield narrows the field of vision to minute details which distort what is really going on. It's a lesson about war, but also about life – even with all the planning and the training, it's almost impossible to control what happens in the heat of battle. 

By Andy McNab,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bravo Two Zero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sergeant Andy McNab recounts the story of the top secret mission that would reveal the secrets of the SAS to the world for the first time.

Their location: Iraq
Their mission: to sever a vital enemy underground communication link, to find and destroy mobile Scud launchers
Their call sign: Bravo Two Zero

When eight members of the elite SAS regiment embark on a highly covert operation, they are each laden with 15 stones of equipment, needing to tab 20km across the desert to reach their objective. But within days, their location is compromised. They engage in a fierce battle. They…

The Power of Awareness

By Dan Schilling,

Book cover of The Power of Awareness: And Other Secrets from the World's Foremost Spies, Detectives, and Special Operators on How to Stay Safe and Save Your Life

Veronica Kirin

From the list on incredible real life stories.

Who am I?

I am an anthropologist and former owner of a tech company. I saw firsthand how technology was changing society in the early twenty-teens, and knew that we were experiencing a compounding paradigm shift. I have a passion for telling stories and preserving the past for future generations — the stories that our grandchildren will ask about, just as we asked our grandparents about the great wars and depression.

Veronica's book list on incredible real life stories

Discover why each book is one of Veronica's favorite books.

Why did Veronica love this book?

First of all, Dan Schilling is a powerhouse author. This book amazes me as he took the stories of many individuals and takes the reader deep into each. You feel like you’re really there. Not to mention the takeaways are applicable to everyday life. I love a book where I learn something practical while along for the ride.

By Dan Schilling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Power of Awareness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A spy is suddenly aware she's being stalked through the streets of an overseas city. A special ops soldier intuitively recognizes something's "off" during a high-risk mission. In these life-threatening situations experts know exactly how to use their senses and what actions to take. At the intersection of The Gift of Fear and Make Your Bed, The Power of Awareness will make sure you will, too. In his empowering book, Dan Schilling shares how to identify and avoid threats using situational awareness and intuition just like the pros. Told with wit and wisdom, this compelling guide uses harrowing stories from…

Soul Patrol

By Ed Emanuel,

Book cover of Soul Patrol: The Riveting True Story of the First African American LRRP Team in Vietnam

Doug Bradley Author Of We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War

From the list on the Vietnam War that strike a different note.

Who am I?

Until today’s multiple catastrophes, the Vietnam War was the most harrowing moment in the lives of my fellow baby boomers and me. Drafted into the U.S. Army in early 1970, I spent 365 days in Vietnam as a combat correspondent. That experience changed my life, because as the Argentinian writer Jose Narosky has pointed out, “in war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” I have spent the past five decades trying to heal those wounds, writing three books grounded in my Vietnam experience, and have devoted my life to listening to the voices of our veterans, distilling their memories (often music-based), and sharing their words. 

Doug's book list on the Vietnam War that strike a different note

Discover why each book is one of Doug's favorite books.

Why did Doug love this book?

In 1968, Ed Emanuel was handpicked to be part of the first six-man African American special operations (LRRP) unit in Vietnam. Team 2/6 of Company F, 51st Infantry, was dubbed the “Soul Patrol,” a glib, albeit superficial, label that belied the true depth of their brutal war experience. “Silence was essential in the field,” he reminds us in his memoir, but when he and other members of the Soul Patrol rotated to the rear, “Otis Redding’s ‘Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,’” he writes, “could be heard streaming from the jukeboxes of nearby bars and clubs.” Music gave the Soul Patrol much-needed solace. 

By Ed Emanuel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Soul Patrol as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

LRRPs had to be the best.
Anything less meant certain death.

When Ed Emanuel was handpicked for the first African American special operations LRRP team in Vietnam, he knew his six-man team couldn’t have asked for a tougher proving ground than Cu Chi in the summer of 196868. Home to the largest Viet cong tunnel complex in Vietnam, Cu Chi was the deadly heart of the enemy’s stronghold in Tay Ninh Province.

Team 2/6 of Company F, 51st Infantry, was quickly dubbed the Soul Patrol, a gimmicky label that belied the true depth of their courage. Stark and compelling, Emanuel’s…

Killer Elite

By Michael Smith,

Book cover of Killer Elite: Completely Revised and Updated: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team

Robert Patrick Lewis Author Of Love Me When I'm Gone: The True Story of Life, Love, and Loss for a Green Beret in Post-9/11 War.

From the list on non-fiction on US special operations at war.

Who am I?

I’m a former Green Beret and combat veteran of OIF (Iraq), OEF (Afghanistan), and OEF-TS (North Africa). My first unit within Special Forces is the oldest within SF, and as such, I had the opportunity to work alongside some legends amongst men, people who were there in the early days of Special Operations. After leaving Special Forces I have written three published Special Operations-focused books, both fiction and non-fiction, which has led to a life of studying everything there is to know about Special Operations, the intelligence behind wars, and the history of both.

Robert's book list on non-fiction on US special operations at war

Discover why each book is one of Robert's favorite books.

Why did Robert love this book?

Although they once hoped to remain as eternally clandestine and unknown units, the famed Delta Force and Seal Team 6 had their covers blown and have now been memorialized in various books, movies, and television shows. There are still units within the Special Operations and Clandestine Services worlds that remain shrouded in mystery, though, which is exactly how they like it.

This book walks you through the history, jobs, and some of the high-profile missions of one of these such units, once known simply as “The Activity.” A unit so secret that they changed their official unit name every 30 days, their soldiers do not wear uniforms, and who performs the types of missions that everyone hopes are being conducted but nobody knows who has the capabilities to do so. 

This book is the perfect representation of the pinnacle of intelligence, strength, and bravery that exists within the US Special…

By Michael Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Killer Elite as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

America's most secret Special Forces unit does not even have a name. Formed as the 'Intelligence Support Activity', it has had a succession of innocuous titles to hide its ferocious purpose. It exists to 'undertake activities only when other intelligence or operational support elements are unavailable or inappropriate'. Translated from Pentagon-speak, this means operating undercover in the world's most dangerous places, penetrating enemy organizations including Al Qa'eda, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. 'The Activity' combines the spy work of the CIA with the commando/SAS role of the Green Berets. It not only provides the intelligence on the ground - it translates…

Extinction Horizon

By Nicholas Sansbury Smith,

Book cover of Extinction Horizon

R.A. Seckler Author Of Containment Zone

From the list on zombies that can think.

Who am I?

I hated reading as a kid. It wasn’t until I was in college I picked up Chuck Pahalniuk’s Survivor and fell in love with books and writing. Since then, I’ve been a non-stop reader and writer. I’d consume on average a book a week (sometime’s more) and write fiction every day. My first novel Containment Zone, combined my love of horror and zombies with themes of coming to terms with the end of one’s life and how we treat the elderly and infirm. For me, writing horror stories is a way of exploring deeper aspects of what it means to be human, all while having some thrills and chills along the way.

R.A.'s book list on zombies that can think

Discover why each book is one of R.A.'s favorite books.

Why did R.A. love this book?

Call me weird. I’m not a fan of series books. Unless, that is, they’re written by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. The problem with a book series for me is that I get bored of the same idea book after book after…zzzzzz. But when someone writing a book series is constantly bringing new ideas to the table, it keeps me reading. Couple that with characters we care about, and a heavy focus on moving the plot forward, and I’ll finish a book in no time and be eager to read the next one. This, my friends, is the first book in one of those series. 

By Nicholas Sansbury Smith,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Extinction Horizon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The worst of nature and the worst of science will bring the human race to the brink of extinction...

Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force Team, codenamed Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top secret Medical Corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet - a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.

After barely escaping with his life, Beckham returns to Fort Bragg in the midst of a new type of war. As cities fall, Team Ghost is…

Spies of No Country

By Matti Friedman,

Book cover of Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel

Danny Orbach Author Of Fugitives: A History of Nazi Mercenaries During the Cold War

From the list on covert operations making your blood boil.

Who am I?

I am an Israeli military historian, addicted to stories on the unusual, mysterious and unknown. While many of my fellow scholars are interested in the daily and the mundane, I have taken a very different course. Since childhood, I've been fascinated by decisions human beings make in times of crisis, war, and other situations of partial knowledge and moral ambiguity. Therefore, I wrote on coups d’etat, military undergrounds, covert operations, and espionage. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard University, I began teaching world military history, modern Japanese history, and the history of espionage at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For me, reading about covert operations is both a hobby and a profession.

Danny's book list on covert operations making your blood boil

Discover why each book is one of Danny's favorite books.

Why did Danny love this book?

The life of a spy is psychologically difficult as he must keep loyalty to his own country, while secretly blending in with that of the enemy. For the Middle Eastern Jews who spied for Israel during its war of independence, the heroes of Matti Friedman’s excellent book, life was even more difficult, by upbringing and background their identity was interwoven with that of the enemy. In this book, Friedman follows these spies and covert warriors through a breathless sequence of assassinations and espionage operations against the Arab foes besieging Israel from all sides. Aside from being taken over by the plot, I love this book because it raises intriguing questions of identity during times of crisis and war, still relevant in the turbulent region of the Middle East and beyond. 

By Matti Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spies of No Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Wondrous . . . Compelling . . . Piercing.” —The New York Times Book Review

Award-winning writer Matti Friedman’s tale of Israel’s first spies has all the tropes of an espionage novel, including duplicity, betrayal, disguise, clandestine meetings, the bluff, and the double bluff—but it’s all true.

Journalist and award-winning author Matti Friedman’s tale of Israel’s first spies reads like an espionage novel--but it’s all true. The four agents at the center of this story were part of a ragtag unit known as the Arab Section, conceived during World War II by British spies and Jewish militia leaders in Palestine.…

One Rough Man

By Brad Taylor,

Book cover of One Rough Man

Jeffrey B. Burton Author Of The Finders

From the list on thriller subgenres.

Who am I?

I’ve been a bookworm ever since my grandfather lent me his Louis L'Amour books when I was in grade school. Eventually, I gravitated towards mystery/thrillers as my all-time favorite reads (including the various subgenres brought up in my book recommendations). In addition, I’ve been writing mystery/thrillers for the past dozen years. I am the author of the Mace Reid K-9 mystery series about the danger Reid and his pack of human remains detection dogs (cadaver dogs) get into and, hopefully, out of.

Jeffrey's book list on thriller subgenres

Discover why each book is one of Jeffrey's favorite books.

Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Military Thrillers: One Rough Man by Brad Taylor is the first novel in Taylor’s Pike Logan/Jennifer Cahill series. Taylor’s Logan/Cahill novels are currently the best military thrillers on the scene as Pike and Jennifer and their team of commandos dash across the globe kicking terrorist ass. I picked One Rough Man because it contains the duo’s origin story (you’ve got to have that), but you’ll be delighted to know there’s about 15 more Logan/Cahill thrillers just waiting for you (Taylor’s a prolific author). So grab One Rough Man and begin the Logan/Cahill saga. Meanwhile, I’ll sit back and await your thank you note.

By Brad Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Rough Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first Pike Logan novel from New York Times bestselling author Brad Taylor.

They call it the Taskforce. Commissioned at the highest level of the U.S. government. Protected from the prying eyes of Congress and the media. Designed to operate outside the bounds of U.S. law. Trained to exist on the ragged edge of human capability.

Pike Logan was the most successful operator on the Taskforce, his instincts and talents unrivaled—until personal tragedy permanently altered his outlook on the world. Pike knows what the rest of the country might not want to admit: The real threat isn’t from any nation,…

Book cover of The Brotherhood of the Rose

Gary Jonas Author Of Modern Sorcery

From the list on non-fantasy novels for fantasy readers.

Who am I?

My mother instilled a love of reading in me, and from an early age, I read everything from Agatha Christie to Edgar Rice Burroughs to Louis L’Amour to Marvel Comics. Stories are stories no matter how they’re classified, and genre is primarily a marketing tool to help readers find things they like. When I started writing, I often blended genres because I liked so many things. As I type this, I have 29 novels published with #30 on the way. The novels include science fiction, fantasy, horror, and thriller under my name, westerns as Dan Winchester, and a cozy mystery as Angie Cabot. Go figure.

Gary's book list on non-fantasy novels for fantasy readers

Discover why each book is one of Gary's favorite books.

Why did Gary love this book?

On one level, this novel is about Chris and Saul, two orphans raised by Eliot, a CIA operative, to become world-class assassins. After an international incident, Eliot decides Chris and Saul must be eliminated. Solid and engaging on that level, of course. But on a deeper level, it’s about two young men who trust their “father,” the one person who ever cared about them, only to feel the sting of his betrayal rock them to their core. The emotion makes the action matter. Everything is personal. The accurate tradecraft, killer action, and depth of character all combine to make this one of my favorite books. Fantasy readers will appreciate the secret society aspect of the assassins as well as the amazing action set-pieces.

By David Morrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Brotherhood of the Rose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Riveting...Crackling...It really moves."
They were orphans, Chris and Saul--raised in a Philadelphia school for boys, bonded by friendship, and devoted to a mysterious man called Eliot. He visited them and brought them candy. He treated them like sons. He trained them to be assassins. Now he is trying desperately to have them killed.
Spanning the globe, here is an astonishing novel of fierce loyalty and violent betrayal, of murders planned and coolly executed, of revenge bitterly, urgently desired.

Shadow Warriors

By Paul O’Brien, Wayne Fitzgerald,

Book cover of Shadow Warriors

Damien Larkin Author Of Big Red

From the list on military books written by veterans.

Who am I?

I served for seven years in the Irish Reserve Defence Forces, finishing as a weapons specialist in the infantry. I’m very grateful for the time I served in uniform and the lifelong lessons I learned that have helped me in my personal and professional life. Being a lifelong fan of military science fiction, I wrote Big Red from the point of view of a young Irish soldier thrown into a genocidal war on Mars. I’m a co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community and our online magazine Bard of the Isles.

Damien's book list on military books written by veterans

Discover why each book is one of Damien's favorite books.

Why did Damien love this book?

Ireland is known as the land of a thousand welcomes, but most people aren’t aware of its sixty unbroken years of Peacekeeping duty with the UN and even less know of its elite special forces unit known as the Army Ranger Wing (ARW).

The ARW is seen by many as one of the most effective special forces in operation. Shadow Warriors gives an in depth look into the history of the ARW, set up against the backdrop of rising instances of international terrorism and its deployment in a variety of roles across dozens of countries. This is an easy and straightforward read for anyone interested in military related books.

By Paul O’Brien, Wayne Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shadow Warriors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the spring of 1980, the Irish Department of Defence sanctioned the establishment of a new unit within the Irish Defence Forces and the Irish Army Ranger Wing (ARW) came into being. In the decades that followed, its soldiers have been deployed on active service at home and abroad, generally without the knowledge of the wider public. The ARW is made up of seasoned men from across the island, who are selected through tough competition. Only the best of the best make it through and are trained in an extraordinary range of specialist skills. Being one of these elite operators…

Rainbow Six

By Tom Clancy,

Book cover of Rainbow Six

Alan McDermott Author Of Run and Hide

From the list on thrillers that kept me reading all night.

Who am I?

When I was at school, reading was a chore. We were given books that held no interest and told to dissect the author’s words to find a deeper meaning. It put me off reading for years. It wasn’t until I came across a thriller that I discovered my love of books, and I’ve been hooked ever since. There’s nothing like mounting tension to get you flipping the pages, and I try to do that in my books. 

Alan's book list on thrillers that kept me reading all night

Discover why each book is one of Alan's favorite books.

Why did Alan love this book?

The best book I’ve read. I still have the hardcover edition that I bought twenty years ago, and it’s well-thumbed, trust me. Clancy, for me, was the master of the international action thriller. This one features a few of his better-known characters, including Ding Chavez and John Kelly (who was known by different names in other books). Kelly is tasked with creating a multinational anti-terror group using special forces personnel from around the world. Just in time, as a threat to mankind is unearthed.

By Tom Clancy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rainbow Six as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rainbow Six is a nerve-shredding thriller from international bestseller, Tom Clancy.

Newly named head of an elite multinational task force, John Clark faces the world's greatest fear: international terrorism. And following each terrifying new outbreak - the ghosts from his own past.

The challenge of a new mission is just what Clark needs, but the opportunities come faster than he expected. Hostage-taking at a Swiss bank. The kidnapping of an international trader. Carnage at a theme park in Spain. Each incident seems separate, yet the timing disturbs Clark.

Is there a connection? Is he being tested? Or is there a…


By Alison Morton,

Book cover of Inceptio

A.A. Abbott Author Of Lies at Her Door

From the list on psychological thrillers where women become strong.

Who am I?

Like most authors, I love reading stories as well as writing them. Being of a certain age, I’ve read plenty. For me, the best tales are those where women overcome deadly odds to create their own happy ending. Those are the books I aim to write too. My characters are much braver than me! While they grapple with challenges, I’m simply tied to a keyboard. Sometimes I take my laptop to a coffee shop (mine’s a flat white, please). I live in Bristol, in the English West Country, and have spent time in Birmingham and London. They all feature in my books and give them a strong sense of place.

A.A.'s book list on psychological thrillers where women become strong

Discover why each book is one of A.A.'s favorite books.

Why did A.A. love this book?

Inceptio starts as a psychological thriller, then becomes much more. Karen thinks of herself as an all-American girl. Trying to carve a career in New York’s cutthroat advertising world, she’s on the brink of success when she attracts a stalker. This is where the plot segues into alt-history, military strategy, and politics. It transpires that Karen’s late mother hailed from the technologically advanced state of Roma Nova, and Karen has access to dangerous secrets. Finding herself at the centre of a diplomatic incident, Karen is spirited away to Roma Nova and an uncertain future.

Author Alison Morton writes beautifully and has constructed engaging characters and settings. This is Book 1 of a series and can be read as a standalone, but I feel the others are too good to miss.

By Alison Morton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inceptio as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hunted by a killer, New Yorker Karen Brown is rescued by arrogant special forces officer Conrad Tellus and flees with him to her mother's mysterious homeland in Europe, centuries old Roma Nova. But the killer reaches into her new home. Pushed back on her own resources, she undergoes intensive training, develops fighting skills and becomes an undercover cop. Crazy with bitterness at his past failures, the killer sets a trap, knowing Karen has no choice but to spring it...

Wreck of the Nebula Dream

By Veronica Scott,

Book cover of Wreck of the Nebula Dream

Pauline Baird Jones Author Of Relatively Risky

From the list on thrilling, chilling, romantic, blush-free reads.

Who am I?

I feel like I’ve read all of my life—though I know at some point someone had to teach me—but stories and storytelling are in my DNA. The first four books were my writing “primers.” I learned more about storytelling from them than any how-to book. They also fueled my passion to write in different genres. You will notice the words “blush free” in some of my recommendations. That is because I love well-told stories that live between prim and steamy, books where I don’t have to flip past the steamy stuff to get back to the story. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Pauline's book list on thrilling, chilling, romantic, blush-free reads

Discover why each book is one of Pauline's favorite books.

Why did Pauline love this book?

This recommendation is a little different from the others on my list. This “Titanic in Space” story really caught my imagination. It’s intense, romantic, and wildly believable. It does have romantic tension, but nothing steamy—the characters don’t have time or the safety for messing around. That is also another reason for my recommendation. It is an action and adventure story that includes great world-building and character interactions that make sense. I also love the author’s other books, but they aren’t blush-free. I do have to flip some pages to get past the steam. But it’s the Titanic! In space! Super fun read.

By Veronica Scott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wreck of the Nebula Dream as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A reimagining of the Titanic disaster set in the far future among the stars…

Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, space marine Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers…

Five Years Gone

By Marie Force,

Book cover of Five Years Gone

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Author Of At Face Value

From the list on the lessons learned by triumphant heroes.

Who am I?

I’m the daughter of an Army drill sergeant, widow of an Air Force veteran, granddaughter, niece, and cousin to veterans who served during both World Wars, in Vietnam, and beyond. I am a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. One of my grandfathers suffered from PTSD and I’ll never forget a moment in my childhood when during a family picnic to welcome home my cousin from Vietnam, a car backfired in the street, and he dived under a picnic table for cover since days earlier he’d been in a war zone. I’ve visited VA hospitals where bitter veterans taunted each other for being a “cripple” and broke my heart.

Lee's book list on the lessons learned by triumphant heroes

Discover why each book is one of Lee's favorite books.

Why did Lee love this book?

This ranks as one of the best books I’ve read. It cut me to the heart, brought tears, and yet brought hope.

It’s a complicated story about a woman who waited years for the man she loved. Then she moved on and is about to marry a new love, Eric, when John returns. He dreamed of Ava during his captivity and thought they would pick up where they left off but it doesn’t happen. She’s forced to make a terrible, gut-wrenching decision and must live with it.

But the story ends with hope for John and the future and there’s a follow-up story called One Year Back that continues the story. Although Ava’s not a widow, she felt like one and as a widow, that resonated with me.

By Marie Force,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Five Years Gone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The most brazen terrorist attack in history. A country bent on revenge. A love affair cut short. A broken heart that never truly heals.


I knew on the day of the attack that our lives were changed forever. What I didn’t know then was that I’d never see John again after he deployed. One day he was living with me, sleeping next to me, making plans with me. The next day he was gone. That was five years ago. The world has moved on from that awful day, but I’m stuck in my own personal hell, waiting for a…