Why Soldiers are Sexy

I don’t remember a time when the military, in particular the army, wasn’t part of my life. My father, a 1965 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, was in Vietnam when I was born. I lived on army posts and was used to men in jungle camo BDUs. Much later, I married another army man—another graduate of West Point—and lived on other army posts.

Being part of the military family is like living in another world that exists within the society we all know. As an army wife, I knew that I had to stop to show my ID every time I came home; at 5 PM, no matter where we were or what we were doing, we had to stop and stand to honor the lowering of the flag and the playing of Taps, blasted throughout post. And it wasn’t unusual to see lines of soldiers walking past our house, heading out to some field exercise or another.

Thus, when I decided to write a new series of romance books, it wasn’t that odd that I chose to do military romance. After all, it was a world that I knew, and we all must admit, there’s not much in this world sexier than soldiers.

Why is that, anyway? What is it about a man in a well-fitted uniform, his hair cut short, his body in prime condition, steel in his eyes, that makes women sigh and swoon? Hmmm. Maybe we don’t need to ask that question.

But I do think that soldiers have an attraction that goes beyond the obvious. It may have something to do with their intensity, with their single-minded devotion to duty and mission, that makes women feel cherished, protected and loved.

I chose to set the first six Career Soldier books at Fort Lee, Virginia, because that’s the first post where we were stationed after we got married. I knew the area fairly well. All six of the soldiers in question are captains, all platoon leaders, and all are single guys who’ve had no lacking of female companionship over the years.

And over the course of the books, all six meet women who turn their worlds upside down—in the best ways.

But this series is about more than just romance and sexy soldiers. It’s about the community found within the military and the close-knit friendships that last for decades. It’s about courage, loyalty and love.

As one of my husband’s classmates told me on my wedding day, as I walked with my groom under the arch of swords . . .

“Welcome to the army.”

The Career Soldier series includes eight books, plus a collection set containing the first six books. The series will continue later this year with three new romances set at West Point. You can learn more about the books right here.

Tawdra Kandle writes romance, in just about all its forms. She loves unlikely pairings, strong women, sexy guys, hot love scenes and just enough conflict to make it interesting. Her books include new adult and adult contemporary romance; under the pen name Tamara Kendall, she writes paranormal romance, and under the pen name Tessa Kent, she writes erotic romance. Tawdra lives in central Florida with her husband, two sweet pups and too many cats. Assorted grown children and a perfect granddaughter live nearby. And yeah, she rocks purple hair. 

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An Excerpt from Maximum Force by Tawdra Kandle

“Do you like Garth Brooks?” The question was abrupt and came out of the blue, making me frown sharply at her.

“Uh . . . yeah, I guess. I like his music. I’ve never been to a concert or anything, but sure. Why do you ask?”

She flashed me a wry smile. “My parents . . . they’re not country music fans at all. They like folk music and some rock from the eighties, but I never listened to country music growing up. The first time I ever heard a Garth Brooks song was my first day of college. My roommate loved him, and she’d play country all day long. I started to enjoy it, too. I thought at first my parents might disown me.” She laughed.

“Ah.” I still didn’t see where she was going with this. Maybe she was making small talk until we got to my house, just to keep the awkward at bay.

“My favorite song of his is The Dance. Do you know it?” When I nodded, she went on. “It’s from that bull rider movie. I’m pretty sure it’s a biopic. Anyway, I’ve always loved it. And something you said before reminded me of the lyrics.”

“Really? What’s that?”

“When I told you that you’d missed a lot of fun by playing it safe, you said that you’d missed a lot of pain, too. But you know, there’s that line in the song . . . where Garth says that he could have missed the pain, but he’d have had to have missed the dance, too.”

I shifted in the seat. “I guess the question is whether or not the pleasure of the dance—or whatever it might bring—is worth the pain that might come along with it.”

“There’s no way to know that ahead of time. The dance could bring us incredible joy.”

“Mine is the third townhouse on the left. And if the pain is crushing?” I hadn’t realized I was clenching my jaw until I spoke.

“I still think it would be worth it.” She slowed the car and turned into my drive. We were quiet as she shifted into park.

“Life would be monotonous and boring if it were utterly safe. It’s the moments of pain—and the hours of joy—that make it . . .” She paused, thinking. “Beautiful.”

I sat, unmoving, staring at her hand on the gearshift, willing myself to open the door, say thank you for the ride and good night, and then turn my back and go into my house. It would be the smart move. The best move.

And it would be boring, and monotonous, and cowardly. Suddenly safe didn’t seem so appealing.

Before I gave myself time to second-guess it, I laid my hand over hers, curling my fingers until they linked with Samantha’s.

“Come inside with me.”

She lifted startled blue eyes to mine. Surprise and then passion flared before, to my relief and terror, she nodded.


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