Top Gun: Maverick has been taking us by storm. Miles Teller and his portrayal of Rooster has become a cultural reset. I’m not entirely sure that I’m a huge fan of the mustache, but I love the idea of a rugged pilot for a main love interest. And as the resident romance redneck, you know I have book recommendations for basically everything. This pattern is about to be full, so make sure you buckle in!
Top Gun Dad
Top Gun Dad features Lieutenant Colonel Chad Cassavetes, an Air Force pilot who is recently divorced and now has fully custody of his two daughters, Samantha and Racheal. Unable to silence his fighter pilot genes, Chad takes his two girls and their horses to the plains of Oklahoma for a new flying gig. However just before they get there, Chad’s truck breaks down, much to his frustration. Luckily for them, redhead bombshell turns up asking if they need help. The redhead turns out to be Kelbie Montgomery, the owner of the stable Chad’s daughters are set to ride at. Kelbie is also a single mother herself, as well as an Air Force widow– meaning she’s sworn off military men… or so she says.
The tension is palpable with these two, but neither is sure they’re able to make a blended family work. Top Gun Dad is a dual pov and clean romance, so if you’re looking for an easy going read, this is for you.
Flyboy follows Colton Bushman, fastest pilot to ever fly with the Air Force. He subscribes to Captain Barbosa’s method of rules where they’re really more of just guidelines than actual rules. Ivy Hatfield is also a pilot, but she’s spent years following every rule placed before her. All so she can step out of her brothers shadow, who forged a reckless reptuation without a care. So when Colton has to pick a team for his next mission, he picks the girl who wrote a complaint to his bosses. Is that a great choice? Colton sure thinks so! Colton and Ivy’s relationship takes off from their first real meeting, both parties realizing they know nothing about the other. Oh and did I mention Colton is a cowboy pilot?
Beyond What is Given
Beyond What is Given is the love story of Lieutenant Grayson Masters and Samantha Fitzgerland. Grayson is set on graduating the Apache helicopter course and the last thing he needs right now is distractions. Enter distraction in the form of a new roommate, Sam. Sparks fly between these two as they butt heads and both continue to hide their pasts from each other. No matter how much these two disagree, neither one of them is able to deny the attraction pulling them together.
Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros is the third book in Yarros’s Flight & Glory series. They’re all standalone romances, but once again I recommend them all because you can devour all of them. They are a bit spicier, so please be aware of that! However, everyone needs a bit of spice.
Into the Blue
Into the Blue is a second chance romance between Eric ‘Thor’ Jansen and Becca Madison. The love affair of Eric and Becca began during high school. They were together for five years and were even engaged– well until Eric left Becca for his career as a F-16 fighter pilot and Becca left Eric for law school. Now ten years later, Eric has returned to town riddled with PTSD and Becca is a successful lawyer. Neither one of them ever stopped loving the other, so it’s not hard to rekindle those buried feelings. The sexual tension is real between this pilot and lawyer.
Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton is the second book of the authors Wild Aces Romance trilogy. This book in particular is filled with angst and will have you questioning if the main characters are going to find their happy ever after.
Deadly Descent follows Captain Devon ‘Spike’ Crawford, a Black Hawk helicopter pilot commander who flies medical evacuation missions. She’s dealing with some guilt after the death of her boyfriend on a mission in Afghanistan. These feelings deepen when Dev meets Ty’s friend, Cameron Munro. Cam is a Tech Sergeant and a pararescue jumper in the U.S. Air Force, same as Ty was. The romance beween Dev and Cam blossoms, but is stunted by the fear of discovery– because this could cost them both their jobs. Eventually, the pair of them are stationed at the same base in Bagram and things being moving. Cam is very much that iconic “touch her and you die” type of character and Dev is very much “I can do it on my own.”
Deadly Descent by Kaylea Cross is the first of the Bagram Special Ops series. Every book in this series is that will have you on the edge of your seat. They’re all chock full of action, suspense, romance and (of course) spice!
If you still want the pilot element but aren’t thrilled about the military aspect, I’ve also got you covered with my next couple of recommendations!
The Simple Wild
The Simple Wild is centered around 26-year-old Calla who has pretty much always lived in Toronto with her mom. Her father left whenever she was two to run Calla’s grandfather’s aviation business in a remote part of Alaska. One day, Calla receives a call from someone who knows her father, urging her to come visit him before she never gets the chance again. So Calla makes the trip out to a secluded Alaskan village and visits her father. Her father has his neighbor fly out to meet Calla when she first arrives, and this is where we meet Jonah. Jonah is a 31-year-old pilot and right off the bat, Calla and Jonah don’t take too kindly to each other. We all know that is a recipe for good times, which is exactly what you get with The Simple Wild.
The Simple Wild is the first book of four in Wild series by K.A. Tucker. The first three books of the Wild series focus soley on Calla and Jonah, so they aren’t standalones. However, readers get three books of Calla and Jonah, that’s a bonus in my mind.
Tailspin is the story of Rye Mallett and Dr. Brynn O’Neal. Rye is fearless “freight dog” pilot who has just taken on new cargo. As long as the money is good, Rye is willing to fly through the worst conditions. Brynn is the go-between of Rye’s latest contract, a mysterious black box to be delievered to a Dr. Lambert. Rye has a ‘no-involvement’ policy with himself, but when the recipient doesn’t match and happens to pique his interest… he’s willing to bend the rules. At first he probably regrets that, as Brynn and Rye end up in a treacherous 48-hour race to deliver the box to Dr. Lambert. Except the road continues to become more and more dangerous as the pair are chased by both the law and hired goons.
Tailspin by Sandra Brown is a romance that heavily features mystery and suspense! This book is definitely more focused on the suspense side of things, so while the fact that Rye is a pilot is important, it’s isn’t a focal point for the book. If you’re wanting a different kind of spice to thrill your reading, Tailspin is definitely for you!
If you’re more interested in the (typical) subject of spice when it’s mentioned, these final two books are for you. They’re erotica and the main men are pilots, I mean come on. Just… fair warning.
Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland
Playboy Pilot follows Kendalll Sparks as she escapes to exotic locations to avoid the (current) life-altering decision her family is trying to force her into. She’s sitting the airport lounge when she meets Carter, a ladies man who immediately sets off alarm bells in Kendall’s head. Despite this, Carter helps her decide to go to Rio, and she thinks “great, I’ll never have to see you again! Thanks mister hot stranger, Rio here I come.” Only to find out, Carter is the primary pilot on her flight to Rio. Eventually, Carter convinces her to let him take her on a tour of Rio and their relationship blooms from there. And it’s dual pov, so you get both sides of the story!
Playboy Pilot by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland is the fifth book of a series of standalone novels the pair wrote together. And while the rest of the books aren’t centered around pilots, they’re still definitely worth the read!
Turbulence features Gillian Taylor as she pays her own way in NYC, working as part-time hotel housekeeper and flight attendant. She’s the youngest in her family and is fiercely loyal to those she cares about. Jake is an emotionally unavailable pilot at the same company Gillian works at. When they meet (and have a one-night stand), sparks instantly fly. Their one-night stand grew into two… and then three.. and just continued from there. Tension rise when Gillian and Jake want different things, but of course, there’s always a solution around the corner.
Turbulence by Whitney G is a mile high romance that you can just lose yourself in. This story is riddled with cliches in the best way possible. Turbluence is a forbidden romance that just gets steamier the more you read!
As always, I hope this list of book recommendations influenced you in some way! I know I can’t get enough of pilot romances right now, maybe it’s something in the air.
Want romance that is chock-full of clever main characters and witty banter, click here!