I’m a devourer of cowboy romances, especially set in contemporary times. What can I say? I love a man in boots and a Stetson. I have so many favorite cowboy romance authors that I don’t know where to start: Linda Lael Miller, Jennifer Ryan, Lori Wilde, Carolyn Brown, Jodi Thomas. The list goes on and on. But here’s five with whom I’m currently obsessed.
Crazy about Northern California cowboys? Then you’ll go nuts for Kate Pearce. The first book in her new Morgan Valley series (The Second Chance Rancher) just came out and I’ve got a feeling the Miller men are destined to be my new book boyfriends. The original series, Morgan Ranch, is one of my all-time favorites. I adore Kate’s heroes and heroines. And the setting? Let’s put it this way, in the land of fiction, I’m pretty sure Morgan Valley is right next to Dry Creek Ranch. Why not start with Kate’s The Reluctant Cowboy (Morgan Ranch) and work your way through both series?
So when TJ Kline writes about cowboys she knows what she’s talking about. She’s a real-life rodeo queen and an equestrian extraordinaire and lives not far from me in Northern California. All her experience riding in the rodeo comes leaping off the pages in her stories. Her Saddle Creek small-town series is so deliciously good. But you can’t go wrong with her earlier books from the Healing Harts and Hidden Falls series. She writes small-town heroes and heroines with heart.
Looking for category cowboy romance, try Claire McEwen, another Northern California author. Her stories are a combination of sweet and poignant. In Reunited with the Cowboy (out in July), Claire explores one of my favorite tropes: saving the ranch. I love this storyline because it’s an accurate depiction of American life. Ranching and farming are herculean struggles these days and I like when cowboy romance brings that reality onto the page.
Speaking of tropes, I’m also a sucker for marriage of convenience stories, especially if it’s to save the ranch. Kristi Rose’s Wyoming Matchmaker Series hits all the right notes for me. Lively writing, good storytelling and a bit of humor. Her characters are so vivid and her heroines are the kind of women I’d be friends with. Start with The Cowboy Takes a Bride.
Last but never least, I recommend any cowboy romance by Maisey Yates. She writes with such beautiful emotion. And Oregon, where her stories are set, is the perfect backdrop, especially because we Northern Californians are just over the border. I’d start with Brokedown Cowboy, which won a 2016 Rita for its moving tale about a rancher who loses his wife and finds love again, and work your way through her Copper Ridge series.
Hopefully that holds you over for the summer. Enjoy and let me know what your favorite cowboy romances are to add to my TBR list.
Cash, Jace, and Sawyer: Three cousins sharing an inheritance of five hundred acres of prime California ranch land—and a whole lot of surprises . . .
Cash Dalton is no rancher. He’s an FBI agent—or at least he was, until he left a haunting case behind him and a load of guilt in front of him. Now it turns out he’s also a father—to a twelve-year-old girl he didn’t know he had. Clearly, it’s no time for a new romance, especially not with Aubrey McAlister, who’s renting the cottage on Dry Creek Ranch. She doesn’t even seem to like him. Still, there’s nothing wrong with looking . . .
After calling off her wedding, Aubrey is trying to focus on her interior design career and avoid the fact that she’s the center of small-town gossip. Clearly, it’s no time for a new romance, especially not with brooding Cash. Though she does find him sexy as hell. And he has softened since his daughter arrived—enough for Aubrey to help decorate her room—and even try to get Cash to open up about the chip on his shoulder. Once he does, both their hearts might just follow—but will their futures sync up as well? . . .