Connie Brockway: My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

6a00e54ed05fc2883301676831c8e4970b-500wiA few weeks back during a bout of insomnia, I ended up watching over an hour of barrel racing on the Cowboy Channel. (Okay, there isn’t really a Cowboy Channel but there ought to be!) Barrel racing, for those of you not in the rodeo know, consists of riding a horse around barrels. And that’s it. And yes, you might well wonder what the attraction was for me. Well, on top of those horses were cowboys. Leather gloved, jeans clad, Stetson wearing, steely-eyed cowboys... and what romance reader worth her salt lick doesn’t have a place in her heart for a saddle tramp, an against-all-odds sheriff, or a seemingly irredeemable hired gun? None that I know. 

When western historical romances faded into the sunset I grieved like Joey for Shane, hoping they’d return. Well, now they have! Yeehaw!! Below you’ll find a handful of some of my favorites, new and older.


Beauty and the Bounty Hunter by Lori Austin

This is everything, everything, you hope a western will be! An edgy, driven heroine with an agenda teams up with a cynical, ex Civil War sniper-turned-snake oil salesmen (literally), and together they go on a hell-bent-for-leather ride across the American west. She’s single-minded in her quest for revenge and he’s single-minded in his unwilling resolve to keep anyone from collecting the bounty on her head.  I’ll be reading this one again while I wait in delicious anticipation for the next Lori Austin western.

Where the Wind Blows by Caroline Fyffe

If you find yourself in the mood for a lovely, tender and yearning sort of romance, boy howdy (points to me for cowboy slang!) do I have the book for you. Weather-beaten, solitary drifter Chase Logan shows up at Jessie Strong’s door to deliver the news that her husband is dead but agrees to stay and pose as her husband in order to facilitate her adoption of a little girl. Alternately heart-breaking and heart-warming, it’s the sort of feel good western that leaves you sighing.

Bad Luck Wedding Dress by Geralyn Dawson 51mC0rB5nGL._BO2,204,203,20035,-76_AA278_PIkin4,-70,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Filled with humor and charm, this Texan tale pairs dressmaker Miss Jenny Fortune, creator of one extremely snake bit wedding dress, with saloon owner Trace McBride, a widower with a trio of wild-child daughters and a tragic past.  Generally I’m not much of a fan of kids in romances, but these three hellions are the exception. The machinations they use to finagle Jenny and Trace into a marriage of their convenience are fabulously entertaining, and the romance that blooms between their two willing victims is over-the-top delightful.

The Last Renegade by Jo Goodman

In this book, Ms. Goodman had me at “shootist.” And if, like me, you were a Zane Grey junkie, not-so-secretly yearned after every cow-poke that rode across your television screen, and thought the hero of High Noon embodied the heights of manliness, she’s got you, too. This story about a beautiful saloon owner and her tough, hired gun sparks and sizzles through secret identities, excellent dialogue, and threats posed by the de rigueur evil land baron. A marvelous read!

Connie Brockway is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author. Her latest novel is The Other Guy's Bride. She is published by Montlake Romance.

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