Hello and welcome to Scorching Book Reviews. My name is Nix and I have a Cowboy Romance addiction. This post is a bit of a cross-post with my Celebrating Romance Event (see past posts) as I chose to celebrate Cowboy Romance!
This is a laughable addiction to all who know me as, as I live in the UK, the likelihood of me meeting an actual Cowboy is probably less than me being struck by lightning. So, why do I like them so much I hear you ask? Well, sit down, this may take a while.
While I have your attention, I’m Just going to break away from the direction of the post for a second, I just want to state that this post also features Cowgirls, not just cowboys. I’ve also taken a long hard look at the diversity of my reading habits recently and, I have to say, this is not as diverse a list as I would have liked. I am working to change that and any recommendations are gratefully received.
So, first off, let me just give you my hot-take on the cowboy genre. I actually split it down into three sub-genres; Cowboy Ranchers, Cowboy Bull-Riders and Historical Westerns. Each of these sub-genres have a different kind of story but the core character is always the same. I’ll be focusing on what I think are the main characteristics of a cowboy//cowgirl in romance. This post was a struggle because narrowing the list of books was torture! I’ve picked only my favourites… hopefully, you’ll find something you like! All pictures should lead to the GR page … should being the opperative word!
Most Cowboys/Cowgirls are charming to the extreme. All twinkly eyes, quick smiles and fantastic manners, they are the epitome of swoon-worthy characters. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes that charm is well hidden beneath layers of tired gruffness, but it’s always there.
In Tied Up, Tied Down by Lorelei James, Kade is the epitome of charm, even when his looks and wealth means he doesn’t really need to be. His sweet ways surely wormed his way into the heart of Skylar, his heroine, and mine. This secret baby book Cowboy book is one of my favourite of the series; I loved the wonder twins. It also hot as hell (beware – all the McKays seem to want to show their commitment with butt-sex..)
In Unridden by Cat Johnson, Jenna has to contend with two charming cowboys willing to satisfy her every sexual whim. They manage to charm their ways between her sheets, but only one of them wants to stay. Is that enough? This one was my first Ménage book and it is HAWT! It also made me laugh that Jenna is researching sex scenes for her book as a premise … how many times do authors get asked that?!
In Gift from Carolina by Holley Trent, Joachim is a charming womaniser who falls for a city girl. In this short, sexy read, that is book 3 in the series, we see if the serial charmer can manage to stay faithful to one woman, especially as she’s so unused to his way of life. This one is fun, sexy and quick; a perfect summer read which made me want more.
Loyalty is one thing that all Cowboys have. A strong sense of honour and duty keeps them standing by the ones they love.
In OutLaw Bride, by Kelly Joyce, Sheriff Connor falls in love with his Mail Order bride, only to find out that she is actually not the woman he ordered, but a woman on the run from the law. He has to decide whether or not to stay Loyal – this book is one of my favourite reads and the first historical that kept my attention. Swoon-worthy and fab.
Keely McKay from All Jacked up by LoreLei James is a fantastic heroine. Loyal to the core, she is a fixture in all the McKay romances and I adored her HEA; especially as it wasn’t with a cowboy!! I’ve reread a million times. She is a strong, sexual woman who doesn’t apologise for the way she is to anyone – she is ace.
Jackson from Tangled Past by Leah Braemal is the epitome of Loyalty. He is in love with his best friend but forced to marry a woman he just met, his loyalty to them both leads to amazing ménage. I loved this – it’s a heart-breaking premise but a satisfying ending.
One of the things I adore about Cowboy sis how damn hard they work. Whether they are bull riders or ranchers, they never stop and it just makes me all swoony (I dunno – maybe some primitive throwback emotion that I need to stomp on!).
In Rocky Mountain Angel by Vivian Arend, Gabe is working too hard to stop and heal from his past. When Allison turns up, it takes him a while to switch gears and realise there is more to work than the ranch. I LOVED this book. Gabe is a gruff, tortured hero who needed this book.
In Untouched by Maisey Yates, Quinn is another hero who needs to stop working and start smelling the roses. He also needs to stop being a massive DOUCHE. Yes, I know, surprising I loved him isn’t it. This book was where my obsession with this series started as, when Lark started to show him that he was being a massive douche, there romance was ever more satisfying. Even when I wanted to smack him.
In Saddled and Spurred by Lorelei James, I laughed, I cried and I swooned (fainting GOATS). When Harper turns up at his ranch,I think Bran thinks he has been pranked. She is a beauty queen; not a rancher. She proves him wrong and shakes him up though – I LOVE them.
They Defend the ones they love
Self-explanatory this one isn’t it? Loyalty makes you stand by the one you love but Cowboys also stand up for them.
In the dystopian FF Gunfighter and the Gearhead by Cassandra Duffy, Fiona has to stand up for Geio against alien invasions, cowboys and cults galore. I bloody loved it….even if I had to read it twice to ensure I understood the world building.
In Tobias by Emma Lang, Tobias is absolutely tortured with a guilt that he should never have to bear around the kidnapping of his brother. He has to stand up for the one’s he loves as he feels that he didn’t the first time. I fucking CRIED throughout this book – the series is one of my favourites and this book is so expertly crafted that I have read it again and again.
In Tin Star by JL Langley, Ethan has to take in James, even though he knows it may cause conflict for himself, as James was banished by his family for being gay. It is a blooming lovely book filled with so much heart-break and angst that it left me feeling for days.
They are just sexy as hell
The potent combination of charm, loyalty, focus and cough dedication to the task at hand makes them potent as hell and Cowboy books are probably the sexiest I’ve ever read.
In One Night with a Cowboy, Rodeo rider/college professor/army man Tucker manages to seduce Becca into his bed but can he keep her there? He’s used to buckle bunnies in his bed; he doesn’t normally want to keep them around but this one has wormed her way under his skin. He’s so darned sexy and cute I wanted him to – and the sex was hot as hell too!
In Raising Kane (my all time favourite of all the McKay books!), Kane McKay is a former playboy turned lonely man. He wants to settle down and he kinda wants to do it with the sexy lawyer Ginger but he doesn’t think he’s good enough for anything other than a one night stand with her. He is sexy, thoughtful, caring and alpha as hell – you want an alpha cowboy with self-worth issues, a dominant side, a nurturing side and a perchance for dirty sex? Read Kane. I LOVE KANE.
In my dubious pick of the post, I’m going to stick in Ty and Zane in Stars and Stripes by Abigail Roux. Yes, I know they are cops but they are my favourite all time angsty MM couple and, in this one, they are in Texas being cowboys. I adore this series as they give me all the feeeeelllllllssss; so much love, angst and self-loathing – READ THEM.
Good with Ropes
LOL, I have to put this one in there. Cowboys are good with ropes – the amount of BDSM cowboys is hilarious. I love it though; it fits they would want to be in charge and know all the good rope knots.
In Small Town Siren, another ménage, Jack is a rancher who wants to share a woman with his business partner Sam. What follows is the most amazing, yet crazy, romance that spans over two books as they find out what love actually is. There are ropes, spankings, displays of dominance, sex clubs and lots and lots of kinky sex games. I’ve read the series and there are like 95 of them – I love them that much.
In Southern Comfort by Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon, Seth has been holding off for years on his attraction to Jody and, when he acts, boy does he make it good. He’s bossy, in-charge and full of ALLL the good rope tricks. The series is one of my favourites and this was a great place to start – hot as hell, funny and a little bit sad.
In This is Who I am by Cherise Sinclair, Linda is still struggling to come to terms with her previous abuse when Master Sam comes into her life. She fights against the attraction, unsure of what is real and what is because of her experiences, but she can’t fight it for long. What I love the most is that Sam doesn’t push, doesn’t crowd and simply supports her until she firmly consents to their entanglement. Oh, a word of warning, he’s a Sadist Dom so there is pain a-plenty.
Well, that was a big list. What recommendations do you have for me??