I love Western Romances because the men and women were so tough, gritty, hard-working and persistent. But they were flawed and sometimes damaged people. I also love all the different characters besides cowboys, ranchers and farmers. There are doctors, gamblers, cavalry and mounties, outlaws, bounty hunters, gunslingers, just to name a few. And the women were the most amazing. They cooked, cleaned, gave birth, raised their children and helped their husbands or ran the ranch themselves, all at the same time. They endured fires, floods, indian raids, starvation, the loss of children and husbands but they were tough and they kept going. Several of my favorite westerns involve women who are desperate to save their farm/ranch and so marry some very shady characters.
The following are my favorites in no particular order. Some of them you may have already heard of and some of them may be hard to find but try PBS if you can't find them on Amazon, or at your local UBS. Most of these are keepers for me.
One Lonely Night by Susan Kay Law
The beginning of this book reminded me very much of Linda Howard's White Out. One night during a raging blizzard a stranger shows up on the doorstep of a lonely spinster and collapses at her feet.
The Wives of Bowie Stone by Maggie Osborne
Heroine marries a condemned man to save him from hanging and help her run the farm.
Joe's Wife by Cheryl St. John
A young widow is afraid she will lose her ranch so she proposes marriage to a war veteran to help her run it. An emotional love story and a real tearjerker.
Prairie Wife by Cheryl St. John
A marriage in trouble story about a couple who have lost a child. Another emotional tearjerker that was very well done.
His Secondhand Wife by Cheryl St. John
A very strong heroine finds out she is pregnant after her husband is killed in a brawl. His half-brother is terribly scarred from injuries suffered when he tangled with some barbed wire at a young age and offers her a home with him. Another wonderful emotional story.
Rainbow Season by Lisa Gregory (aka Candace Camp)
An excellent redemption story with a tortured hero to die for.
A Reason to Live by Maureen McKade
A road romance about a nurse and an ex-gunslinger as they travel from Virginia to Texas in post-Civil War era. Very powerful story.
High Plains Bride by Jenna Kernan
Heroine's twelve year old daughter is kidnapped by the Sioux. She also discovers that her husband let her believe he was dead for years. So she demands his help in rescuing their daughter.
The Horse Soldier by Merline Lovelace
A woman searching for her husband travels to Fort Laramie Wyoming instead finds the man she secretly married years before ... and who she thought was dead.
The Outlaw by Nicole Jordan
Romeo and Juliet type story. H/H fall in love even though their families are enemies. They become separated when hero is accused of murder and he runs away. Now he is back and has cleared up the charges against him.
1st book in Rocky Mountain trilogy.
The Heart Breaker by Nicole Jordan
Marriage of convenience story. A Colorado rancher needs a wife and mother for his infant daughter.
2nd book in the Rocky Mountain "trilogy".
Nicole Jordan keeps promising the 3rd book (Wolf's story) for years but she never completed it. Here is what I found on her website:
I would love to be able to write Book 3, Wolf's story – and in fact I have it all plotted out. But my publisher wants me to wait until the market for Western romances is stronger. So regrettably, it will be a while longer for Wolf.*sigh* Same old story. You think maybe the "Great Western Drive" may have helped and maybe we'll get Wolf's story? Don't hold your breath.
The Susan Kay Law book sounds really good. I'm going to have to check that one out.
I loved all three of the St. John's you mentioned, but Prairie Wife is probably my personal favorite of hers.
What a great list of westerns.
Wendy: I hope you try the SLK since I think you probably like others by her. Prairie Wife is such a tearjerker and so emotional, I can see why you love it best.
Tara: Thanks! I'm so glad you're back to blogging. We've missed you and your tales of Junior's adventures. :)
Awesome list! And I heart that SKL muchly.
I soooooo want The Rainbow Season!
hmmm don't think I own The Horse Soldier by Merline Lovelace.
Syb: I had a hard time finding Rainbow Season but eventually got it from PBS. I don't think many people read Lovelace's westerns but I really loved this one. I should probably reread it to see if it's still a keeper.
I love your list - Cheryl St John is one of my fav...
I remember reading "His Secondhand Wife" - I loved it..
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