Friday, February 17, 2012

The New Wild West – The Appeal of the Contemporary Western Romance

There’s just something about a cowboy isn’t there? Whether he’s riding across the hot open range or struggling to survive another winter in the mountains, I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for man in a cowboy hat. For some reason, when you mix together spirited heroine and a man in a Stetson, you have all the main ingredients for a great love story.

Today, there are contemporary western romances created to fit just about everyone’s taste, from Inspirational to Erotica.

The challenges facing the contemporary western author are not easy ones to overcome. First and foremost is to create a great love story fit to be included in the honored genre of western romance. To do this, the author must fulfill these three steps.

First, there must be an appealing backdrop for the story. Contemporary westerns can take place in the vast Southwest of Texas, Oklahoma or New Mexico, the rugged Rocky Mountains of Colorado, or the open majesty of Montana or Wyoming. That’s one of the great aspects of a contemporary western. It takes the reader to places some of us can only imagine. Whether it’s wide-open spaces or remote mountain terrain, survival for the hero and heroine can be as physical as the love stories themselves.

Second, the author must invent a love story worthy of being branded a western. In other words, there are some Texas-sized boots to fill (forgive the pun. I am a Texan at heart after all). The modern day western romance demands a story that will leave the reader wanting more.

And last, but never least, you need to have a hero and heroine the reader can fall in love with and wish they could step right in to the pages of the story and become part of the story, if only for a little while.

When it comes to great contemporary western romances, 2010 is filled with promise. This month, I’d like to take a look at just a few contemporary western romances I’ve fallen in love with. I hope you come away feeling the same way.

Branded As Trouble by Lorelei James, Samhain Publishing

This is book 6 in the Rough Riders series.

ISBN: 978-1605042992

It’s hard to trust the future when you’ve been branded by the past.

As a walking advertisement for the tattoo shop she’s set up in a small Wyoming town, India Ellison is well acquainted with preconceived notions. Despite the odd looks and off-color comments about her off-color hair, life is good. She’s clean and sober, dotes on her sister’s kids and, best of all, spends most of her free time with her best buddy, cowboy Colt McKay.

After an unexpected, steamy interlude, all India can think about is riding the sexy cowboy instead of her motorcycle, even when Colt is determined to show her a slower ride is worth the wait.

Or are they risking their friendship for a fling that could burn them both?

If you love your western romance filled with as much sizzling heat as a summer day in Texas, then this is the story for you. Fans of Lorelei will not be disappointed by the latest print release in her Rough Riders series. The sexual tension between Colt and India has the sparks literally flying off the page. A definite hot read for a long, cold winter’s night.

Her Forever Cowboy by Debra Clopton, Steeple Hill Books.

Part of the men of Mule Hollow series.

ISBN: 978-0373875733

Mule Hollow, Texas, is chock-full of handsome cowboys ready to say "I do." So veterinarian Susan Worth moves in, dreaming of meeting Mr. Right. He's most certainly not the gorgeous rescue worker blazing through town on a motorcycle. Cole Turner is a sixth-generation Mule Hollow rancher, but he's all about roaming Texas to save everyone but himself. The hurt hidden deep inside his heart keeps him from settling down. But Susan is determined—and knows just how—to make him her forever cowboy.

Cole and Susan are two people who have been hurt in the past and are struggling to heal. Both believe they are ready to move forward in life when an accidential encounter early one morning proves that sometimes our ways are not necessarily God’s way. This inspirational western romance grabbed my heart right from the start. The message is heartwarming without being over done. Susan and Cole are two people who could live next door to us and be are best friends. They are people filled with both honor and insecurities. The story is compelling and had me flipping to the final page and then…smiling. Oh, how I love a good western romace. And this is definitely one of them.

Heart of the Hunter by Madeline Baker, Cerridwen Press

ISBN: 978-1419923944

Kelly McBride is torn between two men.

As the owner of a Montana ranch, Kelly is torn between two lovers: a Lakota spirit warrior who guards gold, and his flesh-and-blood descendent. There seems no way possible for Kelly and the ghostly spirit to make a life together.

Lee Roan Horse, an embittered ex-con, descends on the ranch to steal the gold of his ancestors, but finds in Kelly the love of a lifetime that he's afraid to acknowledge. As death comes to claim Kelly, the spirit and Lee form an alliance to protect the woman they both love, one that defies the laws of life and death.

If you like your western romance with just a touch of Native American mystic, then this one’s a keeper. I’d definitely recommend it to take the chill of the winter night away.

All the best…
Killer Moves - available now at Samhain Publishing
Mary Eason - Inspiration. Romance. Suspense. A rollercoaster ride of emotion.

No comments: