My thanks to all the fillies of Pistols and Petticoats for inviting me to share their blog space today and pose some questions about what defines a novel as a western historical romance?
Who ever heard of a western historical romance novel without cowboys, cows, Indians, stagecoaches, robbers, bluecoats, sagebrush, cacti and the like? Can you imagine John Wayne playing a hero who doesn’t ride, rope, or powwow? For that matter what kind of hero gets raised in a brothel? Isn’t that the kind of environment that fosters villains, or at best anti-heroes? What kind of virginal heroine actually tries to hire the services of a stud and is naïve enough to imagine she can outsmart a brothel madam with more years of corruption under her wig than the heroine has spent breathing? If you can’t imagine any of this, then prepare to be surprised. If you can, then you’re like me loving the whole shoot ‘em up cowboy tradition but wanting to expand on it. Nothing is quite what it appears to be at the start of my story because pushing the western historical envelope is exactly what I intended to do with One Moment’s Pleasure ~ Wildfire Love # 1.
Born and raised in the brothels of the California gold rush, Dutch Trahern worked for years to erase a childhood spent committing petty crimes and worse in order to survive. That past comes back to haunt him in the form of a woman he rescues from prostitution. Now his hard won respectability is threatened by an irresistible desire for a woman he shouldn’t want.
Please note that I haven’t eliminated all of the traditional markers of western historical romances. A combination brothel, saloon, and gambling hall plays a huge part in the hero’s story—present and past—as does the madam of the bordello. The heroine’s sister is an outlaw and only a thin veneer of civilization covers the violence that characterized San Francisco—at the time one of the US’s western most cities—in its first two decades. Another western icon, the rain frames the story, setting the scene for the first encounter between hero and heroine as well as anchoring the final scene when their love overcomes the last obstacle. That train is largely responsible for the choice of 1870 as the year for the events of One Moment’s Pleasure. The transcontinental railway was completed in 1860. However, the rail line ended in Sacramento. Not until 1870 did the iron road extend all the way to San Francisco Bay. Even then, the terminus was the Oakland Long Wharf Depot across the bay from San Francisco proper.
I had tremendous fun writing One Moment’s Pleasure, weaving tried and true symbols of the west with the unique and strange that still represents San Francisco today. Leave a comment telling me what markers, icons, symbols and the like are must haves for you to enjoy a western historical romance or how you might like to see the genre evolve. [Corny as it was, I love the movie Cowboys and Aliens.]
Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in a drawing for a free download of One Moment’s Pleasure. Be sure to come back often. In July, I’ll be writing about One Night’s Desire ~ Wildfire Love # 2. Thanks so much for visiting with me today.
Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures. Learn more about Rue and One Moment’s Pleasure at