Love Western

Hi, it’s Anne Carrole and Karyna DaRosa, founders of the website, who are honored to be here with some of our favorite authors.  When we met for the first time at a NJ Romance Writers meeting in 2006, we discovered we both loved to read as well as write western romances and we both were frustrated at not being able to find as many new western historical romances as we wanted to read.  In fact, we were hearing that publishers were not so high on western historical romances anymore—imagine!

 So, we combined our talents—Karyna as editor and webmistress, Anne as editor and publicist—and created to help readers find new western historical authors and help authors find new readers—and prove there are a lot of us out here who love western romances!

 In May we celebrated our first anniversary.  In that time, we’ve featured reviews of over sixty western historical romances, have spotlighted over sixteen authors(and still counting), and our site visitors, numbering in the tens of thousands of hits per month and growing, selected the Best Western Romance of 2007. (The Best Western Romance of 2008 contest will run in December and several of the authors here will have books in the running.)  Of the many authors we’ve featured in our spotlight, several have been from Petticoats and Pistols including Stacey Kayne (our very first spotlight author—thank you Stacey!), Cheryl St. John, Elizabeth Lane and as well as other notable authors such as Linda Lael Miller, Leigh Greenwood, Bobbi Smith and Jodi Thomas. And Pam Crooks will be in our September Spotlight—yay Pam!

 We also run an ongoing survey on our site and ask our visitors to tell us why they LOVE WESTERN ROMANCES.  Is it those rugged, sexy heroes or the independent heroines, or maybe it’s the historical time period, or those adventurous, heart-stopping plots, or just the whole uniqueness of the American West experience?  Of course, we like all those things, but overwhelmingly our visitors have chosen—no surprise—those rugged, sexy heroes as the reason they LOVE WESTERN ROMANCES.

Our attraction for these cowboys undoubtedly goes beyond their handsome faces and lean bodies. H.H. Halsell seemed to sum up the mystique in his reminisces of the cowboy life in Texas in the late 1800s, when he wrote in Cowboys and Cattleland: A cowman was a friend of the weak and readily ministered to the suffering.  He was chivalrous and brave, courteous to women and tender to children.  It may seem strange and paradoxical to say it, but I always found the really brave and daring men to be men tenderhearted and kind.  However, when danger and even when in shooting scrapes, cowboys do not always act alike or look alike…Some turn pale, some have their faces set like steel; the eyes of a few, like O.D. Halsell, seem to flash fire.

 We thought we’d share with you some of our favorite cowboy heroes from western romances.

 Anne:  My favorite heroes tend to be those strong silent types, you know the ones where you never can tell what they are thinking. Hard men who have a vulnerability that only the heroine touches.  Ones that come to mind include Caleb Black from Elizabeth’s Lowell’s Only His, Luke Shardlow from Linda Lael Miller’s One Wish, Juniper Jones from Stacey Kayne’s just released The Gunslinger’s Untamed Bride, TJ Grier from Pam Crooks recent Kidnapped by a Cowboy and Tobin McMurray from Jodi Thomas’ Texas Princess.  I also fell in love with Jane Candia Coleman’s rendition of Virgil Earp in Tumbleweed, her fictional account of Allie Earp’s life.


No surprise that I tend to write my own heroes in this vain like Clay Tanner in Re-Ride at the Rodeo coming out later this year from





Wild Rose Press as part of their Wayback, Texas Series. This is a contemporary western but Clay isn’t far removed from the heroes of the Old West as he rides broncs and breaks heart.  For him, everything is a competition until he meets a little spitfire named Dusty Morgan who shuts him down in less time than it takes to get bucked off a bronc. He’s aiming for a re-ride, hence the title, but qualifying may call for more than he’s prepared to give.


Karyna:  Like Anne, my favorite heroes are the strong, silent types. I’m definitely into alpha males. ;-D  Caleb Black is also one of my favorites!!  I think Linda Howard does alphas really well. Two of my other favorites are from her books: Lucas Cochran in Angel Creek and Jake Sarrat from A Lady of the West. Although not a western, another one of my favorite Howard alphas is Gray Rouillard, from After the Night.

Of course, I, too, write alpha males. Cole Mitchell from Dry Moon, is the quintessential alpha male. Strong, silent, and oozing sexiness.  😉  Cole is fast with guns, establishing his reputation as a lethal killer. Working for a scheming cattle baron, Cole meets Cassie Taylor, owner of Taylor Irrigation, the festering thorn in his employer’s side. He thinks it odd that a woman prefers men’s trousers to wearing dresses, but watching Cassie ride away, he vows to possess her, and none too gently either.






In Tempted Fate, Lucas Reinhardt has always felt like an outsider looking in.The child of a Chippewa mother, his upbringing was one of rejection and humiliation at the hands of the pale-skins. Emma Sarris knows pain as an adopted child. Though loved and nurtured by her adoptive family, unanswered questions plague her. Who are her real parents? Why did they abandon her? An intricate silver brooch, worth far more than its weight in precious metal, is the only link to her past. When Emma’s brother loses her heirloom in a poker game to Luke, Emma will stop at nothing to get it back. She will leave her fiancé, her parents, and the safety of her home, in a desperate effort to convince the handsome, mysterious stranger to return what is hers. But what will she have to give up in return?

We like to trot around so you can find us at,, and MySpace.  Anne also has a blog,  where she writes about the old west, particularly little known women of the west, as well as today’s cowboys, especially rodeo cowboys.

 So now we’re dying to know what attracts you to western romances, what type of hero you like and who some of your favorite heroes are from your favorite western romances. And do you think cowboys today still embody H.H. Halsell’s ideal from his time riding the cattle trails of yesteryear?



Dry Moon

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45 thoughts on “Love Western”

  1. I have enjoyed visiting Love Western Romance and am delighted that you started up the website. I too love those alpha heroes. Thre is nothing better. Some of my favorites were mentioned but I also like to read stories featuring NAtive Americans.

  2. Having a little technical trouble leaving comments so this may appear more than once but as I was trying to comment to Debra, I too love stories featuring Native Americans like Black Lion in Karen Kay’s Last Warrior.

  3. Wow it worked this time. So I’ll now mention that anyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a Love Western Romances mug! We’ll let you know at the end of the blogging who won!

  4. Hi Anne and Karyna!

    I wondered if you would be here or if you are at Nationals! (Or both!) The heroes I enjoy in westerns are more the “lone wolf” rather than the alpha wolf (although I do enjoy the alphas too!)I guess he’s the hybrid–strong, silent, a bit tortured–having done something bad in the past and unable to forgive himself. Like Cain in The Outsider. I think these type of heroes tend to be on the fringes of society too–since they are not the gregarious type. So they are a little dangerous–which makes them more interesting.

    I do like the story of how Love Western Romances got started. It has really taken off. Congratulations on your success!

  5. Thanks Kathryn! And thanks for stopping by. Linda Howard has done some great contemporary westerns with lone wolves–like the Mackenzie boys. If I recall correctly one of the heroes in that series was called Wolf and was just what you described re: being on the fringes. And that’s definitely one of my favorite series.

    And we sure wish we were at National, Kathryn–next year in DC for sure!

  6. I am looking forward to checking out your website. I think I like westerns for all the reasons you listed and because while not a cowboy my farmer husband posses many of the same characteristics.

  7. Hey Connie, thanks for stopping in. Been having a little trouble posting so hope this goes through. But I’m a farmer’s daughter and my Dad and his brothers and cousins (all farmers) fit the bill too. Maybe it is something about man against nature that brings out the respect, integrity and self-reliance that we love in our cowboys.

  8. Hey Stacey–thanks for stopping in–I agree–In my opinion Elizabeth Lowell sort of “wrote the book”–LOL–on the alpha cowboy and showed us how it’s done

  9. I love Westerns since I watched them growing up. During the 50’s I was enthralled with the setting and was captivated with the larger than life characters. The men were all extraordinary, their integrity and values they possessed meant a great deal to me. Thanks for your wonderful post today.

  10. Thanks for stopping by–one Anne to another! I loved the westerns on TV too. One of my favorite was James Garner in Maverick–do you all remember that one? He was a slick gambler–more the laid back, happy go-lucky cowboy who got tough when he had to right a wrong. Yet another cowboy hero type. Recently I found a DVD with three episodes of it and it was a hoot to watch–it still held up in my opinion.

  11. Hi Anne and Karyna,

    Wow, it’s so great to have you girls here at Wildflower Junction! We extend a hearty welcome. I never have to have my arm twisted to talk about cowboys. 🙂

    Like both of you, I love the alpha male heroes. There’s something about a man who lets his actions speak for him. Those characters hold a special place in my heart. They’re so tough and yet have a kind of vulnerability about them because of the deep secrets they hide beneath those low Stetsons. My kind of man.

    However, Jodi does the beta heroes extremely well. I guess I just like all cowboys! Go figure.

    Congratulations on your book release, Anne! I’m so happy for you. I think all writers need to experience the highs and lows of selling a book.

    Also, Karyna’s books look awfully good. I can see lots of conflict in those plots. Hope you’re hard a work on another masterpiece!

    Enjoy yourselves and have a wonderful day here.

  12. I got to talking about cowboy heroes and forgot to say what my favorite western romances are.

    I love ALL of Linda Lael Miller’s books and anxiously await for each new one. Right now, I’m about to chew my nails to the quick waiting for “The Rustler.” I loved each one of the McKettrick series, but I think Holt’s story in “McKettrick’s Choice” was my favorite. He was a special character. But Luke Shardlow was the ultimate alpha hero. Really loved him!

    I recently read Stacey Kayne’s “The Gunslinger’s Untamed Bride” and fell deeply and absolutely in love with Juniper Jones. What a man! 🙂

    Jodi Thomas’s “To Tame a Texan’s Heart” has always been a favorite. And I loved each of her Lottery Wife Series books, especially “The Texan’s Wager.” Talk about a hero who didn’t talk. Carter McKoy hardly said three words in that book but Jodi portrayed him in a deep, satisfying way.

  13. Oh, I forgot to mention Pam’s new book, “Kidnapped by the Cowboy.” T.J Grier sure had his patience tried. Pam did a great job with his character!

    Charlene’s “Bodine’s Bounty” was another wonderful western romance. Loved when they got snowbound in that cabin. I just finished her “Taming the Texan” and hated to see that story end. Clint Hayworth showed plenty of grit yet a tenderness buried deep inside.

  14. Hey Linda–so happy you stopped by. Oh, I loved Jodi’s Lottery series too and forgot about the tight lipped Carter–:) He’s truly an original and Jodi made him so appealing despite his silence.

    We got an advance peek at Linda Lael Miller’s The Rustler for review but the review won’t be up on the site, per their request, until September and all I can say is you’re going to love this one. How she is able to take a sexy outlaw and make him so honorable is a treat. And her heroine is definitely unique.

    You know I loved your Payton McCord in the Love Letter from Give Me a Texan. He was the lone wolf type that Kathryn mentioned above–and what a Texan! Stong, silent, courageous and with a vulnerabilty that just made you want to wrap him up and take him home. He definitely reminded me of H.H. Halsell’s description of the Texas cowboy.

  15. I know what you mean about the duality of grit and tenderness. I seem drawn to the bruised hero and the heroine who can see the good surrounding that bruise and is tough enough to heal it. And Clint Hayworth certainly had those emotional bruises–as does Juniper Jones who you mentioned before.

  16. Anne,

    I’m thrilled and honored that you liked Payton McCord in “The Love Letter.” He was a neat character to write. And that you compared him to H.H. Halsell’s description of the Texas cowboy sure made my day! For a writer, having someone talk about their characters is similar to someone saying their baby is beautiful. You’re so sweet.

    And oh, I’m green with envy! You’ve already had a sneak peek at “The Rustler.” OMG! How cool is that. I can’t wait for that book. Two more months. groan. How I’m going to stand that, I don’t know.

    You must have one of the best jobs of anyone. Must be very cool to be able to read everyone’s book before they come out. 🙂

  17. Oh it is, believe me. And a far cry from a year and a half ago when we were wondering what we were going to read because we weren’t finding enough western romances! Now we’ve got a whole barrel of excellent ones–a lot of 5 spur books recently reviewed on the site!

    BTW according to Linda Lael Miller’s newsletter there will be at least one more Stone Creek story–The Bridegroom-Gideon’s story and she’s starting a new historical series (Civil War era?) with a book called North of Eden. So lots more coming down the pike.

    And good news that Romantic Times will be doing a feature on the resurgence of the western romance–a lot changes in a year and a half!:) And we can’t wait to review all of these new books from P&P authors!

  18. I was sure I commented earlier but it vanished.

    I enjoyed your guest blog, ladies.

    And I love your website. Thank you so much for the FIVE SPURS for Petticoat Ranch and Calico Canyon.

  19. Hi Linda!!

    Like you, I also loooove Linda Lael Miller. Pam Crooks became one of my faves when I read Wyoming Wildflower. I fell in love with Lance Harmon. And Linda, you’re one of my personal faves as well. You had me hooked after Knight on the Texas Plains. I’m having a “fan” moment right now. =)

  20. Thanks so much for stayin’ a spell in Wildflower Junction, ladies! We Fillies do appreciate the special attention to western romances and reviews at your site. We’re delighted to be in cahoots with you in promoting this genre that is a favorite of so many.

    Nothin’ better than a cowboy. Yee haw!

  21. Thanks Mary! It’s been a labor of love for both Anne and me. I think even if we didn’t have a single visitor, we’d still keep it going. We just love the genre so much. ^-^

  22. Hey Mary–thanks so much for checking in. One of the benefits of the site for visitors is it does help new authors find readers and readers find new authors!:)

  23. Hello to all–I suppose I’m a late-comer to discovering Western Romances. I picked my first one up around eight years ago, and it was already old–one of Janet Dailey’s Calder series romances. I made sure I read every one, and in chronoligical order. Then came Maggie Osborne–where has she gone? and Jodi Tomas–still reading all of hers, Linda Lael Miller, and others.Then, I began to write my own, and now have two contracts with THE WILD ROSE PRESS–ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS, e-book release in November, and I have a second contract for TEXAS BLUE–editing now.I love these stories. LOVE WESTERN ROMANCES was one of the first sites that went into my Favorites when my first book was accepted. I love Petticoats and Pistols, and the articles have been great help, too. Keep up the great work. Celia Yeary

  24. Thanks Cheryl! And congrats to you again on your Rita nomination for your wonderful story in A Western Winter Wonderland. Saturday’s going to be a special night!:)

  25. Hello to a fellow Wild Rose Press author, Celia! Congrats on your two contracted books! And thanks for stopping by.

    So what has happened to Maggie Osborne? Anyone know? Her publisher author’s spotlight says she lives in Colorado and it sounds like she is still writing but maybe not westerns?

    The fear that if we don’t support some of these great authors, the publishers will stop contracting for their books or the authors leave the genre is what led Karyna and I to start Love Western Romances.

  26. You know, Maggie keeps popping up on our survey as readers “favorite western author of all-time.” I wish I knew what happened to her. I hope she goes back to writing some more westerns.

  27. I Love Western Romances. What a unique and fascinating site. Nothing is comparable to a Western Hero. His strength and determination and his old fashioned values are something to be treasured.

  28. Maggie retired a few years ago. I met her at the Rocky Mtn Book Festival many moons ago, and she is a delightful lady. My pal, Maureen McKade was in her RWA chapter and let me know when Maggie retired. Her books are among my all-time faves, too!

    The Wives of Bowie Stone and the Redemption of Samantha Kincaid are my favorites.

  29. Karyna,

    You’re just an unbelievable fan. I’m thanking my lucky stars that “Knight on the Texas Plains” hooked you. 🙂 Thank you so much for seeing something good in my writing.

    I haven’t read your books yet and I’m so ashamed of myself. The bookstores here haven’t carried them but I could order from Amazon. Sounds like something I’ve got to put on my list of things to do.

    Hope you’re enjoying your day here. We’ve sure loved having you and Anne.

  30. Hi Anne and Karyna!

    Although not a writer of Westerns myself, I do really enjoy reading them. Loved your book, DRY MOON, Karyna. I really enjoy Linda Lael Miller and Jodi Thomas. It’s great to see western romances undergoing a resurgence. I think the simplicity of the cowboy’s lifestyle and his clear sense of right and wrong offer huge appeal to readers of both sexes in our troubled, uncertain times.

    Anne, I loved watching westerns with my granddad when I was a girl – we watched every western movie and TV show in existence. Although I love James Garner, I don’t remember Maverick clearly. I do remember being crazy about a series called High Chapparal. Weirdly, my big crush wasn’t Mark Slade, the teen heart throb of the show. I just loved Mano Montoya. Guess even then I liked tall, dark, bad boys. At least, I think, he was tall. But then, I was only five – everybody was tall.

  31. Oh that’s good to know Cheryl and explains why we aren’t seeing new books from her. I’m sure she knows she has a very loyal fan base.

    Thanks Ruth for the comments on the site. And I couldn’t agree more with you regarding the values and the determination. That steady assurance of getting the job done, no matter how difficult or life-threatening, is what keeps me coming back for more.

  32. Westerns reach deep into my heart and soul. Yes, it may seem strange but I long for those days. When men were men and they had the strength of steel and the principles that are important in life. I always admired cowboys especially so Lorne Greene. He took my breath away. Keep up this wonderful blog and thanks for this great post today.

  33. I grew up on Bonanza and the other tv westerns and my favorite cowboy was Adam Cartwright. Sure, Little Joe was adorable, but something always drew me to the dark, brooding Adam. I even named my son Adam! And, once I got my hands on Jodi Thomas’ books, I was hooked! She spoke in a tiny town in New Mexico(Artesia)and I’ve been a fan since. I LOVE WESTERNS!!! Let’s keep them alive!

  34. It’s the Alphas for me! Those Tall Texans who are
    strong, silent and oh so sexy! I like them so much
    that I married a tall Texan 47 years ago, and he is
    still faithful and true!

    Pat Cochran

  35. P.S. I forgot to say that among my special favorites are all of Linda Lael Miller’s heroes!!

    Pat Cochran

  36. Thanks for this special blog devoted to those cowboys who deserve recognition and are exceptional human beings. I was always taken with Wyatt Earp, but especially so when Kurt Russell played Wyatt Earp in Tombstone.

  37. I’m with you Alissa re: principled cowboys ala H.H. Halsell’s sentiments.

    And Judy, I loved Adam too! And Jodi’s books are wonderful. I love how she does a twist on the lone wolf hero and takes strong and silent to a new level. She was in our spotlight in July (her interview is posted in the archives) and she spoke about her next book in her whispering mountain series, Teagen’s story, and talk about strong and silent–I can’t wait to read it!

    Happy forty-seven years with your long tall Texan, Pat! And I’m a big, big fan of Linda Lael Miller’s as well. Her book, A Wanted Man, was our reader’s choice for 2007 Best Western Romance and the Rustler won’t disappoint. But there are so many good books in the running for Best Western Romance this year that December at our website promises to be packed with action for readers who stop by to vote! We hope to see you casting yours!

  38. If you like Wyatt Earp (and isn’t Kurt Russell yummy) I highly recommend Jane Candia Coleman’s book, Tumbleweed–just out and reviewed on our site –which is the fictionalization of Allie Earp’s diaries. Allie was Virgil’s wife and Wyatt naturally makes quite a few appearances in the story but when I was done reading it, I was in love with Virgil. And would have loved to have known Allie–she was a little pistol, apparently. If you check out my blog, you can see a picture of Allie as a young woman and in her later years. Anyway, after reading that book I’m very interested in the Earp boys. They certainly fit the bill when it comes to courage and strength and surviving the challenges of the West. Tumbleweed is a fascinating book and a wonderful romance.

  39. Hi Lynn! I’m so glad you enjoyed DM. I’ve been in love/lust with my alpha, Cole, ever since..hehe…
    Western are before my time, so I really can’t explain my fixation for them. I guess what really draws me is that westerns embody a time when men were men. Gritty, salt-of-the earth men and women, and larger than life characters. That’s the real appeal for me. =)

  40. Hey Lynn, I missed you up there and thanks so much for stopping by! I do remember High Chapparal–don’t remember the heart throb but vaguely remember Mano. I’m partial to tall dark and handsome too–LOL

  41. You guys have had a FABULOUS day! Thanks so much for sharing your love for western romance and for keeping things hopping in Wildflower Junction all day!

    We appreciate you!

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