Is It, or Isn’t It a Western Historical Romance?


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.

To order click on cover

 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






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27 thoughts on “Is It, or Isn’t It a Western Historical Romance?”

  1. Loved Gunsmoke so I like a marshall/sheriff, outlaws, soiled doves and conflict. Your story sounds like it will cover all of them. I’m always willing to read something new.

  2. Hello Rue! Welcome to P&P today! I hear you on the railroad determining the story. The changes in our country between 1870 and 1890 were incredible. Kind of like what the internet and cell phones have done in modern times.

  3. Welcome to the Junction, Rue! It’s wonderful to have you. ONE MOMENT’S PLEASURE sounds great. I love it when westerns merge with other genres. The movie “Jonah Hex” comes to mind. I don’t know if you’ve seen it but it’s about a real gritty cowboy who is fighting grave injustice with supernatural powers. I love “Cowboys and Aliens” also. And I’ve read western books where the cowboy time travels to another century either accidentally or on purpose. Stories with a twist really intrigue me.

    Wishing you tons of success!

  4. Hi Rue,
    I enjoyed reading your post. Your book sounds wonderful and something I would love reading. I too like marshal’s/sheriffs, love rancher’s who are strong quiet men, really enjoy mail-order brides and time travel. I also love prairie romances.

  5. Welcome to P & p. I love finding new authors and would love to read this! I love my cowboys and Indians! Anything western, historical romance is up my alley!

  6. Rue, welcome to P&P. Your book sounds wonderful, and like the others who commented, I agree that the cover is really romantic. I hope you’ll come back and visit Wildflower Junction soon.

  7. Connie, Thank you so very much for the kind words. Please let me know what you think of the book when you’ve read it, or if you feel comfortable doing so, share your thoughts on Amazon. TKS, Rue A.

  8. Hi Winnie,
    I had tremendous fun writing this book and the other two in the series. Book 2, One Night’s Desire, is out July 29th of this year. No date yet for Book 3, One Day’s Loving.

  9. Laurie G.
    Thank you so much for visiting. I really liked starting this series with a book that turns all the ‘western’ tradtions upside down. Hope you enjoy it.

  10. Hi Margaret,
    All the Crimson Romance historical covers are terrific. The art dept. works very closely with the authors. I think they got the One Moment’s Pleasure cover right on all points.

  11. Linda,
    Your comments humble me. I haven’t seen the ‘Hex’ story, but I’ll look for it. I’m a big fan of Blazing Saddles too (up until they ride off the range and onto the soundstage). I get you about stories with a twist.

  12. Thank you for the kind words Sharon. I’ve been a fan of the western ever since I read The Virginian at age 9. I didn’t get most of it (I was too young) but I loved Wister’s voice and the fact that the story was like nothing I’d read before then.

  13. Phyliss,
    I am so happy to be here. When Crimson Romance offered for One Moment’s Pleasure, I was thrilled of course, but finding a place to share the love of ‘things western’ is icing on a very nice cake.

  14. Great post and welcome to the Junction. Your book sound fabulous and I would love to read it. I also love the cover its beautiful.

  15. I guess I need the spirit of the West in the stories. Whether it is a cowboy, rancher, indian, person who lives in town, or the women who lived and worked there, the spirit of a new beginning and hard work must be there. What was important was what a man or woman proved themselves to be, not where they came from.

  16. hello Rue. You’ve come to a good place. I love these ladie’s. I’ve loved westerns for many, many years. This sounds a bit different, But I’d love to win it and check it out. Pretty cover. Thanks for this chance to win.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  17. Patricia B.
    You wrote,”What was important was what a man or woman proved themselves to be, not where they came from.”
    I couldn’t agree more. That spirit is abundant in One Moment’s Pleasure, but it is strongest in Dutch Trahern’s struggle to overcome his roots in crime and squallor. He is one of my favorite heroes, and his emotional journey is one that tugs at my heart.

  18. Maxie,
    Thank you for the kind words. The P & P junction and the ‘fillies’ are terrific and definitely part of my feed. Good luck in the drawing.

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