One of the first gay cowboy romances that I read was Bareback by fellow Canadian Chris Owen in 2003 reviewed here and I was hooked. I love, love, love this book which became one of my Top Ten All Time M/M romances and I have read and re-read it countless times. When Jake and Tor fell in love I was in heaven, then Tor screwed up and some readers hated the book because they can’t stand cheats. But I and thousands of other readers couldn’t get enough of this couple and in the end it was well worth all the angst.
My next favourite gay cowboy romance is The Tin Star by J.L. Langley reviewed here which was released in 2006. This was such a poignant romance between Jamie Killian and Ethan Whitehall that every time I re-read the book I want to hug them.
I’m so glad that Teddypig reminded me about a huge omission. Another great favourite is Longhorns by Victor J. Banis. This book is about a pair of old time cowboys, Les and Buck, and I reviewed it here. This phrase best describes Les –
“Les was a loner. Cowboys were , despite the camaraderie of the campfire. When you got down to it, a man sat alone in his saddle.“
If you’re looking for a wonderful book about life on the range Longhorns is the book for you. Here’s part of my review of this book
“This is not a modern M/M cowboy romance – far from it – it’s a story about life on the range where the men had to be as tough as nails to survive, and even then it could be touch and go. These were the days when men would do each other because women were not readily available, especially since they were away 3 months at a stretch.”
Of course the gay cowboy romance that most M/M readers know is Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx. What can I say about this book that you don’t already know? As Victor J. Banis said in his review here
“Brokeback Mountain book and movie, have become such an iconic part of gay lore that it’s difficult to think of anything that hasn’t been said about them already and hard for me to imagine that there is anyone gay or gay-interested who hasn’t read the former or at least seen the latter. If you love stories of men loving men, this is The One.”
This slim novella written in 1999 as part of the Close Range anthology went on to become the best known and probably best selling cowboy gay romance in history. It doesn’t seem to matter that there is no HEA (this is not a spoiler because this book has been around for over a decade), readers can’t get enough of this story. I just wish that the writer hadn’t gone the route of the “dead gay” in order to make the story marketable to straight women. Apparently many straight people in those days would only buy a book about gay men if they didn’t have an HEA, so Jack had to die. 🙁
Some recent cowboy romances that I’ve read and enjoyed include James Buchanan’s Twice The Cowboy, Twice the Ride and Jourdan Lane’s Stroke of Luck (Spurs and Saddles), T.A. Chase’s Home series. If you like cowboys Carol Lynne has an entire series based on them called Cattle Valley.
I have been a fan of cowboys since I first read Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage and Last of the Plainsmen – these latter books are not gay romances but I loved them because they depicted the lives of cowboys in such a way I could actually smell the air they breathed.
Cowboys are the toughest breed of men, riding unending dirt roads all day long rounding up cattle under the worst conditions – I’m sure that being outdoors in the intense summer heat and snow and cold in the winter must affect their delicate complexion. 🙂 They repair fences with nothing more than barbed wire, a few nails and spit 😀 looking hot in those tight Wranglers, just waiting for the great looking foreman on the ranch to grab them at the end of a hard day and lick the sweat off their Adam’s apple. Oooh I’m getting hot.
There are countless gay cowboy romances around and those I mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg. Cowboys are definitely my favourite heroes. What are some of your favourite gay cowboy books?
My next secret kink? Dragonshifters. 😀 In a couple of weeks!