Totally Bound are running two blog tours in conjunction with their Wild Western week promotion, one MF/MFM and one MM. Visit their facebook page to find out more about the blog tour stops, discounts and deals on offer!
Romantic fiction gives us many heroes to choose from: the businessman, the man in uniform, the millionaire who came into his riches by mysterious means (lately replaced by the billionaire with the same murky antecedents). They all have their benefits as well as their personal flaws. Why then does the writer choose to cede the main character position to a cowboy/ rancher?
The cowboy’s flaws may be many. He might have grown up poor (not a flaw but perhaps he has a chip on his shoulder about it). For sure, he’s worked hard and he probably still does. He may not be able to wine and dine the heroine at fancy restaurants and if he tries, he may be embarrassingly dependent on his masterful air to bring him through a dinner fraught with fish knives and snooty waiters. It may be a funny scene for a romantic comedy but a contemporary romance author might want to keep from making her hero a ‘fish out of water’ worthy of mockery.
If the cowboy in fact happens to be a wealthy rancher, he may be almost indistinguishable from the millionaire hero. He will know his way around a fancy shindig and a boardroom. In that case, maybe he wears a Stetson and speaks with a twang to ensure we know he’s not one of those ‘city types’. He may be his cutest when he’s trying hard not to be too urbane—which makes his endearing.
The cowboy also has many positives to provide to an enterprising author (or reader).
He shares his hours with the man who owns his own business, along with the independently wealthy billionaire playboy. That is, he sets his own hours (even though they may necessarily coincide at some points with the sun). That’s very convenient to a writer who is seeking to provide content that doesn’t have to accommodate nine-to-five hours and the occasional need to work overtime. It’s fine for the heroine to be stuck behind her library counter but the hero needs to be free to surprise her there (with her envious colleagues providing a willing audience).
The cowboy doesn’t have to announce his need to be tamed. You know he just does. But he’s old-fashioned. He needs tender loving care, not domination. He admires spirited women but he’s reluctant to admit it. He wants someone who appreciates his love of nature and a good bolo tie.
Your cowboy may be all or none of these things. He may be an actual ranch hand (as opposed to a rich rancher) who needs saving because he’s spent time in prison and is covered with tattoos, in which case he may have more in common with the rock star or biker hero than the businessman. A rancher hero may be as alike a billionaire hero to be brothers from a different mother.
But the cowboy has some leeway. As a hero, he doesn’t have to be thoroughly modern. In fact, many cowboy/ rancher romance stories have the heroine bringing the twenty-first century to some rural town or ranch for the first time. She’s blazing a trail that many other women have actually trod years or even generations ago, but her fight is still as fierce because she’s facing the cowboy hero and he’s a force to be reckoned with. Naturally.
I’ve written the millionaire hero and the aristocrat. I’ve even written the rock star and the vampire. But I’ve written more cowboy romances – Country Hearts and Hard Luck Ranch, both erotic ménage stories – because they appeal to me as a writer for the very reasons I’ve shared above. They’re strong and they’re proud. They’re often fighting their own one-man battles. And, for the heroine, they’re always worth fighting for.
Blurb for Hard Luck Ranch:
When his best friend Wesley orders up a mail order bride, Everett leaves Hard Luck Ranch for good. Or so he thinks…until he realises that there may be room in their marriage for one more.
Emma came out West to marry a man she’s never met but she’s already fallen in love with Wesley through their letters. Life at his home, Hard Luck Ranch, is far better than she ever imagined with a loving husband and a prosperous farm. The only hiccup in her plans for the future is Wes’ best friend, the local sheriff Everett Montgomery, who may share more than a boyhood with her husband.
Everett is trying to drown his misery over his friend’s marriage with shots at the local saloon and sex with the local madam’s brother, Kenneth. But Ken isn’t Wes, the man Everett has loved since he was old enough to know what love was. While Everett loses himself in his heartache, he stays away from the ranch. But he doesn’t expect Emma to come out to find him—nor does he realize that she’s guessed his secret.
Emma loves her husband dearly and she wants him to be happy, even if it means sharing him with Everett. But will the sexy lawman be willing to accept her as part of the bargain?
Publisher’s Note: This story has been previously released as part of the Lasso Lovin’ anthology by Totally Bound Publishing.
Excerpt from Hard Luck Ranch:
Everett was feeling pretty rotten, sick and hung-over, so it wasn’t surprising that at first he thought that sweet feminine voice was a figment of his imagination. But when he looked up from his plain wooden desk, a lovely vision matching the voice stood before him.
Pristine and perfect in a flower-like pink dress, complete with layers of luxurious ruffles and edged with lace, the woman standing in the dusty sheriff’s office was an incongruous sight. Her heart-shaped face glowed above the demure neckline while a wide straw hat sheltered it from above. Still, he could see curls of blue-black hair escaping from beneath the hat’s brim and blue eyes gleamed from under its shade.
Only one woman in Desert Rose was that bandbox perfect.
Emma Miller. Wes’ wife.
Everett got to his feet as courtesy demanded, although he took his time doing so. His guest seemed to realize that as well for her lips tightened momentarily.
Odd, how that tiny telltale gesture caused his crotch to tighten. He’d been attracted to women before—Lord knew it was difficult enough finding another man in these parts who was willing to admit to the same predilection—but something about this one’s city sheen made him lustier than he’d ever been for a member of the opposite sex.
He had to swallow hard before he could speak.
“What can I do for you, Mrs Miller?”
Instead of responding right away, Emma Miller strode across to his desk then snatched a piece of paper from it.
“You can read this and answer it, to start with,” she said.
He recognized the heavy piece of card without any difficulty—the invitation to Hard Luck Ranch. How it had stuck in his craw.
An invitation to Hard Luck. For him. Him, who’d grown up there, who’d never really wanted to leave until it became obvious that it would never do if he stayed on with Wes. Two bachelors living together, Wes had hinted, wouldn’t be too seemly.
So he’d left—and a part of his heart had remained behind on the ranch.
Now Wes and this woman—this, this stranger!—wanted to invite him back to his longtime home to celebrate their marriage.
It was absolutely the last thing Everett ever intended on celebrating.
About Nan Comargue:
Nan Comargue is a thirtysomething romance and erotic romance writer who has been reading romance novels all her life. She prefers sexy confident heroes who win over slightly introverted heroines (read: nerdish types) but she writes about everything from angel-warriors to cowboy ménage.
Nan blogs about her writing journey and other interesting topics (zombies!)
Nan is Canadian, eh? So naturally she’s written a contemporary romance with a professional hockey player as the hero (and a librarian as the heroine).
Enter Totally Bound’s competition for the chance to win three cowboys and western titles of your choice by entering our prize draw.