Several years ago, I remember reading a post from a popular author of Christian cowboy books. She asked her followers what characteristics they loved about cowboys. There were the answers you’d expect — a dedication to family, devout faith, hard-working, loyal, strong and masculine, et cetera. Many people responded that cowboy romances fulfilled their desire for an escape to somewhere with a simpler life, a more “community” feel, where faith was an integral part of the framework.
I answered the question myself, as well. I *do* love to read cowboy romances, though it’s not what I choose to write. For me, so many of the characteristics associated with cowboys were things I loved about my husband (who is a “city” guy, through and through).
It got me thinking about other main characters from inspy romance books. There are a ton of heroes with ALL the qualities we love to read about in Cowboy romances — except they aren’t cowboys! So, here are my suggestions for branching out, but still getting the things you love about cowboy romances – without the hat. All of these romances also have that “small-town, faith-filled community” feeling as well!
Lance Matthews – A Date for Daisy (Bloom Sisters Book 2) – Tara Grace Ericson
If you’re looking for a strong, hardworking man who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and cares deeply about his family, look no further than Lance Matthews. Lance owns a construction company, and is devoted to his single-parent father. In fact, it’s this dedication to his dad that winds up with him accepting the job at Bloom’s Farm remodeling the old house into a bed and breakfast where he meets the scatter-brained owner, Daisy.
Corban DeWitt – Loaves and Wishes (Baxter Family Bakery Book 1) – Elizabeth Maddrey
Corban is the guy next door, literally. Loyal, dependable, and hard-working, Corban doesn’t make friends easily, but once he’s decided to let you in; he’ll do anything for you. He’s running the family farm now that his parents are retired, and when Ruth inherits the bed-and-breakfast next door, they get off to a rocky start.
Cole Sanford – Her Brother’s Best Friend (Love Off Limits Book 2)– Hannah Jo Abbott
Cole is the definition of “There’s more beneath the surface.” From the outside, you’d think he was cool, confident, and had everything figured out. The truth is, he’s got his own insecurities too. Above all, he’s loyal to his friends and family–which causes some problems when the woman he is falling for has been specifically labeled as off-limits by his friend, her brother.
Jeremiah Gilbert – Love Pact with the Hero (Heroes of Freedom Ridge Book 2) – Liwen Ho
When it comes to masculine heroes with a heart of gold and a devotion that never fails, few book boyfriends come close to Jeremiah. Plus — he’s good with kids! One reviewer described him as “a steadfast, loyal, loving, patient, faith-filled man.” I couldn’t agree more!
Tate Russell – Resisting Rose (Bloom Sisters Book 6) – Tara Grace Ericson
Okay, this one might be a little on the nose, because Tate USED to be a cowboy. But now, he’s working on Bloom’s Farm running the organic produce operation. He has a love for God’s creation that is unmatched. Hard-working, dependable, and a good friend. Through the story, Tate grows into a man of genuine faith and learns the true meaning of family.
I listed a couple of my own books in here, because these are generally the types of heroes I write. Starting tomorrow (Aug 24th), the entire Bloom Sisters Series will be on sale, with some of the books even free! I hope you’ll grab them and see if you think my “cowboys without the hat” are the kind of hero you like as well! If you can’t wait until tomorrow, the whole series is also available in Kindle Unlimited!
Now it’s your turn! Do you regularly read modern cowboy romances? What is it that draws you to those stories? What other books or main characters have you read that have the same qualities, even though they aren’t cowboy books?