The western genre has always had a popular following, especially when it was brought to the big screen with names like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Western romance has just as large a following, too with readers looking for everything from wholesome love stories to sizzling heat.
Authors in this genre know exactly how to deliver. Whether the story is set in the American frontier or contemporary times, you’ll get your much-needed dose of romantic tension and, in most cases, a happily ever after.
This list contains 20 best western romance novels to deliver you the ultimate guide in the genre. There’s something for everyone on this list, from cattle drives to time travel. Read on to find your next great adventure.
Ride the High Lonesome by Roseanne Bittner
When Kate Winters is stranded in outlaw country, she’s convinced she won’t survive to make it out. Then she comes across a gruesome scene – a cowboy being hanged for his cattle. After the gang responsible is gone, she attempts to take the cowboy’s horse only to find he survived the brutal attack.
Luke Bowden is a man bent on revenge, but he’s stuck miles from any town with a woman who looks like she won’t survive the ride. He knows he owes her his life, but he’s faced with a hard choice between getting his revenge or standing by the woman that saved his life in Ride the High Lonesome.
Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones
Carlin Reed is a woman always on the move, in fear for her life and running from her past. She takes up a job working for Zeke Decker, a cattle rancher. He immediately recognizes she’s a woman in danger but asks no questions.
There’s a fast attraction between the two that can’t be denied. But Carlin’s past is never far behind her and eventually catches up to her. She’s left with a choice in Running Wild – leave behind the man she’s growing to love or put him in danger.
Comanche Moon by Catherine Anderson
Comanche Moon tells the story of Loretta Simpson, a woman who lost her parents in a brutal murder by the Comanche people. Because of the trauma and the resulting fear that the warriors will return, she can no longer speak.
Hunter of the Wolf believes Loretta is the woman of prophecy he is meant to worship for the rest of his life. However, she can only see him as the enemy that has stolen her from her people. Despite the hatred between their peoples, the pair slowly overcome their prejudices and find their feelings flaring into something much more powerful.
When a Texan Gambles by Jodi Thomas
When a Texan Gambles starts off as anything but an ordinary romance. Sarah Andrews is thrown off the wagon train, a crook winds up dead, and she’s raffled off in a Wife Lottery. While her lot seems pretty bad, it only gets worse when she finds the groom with a knife in his back.
Someone is out to make sure Sam Gatlin doesn’t survive, and Sarah must do everything she can to get him out of town in one piece. While she begins the relationship feeling a sense of duty in repaying Sam for saving her from prison, she winds up losing her heart to the Texan.
Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O’Connell
Anne Wells and Cord Bennett are both the black sheep of their families. Anne has made many social mistakes that have disgraced her family, while Cord is the result of his father’s second marriage to a Comanche woman.
A chance happening leads to them being caught alone, and they are immediately condemned for sins they are not guilty of committing. In Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold, Anne and Cord must struggle against the oppression of their families to try to build a life together.
No Quarter Asked by Janet Dailey
Following her father’s death, Stacy Adams seeks solace in an isolated Texas valley where she can reflect on the state of her life. However, she soon meets Cord Harris, the arrogant rancher, and all hopes of peace quickly disappear.
He tells her to pack her bags and head back to the city where she belongs, spurring her fighting side to emerge. Now she’s even more determined to stick it out and stay. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before things start to heat up between them in No Quarter Asked.
Cowboy Seeking Nanny by Janice Whiteaker
Brody Pace has been a struggling single father of twins since the loss of his high school sweetheart following their birth. With the expansion of Red Cedar Ranch, he, unfortunately, needs to find a nanny. Things start looking up for him when he finds Clara, and something he thought he’d never feel again begins stirring in his heart.
Clara was devastated after a trying divorce that left her and her son with nowhere to go. She came to Moss Creek, Montana, on a prayer, hoping to make them a better life. When she finds a job as a nanny, she’s thrilled until she develops feelings for the boss. She’s torn between keeping the new life she’s just built and putting it all on the line in Cowboy Seeking Nanny.
Comanche Woman by Joan Johnston
Long Quiet has been raised as a Comanche, as the son of a white man and a Comanche woman. He’s long dreamed of romancing and wedding Bayleigh Stewart, the daughter of the wealthiest Texas cotton farmer.
Then one day, Bayleigh is stolen from her home by a group of marauding Indians, and Long Quiet is devastated, thinking he will never see her again. Through a twist of fate, she’s returned to him by a Comanche whose life he saved.
After three years of living with the Indians, Bayleigh wants nothing more than to return home, but Long Quiet ignites a passion and yearning in her unlike any other. He’s desperate to convince her that home is by his side. In Comanche Woman, they’ll both have to give up something to fight for their love.
Thorn by Shirleen Davies
Thorn Macklin is an ex-Special Forces sergeant who has just returned home to start building a new life. He’s intent on rekindling his dream of Scorpion Custom Motorcycles. Thorn once had another dream, but she broke his heart. While working with his friends, helping at the ranch, and spending time with his brothers, he never expects to see her again.
Grace Jackson has returned to Whiskey Bend to work for the family business, but in the process, she’s come face to face with her past. Thorn is up against a dangerous adversary who wants his business to fail, but his biggest challenge may be protecting his heart.
Juniper Hill by Devney Perry
In Juniper Hill, Memphis Ward moves cross country to Quincy, Montana, with her newborn son to begin a new life. Giving up her life of glamor, she’s taking on the role of housekeeper and living in a garage apartment.
On the day she arrives in Quincy, she meets the gorgeous Knox Eden, who’s everything she’s ever dreamed of. But with trying to live a good life, Memphis has learned a hard lesson – you have to give up your dreams. For her, Knox will only ever be a dream.
Montana Sanctuary by Josie Jade and Janie Crouch
Lucas Everett and his fellow Navy SEALs established the Resting Warrior Ranch to help those healing from deep emotional wounds. They generally help soldiers work through their traumas, but one day Evelyn Taylor arrives.
Despite her skittishness, Lucas demonstrates patience and is ready to help her through whatever she needs. But then her past problems show up at this Montana Sanctuary, and Evelyn feels the need to go on the run. Unlike in the past, she’s got a SEAL to protect her this time.
Calder Brand by Janet Dailey
Left for dead following a stampede, Joe digs himself out of the wash and struggles to make his way to Montana. He aims to make a fresh start among all the cattlemen who have made a successful living off the land.
Sarah is fiercely ambitious, longing to become a doctor. She meets Joe when he’s horribly wounded. What follows is a fast romance and a child born out of wedlock. Calder Brand begins the epic trilogy that has captivated millions.
Blizzard of Love by Erin Wright
Luke Nash and Bonnie Patterson are complete opposites. He can’t stand Christmas, and she couldn’t love it more. Their friends invite them both to spend the holidays at Miller Farm. While Luke is less than thrilled, Bonnie is ecstatic to have a few cozy nights by a warm fire.
An unexpected blizzard strands them together at the farm, and, despite their apparent differences, the chemistry is intense. While the occasion is nothing like either of them expected, could it prove to be a Blizzard of Love?
Her Dakota Man by Lisa Mondello
After Poppy Ericksen listened to her best friend’s deathbed confession, she spent an entire year considering how her life could have been. Now that she knows the truth about the love she lost, she’s got more questions than answers. She’s left wondering if it’s possible to rekindle the romance she once had with the man she thought was the love of her life.
Logan McKinnon is torn between devotion to his late wife and being courteous to the woman he once passionately loved. What will happen when Poppy reveals his wife’s long-kept secrets? Her Dakota Man is a story about second chances at love.
His Secondhand Wife by Cheryl St. John
Noah is a rancher with scars on his body and soul, making him feel he should be alone forever. However, his brother was a philanderer whose ways finally caught up to him, and Noah feels it’s his sacred duty to take his brother’s widow as his wife.
When Katherine finds Noah on her doorstep, he is absolutely intimidating. Despite her late husband having destroyed her dreams, she instinctively trusts Noah. She also fears what would become of her and her unborn child if she were to refuse to become His Secondhand Wife.
The Wren by Kristy McCaffrey
Molly Hart was kidnapped ten years ago by a tribe of Kwahadi Comanche following the attack on her ranch and the murder of her family. She finally returns home only to find a broken-down shell of its former glory and her own gravesite.
Matt Ryan served in the U.S. Army and Texas Rangers over the same ten years to find justice for the murder of a little girl he couldn’t get off his mind. As he returns to the site where it all started, he’s shocked to find a woman with the same blue eyes as the little girl that have haunted him this past decade.
The Wren is the beginning of the Wings of the West series.
Mail Order Bride: Catherine Finds Love by Karla Gracey
Catherine is miserable at her job as a chambermaid. Her employers treat all their employees horribly. She knows she needs to make a drastic change, so she goes on a limb and replies to an ad in the Matrimonial Times. She’s pleasantly surprised when a gorgeous man shows up on her doorstep.
Dylan has been a single father since the loss of his wife and knows he needs help raising his son. Despite being raised in comfort with everything he ever needed, he’s looking to build a new life with a companion far from all he’s known. Mail Order Bride: Catherine Finds Love tells the story of the collision of these two very different lives.
Angie and the Farmer by Susan Leigh Carlton
Angie’s story begins with her getting swept away with her family in a flood. She survives in a tree and is rescued by a man she’s never seen before. She quickly finds that not only is she in a new place but she’s been swept back in time. The only thing she has to prove her story is the iPhone in her pocket loaded with pictures of the time she came from.
She’s taken in by a family moving westward with their cattle. She quickly starts a friendship with another family’s daughter, which is soon followed by a budding romance with the girl’s brother. Angie and the Farmer build their romance amid her fears that the truth will destroy everything.
The Rancher Takes a Bride by Sylvia McDaniel
Rose is a con artist who runs a seance parlor. She’s the farthest thing from a psychic the town will ever see. She’s sure that someday it will catch up to her. However, she’s not expecting it to be in the form of a meddling mama and her hot-headed cowboy son.
So bent on getting her son married, the cowboy’s mom will stop at nothing to keep Rose from leaving town, including stooping to using her own deception techniques. In The Rancher Takes a Bride, you’ll discover if her intentions are strong enough to overpower the pair’s stubbornness.
Forever and Always by Leigh Greenwood
Logan Holstock learns he may be dying, and suddenly it’s no longer enough to know that his brothers are alive and well somewhere in the West – he must be near them in his final days. Convinced he’s in his last days, he sets out to find them, only to stumble across a widow who is strong yet vulnerable at the same time.
Because of his impending death, he knows he shouldn’t fall for Sibyl Spencer, but he can’t help but be drawn into this small town, yearning for her more and more. He soon finds his death sentence isn’t real, and he sets out to prove his love will last Forever and Always.
From historical to contemporary, there’s a western romance on this list for everyone. Whether you want a traditional story or throw some sci-fi in with time travel, you have plenty to choose from. This ultimate guide to western romances will keep you reading long into the night.
Frequently Asked Questions
Janet Dailey was recognized as being among the best of the best when it came to western romance authors. Since her passing, she is still regarded as being at the top of the genre.
What is western romance?
Western romance is a sub-genre of romance often referred to as cowboy romance. Works in this category generally follow the romance pattern, but events occur in a western setting, which is frequently the American frontier.
What is the most read romance novel?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is regarded as the most-read romance novel of all time out of all sub-genres.
What was Janet Dailey’s first western romance?
Janet Dailey’s first novel was No Quarter Asked.
What is the best romance ever written?
Pride and Prejudice also tops the list for the best romance ever written across all sub-genres.
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