There aren't a whole lot of cowboys in New England. So I "met" my first cowboy way back when I was 21 years old and on a business trip in Tucson. My boss, Patricia, and I had just come back from a client meeting at IBM and were having drinks, sitting in front of a floor to ceiling window watching the sunset over the mountains. It was truly beautiful the way the sun make the red mountain terrain seem to glow.
As we were talking, I saw a pick-up truck pull into the parking lot of the hotel. A cowboy got out and propped his hat on his head. As he moved from the back of the parking lot to the front door we made eye contact. Patricia said, "He's staring right at you!" I smiled and he smiled back as he walked. (Remember, beautiful sunset behind red mountains in the background.) And before his hand touched the door to go inside, he stopped and turned to me, tipping his hat and giving me a beautiful grin. I was done for.
Patricia wanted me to run right downstairs and say hello to him. I said, "Why? Is it going to get any better than that?" Well, maybe it would have. I'll never know. But it's been a pretty wonderful memory for all these years.
That began my love affair with the cowboy. And although the story may be different, I know I'm not alone. Lots of readers email me about cowboy heroes. It's hard to pinpoint the true appeal, but I'll try.
1.) The cowboy wears a uniform. And readers love men in uniform. Just check out the book covers at Romantic Times or any other romance website. The uniform is a symbol of strength. And we do love strong heroes!
2.) The cowboy is determined. Whether he's a rodeo cowboy or a rancher, he's determined to get the job done. I don't know about you but any man (or woman-I don't discriminate) who has the guts to get on the back of a snot spewing, sweaty 1100-1200lbs. bull has my respect. The idea of a rancher tending his property, taking care of the ranch and thereby taking care of his family also touches the heartstrings. Both sexy. Both very appealing.
3.) The cowboy is just simply a cool dude! I don't know how else to say it. Wouldn't you want to hang out with a cowboy?
I've written 4 books with cowboy heroes. I can guarantee they won't be the last cowboy books I write.
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What do you think? What's the cowboy appeal? Leave a comment and let me know and you may win a copy of NOTHING BUT TROUBLE.
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