The best books with fictional ranches I want to visit

Who am I?

I’ve been an equestrian all of my life, so when I pick up a story that promises horses, I have high expectations. I want to be immersed in the moment, and to be honest, that can be difficult to find. I have put down more ranch romances than I have finished. My cowboys really need to be cowboys, not just hot guys in hats that maybe ride a horse off-screen sometimes. But when I find that special something, I can’t put it down. I hang on for the ride and put the horses up wet. I do wish these places were real. I’d book my ticket in a heartbeat.


I wrote...

Twin Springs Ranch

By Isla Ryder,

Book cover of Twin Springs Ranch

What is my book about?

Twin Springs Ranch is the first in the Harris Twins Series. It transports readers to the struggling ranch just after tragedy strikes. Braxton returns home to help his brother make the tough decisions. Sydney doesn’t like him from the get-go. She loves the ranch and doesn’t want her job there to come to an end.

Being back in the barn and with the horses stirs up a mess of feelings for Brax, but with Sydney’s help, maybe he can learn to love the place again, and just maybe, they can save it from bankruptcy.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of A Cowboy's Best Friend

Isla Ryder Why did I love this book?

Sweet Springs is the smallest of small towns and the ranch is well known in the community. The family is tight-knit and loving and the property is drawn lovingly by the author in the MCs’ various moments working the land and with the animals. Every time we venture out onto a task, we are transported to the cowboy’s side to help with whatever project is at hand. Sheep, horses, chickens, haying... Sweet Springs does it all and what a wonderful ride it is to be taken on. If they open reservations for guests, I will be the first to book my stay.

By Bee Brooks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Cowboy's Best Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A hardworking cowboy in danger of losing the ranch, his friend who built herself a new life, and the proposal that could cost them everything.

Eldon needs a wife to keep the old family ranch. But marrying is a problem – because secretly, his heart has always belonged to his sweet childhood friend.

Up-and-coming actress Kay is supposed to be in love with the movie’s hero - but she’d rather rake hay at high noon than kiss that particular actor. Told to fake feelings or get out, she’s about to lose everything.

Eldon’s time on the ranch is running out,…


Book cover of Spring Song

Isla Ryder Why did I love this book?

Silverian Stables isn’t technically a ranch, as it is in a fantasy story and the stable is more a place where the horses of the knights, travelers, and other high-born’s horses are kept, but in only a few pages I was sold and ready to start the long trek up Mount Saddle. The stables become a focal point in book two where the Stable Master is one of the main characters. We get a loving peek into her life and the lives of those caring for the horses. The horses that fill the stables feel like ones I have known all my life and am dying to ride. Even though it is fantasy romance, it reads like any great small-town story, just with an added hint of magic.

By Cassia Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spring Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can love transcend time, space and worlds?

Raised as a noble scion, Heinregard comes to the House of Silveria for their famous Spring Song festival, but when he hears the voice of stable lad Clayten, he's overthrown in more ways than one. As they spend time together overseeing Heinregard’s troublesome younger cousins, the two grow close. Is Heinregard prepared to risk everything for someone of a different station?

As the Dowager Duchess’ daughter, Viraya is safely past marriageable age and responsible for Spring Song celebrations. This year, their guests include a formidable Capitán who has the gall to set his…


Book cover of Wrangled by Lilith

Isla Ryder Why did I love this book?

The sweeping views of Stargazer Springs Ranch are enough to make me want to visit! It certainly helps that we are first introduced to the ranch through an FMC who is also a photographer and her enthusiasm for the vistas shines brightly. Quaint little cabins, horses, wide-open spaces, and a fishing river set the mood for sweet romance so well. I could spend ages on the ranch discovering each little nook and cranny as the author drops little tidbits for the reader. The ranch house sounds like such a fun place to hang out after a hard day’s work, and with more pies at Thanksgiving than people, you can count me in! I do wish we got to see a bit more of the animals, but I suspect that the more of the series I read, the more will be revealed. I need another trip to Stargazer Springs ASAP!

By Remi Carrington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wrangled by Lilith as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Holy hot flashes! This blue-eyed dream in a pair of Wranglers is the best-looking cowboy I’ve ever seen. Thankfully, I’m immune to his charms.

After nearly 25 years as a trophy wife, my cheating ex dumped me for a younger woman.
Now I’m starting over in a new place with a car, a piddly amount if money in the bank, and an exotic cat.
Oh, and a ten-foot pole to keep between me and any man, even the good-looking, boot-wearing Texan who swoops in to help me.

Yes, he makes me remember what it’s like to feel something. But my…


Book cover of Sweet-Talking Cowboy

Isla Ryder Why did I love this book?

I knew just about from the first page that ‘The Buckskin,’ as they call it, is a place I’d like to go. Just reminiscing about family vacations there had me wanting more. In book one, with Lucy, we get to see the ranch from her artist’s perspective and I could picture her sitting in the corner of the stall sketching the horses and I wanted to join her. The property is so well drawn out for the reader that it is easy to wander down the snow-line paths between the cabins and the dining hall, and sneak around to the bunkhouse for a bonfire. Even in the dead of winter, the atmosphere is so warm and inviting I’ve already signed up for another visit. Thank goodness there are ten books in this series!

By Vicki Lewis Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sweet-Talking Cowboy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

He’s roped in by a runaway bride!
When Lucy Patterson shows up at the Buckskin Ranch with no groom, Matt Ramsey’s in a fix. Six years ago she gave him her heart. He sent her away. He was wrong for her then. He’s wrong for her now. But the years have fanned the flames...

Saddle up for the fun-filled Buckskin Brotherhood series! Steamy western romances from the NYT bestselling author who brought you The McGavin Brothers of Eagles Nest, Montana. If you like sexy cowboys, charming small towns, and laugh-out-loud adventures, you’ll love meeting the Buckskin Brotherhood.

THE BUCKSKIN BROTHERHOOD…


Book cover of The Cowboy's Unexpected Love

Isla Ryder Why did I love this book?

MacFarland Ranch has something for everyone. It’s a working cattle ranch, a breeding farm, and offers guest cabins in scenic Paradise Valley, Montana. At the lodge there are high-end cabins, though Wade’s fixer-upper would do me just fine, and plenty of options to keep guests busy all vacation. I wanted to work the cattle, wait for foals, and just sit on my porch and take in the beautiful vistas on a relaxing evening. You can really feel the love in the family-run business as each sibling has their part to do and Wade and his guest lodge is the perfect introduction to the ranch, taking the reader from guest to one of the family. I’ve got book two already and will be waiting for book 3 to arrive later this year.

By SJ McCoy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cowboy's Unexpected Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Cowboy’s Unexpected Love is the first book in the new, sweet n steamy, western romance series from USA Today Bestselling author SJ McCoy.

The MacFarland Ranch series takes us back to Paradise Valley, Montana, where the winters are cold and hard, and the cowboys are hot and harder.

Wade MacFarland is one of life’s good guys. He built and runs a guest lodge on the family ranch. His marriage to his high school sweetheart ended in bitter divorce years ago, his only consolation being that they didn’t have kids. He’s not looking for love anymore, but he’d be happy…


You might also like...

At What Cost, Silence?

By Karen Lynne Klink,

Book cover of At What Cost, Silence?

Karen Lynne Klink Author Of At What Cost, Silence?

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Child abuse survivor Reader Adventure traveler Animal lover

Karen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Secrets, misunderstandings, and a plethora of family conflicts abound in this historical novel set along the Brazos River in antebellum Washington County, East Texas.

It is a compelling story of two neighboring plantation families and a few of the enslaved people who serve them. These two plantations are a microcosm of a country on the brink of war, encompassing a variety of issues: love and friendship between men, relationships between fathers and sons, sibling rivalry, slavery, and the position of women in society.

At What Cost, Silence?

By Karen Lynne Klink,

What is this book about?

Adrien Villere suspects he is not like other boys. For years, he desperately locks away his feelings and fears-but eventually, tragedy and loss drive him to seeking solace from his mentor, a young neighbor Jacob Hart. Jacob's betrayal of Adrien's trust, however, results in secret abuse, setting off a chain of actions from which neither Adrien's wise sister, Bernadette, nor his closest friend, Isaac, can turn him.

At What Cost, Silence presents two contrasting plantation families in a society where strict rules of belief and behavior are clear, and public opinion can shape an entire life. Centerstage are the Villeres,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cowboys, ranches, and King Arthur?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about cowboys, ranches, and King Arthur.

Cowboys Explore 69 books about cowboys
Ranches Explore 52 books about ranches
King Arthur Explore 56 books about King Arthur