The best gay cowboy books

Who am I?

I’m fascinated by men, the way they think and behave, the problems they have in their relationships. The very first gay romance I wrote was a cowboy story – Cowboys Downand who doesn’t love cowboys? They’re enigmatic, strong, rugged, ultra-masculine. But what if they were also gay? I think it’s that challenge, to show another side of a role that has so predominantly been drawn in one particular way in western books and films. I think gay men must have to work even harder to be accepted as a cowboy than in many other industries and exploring that is enthralling.

I wrote...

Edge of Forever

By Barbara Elsborg,

Book cover of Edge of Forever

What is my book about?

Levi thinks his father’s joking when he says for the next six months Levi’s going to be teaching Russians how to be cowboys. Working in the frozen desolation of southwest Russia, he’ll not only earn enough to buy a new barn, but he won’t be sloping off on Saturday nights to gay bars. Result!

Pasha finally pushes his oligarch father too far and is banished to a remote ranch in the middle of a Russian winter. Pasha hates the countryside, hates physical work, hates being cold and cows. Deprived of money, phone, and friends, he’s screwed and not in a good way. He arrives at the ranch wearing eyeliner, and retches every time he walks into a barn. Then he comes face to face with Levi. Opposites don’t attract. Do they?

The books I picked & why

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Brokeback Mountain

By Annie Proulx,

Book cover of Brokeback Mountain

Why this book?

I’m pretty sure this was the first story about gay guys that I ever read. I had a book of Annie Proulx’s short stories I’d been meaning to read and stumbled across this particular one by accident. I only saw the film a long time later and that bowled me over too. The story is beautifully written, though find it so sad to read (and watch). Individuals struggling to come to terms with the way they feel is the essence of so many romances and this opened the door to all those that followed. She’s a brilliant writer.

Nowhere Ranch

By Heidi Cullinan,

Book cover of Nowhere Ranch

Why this book?

This is the story of a cowboy whose family throws him out because he’s gay, and the relationship he strikes up with the rancher he goes to work for. There is a lot of hot sex in this, it was certainly the most extreme I’d read at the time. But it’s handled sensitively. The emotions of the two men are all over the place at first and the author does a great job of taking the reader on their journey of discovery and made this reader believe their happy ever after.

Wild Trail: A Gay Cowboy Romance (Clean Slate Ranch, 1)

By A.M. Arthur,

Book cover of Wild Trail: A Gay Cowboy Romance (Clean Slate Ranch, 1)

Why this book?

This is the first in the Clean Slate Ranch series. An opposite attract story set at a dude ranch. The lives of Mack – the ranch owner, and Wes – the tourist who’s an actor and doesn’t trust cowboys collide, and it takes a while for the two to sort themselves out. I like opposites attract stories and these two couldn’t be more opposite. A.M. Arthur has written a lot of cowboy tales and they all have a brilliant sense of place as well as intriguing characters. I’ve not read one I’ve not liked.  


By Thorny Sterling,

Book cover of Splinters

Why this book?

I love the start of this. An actor (again!) wakes to find himself naked and bound to a plank in the middle of the Texas range. Fortunately, along comes his saviour in the form of Duke, his knight in shining armour, or in this case, a cowboy. It’s a debut novel and it’s very good. Romantic and sweet with a bit of a mystery and I loved the touches of humour. Humour always brings a book alive for me. Sadly I think that’s the only book Thorny has written and it’s shame. 

The Blacksmith and the Ex-Con: A Gay M/M Cowboy Romance

By Jackie North,

Book cover of The Blacksmith and the Ex-Con: A Gay M/M Cowboy Romance

Why this book?

Jasper is the blacksmith at a small guest ranch. Ellis is the ex-con who is so traumatised by his experience in prison that he can hardly speak. The moment I knew that I was instantly hooked. It’s a slow burn, comfort-hurt story where the blacksmith works his own particular magic to mend the broken Ellis. Lots of heart-wrenching feels and a touching tale of how someone can fall and be helped to rise again. It’s lovely. Hits all the right buttons for me.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cowboys, gay topics and characters, and Wyoming?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about cowboys, gay topics and characters, and Wyoming.

Cowboys Explore 41 books about cowboys
Gay Topics And Characters Explore 90 books about gay topics and characters
Wyoming Explore 21 books about Wyoming

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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