The best inspirational Western romance novels with rugged heroes and fiery heroines

Who am I?

As a child, I fell in love with horses. As a teen, I fell in love with a cowboy. That’s how I became the wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters and wrote for rodeo magazines. Today I write historical cowboy romances. The Western way of life is down-to-earth, honest, and God-fearing—even in our contemporary world, and I’ve written several of those stories as well. But my favorite challenge takes me back to the 1800s when life was simpler. Not easier, just simpler even though people faced the same emotional challenges we face today. I love writing about their journeys and encouraging readers that there is hope.

I wrote...

An Improper Proposal

By Davalynn Spencer,

Book cover of An Improper Proposal

What is my book about?

When a mail-order bride’s groom is shot dead on their way to the wedding, she does the only thing she can in an unfamiliar town with no money or friends—she proposes to a stranger. Mae Ann Remington isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants—a home and respectability. If that means becoming a rancher’s wife, so be it. 

Colorado rancher Cade Parker’s biggest problem isn’t catching the rustlers that are thinning his herd. It’s keeping his heart from stampeding after the last person in the world he should be falling for—the bride he didn't want.

The books I picked & why

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From a Distance

By Tamera Alexander,

Book cover of From a Distance

Why this book?

I love happy endings and that’s why I read romance—Western romance from simpler, not easier, times. There is always a struggle, an honest hero who is not afraid to fight for what is right and protect the helpless, and a woman who doesn’t want the rugged cowboy/lawman/rancher telling her what she can or cannot do. They are a perfect match but it takes at least one of them a while to figure it out.

That’s exactly what I found in Tamera Alexander’s From a Distance. I was repeatedly startled, anxious, sympathetic, and angry. Alexander is masterful at interlacing passion, promise, and pain in a way that ties up even unexpected loose ends. And I must say, this book had the best ending of all!

The Lady and the Lionheart

By Joanne Bischof,

Book cover of The Lady and the Lionheart

Why this book?

This book grabbed my heart and is still holding on. I have never read a hero more committed to what is right and willing to pursue it at all costs, in spite of his imperfections. His compassion and level of sacrifice are unmatched. Both he and the heroine are wounded, yet in different ways. Her journey to trust is one that touched me deeply. Bischof knows how to write the heart and paint the power of redemption. 

Courting Morrow Little: A Novel

By Laura Frantz,

Book cover of Courting Morrow Little: A Novel

Why this book?

I was put off by the title of this book because of the name, Morrow Little. I mean, who has a name like that? Plus, I wasn’t a fan of stories set in the 1700s American frontier. But a friend insisted I read it, and yeah, my friend knew me well. I wanted to run away with this hero, but no spoilers here. Morrow Little embodies every woman looking for honest love and she has the courage to pursue it. Or follow it. You be the judge. Because of this story, I’ve read every other Laura Frantz book I could find. She has a way of capturing the setting and atmosphere and dropping you right in the middle of it.

A Lady in Defiance

By Heather Blanton,

Book cover of A Lady in Defiance

Why this book?

I loved the heroine’s grit! Boy howdy, no one’s going to get anything over on her. The story is both gritty and sweet. Real. Full of truth and hope and opposition. Her setting puts you right in the action and her characterizations leave you feeling like you know these people. This was the first book I read from Blanton, and I have since read a couple more. 

Thankful for the Cowboy

By Mary Connealy,

Book cover of Thankful for the Cowboy

Why this book?

I liked this story so much that I read it a second time. Author Mary Connealy took me to the Nebraska Sandhills and showed me the beauty of the country while painting the beauty of the woman who lived there. Such a sweet love story of a mother who gives all she has for her sons—and the man who surprisingly gives back to her something she never dreamed she'd have again. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in romantic love, Colorado, and brothels?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about romantic love, Colorado, and brothels.

Romantic Love Explore 360 books about romantic love
Colorado Explore 37 books about Colorado
Brothels Explore 13 books about brothels

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like A Cowboy for Keeps, Mollie: The Journal of Mollie Dorsey Sanford in Nebraska and Colorado Territories, 1857-1866, and The Raven Prince if you like this list.