Welcome back and happy Friday! Miss Annie has taken the bull by the horns…. *giggles* I mean, Annie’s herding us today… *bites fist* I’ll stop now and let Annie get on with it! 🙂
“Give me land, lots of land and the starry skies above. Don’t fence me in.”**
It all started with an impulse-buy, clearance cowboy romance novel at the grocery store checkout. Since then I have been on a quest for the perfect cowboy romance. When I say “cowboy” I don’t mean a salesman at the sports bar wearing a giant belt buckle and a Garth Brooks shirt (no offense Garth). No, sir. I mean a M-A-N who gets dirty and sweaty riding a horse, with rough hands and strong thighs. [Deb: *blacks out*] Oooh yeaaah, howdy pardner!
Today we’ll start with Michelle who has some mighty fine cowboys for us.
Ride ’em cowgirl, after the jump!
Michelle: Somebody around these here parts wanted a Cowboy themed post…. HA! I crack myself up. After rereading some of my favorite COWBOYWARDS, I’ve decided Debb, Annie, and I need to plan a trip to a dude ranch! One with lots of happy trails….
First up is a sweet but angsty modern-day cowboy story about love being worth a second chance. [Annie: I was going to rec this one but Michelle grabbed it first. I loved it! Excellent fic.]
Author Summary: In her suffocating small hometown, Bella Swan meets widowed Edward Cullen. Can she pull him from the depths of his grief? Is there enough of him left to soothe her clawing loneliness? AUAH E&B.
You know when you think of your perfect guy and you go through your checklist? The cowboy in All the Wild Horses has it all. Swoony, rugged, sweet, sexy, loving, thoughtful, and this cowboy loves deeply. Gah! I adore this Edward. You want to hug him. You want to cook casseroles for him. You want to see him happy again.
It was Edward Cullen, who owned a horse ranch out by Route 101. He was quiet, and didn’t engage in chit chat. His expensive boots that shined, even in the photo, were replaced with worn looking work boots. The once clean-shaven jaw was hidden under a growth of beard, and his hair was shaggy, hanging over his ears from where it peeked out of his old Stetson. Most of all, were his eyes. They seemed incredibly haunted, but somehow empty. They were piercing when he settled them on anyone, as if it was painful for him to look them in the eye.
Their relationship is a slow, sweet build but so worth the read!!
She answered on the third ring.
“This is she, who’s this?”
“It’s Edward. Edward Cullen.”
“Oh. OH! Hi.”
I smiled, picturing her surprised face.
“Is that offer for coffee still good?”
“Um yeah! Yeah, of course it is.
“Are you doing anything right now?” “Do you want to come out to the ranch? I’ve got coffee out here.”
“Um, yeah ok. I can be there in half an hour?”
I nodded, even though she couldn’t see me, “Yeah, sure. I’ll see you then.” If anyone could see me grinning like a fool in my kitchen all by myself, they would think I was plumb loco.
Maybe they’d be right.
…….. Later in their conversation……..
“So what else do you like to do?”
She huffed a small laugh, “You mean beside sitting by myself at tables in Honky Tonks-”
I sat back in my chair, “If you had given me three more seconds, I was on my way over.”
Her eyes widened, “You were?”
I nodded, “Well yeah. Pretty thing sittin’ all alone, it was my cowboy duty to make sure you took a turn once around that dance floor.”
She laughed, “Cowboy duty?”
I sipped my coffee, “Mmhmm. It’s in the Codebook. Page thirty seven: No pretty gals are to be left on the sidelines during slow numbers.”
She nodded, “Uh huh, I’d like to see this codebook sometime.”
“Not possible, ma’am,” I sat back and straightened my hat, “It’s a secret codebook. I risk losing my hat and boots just sharing that small part with you.”
You get both POVs from Bella and Edward. You’ll love Charlie and Renee. Not to mention Eli, Shadow, and the horses. It’s complete and ready to read.
The next two fics are set in old Western style. You get a “How the West was Won” feel from these fics. One is complete; the other is a WIP.
Author Summary: Raised by a Comanche tribe in 1870’s Texas, Bella must learn to live in an ever changing world. What happens when she loses the man she loves, only to find another man she wants more, but he’s married… E/B, M, AH.
Edward and his wife come to the West to start a new life away from their past. Will their new friends be friends or foes?
“What, Katie? What’s wrong?” he called out as he ran toward his clearly panicked wife.
“Indians, Edward. Indians are coming here.”
And this is when Edward meets Pale Swan. Edward is stubborn and won’t see what’s in his heart. He’s a good man and stands for his principles; even as his wife Kate sees his chance at true happiness that doesn’t include her.
This story has the BEST relationship between Kate, Edward’s wife, and Pale Swan, their new friend. I might be a canon girl at heart, but truly, beegurl13 did an outstanding job of making you care for Kate as well as Pale Swan. I cannot tell you how much I love Pale Swan. You want everyone to be happy. But tragedy strikes and it throws Edward’s world onto a new path.
Here are a few lines from The Maiden:
“What are you doing to my barn floor?” he asked, hints of both confusion and anger in his voice.
“Readying for baby be born.”
Edward looked at her as though she as crazy.
“No, I birth babies, I know how do it. How many babies you birth?” Pale Swan sat waiting for an answer while Edward tried to ignore her. “Yes, what I thought. You don’t know birth babies. You shut mouth.
Dr. Cullen was always so positive, hopeful that Kate’s condition would only be minimal, but that turned out not to be the case. As she waited to know the outcome of her troubles, she’d spent many restless nights worrying about how Edward would manage without her, and who would take care of Alice. She smiled at the thought of the first time she saw Pale Swan, and how close the two women had become. An idea began to blossom in her head, and suddenly she knew her prayers had been answered. She always wondered if Pale Swan had entered their lives for a reason. With the news Dr. Cullen had given her, she hoped that maybe this was how things were meant to be.
She had planning and plotting to do, and according to Dr. Cullen, not much time. She smiled as she turned to go back to her bed, leaving her stubborn husband and abandoned friend to have their moment, knowing that if all went according to plan, they would someday have many more embraces.
While it’s a sweet story, you will need a tissue at some point. It’s complete and ready for you to enjoy!
Author Summary: “Sometimes, at night, he’d walk in his meadow and look to the sky, hoping she was seeing the same full moon, the same brilliant stars.” This is a story of second chances and intrepid hearts.
You’ll read the first chapter and just fall in love with this lonesome cowboy. Alby’s writing gives you all the feels.
He’d martyr himself, staying on the mountain instead of venturing to town to search her out and throwing himself, finally, at her mercy.
He knew now without a doubt that he loved her, but she would never want a man such as him. Still, he dared to dream of her, to torture himself with what might have been.
There isn’t a lot of interaction between the two main characters…. It’s more about the longing for the one person you know to be your destiny.
The chapters are short and move the story along quickly, but it is a WIP so there are a few more chapters to be updated before it completes.
Annie: As you can imagine I’ve read several cowboy fics and books lately. I mainly focused on historical Old West stories, because that’s how I roll, but a cowboy is a cowboy, so I’m open to modern day stories too.
Author Summary: Life wasn’t easy in the early days of the wild west. There were them who settled the harsh land and them who wandered it restlessly. Edward Cullen was of the latter persuasion. He never had a home to rest his heavy heart. Ya reap what you sow, people get what they deserved, so how did a man who knew naught but wrong have something so good and pure handed to him?
In this sweet story, poor Edward has had a difficult life and has wandered down the wrong path. One morning he finds that he has drunkenly married teenage orphan Bella. [Debb: Well, these things happen!] Will she be able to help him find a better way? Cowboy activities: Lots of horse riding, gun slinging and sleeping under the stars.
Author Summary: They say wild horses should run unbridled or the spirit dies. They weren’t meant to be contained. Neither was I. Sometimes you have to go back to who you were to find your place. All it took was one summer. And one smile from a boy I used to know.
Oh this is a goood one. Set in modern day, Bella goes to visit Charlie on his ranch after many years away. There she reconnects with her father and a local boy she used to play with. He’s all grown up now. [Debb: Rawr.] This is another sweet, very romantic story. Really well done. It also has my favorite visual of Cowboy Edward after getting all muddy while working with a horse:
He walked over to the hose and turned it back on before spraying it all down his body, washing the mud off. He finally held it over his head and washed off his hair and face.
“Holy mother of God…” I whispered. Definitely a Stetson man.
He set the hose down and ran his hands over his face. He looked around and his eyes eventually drifted up to my window, almost like he knew I was watching him. He smiled a little and waved.
Holy mother, indeed. Cowboy activities: Horse riding, sleeping under the stars, wild horse breaking, ranch work and (spoiler) sex in the root cellar.
Author Summary: When a big city girl shows up to clean the stables, she unearths more than manure in the straw. Can the horse-whispering cowboy give over the reins to his crusty heart?
Cowboy activities: Hat tipping, jean wearing, horse riding, guitar playing, heart-giving.
Debb, darlin’? What ya got fer us? Yee haw! (Note: I am not a native Texan.)
Debb: My week got crazy so I’ve got nothin’ but a “moooooo” for Cowboy Rob. 😉
**From “Don’t Fence Me In” by Cole Porter, covered here by The Killers