Monday, September 6, 2021



By Kristy McCaffrey

In the U.S., today is Labor Day, but it’s also #ReadABookDay. I thought I’d share a few of the earliest western romances that got me hooked on the genre.

Some of you may know that I’ve kept a movie log since I was ten years old. Alongside it, I also kept a book log. (This is before sites like Goodreads, so I don’t keep the log anymore.) Throughout my high school and college years, I mostly read sci-fi and fantasy (Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Jennifer Roberson were a few of my favorites). It wasn’t until I got married and moved away from home (Phoenix to Pittsburgh) that I began reading romance. And if I really loved a book, I would write the name of the hero and heroine beside the book title in my log. So here I present my favorite western romances from nearly thirty years ago.

Velvet Vixen by Keller Graves
(Brad and Megan)
Published June 1, 1988, by Zebra

Megan McClanahan may have appeared fragile and angelic to strangers, but her family loved and accepted her as the firebrand they knew her to be. So when she announced her intentions to run her late father's gold mine in Colorado, no one stood in her way. At least no one but Brad Webster. Rock solid and rugged, Brad disarmed Megan's plans with a glance. All at once Megan... more » longed to be the woman buried deep within her, the woman who could be carried off by a pair of strong arms, kissed by a set of soft lips, caressed by the man who was meant to be her soul mate.

The last thing Brad Webster wanted to do was to get involved with a Southern woman. He needed to uncover the cause of his father's mysterious death and infiltrate a group of spies, but after meeting Megan he knew he wouldn't be able to concentrate on his goal. All he could do was dream about the green-eyed vixen who had stolen his hear. He longed to wrap her silky brown hair around his fingers, to stroke her creamy flesh to learn her every curve and contour as he made her forever his own.

Reckless Angel by Elizabeth Awbrey (aka Elizabeth Stuart)
(Jase and Kat)
Published 1988 by Random House

Katherine Bennett was returning to her Texas home an elegant young woman, after spending three years at an eastern boarding school. Yet her thoughts as she stepped off the train were anything but ladylike. For she was prepared to wrest control of Three Creeks Ranch from its new foreman, Jason Cain.

Jason was a man of mystery. No one knew where the handsome cowboy came from, only that he was fast with his fists and faster with a gun. Dark and dangerously attractive, he treated Katherine with a teasing indifference that set her blood to boiling and only strengthened her resolve to expose his past and get him off her father's ranch, permanently.

Yet Katherine should never have tangled with this hardheaded cowboy. He'd use any weapon, even the force of her own blossoming desire to tame her. With velvet kisses this scoundrel set her passions aflame and won her tender heart.

Wild Western Desire by Kathy Jones
(Rait and Katy)
Published January 1, 1993 by Zebra

Katy Halliday leaps from the train the moment it stopped in Durango, Colorado. She intended to meet as many gunslingers, badmen, cattle rustlers and 'Mall girls as possible so she could write her own dime novel a out the Wild West. But when she spotted Rait Caldwell, Katy froze in her tracks. He looked like a badman himself all dressed in black from low crowned Stetson to spurless boots, a silver handled Colt Peace-maker strapped to his muscular thigh. He was also the handsomest man she'd ever met. Katy thought she'd melt any second under that steely blue gaze of his, for this gunfighter had a look that filled her heart with yearning for the rough and ready loving his virile body and its strong embrace promised to provide...

Rait was just doing old Richard Halliday a favor when he agreed to meet the train from New York City. But he didn't realize Halliday meant for him to squire the man's pretty niece around town so she could do personal "research." He'd show this vivacious and clearly innocent young beauty a few things about the wild ways of the west she hadn't already planned, beginning with a gentle lesson on love in the saddle guaranteed to bring her to the heights of ecstasy over and over again.....


Desert Sunrise by Raine Cantrell
(Delaney and Faith)
Published May 15, 1992 by Diamond/Charter

I managed to find an updated copy of this one on Amazon.


Beautiful and strong willed, she traveled west to leave her past behind, and called upon a brave stranger to lead her across the perilous Arizona Territory. How could she know this man of secrets was destined to be her lover --- or that his hardened heart would unleash a furious passion?


An Apache shaman foretold he would find love in a woman's eyes of deepest turquoise --- and with one look, he knew Faith Ann Becket was fated to be his. But betrayed by love in the past, Delaney Carmichael had made his heart as dangerous and unpredictable as the land that shaped him.




Julie Lence said...

Gosh, those covers take me back to when I first began reading romance--the late 80's! A friend got me hooked and I couldn't get enough of Johanna Lindsey, Judith McNaught or Jude Devereaux. Loved so many others, too!

Kristy McCaffrey said...

I know ... the covers!! Lol!! Gotta love 'em. But there were such good stories inside.

Shanna Hatfield said...

Those covers are like time capsules. I was hooked after reading a book by Jude Deveraux!

Kristy McCaffrey said...

The covers ARE like time capsules. It's interesting to see how covers have changed over the years.