Why We Love Men in Boots

There is no doubt in my mind that romance readers love cowboys. The proof is in the numbers, and the sales of my three cowboy books (Rough Stock, Unridden and Bucked) have surpassed all of my personal records to date. But what I’d like to know is WHY?

I’ve written sexy computer geeks, firemen, and soldiers but the cowboys always do best with readers.

Can you put your finger on exactly why stories about cowboys make your heart rate speed? If you can, I want to know. I kind of have to know, actually, because I’m sitting on a few panels this Fall at the Authors After Dark romance reader convention in Secaucus, NJ in September and at Albacon in Albany, NJ in October. As an “expert” (and I use that term lightly) in this area, I will be imparting to other authors and readers WHY men in boots do it for you, my readers.

So leave your comments here, if you’d be so kind, about why you love reading the western/cowboy romance genre. And as an added incentive, for those commenters who want one, if you email me your snail mail address to cat@catjohnson.net I will mail you back a “Looking for more than an 8 second ride? Let’s Buck!” fridge magnet as a thank you for helping me flesh out my panel discussions. In the interest of keeping my sanity, I will cut requests for this free magnet offer off on July 1st.

AND while you’re at it, hop over to Melissa Schroeder’s Random Thoughts blog today where I am a guest blogger. It’s military week there during her Summer of Love blog promotion and I’m writing about how I turn the real life mission details from my military muses’ deployments into fictional romance. Don’t get me wrong, cowboys may sell best, but my military series has always done really well also. Maybe it’s the boots we love, be they cowboy or combat. So over at Melissa’s blog I am asking for commenters to tell me why they love stories about military men. Yes, I’m on a ‘why we love military men’ panel at the reader conventions as well…

CONTEST: There on Melissa’s blog, to one randomly-selected lucky commenter, we are giving away a download of my now out of print Crossing the Line, a military romance I wrote in collaboration with my USMC consultant. The contest at Melissa’s runs from 7am today (June 3rd) until 7am tomorrow Eastern time.

So there you go. I’m asking to pick your brain and giving you a public forum to express your opinion about both cowboy and military romance. Love it? Hate it? Too much of it in the world? Not nearly enough? Is there something you want to see and haven’t? Tell me. I want to know.



15 responses to “Why We Love Men in Boots

  1. Cat, great question! And I’m particularly interested in the answers too, as a fellow cowboy junkie. 🙂

    But I hear you on the combat boots too. I’ve done 2 military heroes and I loved them both. One I doubled up – a Captain turned cowboy, LOL! Do you think it has something to do with that rough and ready thing paired with a strong sense of honor?

    Good luck on your panels!

  2. Hi Cat,
    gotta say, I have always romanticised cowboys, being an English gal. I love their strength and love of their horses and job, as I have grown up and work with horses on a daily basis, and so can understand and appreciate the strength of character needed.
    Also rodeo, bullriders, cowboys in boots, chaps n hats are all incredibly sexy!

  3. I have actually read some of your soldier books and firefighter books and cowboy books and I love them all. My personal reasons for liking the cowboy books is there is just something I really like about the country and rough, tough cowboys, be they ranch cowboys or rodeo guys. I really like the tough quality most have, but then they have a real soft spot for loved ones, be it blood family or wife/girlfriend/significant other. There always just seems to be an extra element in there with them. I love to read about the ranches and the different ways they are run, such as horses or cattle or both. I like most the small towns most of these places are located. I guess it is just the overall feeling I get of complete family within the cowboy/ranching/small town community that I like the best. Plus, when I was a little girl, we had six Arabian horses, real beauts and I have a big soft spot for horses. 🙂 I hope that helps some.

    Anyways, keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more of your books in the future! Much love! 🙂

  4. I have always had a thing for cowboys – I guess because it connects me to my beloved grandpa who would sit in his favourite chair and I would sit next to him and watch the westerns with him on a Saturday afternoon – black and white TV. There was always something special about the boots and the ‘uniform’ of the cowboy that was downright sexy and yet also so down to earth and masculine and appealing – didn’t know that when I was little, but I have figured that out now as an adult and just LOVE Westerns!

  5. Cowboys in literature are a law unto themselves. They work hard, fight hard and play hard. They are decisive. If something needs doing they do it. They don’t waffle and pass the buck.

    Having known real cowboys, I have to say the hard work builds hard muscles and the kiss of the sun keeps skin clear and tan.

    What’s not to love?

  6. Cowboys are the American way!! When you think of cowboys you know they work hard for what they have. There are actors that made great cowboys John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford.
    And there is nothing wrong with cowboy boots, pair of tight jeans and a cowboy hat and no shirt. 🙂

  7. HI!
    I gotta say its just something about a sweaty, hunky cowboy with 6 pack abs that just “does it” for me… They are hot..hot…hot
    Roaming the land taking care of horses coming home sweaty bare chested….. They can be rough, hard but still hold a newborn so sweetly…
    Gotta LOVE a cowboy!

  8. I have spent nearly all of my life working with horses (I am 37 and got my first pony when I was 8). I prefer animals to people and personal experience tells me that cowboys (and cowgirls) often prefer animals to people. The good ones tend to be quiet, independent, patient, and kind to animals. They also usually have a really good sense of humor. I like those things in a person. 🙂 I like to read about that kind of person, too.

  9. Most of the cowboys in books have been hot and sexy at first sight, but I can’t say that’s the only thing because there have been some that were described as not being handsome and they were still appealing. Part of it for me is the deep introverted sensual nature of the characters. I can relate to that quiet yet wild caring nature. Also, caring about hard work, your property, having some fun and being smart are all great traits.

  10. good question as a man and boots junkie 😉 (even as a German who owns over 20 pairs of boots) I can tell you, that wearing boots gives you the feeling of freedom and being a roukie or pirate. And I do think women love the wild side of men. So it’s all a dream that we kept since we were young.

  11. Hi, Cat. My friends and I discussed this very question once. Why were cowboys are ultimate fantasy? The type of man we always wanted. It came down to a simple answer- they represent have a reputation and represent the no holds-bar, alpha male hard working man. A man who can break horses, manage a ranch, mend fences and/or stay on a bull for 8 seconds can handle a wild woman and has the determination to go after what they want without taking no for an answer. This type of man has had some of the toughest obstacles thrown in their path, but can overcome most anything. The sensitive side of a man like this, if shown brings women to their knees. Your books drive this point home which is FANTASTIC!!!
    Thanks! Rach

  12. Hi Cat,

    My own background couldn’t be more different from the cowboy lifestyle so I’m intrigued to enter that world if only through a book for a little while. I agree with the other comments of a hard working alpha male that isn’t afraid to be a little “politically incorrect” when the situation fits and doesn’t apologize for it. Passionate about work and play, strong, loyal, honest, responsible, values, respected and shows respect to others, the land and animals, true to his family and friends, not afraid or embarrassed to show his feelings and love, real. In a world where “reality shows” and fantasy rule it is nice to get back to basics with a HOT cowboy! Hope this helps.


  13. Hi Cat,
    Let me start by saying that cowboys do “it” for me more than any other character…why???
    Cowboys have to know how to do it all. Ride a horse, work cattle, be their own mechanic, repairman, etc… a man like that offers something to a woman; an understanding that her man can get the job done. In one word Confidence.
    Even our history has made heroes out of cowboys, with the stories of the wild west, whether true or not this set the Cowboy above all others.
    One thing is certain there is nothing sexier than a confident cowboy with hat & boots, (clothing optional).