Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
Christina2377
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎01-08-2008
0 Kudos

Help me find a new Western, please!

I've been amongst the Scots for so long, I've almost forgotten how thrilling a good Western romance can be.  I'd love to hear about your favorites.
 
FYI- My favorite Western is from Brenda Joyce's Bragg saga, The Fires of Paradise.  That is by far the steamiest book to ever burn up my shelves, and the leading man, Shoz, is never far from my mind when I picture uber-sexy men in novels.  What I liked about him was that he wasn't the stereotypical rancher that is so common in Westerns, and I loved that he was ethnically mixed.  If you know of any books that feature this type of diverse male lead, I'm all ears!
 
I like Native American stories, though none really have stood out over the years as favorites. 
 
Thanks!
Frequent Contributor
bookwormbeckykong
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎06-13-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

You have got to read the Clayborne family of Blue Belle, Montana books by Julie Garwood.   The first book is For the Roses, then Clayborne Brides, and then comes Come the Spring.  They are wonderful. 
Frequent Contributor
Christina2377
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎01-08-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

Thanks Book!  I completely forgot about that series.  I'm an old Garwood fan (The Bride is my favorite book, ever) and I remember reading Come the Spring.  I'll check out the others, thanks again!
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

Ride the Thunder and Touch the Wind by Janet Dailey are two books that have the feel of a western without exactly falling into that romance genre.  I don't read her much anymore but those two, as well as The Rogue, stand out.  Nora Roberts' Montana Sky is another modern take on the western.  Linda Howard's A Lady of the West is another one I liked.
Frequent Contributor
Christina2377
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎01-08-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

Okay, Becke, I've started A Lady of the West and I love it so far.  The beginning was the most brutal and violent piece of writing I've EVER read in a romance novel, though!  OWCH!  If anybody is a fan of this author, I'd love to hear which book of hers I should try next.

While I was reading the back cover in B & N, a fellow browser told me that she didn't care for the book because the hero was such a jerk throughout!  I saw she was holding two Nora Roberts books, and I got the hint that we may not be on the same wavelength.  Not a slam against Roberts or those who enjoy her, but I can't relate, sorry.  :smileywink:  I'm only on the 3rd chapter, so maybe I'll agree with her and be converted, who knows?
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!



Christina2377 wrote:
Okay, Becke, I've started A Lady of the West and I love it so far.  The beginning was the most brutal and violent piece of writing I've EVER read in a romance novel, though!  OWCH!  If anybody is a fan of this author, I'd love to hear which book of hers I should try next.

While I was reading the back cover in B & N, a fellow browser told me that she didn't care for the book because the hero was such a jerk throughout!  I saw she was holding two Nora Roberts books, and I got the hint that we may not be on the same wavelength.  Not a slam against Roberts or those who enjoy her, but I can't relate, sorry.  :smileywink:  I'm only on the 3rd chapter, so maybe I'll agree with her and be converted, who knows?


Linda Howard's books can be pretty heavy, pretty dark compared to a lot of other romance authors.  It depends what I'm in the mood for, but I like most of her books.  I just finished her latest, Death Angel, which came out last week.  It's not a western but it was really good!
Frequent Contributor
bookwormbeckykong
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎06-13-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

You're welcome!  As for reading the scots for so long, that's alright.  I myself have a scottish fetish.  Janet Chapmans' highlander series and Karen Marie Monings' highlander series are two of my favorites.
Author
DebMarlowe
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎06-22-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

Hi Christina!

I recently read a great western: The Angel and the Outlaw by Kathryn Albright. It's set in California along the coast. I heard that her next book is set around the Alamo, and I'm looking forward to that one!

Happy western hunting!
Frequent Contributor
Christina2377
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎01-08-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

Thanks to everyone for the great replies.  I'm about 70% done with Lady and I'm giving it a 'B' so far.  Like most of us, what tickles my fancy is a very unique, personal thing.  I like romances that are heavy-handed on romance and secondary in action/suspense... this book seems to have reversed those two, which is okay, but not my personal preference.  Also, I like the author to spend a lot of detail on the appearance of the characters and revisit that throughout the book, which Howard doesn't do.  Not gobs of detail, mind you, but I had to go back and re-read what Jake looked like a few times, for example.  Her other descriptions of the setting are good, but I love descriptions of the clothing, and that's been extremely week.  There was a scene at a party for the Governor and not one mention of the gown the heroine wore... blah!  Lots and lots of detail given to the horses, which is suitable for a western, I imagine.  :smileyhappy:
 
And Deb... thanks for the great rec.!  I just happen to be from the coast and have taught fourth grade for several years so I'm a bit of a CA history nut (at least for the 1800's and early 1900's).  I'll be sure to read that one next, thanks again!
Contributor
Readers-R-Leaders
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎05-14-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

So funny you would say that because just this week I put two books by Ivan Doig on hold.  He writes Montana western fiction and I've heard he is good. 
 
My favorite western writer is Russell Rowland who wrote "In Open Spaces" and the sequel "The Watershed Years" 
 
I also really like Stanley Gordon West who is a mixture of historical and western fiction.  My favorite of his is "Blind Your Ponies"
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!


Christina2377 wrote:
I've been amongst the Scots for so long, I've almost forgotten how thrilling a good Western romance can be.  I'd love to hear about your favorites.
 
FYI- My favorite Western is from Brenda Joyce's Bragg saga, The Fires of Paradise.  That is by far the steamiest book to ever burn up my shelves, and the leading man, Shoz, is never far from my mind when I picture uber-sexy men in novels.  What I liked about him was that he wasn't the stereotypical rancher that is so common in Westerns, and I loved that he was ethnically mixed.  If you know of any books that feature this type of diverse male lead, I'm all ears!
 
I like Native American stories, though none really have stood out over the years as favorites. 
 
Thanks!





Hi Christina,
another great western author is Linda Lael Miller, she writes great western romances both historical and contemporary with a great series about the McKettrik's that start in the historical and continue on in the prestent. I think you'll really like her. Here's her website address http://www.lindalaelmiller.com/

As far as Native American novels have you tried Kathleen Eagle. Her husband is of the Lakota tribe and her novels are all very good with great hero's and heroines. She is one of my very favorite authors and here's her website address http://www.kathleeneagle.com/.

I hope this was helpful to you and that you enjoy two of the authors that have brought many hours of great reading into my life.
Frequent Contributor
Christina2377
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎01-08-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

Thank you for the great recs, Debbie!  Those are going on my list!
Frequent Contributor
Christina2377
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎01-08-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

I just finished reading Lady of the West last night.  I could've blasted right through it but I'm a mom to a 7 mo. old.  :smileytongue:
 
SPOILER ALERT!
 
Lady, in a nutshell, is about a young woman, Victoria, who leaves the post-war south (Georgia) with her teenage sister, Claire, and her cousin (same age, I think) Emma to enter an arranged marriage with an older Texan man, Major McClain.  We learn right away that the Major is a murderer and rapist (in vivid detail, yeesh) and stole the very land and home he lives in, which rightfully belongs to the hero, Jake Sarratt and his younger brother, Ben.  Jake and his brother escape being murdered along with their parents, and they hide themselves away and learn the ways of the west until they're old enough and have enough guns behind them to reclaim the ranch.  Jake gets rehired on the same ranch years later as Jake Roper, and plots his revenge agains the terrible McClain.  He falls for Victoria in a way, but plans on marrying her once he murders her new husband so he can claim the ranch again.  Victoria falls fast and hard for Jake which isn't hard to do considering Jake is a sex machine and her husband is an abusive tyrant.  Jake's plan comes through, eventually, but when he marries Victoria things aren't all smiles and giggles-- he's downright mean to her at times, and they have a terrible argument and Jake accuses Victoria of carrying her first husband's baby (which she isn't) that he refers to as a bastard.  That almost separates them for good, but he comes to his senses (don't they always?), wins her back (yay!) and saves her from a major gunfight at the end. 
 
What I liked:  The main characters, Jake and Victoria, were well developed and stayed true to their design.  Ms. Howard certainly doesn't skimp on the love scenes.  I've read steamier, but holy smokes, the pages were on fire.  I really love it when the prologue is effectively used, and Howard did a great job of setting the scene and winning our sympathy for Jake and his brother right away.  This will come in handy later because he really tests the readers loyalty to him with his behavior.  There was lots of detail put into the scenes with training "breaking" the horses, which I suppose is a typical metaphor for the romance between the two main characters.  I don't know anything about horses and I was able to learn something and follow along... bonus for me.  The ending was excellent.  There was a lot of action throughout but the ending really kept up the momentum.
 
Mmm, not so much:  I don't particularly like too much time taken away from the main characters to develop sub storylines, particularly when they don't reinforce what the main characters are doing.  Victoria's little sister, Claire, was portrayed as "simpleminded" and fey-ish, which I thought was sad and downright weird.  She was the victim of the perverted intentions of the nasty ranchhands, however, she hooks up with one (a good guy, though) in the end.  The cousin, Emma, has the makings of a good main characters on her own and maybe she stars in her own book, I'm not sure, but her love connection with Ben just didn't work for me.  It was tension, tension, tension... then it felt like, "Okay, I guess I will" in the end. 
 
There was a ton of violence in this book.  Rape, murder, death and domestic violence.  I'm not a ninny by any means, but I really, really disliked that young Jake and Ben witnessed these acts against their own parents in such vivid detail.  I felt ill.  I also felt ill reading the scenes involving Victoria and McClain's sexual encounters because it felt like yet another rape scene.   Now, I don't love reading about the alpha male "hero" who doesn't know his own strength in the bedroom and in arguments with his leading lady, but I take it in context.  Jake does give Victoria a hard slap accross the face when she's pregnant, and I really felt like it wasn't necessary for the story... that's just my opinion as a reader.  I've read many scenes like this before and was able to negotiate it, but here, not at all.   
 
I complained about this earlier, but I like setting details in moderation.  This book was pretty sparse.  I really like frequent reminders of the characters' appearance (eye color, hair color, build, etc.) and of their clothes.  I really wished more time had been given to the description of the hacienda they lived in, but it was fair enough to paint a general picture.  I noticed that tons of details were given to describe the horses, but c'mon, Linda, could you spare us a few more "Her violet eyes met his cobalt ones..." please?
 
Oh, and I know this is nit-picky so I'm not holding this against her, but I just HATE it when a baby is born at the end and we never learn the name!  Even worse, the gender.
 
That being said... I will still seek out more of Howard's books in the future.  I like her storylines, but I really, really like the tension she builds and the action scenes.  Lady was an emotional rollercoaster for sure... there was a heavy dose of death at the end and I was shocked and saddened by it.  I felt that the slow realization of the hero's feelings of love and regret for his bad behavior was genuine and fairly designed.
 
Next, I'm reading Tender is the Storm by Johanna Lindsey.  Lindsey is a hit and miss for me and I haven't read anything by her in at least 3 years.  It a story set in Arizona (yay) and is of the mail-order bride theme... an old fave of mine.  :smileytongue:
 
Thanks for reading, and thank you a million times for the wonderful reccomendations.
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

I just went through my books because after reading your review I realized that even though this one was good there was another Linda Howard I liked better.
 
Finally found it:  The Touch of Fire.
 
 
I think you will like it!
Frequent Contributor
Christina2377
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎01-08-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

Thanks Becke, your rec's are always welcome.   :smileyvery-happy:
Contributor
AmyBG
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

Pieces of Sky by Marriane Willman. I read this book back in the mid 80's and re-read it every couple of years. One of my all time favorite books!

Amy
Moderator
Melanie_Murray
Posts: 3,511
Registered: ‎11-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!



AmyBG wrote:
Pieces of Sky by Marriane Willman. I read this book back in the mid 80's and re-read it every couple of years. One of my all time favorite books!

Amy

I don't think I've heard of this one! Thanks for the tip!
Frequent Contributor
readerkuna1
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎07-13-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

Chirstina, Have you ever read any of Leigh Greewoood. He writes Western romance. There are several series. The Seven Brides and the Cowboys are great. Also Cassie Edwards with her Indian series are just great. She has several series. Savage series and Wild series. I think you would both of them.  Karen Kay is good for Indian love stories. I hope that this helps.
Patti Kuna
dom
Contributor
dom
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎07-21-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

if you are looking for a western i totaly would go for Lady Of The West by Linda Howard it is very good i couldnt put it down and didnt want it to end either.... Also I would reccomend Angel Creek as well... it is not really a wester but it takes part on a ranch very good book... and you might want to try Touch of Fire all writen by Linda Howard ......
dom
Frequent Contributor
Christina2377
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎01-08-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Help me find a new Western, please!

Hi Dom,

 

Thank you for the suggestions.  Lady of the West was recommended to me by another reader and I did like it and plan to read more of Linda Howard in the future.  The bookstore only had her contemporary novels in stock on my last trip so I'm holding off on reading more of her work for the moment.

 

C