Nothing jingles my spurs more than a good romance about horses involving a handsome leading man especially if he's a swoon-worthy cowboy! So since we are in the month of love, I thought I'd share six of my favorite works of fiction. These horse books for adults offer up a good dose of cowboy romance and plenty of horsey co-stars. Saddle up for some romantic reads you'll want to rope this Valentine's Day!
1. Midnight Sky by Jan Ruth
From the book's Amazon page: Laura Brown, interior designer and James Morgan-Jones, horse whisperer - and Midnight Sky, a beautiful but damaged steeplechaser. Laura seems to have it all, glamorous job, charming boyfriend. Her sister, Maggie, struggles with money, difficult children and an unresponsive husband. She envies her sister's life, but are things as idyllic as they seem?
She might be a farmer's daughter but Laura is doing her best to deny her roots, even deny her true feelings. Until she meets James, but James is very married, and very much in love, to a wife who died two years ago. They both have issues to face from their past, but will it bring them together, or push them apart?
Disclaimer! Even though Midnight Sky is a complete novel and stands on its own, you will immediately want to read the second book in Jan Ruth's series called Palomino Sky. P.S. I am chomping at the bit for the third book in this series. It's coming this summer!
2. If Wishes Were Horses by Robert Barclay
From the back cover: In this unforgettable novel of love, hope, and second chances, a grieving man's personal plan for redemption is suddenly and unexpectedly turned upside down . . .
Devastated by the senseless deaths of his wife and son at the hands of a drunk driver, Wyatt Blaine remains unable to forgive or to love again. Searching for a sense of peace, he decides to revive his late wife's equine therapy program for troubled teens at the Blaine family ranch.
But then Wyatt's pastor asks for the impossible—for Wyatt to meet with Gabby Powers, the widow of the man responsible for the accident, and accept her troubled son, Trevor, into the program. Wyatt reluctantly agrees.
To his great surprise, Wyatt finds himself drawn to Gabby. But to heal completely, Wyatt and Gabby must first overcome the common tragedy that separates them and learn the true nature of forgiveness. And only by conquering these seeming impossibilities might their hearts become free to love each other . . .
3. Dead Heat by Amy Elizabeth
From the Amazon book page: After leaving his one-horse hometown in the dust, Aussie Colin Carlyle is enjoying the good life in a beautiful seaside resort in southern Thailand. His carefree world turns upside down, though, the day a comatose woman washes up on his boat. With her health in jeopardy and her memory wiped blank, the girl he knows only as Kate reluctantly accepts his help. Although cautious at first, Kate gradually lowers her guard while she convalesces in Colin's care. But as they attempt to unravel the mystery of her past, Colin finds himself fighting two different battles - his growing attraction to Kate, and the unshakable feeling that he's seen her face before...
Meanwhile, in the sultry metropolis of Miami, Florida, Thoroughbred trainer Evan Williams is taking the world of horse racing by storm. To the public eye, he has it all - charisma, wealth, and a skyrocketing career. Only his longtime friend, news journalist Melanie Bishop, understands the man behind the fanfare. Like Evan, she too is well-acquainted with the sting of heartbreak. She's tasted the bitterness of a failed romance and has no intention of ever trusting a man again. So it's clear that her plan has gone terribly wrong the morning she wakes up beside Evan...
Separated by a distance of ten-thousand miles, these two stories appear to have nothing in common. But when their paths cross in a most unusual way, it sets in motion a chain of events that will challenge everything they thought they knew about themselves. Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as "a refreshingly mature love story," Dead Heat explores the true meaning of loyalty, love, and sacrifice.
You'll want more from this author after reading Dead Heat. Check out Amy's Aspen Eyes Series too! She's created one swoon-worthy cowboy named Alec Westin in that series. Book one is called Cut and Run.
4. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
From the Amazon About the Book Page: Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death - loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
By the way, Scott Eastwood is totally cowboylicious on the big screen in the movie adaptation of The Longest Ride. Highly recommend the cowboy romance movie too! Read all about him in my blog post about the cowboy love flick called "Napkin Please: Bull Riding + Cowboy = Drool Worthy".
5. Try by Lily Burana
From Amazon's about the book: A love story with an alternative-country twang, Try is a fresh, sexy novel about holding on to what you love despite all the bumps and bruises.
In Denver, Colorado, Daryl Heatherly is a promising young artist trying to find her place. When she returns to the country just outside Cheyenne, Wyoming, Daryl is forced to confront her true feelings about saying goodbye to the last home her family all lived in together. And it's there that she meets J.W. Jarrett, a World Champion rodeo cowboy and true Southern gentleman.
Against her better judgment, Daryl forges ahead despite a recent heartbreak, not only dating him but joining him on the circuit to watch him ride. Though the chemistry between them is undeniable, Daryl is determined not to fall for a cowboy, with all the dust and drama that implies--especially when she finds out that J.W has secrets. But Daryl hasn't counted on the grit of a man who has outlasted every other rider in the arena--her cowboy isn't going to give up that easily…
6. In The Reins by Carly Kade (that's me ... smile)
From the back cover: Cowboy McKennon Kelly was the last thing Devon Brooke wanted to focus on after finding herself suddenly single. Looking for a fresh start to life, city girl and journalist Devon just wanted to go back to her country roots and focus on building a relationship with her newly acquired equine partner Faith.
Devon finds companionship in handsome bull riding ranch hand JD and delicate Green Briar horse farm owner Sophia, both who advise Devon to keep her distance from McKennon and "mind her p's and q's" around the quiet and eerily peaceful stables. Devon thinks it shouldn't be too difficult to avoid the Adonis cowboy, but after noticing his skills and expert ways with training horses, she figures it couldn't hurt to get to know him a little bit ... right?
Devon follows the guarded cowboy to a horse show, where she is unprepared to learn she may not be the cowgirl she thought she was. After a near-tragic incident, Devon begins to realize that the more time she spends with McKennon, the less she really knows about him (or horses, for that matter), and his mystery just keeps getting bigger. Who is he really, what is it that everyone doesn't want her to know, and why is this tight-shirted, spur-jingling, weather-eyed cowboy all she can think about now?
It jingles my spurs to be able to include my book here too! My novel inspired by the equestrian lifestyle has been an Amazon bestseller for more than 10 weeks, is an EQUUS Film Festival Literary Award Winner for Best Western Fiction and has earned two Feathered Quill Book Awards in the 'Romance' and 'Books Featuring Animals - Adult' categories.
Like cowboy romance movies too? Check out my favorite cowboy movie trailers (including the one for The Longest Ride) in the "Top 10 Cowboy Movies" playlist on my YouTube channel. Happy viewing!
Like what you just learned? Check back next week for another blog post. I’ll share videos, pics, & stories that highlight interesting cowgirl topics as well as horse tips, In The Reins sequel sneak peeks, updates, and release info!
Watch the In The Reins Book Trailer
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Carly Kade writes for anyone who loves horses, handsome cowboys and a great romance. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle!
Books by Carly Kade