Is there anything more American than the image of a cowboy, riding his horse into the sunset? If you find that appealing, you’re in luck! Not only is he handsome, but he’s gay too, and destined for romantic adventures with other hot men. That’s what the gay cowboy romance genre brings to the table.
Gay cowboy romance is a subgenre of cowboy romance, also known as Western Romance. It includes many of the common characteristics found in your typical romance novel, with a twist. Cowboy romance typically takes place in rural, western U.S., commonly on a ranch or farm. And of course, while cowboys are the focus, they can also center around farm hands, bull riders, and include other Western themes.
While cowboy romance is a niche genre, and its gay subgenre even niche-er, there’s still lots of love to find. If any of this has piqued your interest, keep reading to discover what might become your newest obsession!
Crooked Tree Ranch by R.J. Scott
Change is on the horizon as two worlds collide. Nate, a foreman and partial owner of a dude ranch in Montana realizes he needs professional help to keep his business afloat. But when Jay shows up at his doorstep with baggage from the city, these two men realize they’re in for more than they bargained for.
Crooked Tree Ranch is the first of the six-book-long Montana Series. The other books follow a variety of different characters- a sheriff, a detective, an amnesiac, and more! So if you want some variety, all pulled together in the same setting, this is for you.
Wild Trail by A.M. Arthur
If you enjoyed the last premise, you’ll love this one. Mack’s a rancher satisfied with what he has, and he’s certainly not looking for romance. But when Wes comes on vacation, one camping mishap leads to the two being stranded together. This story’s not just about love and passion, but about what happens when life breaks you apart.
Wild Trail is the first book of the Clean Slate Ranch Novels Series, with each of the six books following a different queer couple on the Clean Slate Ranch!
BUSTED by Greta Rose West
Being stuck in the closet is an unfortunate reality many queer people face, especially when they live in the countryside. Kevin’s resolved himself to a life without love, to protect both his business and his family. But when Luuk comes in, a Dutch man who’s, unfortunately, both charming and hot, his resolve fades. He has to decide if he should let him go, or if it’s high time to throw everything away in the name of love.
This is technically the third in a series of, you guessed it, six books. But no worries, they can each be read as a stand-alone! In case you’re curious, BUSTED is the only queer book of the series, but there’s still plenty of cowboy goodness to be had.
Hot Ryder by B.T. Haiyes
Do you prefer friends or enemies to lovers? Why not both? Hot Ryder is a story about two best friends torn apart by a one-sided love. Austin, a competitive horseback rider, regrets pushing away his best friend, Brendan. After several years, Austin comes back to report on the annual rodeo event for work, and the two reunite. Austin pushes forward determined to make things right, but Brendan is less enthused about the whole situation.
Published as recently as 2022, this is just the start of whole new series. If you love the anticipation of waiting for the next book, this is a good pick for you!
Cowboy Seeks Husband by Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn
Do you like reality TV? No? Well too bad, because Cowboy Seeks Husband presents a hilarious yet heartwarming story. Walker’s family owns a cattle ranch that goes into debt after a hurricane comes through. So, of course, they do the only sensible thing. They cook up a concept for a new reality TV show: Queer Seeks Spouse! That’s where he meets Roan, a man with his own unfortunate bills to pay. It’s a story about two men going in for the money and coming out with something more.
Surprisingly, this isn’t part of a series! It stands strong as its own story, so if you find a large commitment intimidating, this is a good place to start.
Looking for some LGBTQIA+ books? Check out these six recommendations that don’t fall into stereotypes here!