Monday, May 12, 2014

Elizabeth Otto on the Modern-Day Cowboy

by Joyce Lamb)

Elizabeth Otto, author of One Night With a Cowboy, joins HEA today to talk hot cowboys. Yeehaw!

Elizabeth: One question: Cowboys, why are you always so hot? Seriously, they were hot when I was a kid watching John Wayne reruns, and they haven't changed much now that I'm all grown up. I've always glommed on to romance novels, movies, and television shows featuring cowboys (The Young Riders, anyone?). While Western television shows and romance novels have changed and evolved over time, the evocative appeal of the cowboy really hasn't. It doesn't matter if they are portrayed as the lawman or peacekeeper, outside-the-law recluse, or fiercely protective rancher, or the bull rider, cowboys continue to pull our feminine strings and turn our sensibilities to goo. But why?

I think it's because cowboys really are timeless. All of the traits that make them heroes refuse to age or fade away. In early television series, we saw rough and rugged cowboys hunting down villains, taming wild horses, and surviving shootouts, all in black-and-white glory. Even now in shows like Justified, we see the embodiment of the cowboy as a fearless man, willing to do what it takes to settle a wrong or protect his family. Hot, right? Who doesn't love the protective, alpha male who can harness the power of a horse and shoot the bad guys? I'll take it!

Yet, there's another side to the cowboy, too. One we don't see as often, but which I love even more: the man, his horse and his land. In One Night With a Cowboy, the second book in my Paint River Ranch series, Tucker Haywood struggles with changes being made to his ranch. For him, it's all about the cattle, the land and his horses. When a city girl shows up and pushes his buttons, his protective, rough and ready, loyal and passionate sides make appearances, too.

Perhaps my favorite inspiration for Tucker Haywood's version of cowboy? The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network (how's that for a pop reference?). The host is married to a real-life cowboy, and often shares footage of the men working cattle on horseback all day, tending the ranch and doing chores, yet still coming in for supper with a ready kiss and a smile.

A cowboy is rugged, hardworking, rough, loyal and down-to-Earth. And most of all: timeless. Come over to Paint River Ranch in One Night With a Cowboy and meet Tucker, and see if you agree.

Here's the blurb about One Night With a Cowboy:

Jobless, broke, and struggling to support herself and her invalid mother, paramedic Sophie Miller doesn't have time or energy for a relationship. Especially with her mother's clock ticking down. So when the sexy cowboy she meets at a carnival proposes a no-strings, one-night stand, she's all over it. Until her one-night stand shows up again and turns out to be everything she's ever wanted.

Tucker Haywood has his hands full running Paint River Ranch and trying to deal with all the changes pulling the rug out from under him. His past has taught him it's better to keep women at arm's length, for their sake. Stubborn and temperamental, Tucker doesn't have a clue how to deal with a city girl who's scared of squirrels and dirt.

So when Sophie gets under his skin, he has to do whatever it takes to push her away. Even if it means losing the part of himself he never thought he'd find.

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