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Friday, June 1, 2012



What makes a cowboy so appealing?

What is it we love about cowboys? Is it the hat? The boots? The jeans? Or is it the man himself?

I think we have to admit the clothes help. A lot. Although most of us love naked cowboys at least as much as we love clothed cowboys.

But rodeo is the only macho sport I can think of where a guy gets to wear the uniform casually on the street. Football players, for example, don’t go to bars in their helmets and pads. If hockey goalies wore their masks into a shopping mall, you can bet the girls would be screaming for all the wrong reasons. And I think baseball players look downright silly if they wear those high socks and tight pants anywhere off the diamond.

But cowboys can stroll the streets in full rodeo regalia and draw nothing but admiring glances. The jeans fit just right, the shirt emphasizes his broad shoulders, and the boots add some swagger. That big belt buckle doesn’t hurt either. The outfit just hollers he-man, and if you hit the Outlaw Bar in Cheyenne on a Friday night, you’ll find lots of women who get the message.

But clothes aren’t everything. Go to any cowboy bar, east or west, and you’ll find plenty of barstool cowboys. Their jeans fit fine too, and sometimes they’re worn white at the thighs and seat as if the guy’s spent his life in the saddle. Their hat brims are tilted just so, and if they’re smart, they’ve let a day’s stubble grow in so it looks like they just rode in from the Goodnight trail. Their boots are slouched at the ankles, and their sleeves are rolled to the elbow like they’ve put in a good day’s work.

But even a tenderfoot can spot the fakes a mile away. There are subtle signals that mark a real cowboy, and I’m betting anybody reading this blog would recognize them, even if you live in Boston or L.A.

Mostly, it’s the walk. Frankly, riding makes a man a little bow-legged and pigeon-toed, so it doesn’t make sense that the cowboy walk defines masculine grace. But that easy, rolling gait is as unmistakable as the smooth stride of a Tennessee Walker. And its lupine, predatory ease is impossible to imitate. I’ve seen romance writers describe it as rolling, hipshot, and loose-hipped. However you describe it, it defines the cowboy mystique.

Then there’s the unique build of a cowboy. Riding develops all the right muscles, and their bodies are lean and natural—not artificially built up in a gym. I don’t have much to say to a guy who’s willing to spend hours on end in the mind-numbing boredom of a weight room, so I don’t get the appeal of those beefcake photos where they slap a Stetson on some shirtless Chippendale model and call him a cowboy.

Give me a real rodeo cowboy any day.

What kind of athlete do you love the most? Football players? Hockey players? Or rodeo cowboys, like me? Tell us and you'll be entered into a drawing for a copy of Cowboy Crazy, US and Canada only please. Make sure we have your email address.

About the author:
Joanne Kennedy is the author of four contemporary Western romances for Sourcebooks: Cowboy Trouble, One Fine Cowboy, Cowboy Fever, andTall, Dark and Cowboy. She brings a wide variety of experience, ranging from chicken farming to horse training, to her sexy, spicy cowboy stories. She is a 2011 finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of American RITA© Awards, for One Fine Cowboy. Joanne lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where she is working on her next book, Cowboy Tough (Fall 2012). For more information, please visit".


Sparks fly when sexy cowboys collide with determined heroines in a West filled with quirky characters and sizzling romance. Acclaimed for delivering “a fresh take on the traditional contemporary Western“ Joanne Kennedy’s books might just be your next great discovery!

From stable to boardroom…

Sarah Landon’s Ivy League scholarship transforms her from a wide-eyed country girl into a poised professional. Until she’s assigned to do damage control with the boss’s rebellious brother Lane, who’s the burr in everybody’s saddle. He’s determined to save his community from oil drilling, and she’s not going back to the ranch she left forever. Spurs will shine in this saucy romp about ranchers and roots, redemption and second chances.


D'Ann said...

Give me a cowboy! It's funny, authors circulate pics of "cowboys" on FB all the time--I can tell at a glance they've never seen the back of a horse, or the wrong end of barbed wire.

Joanne Kennedy said...

D'Ann, I kind of chuckle at those pictures too. There's a very distinctive body type that cowboys have, and you really can tell the difference!

bookworm54 said...

Hi! I like cowboys like the next lady, but I know alot of cowboys who are ranchers and they work hard raising cattle and training horses. the cowboys I know are loyal and trust worthy and they give you their word on getting the job done, or if you need help, they never let you down.I know 2 that have been a big help to me and in return I do the same for them,they are such good friends, and so are there Thats to me a true cowby, not the clothes or they way they walk...they do fit their jeans and hat well!

Joanne Kennedy said...

Carole, I agree. It's the man inside that matters! And the Western lifestyle does seem to lead to good values and good men.

Carolyn Brown said...

You nailed it!
It's in the attitude and a drug store cowboy just flat ain't got it.

Joanne Kennedy said...

Thanks, Carolyn! As you know, "nailing it" is always good news!

Barbara E. said...

I'm not much into sports, but most athletes are in great shape so I don't mind looking at them. I have to admit though, I've always been fascinated with rodeo riders, especially the bull riders - now there's an athlete. :D

Barbed1951 at aol dot com