Several of my fellow writers lament that it’s almost impossible to break into Amazon high ranking for Westerns due to Romance Novels filling all the slots. Actually, many of the top slots are held by some great Westerns, like These is my Words, The Sisters Brothers, Lonesome Dove, The Son, and All The Pretty Horses, but it’s true that the remainder of the Top100 tend to be romance, 99 cent books, or Western writers of yesteryear.
Romance Westerns are popular, but they’re not new. Arguably, The Virginian was the first Romance Western. After all, the hero doesn't ride off into the sunset; he marries the schoolmarm and visits Vermont to meet her family. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance—my favorite Western movie—is a romantic story in more ways than one. As for titillating tales of the West, they've been around for ages as well.
I don’t begrudge the popularity of Romance Westerns, but I have to admit I’m jealous of their sales. Maybe that’s why I slipped a romantic theme into my latest Steve Dancy tale, The Return.
Actually, I didn't do it on purpose, it was Steve who insisted.