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Guest blogger: Rachael Johns

8 July 2012

Aussie farmers are the new cowboy hero!

Lord knows the cowboy has ALWAYS been a popular hero in romance fiction, so it’s not surprising that one of the booming genres in Australia currently is RURAL ROMANCE. The spectrum of rural romance is broad with some books focusing more on rural features than the romance and vice versa. My books are most definitely romance and full at that end of the spectrum! One of the main characteristics (usually) of rural romance is a drop dead sexy farmer (our Australian equivalent of the cowboy hero).

Some women like vampires, some like historical rakes, and then there are us cowboy lovers!! I must admit the cowboy or farmer (whatever you want to call him) is one of my favourite type of heroes. There’s just something mouth-watering about a man who has a good body from hard manual labour rather than too much time at the local gym. He may not be clean-shaven or wearing catwalk fashion but it’s this ruggedness that’s part of his appeal.

My latest release Jilted (Mira, Australia) features a VERY sexy sheep and crop farmer called Flynn Quartermaine. Poor Flynn was left at the altar in front of the whole town, which I hope makes him immediately sympathetic.

Although rare in global romantic fiction, the Aussie farmer shares many of the same noble characteristics of the traditional cowboy hero.

  • They are always really strong and hugely masculine—from their bulging muscles to their choice of clothing. In fact in Australia fiction, the farming heroes have almost got a uniform of their own—chambray shirts, Wrangler Jeans and Blundestone or RM Williams boots, and let’s not forget their faithful Akubra hat. They are not afraid of hard work—whether it’s mustering cattle, burning stubble, fixing fences, shearing sheep, driving temperamental tractors or wrangling a feisty woman J
  • They are passionate about their land and won’t abide silly women who don’t appreciate this fact.
  • They are fiercely loyal and protective of their friends and family.
  • They know how to party and have been known to woo women into their swags under the stars at Rodeos, B&S Balls and other such events!

Like cowboys, farmers are true-blue heroes. So, if you’re a fan of the US cowboy, I think you might just like our Aussie brand of this appealing hero! And if you’d like to give one a try, I sincerely hope you’ll start your taste test with my farmer, Flynn Quartermaine in Jilted.

But before you run off, please answer the following question to go in the draw to win a copy of Jilted: Do you read rural romance or books featuring cowboy heroes? If so, please tell me your all-time favourite farmer/cowboy hero and the book you found them in. I could always do with more book recommendations! If you haven’t got a favourite cowboy but would still like to enter the contest, please tell me your favourite type of romance hero and why 🙂 (The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Mary Hawkins.)


She left him at the altar, but her heart was always his …

After more than ten years away, Australian soap star Ellie Hughes returns to the small country town of Hope Junction, determined to remain anonymous while caring for her injured godmother, Matilda.

But word spreads fast in the tight-knit community. It isn’t long before the people of Hope’s are gossiping about the real reason for Ellie’s visit and why she broke the heart of golden boy Flynn Quartermaine all those years ago.

Soon Ellie and Flynn are thrown back together again, forced to deal with the unresolved emotions between them. For Ellie is not the only one with secrets. Flynn has his own demons to battle, and Matilda is hiding something from her much-loved goddaughter.

When all is uncovered, can the ill-fated lovers overcome the wounds of their past? Or is Flynn destined to be jilted again?

You can find Rachael at:


You can buy Jilted from:


  1. 11 July 2012 5:36 pm

    Rachael, you’re so right!! You have to love a man with muscles that have been earned!! Nothing quite like an outback hero to make me misty eyed and Flynn is gorgeous!!

  2. Shiona permalink
    9 July 2012 7:47 pm

    Hi Rachel,
    Your farmer sounds just yummy. And OMG I remember the B&S balls, where the eligible B’s would fly in in their own private planes wearing their moleskins. Those were the days! I’m with Mary – I cut my teeth on the Billabong books and went into my training bra with Lucy Walker. Love a cowboy book and recently, coutesy of an ARRA blog, I won a book by Caroline Fyffe. I then went out and bought the lot – I thought she was THAT good.


    • 13 July 2012 9:35 pm

      Hi Shiona – sorry I’m replying late, I’ve been away!! But I’m definitely going to have to look up Caroline Fyffe books after THAT recommendation. THANKS!

  3. Barbara permalink
    8 July 2012 9:50 pm

    Hi Rachael

    I love rural romance and any romance books set in Aus.I also read cowboy ones too… I have just read a series by Trish Milburn about 3 brothers…. although these are american the setting was very similar to Australia

    • 9 July 2012 10:22 am

      I’m not fussy on the setting Barbara 🙂 I haven’t read a Trish Milburn yet, so thanks for the recommendation!

  4. 8 July 2012 5:54 pm

    Wow, great post and comments too. I am a farmer’s daughter from the Darling Downs and have too many favourite books set in rural Australia to really choose any one hero. Jim and Wally of the Billabong books by Mary Grant Bruce were my first farmer type heros. Then came books by Linden Grierson and Lucy Walker. Anyone here read or remember them? I still have many of them stored away – over in our freezing garage right now though so not venturing outside to check names of their heroes. Besides, just too many! In more recent years I too love Margaret Way but don’t forget Barbara Hannay’s great heros too. Have to confess still need to read more recent Rural Romances now being released

    • Sue Rees permalink
      8 July 2012 6:36 pm

      Hi Mary,
      It’s been plenty cold enough in Toowoomba recently though today lovely. And yes, my oldest sister had Lucy Walker’s books. I’ve still got a couple I inherited from her. My sister worked on properties out west and in northern WA as a secretary over several years, and even governessed in Central Qld for a while. I think it was LW’s books, among others you mentioned, that drew her to the outback.

    • 8 July 2012 9:44 pm

      Ooh thanks for that fabulous list Mary! And I am a HUGE fan of Barbara Hannay’s books, can’t wait for her ru-ro out soon!

  5. 8 July 2012 3:17 pm

    I haven’t read a lot of rural romance but I don’t mind the occasional cowboy! Of course, I’m totally blanking on the names of the books now. There is a paranormal/western mm romance by Marie Sexton which I liked called Song of Oestend which might qualify! 🙂

    • 8 July 2012 3:27 pm

      Oooh that definitely sounds like a contestant! Thanks Kaetrin 🙂

  6. Sue Rees permalink
    8 July 2012 12:39 pm

    Agreeing with your comments here. Love a capable man who’s also a hunk. I’ve a terrible memory for titles, but there was this part American Indian investigator who time travelled back a century trying to find missing sisters and ended up staying with one and living the cowboy life. Interesting mix of genres.

    • 8 July 2012 3:27 pm

      Sue – that sounds really interesting. If you recall the book’s title, do let me know 🙂

      • Sue Rees permalink
        8 July 2012 4:44 pm

        I’ll try to backtrack. If it’s on my Kindle, you’ll be in luck. You’d have to high jump over the hard copies in my study though!

  7. 8 July 2012 11:21 am

    Have to say I was rather partial to your Flynn, Rach. He’s a verra sexy sheep farmer. Lucky Ellie!

    I’m with Amy. Can’t beat a well-built practical sort. Especially one who looks hot in a hat.

  8. Kylie Leusciatti permalink
    8 July 2012 11:16 am

    wooo hoooo you will fall in love with this hot sexy hunky farmer in an instant! it is amazing how our imagination can conjure up the raunchy rugged hot bloke with a few details like he is standing right in front of you! well written Rachael.

  9. 8 July 2012 11:03 am

    Hmmm – not sure why that came up as anon 😦
    Tis me….Amy….. 🙂

  10. Anonymous permalink
    8 July 2012 11:01 am

    I love me a cowboy/farmer! A guy who looks good and knows how to do “stuff” with his hands really does it for me. Give me a capable hero any day!

    • 8 July 2012 3:25 pm

      Yah ”stuff” with hands does it for me too! I’ve always had a thing for good ARMS too 🙂

  11. 8 July 2012 10:51 am

    I’m only just rediscovering the rural romance. I used to read a lot of Margaret Way who wrote masterful heroes in the outback. As I was reading your blog it occurred to me that maybe some of the resurgent interest is due to shows like ‘The Farmer wants a Wife’ which showcased our rural bachelors.

    • Sue Rees permalink
      8 July 2012 12:41 pm

      I think you’re right about the reasons for resurgent interest–one of the positive spinoffs from reality TV. I remember reading Margaret Way ages ago too. Wonder if I’ve still got any of those early books? Off to look.

    • 8 July 2012 3:24 pm

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head Fiona! It certainly seemed to boom around the same time!

  12. Bec permalink
    8 July 2012 10:44 am

    Flynn is one of my fave heroes. For all the reasons you said a no-nonsense cowboy is rather appealing.

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