Cowboys are undoubtedly sexy. The Marlboro Man, for all his deleterious side effects, was a brilliant marketing figure in large part because there’s an undeniably masculine quality to this symbol of the American West. He's the guy that men want to be and women want to bed.
Veteran romance novelist Vicki Lewis Thompson knows this quite well. Her latest novel Riding High, out this month from Harlequin Books, takes us on a voyage of love and lust on a ranch. She captures the je ne sais quoi of the country boy, giving the characters a rugged toughness and tender skillfulness of a man who makes his living rearing livestock.
While dating a man in chaps may be just a fantasy for most, there are some very good reasons to actually bring the Dixie Chicks lyrics to life and find a cowboy to take you away -- or, at the very least, to take you on a few dates.
1. He's resourceful. Growing up in the country means learning a wide variety of skills, from how to fend off unwanted visitors of the animal variety to knowing how to plant and keep a garden. As the world becomes ever more urban, it's nice to have a guy who understands and appreciates nature on your side. Plus, he can probably change a flat tire faster than a city boy ever could.
2. He's an animal lover. Chances are a country boy grew up with a host of animals, from dogs and cats to cows and horses. A recent study from Tufts University found that young people who take care of animals are also more likely to feel positively connected to their communities and relationships than those who do not. An animal-loving boyfriend who’s caring and community-minded? Where do we sign up?
3. He's probably decently happy. While it may be common sense, science is starting to prove the incredible mental health benefits of spending time in the great outdoors. A recent study tracked 1,000 participants over five years and found that those who moved to areas with green space experienced an uptick in their mental well-being compared to those who moved into urban areas. Dating a guy who gets outdoors is good news for his happiness levels, which is in turn good news for yours.
4. He's in great shape. Spending time outdoors is not only good for mental health but physical health. Besides the fact that being outside usually correlates to some sort of physical activity, one Japanese study found that people who live near green space live longer than those who do not. Another benefit to all the outdoor labor associated with life in the country? Muscles. Mmmm.
5. Long, romantic horseback rides. If your country boy is indeed a cowboy, it means lots of time in the saddle. What sounds more romantic: dinner and a movie or a long, leisurely horseback ride through the mountains? Score another one for the country boy.
YourTango recommends picking up Riding High by Vicki Lewis Thompson (now only 99 cents!) and the rest of the Sons of Chance trilogy, three sizzling summer reads that’ll put those hot country boys right on your fingertips. Trust us; you won't be able to get enough of these sexy dudes! Purchase on Amazon, iTunes or visit Harlequin.com now.
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