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January 30, 2009

Country Boy or City Sophistication?

So this track was playing on my iPod while Scotty and I wandered at our old-dog pace around the reserve this morning. It made me start thinking. Possibly a bad thing, but follow along…

I’m a country girl at heart, and my husband also grew up on a farm. The farming background gives us a lot in common. But I’ve also lived in towns and cities and met city boys. Their idea of dates are different for a start. A country man might take you to a rodeo, to an agricultural show or stock sales. Dinner out might be at the local pub and jeans are fine. In the city, dates are to nightclubs, nice restaurants or maybe a walk in a park. There are art galleries and museums and sexy dresses. Spiky heels that áre in no danger of sinking halfway to China when you walk beside your man. Try that in the country and see what happens!

In most of my writing, and especially in my Middlemarch series, the heroes are all country boys. Strong, capable farmers who don’t need to work out in a gym. An exception to this rule would be PLAYING TO WIN where my hero is a professional rugby player and businessman. He does a lot of promotion and charity work and is at home wearing a suit. While my Middlemarch men could do the suit thing, they’re more at home in the wide open spaces.

I like to read about both types of heroes, but I have a real soft spot for a cowboy, country male type. I like them because they’re independent, capable, usually emotionally strong and can turn their hand to anything. They’re not generally full of themselves. Maybe they’re not quite as good at romance, but we know the right woman can smooth the rough edges.

What do you think about real life – country man or a city man and why? And in fiction – which do you choose? Is your answer different and why?

This year Harlequin is celebrating sixty years of romance. They’re giving away free downloads of sixteen titles that represent most of their lines. If you haven’t checked out their free offer yet, run straight over and download the titles that grab your interest. I’ve already downloaded my share.
Here’s the link.


  1. Dayanna

    Tough decision, it depends on their personality not really the way they dress for me. A man who is comfortable and knows how to carry himself in comfortable clothing or in a suit just looks good. Of course if he is tall and with the right amount of muscles he is drool worthy.
    More often than not everyones opinion would be based on how we see ourselves. Are you more the dresser type or laid back? I tend to dress more formal during the week but as soon as am home or on the weekends i like to get comfortable….no sweats for me, but still relaxing. I like my man to do the same. To know when to dress a certain way.

  2. Amy Ruttan

    I always love the City sophisticate. I was a City girl … I married a country boy and haven’t looked back.

    I haven’t written a country boy yet, I still tend to write sophisticates. Soon I hope to write a country boy. I have some hot scenes floating around in my head.

  3. Cheryl McInnis

    Country boys all the way…I like a man who isn’t afraid to get down and dirty, in fiction and in real life. Besides, I’m a country girl and probably wouldn’t know what the heck to do with a sophisticated guy :lol:
    I downloaded my free books from Harlequin last night too, I LOVE you Harlequin!!!!

  4. Deb

    Shelley, I grew up on the family ranch that my younger brother still runs in Texas. While I fee at home with country boys. They always know how to make me smile. But I always new I was going to marry a city boy. :wink: I live in Rochester, New York now married to a man from Dallas/Ft. Worth area. While it’s easy to make it out to the country at anytime, I’m also close enough to escape into Toronto for a weekend, too. And just like I enjoy both, I enjoy books with cowboys and farmers as well as sophisticated city boys!

  5. Deb

    LOL! Sorry, I didn’t proof read that well enough or else the l and n are wearing out on my keyboard! fee = feel and now is know. :blush:

  6. Karen Erickson

    I like both – I like a good ol’ country boy and I also like a man in a suit. Heck I’ll take ’em all! LMAO

  7. Rhonda Barnes

    :grin: Cowboys (country boys) just seem more masculine and physically capable to me. I love ’em! :lol:

    Shelley, how did you download the harlequin ebooks? I keep trying, but all I get when I click on a book is a cut-off description with no download link. Hellp!

    Rhonda :grin:

  8. Shelley Munro

    Rhonda – I’ve emailed you. :grin:

    It’s not so much the clothes thing I mean, but the attitude and the way the background shapes a man when I say city v country because let’s face it some country men scrub up really well while some city males are slobs. :grin:

  9. Barbara Martin

    Give me a “country boy” (man) every time. Although I was raised in a city, I had a lot to do with horses, rodeos and cowboys in my growing up years. They can be relaxed and casual, or even dress up and go out on the town. The biggest difference with men from the country is they often have much better manners and less foul tongues than their city counterparts.

  10. Amy W.

    I’m that weird mix I guess. I grew up in suburbia but we were surrounded by farms and vineyards. We also lived not too far from San Francisco so I got it all! that being said I’d guess I’m more of a country boy kind of girl but what I really am is a man in uniform kind of girl! Military, firefighter, policeman, spaceship captain… bring it on! Take charge, protect others, strong, morally strong men for me! (As I said that could also fit the country boy image but I love the uniform. Plus the schedule is a interesting challenge.)

    Oh and thanks for the tip about the free reads! Fabulous!

  11. Nancy Henderson

    I guess I prefer country. I’ve always lived in the country, I like the “salt of the earth” type hero. Cowboys are always my fave.

  12. Shelley Munro

    Barbara – well that could be true about bad language. I was never exposed to bad language until I went to school in the nearest large town.

    Amy W – ah, a man in a uniform. I think they’re a different category altogether, but they can still be city or country men at heart as well.

    You’re welcome re the link. It’s too good an opportunity to miss.