By Mandi Bierly
Updated July 13, 2011 at 04:21 PM EDT

Confession: I’ve read a couple of NASCAR-branded romance novels in my time — for work. But I never bought a romance novel until last week when I was scanning the shelves at Target looking for some vacation reads with my sister and stumbled onto a Western romance section. At first, I showed my sister the cover of Linda Lael Miller’s A Creed in Stone Creek as a joke. (It is, after all, called A Creed in Stone Creek.) But then, we realized it was part of a trilogy (Creed’s Honor and The Creed Legacy), and before I knew it, my sister had tossed all three books into my basket. We both have a thing for cowboys (she got an onstage lapdance from one named Maverick at her bachelorette party in Vegas in 2001), if I squint, the man on the cover of A Creed in the Creek reminds me of Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan Givens, and this author is a best-seller, so I didn’t protest.

I haven’t decided if I’ll be purchasing more romance novels, but if I do, I’m pretty sure modern-day Western will be my genre.* (As a small town girl who’s lived in the big city for 14 years, the ranches are as much of a fantasy to me as the men.) The fact that I now have a preferred genre made me think back to the day years ago when I found out my best friend from high school, who has a PhD in Bronze Age archeology, read romance novels — but only historical ones, so she didn’t feel like she was using them as a real-life surrogate. I can’t recall her exact weakness, but she had it narrowed down to a certain country in a particular century. Anyone else have a preferred romance novel genre? You’re among friends. Spill it.

*I will be. Hello, Montana Creeds!