In a sense, Westerns can be considered Romances: The cowboy rides into town, meets pretty girl, falls in love; then, he must rescue her, himself, and possibly the town from varmints; finally, the bad guys are vanquished and the cowboy marries the girl.
The primary difference between Westerns and Romances, apart from the American West location (specifically during the nineteenth century), is the lack of concentration on the romantic aspects. The story centres around the drifter/gunslinger/outlaw/cowhand, his interactions and thoughts, and the conflict in which he becomes embroiled.
Dark Canyon is a good example of Louis L’Amour’s work and of the genre. In this story, a young outlaw tries to go straight, and also to help the men who once took him in and made him part of their criminal gang, their family of sorts, do the same.
The ending is an interesting feature of this particular book, slightly different from the usual.
Have you ever read the work of Louis L’Amour or other Western authors like Zane Grey?