Janet Dailey's "Calder" series follows a family, the Calders, that lives in Montana and owns a large cattle ranch. As romance novels, each book in the series focuses on the love life of at least one member of the Calder family.
Each book's main character is a member of the Calder family. Calders share several traits, including physical attractiveness, stubbornness, a headstrong nature and arrogance. The first book in the series, "This Calder Sky," follows Chase Calder as a young man in the process of taking over the family's ranch, while falling in love with Maggie O'Rourke. During the series, Chase has children, who become the main characters in later books.
The characters in the books have old-fashioned American characteristics. Dailey has said that her Midwestern values influenced her writing. Unlike many other romance novel authors, Dailey made women a significant part of her stories. She wrote female characters who stood up for themselves and changed their circumstances for the better. These characters sometimes fell in love with poor or unattractive men, which is also unique for the romance genre.
Descriptions of sexual acts are common in the "Calder" series. Dailey took pride in these parts of her books, due to her ability to make the scene sensual without graphic details.