Action, Adventure

The Hardest Ride by Gordon L. Rottman


This is a fascinating story, written in first person. I was totally caught up in Bud Eugen’s thought process in how one is a cowpuncher in the 1880’s; and yes, that is a cowboy. In sharing his open mind we find vocabulary and speech lively, politically incorrect and always to the point. There is no speechifying in Bud.

Bud is a ‘punch’ who is out of a job. The ranchers in southern Texas have found themselves constantly having cattle rustled by a Mexican gang that hides across the Rio Grand River. Cattlemen are not allowed to follow them across the river to ‘steal’ their cattle back.  Short on cattle mean short on punches.

When Bud is offered the chance of a job he’s greatly relieved. Even as a very young man he knows no job means starvation. While traveling to his new employment, he comes across a Mexican family butchered by the Indians. Unfortunately, this is not unheard of. Moving on, Bud finds a young woman that he figures is the only survivor of the Indian attack. He decides he can’t ignore her and he offers her assistance, and finds that, rightfully so, she is afraid of him and refuses to talk to him. She finally decides he’s not there to harm her and she accepts his help but only after flashing a wicked looking knife at him.

Bud’s a nice guy and soon finds the girl has decided she is attached to him. The problem is, does he decide he’s attached to her. The story moves at a steady pace through a realistic background. There is adventure and action that doesn’t stop. This is a book that should be read knowing you’re going to get a sip of what it was like for some people ‘way back when’.

The rating:

  • Genre and age of readers – Western fiction and adults.
  • Level of sexuality – Sexuality is minimal, but violence and rape are implied and some readers may not want to delve into that.
  • Is there graphic language? While there is graphic language, there is also plenty of cowpuncher language, which kind of sounds foreign sometimes.
  • Did I laugh or cry? Not really. My enjoyment gave me some smiles, and although there was some sadness caused by such a violent lifestyle, I chose smiles and no tears.
  • Levels of character development – There was a great deal of maturing of the main characters.
  • Is this part of a series? This is a first in a series of four books.

As you may have guessed this read receives ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

Available here on Amazon

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