Publisher's Summary

Chosen as a Finalist in the Western Writers of America's Spur Award.
The Texas-Mexico border, the winter of 1886-The Great Die Up. A raw rift separates Mexicans and Anglos. A loner cowpoke and a mute Mexican girl fight man and nature to reunite.
Out of work cowpoke Bud Eugen comes across Marta, a mute sixteen-year old Mexican girl whose family has been killed by Indians. Bud reluctantly takes her along, even though he's never had to accommodate another person in his simple life. He's unable to find anyone willing to take her. In spite of his prejudices, Bud grows to like the spunky girl (and her excellent cooking).
Eventually, they both find work on a border ranch. Here, the relationship between the girl and the young cowboy hesitantly grows. But banditos raid the ranch, kidnapping the rancher's daughters and Marta. Bud, with twelve other men, pursue the banditos into the most desolate reaches of Mexico. Ambushes and battles with banditos, Rurales, and traitors are constant, and the brutal weather is as much a threat as the man-made perils. Life and death choices are made at every turn as one side gains the advantage, then the other.
The rancher's daughters are rescued, and the exhausted party turns back. But Bud presses on alone, against insurmountable odds, determined to fulfill an unspoken promise to Marta.
©2013 Gordon L. Rottman (P)2014 Taliesin Publishing
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Duane K. Laflin on 16-02-2015

Much more than I expected!

My biggest concern with an audio book is that it not bore me. I listen on long drives and want to be captivated by the story. That is exactly what this story does! The characters are wonderful. The storyline is one that makes you tempted to skip ahead to find out how things will be resolved, yet you don't want to because every detail along the way is so interesting.
Readers should know that parts of the book are gruesome. If it was a movie it would definitely be rated R. Yet, the violence and violation described are what would have really happened. It is appropriate in that it is how life at that time was. My wife listened to the book with me. Some of the material made her shudder, yet she liked the story as well as I did.
It is a western with a great plot, characters that touch your heart, lots of action, and a writing style that makes you feel like you are "there to see it all."

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kenneth on 01-12-2014

Great story with great action.

Where does The Hardest Ride rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I listen to many books on tape and this one was truly great.

What did you like best about this story?

I could not stop the tape when I got home or at work. I wanted to hear more and more.

Which character – as performed by James Simenc – was your favorite?

Both main characters were well described and quite unique.

Any additional comments?

Well worth the time if you like western stories.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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