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Cowboys, Outlaws, and Family

A Western Adventure

Cowboys, Outlaws, and Family, A Western Adventure brings to life the stories of the characters in her first book Second Chance, A Western Adventure; the Preston family and their bunkhouse crew.

The Preston Ranch embraces the New Year as 1900 ushers in a new decade and ends the nineteenth century. Building a new house will continue during spring roundup, and one member of the crew suffers a disastrous accident during spring branding. June finds several members of the family traveling to Portland, Oregon, and the ranch foreman takes two young cowboys to check on the herd and captures four desperadoes during their ride.

The year closes the nineteenth century with moving one thousand head of cattle to high ground to avoid flooding conditions at the ranch. The year’s hard work is celebrated with New Year’s Eve games, and news of an upcoming wedding in the twentieth century.





Title: Cowboys, Outlaws, and Family: A Western Adventure
Author: R. Hess
Publisher: XlibrisUS
ISBN: 978-1664132726
Pages: 384
Genre: Literature & Fiction/Genre Fiction/Western
Reviewed by: Anthony Avina


Pacific Book Review

Often the backbone and structure a person has in life comes from their family. Whether or not that family comes from blood or from the bonds we share with one another, family can be the difference in how a person’s life turns out. As Alex Haley once said, “In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”

In author R. Hess’s Cowboys, Outlaws, and Family: A Western Adventure, the author brings the characters of her first novel back to readers as the Preston Family and their bunkhouse crew usher in the end of the 19th century. The last year of the century sees the Preston’s dealing with several things, from building a new house to accidents on the crew to moving cattle and ringing in the New Year. It is a story of family, hard work and building a future together, lessons that ring true for many readers everywhere.

A truly remarkable western and adventure read, author R. Hess has crafted a well-rounded cast of characters and richly developed storylines that have major impacts on the Preston family and those who work and live on the ranch with them. The novel begins immediately on a shocking note, highlighting the brutality and dangers of living in that era in areas where ranch life was the driving force of so many people. The author did a marvelous job of capturing the tone and mannerisms of the Preston family and those working on the ranch for that era, really putting readers into the story.
This is the perfect book for those who enjoy westerns, especially westerns with a more mature theme and storytelling ability, and complex and emotionally driven-narratives that revolve around strong characters. As a fan of the genre, it was engaging to read the complex stories that the Preston family tell, and can’t help but feel the emotional drive of characters like Rachel not just early on, but throughout the narrative as a whole.
Memorable, lengthy yet entertaining and emotionally driven, author R. Hess’s Cowboys, Outlaws, and Family: A Western Adventure is a must-read novel. A gripping tale of one family and the struggles they must overcome as they head into a brand-new century. With a character driven narrative and engaging themes that touch upon the concepts of family, hard work and overcoming the odds, this is the perfect read for any Western readers out there.


Cowboys, Outlaws, And Family: A Western Adventure

by R. Hess Xlibris
book review by Joe Kilgore

“A physician has declared that people who sleep with their mouth shut live longer. He noted this is probably due to the fact that their bunk mates don’t kill them.”

History comes to us in many forms. According to the author of this book, the times gone by enclosed within these pages are the result of oral tales handed down, research studiously applied, plus a heavy dose of memory and imagination.

Set in the pre-dawn of a new century (the twentieth), Hess begins her tale in 1900 Oregon. A harrowing prologue introduces readers to Rachel, a young woman in charge of two young children. She will be both observer and participant in the lives of families steeped in the realities of harsh environments, hard work, individual responsibility, and an over-arching love of life and respect for one another. Quickly, readers are dropped into the middle of multiple family members, hired hands, friends, and bunkhouse mates caught up in collective activities such as building houses, dealing with gold finds, planning weddings, driving cattle, and more. Dangerous situations are never far away, be they accidents at branding time or run-ins with outlaws on the trail. Yet humor continually hovers as well, whether it’s the result of too much to drink or the need to hide fowl in funny places.

Hess makes extensive use of dialogue throughout her yarn. She pulls no punches when it comes to the salty language that was part and parcel of the times. Plus, she’s able to capture the colloquial sound of words and phrases that make her characters seem as credible as they are memorable. This book is a follow-up to her first book, but a knowledge of the former is not necessary for the enjoyment of the latter. For readers who are Old West enthusiasts, this one might be right up their saddle horns.