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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
Robbing Banks, Stealing Hearts is a novella consisting of two western stories by Kathleen Rice Adams. In The Worst Outlaw in the West, Laredo Hawkins, an unsuccessful outlaw, holds up Prudence Barrett in her family’s bank after she discovers her irresponsible brother, Peter, embezzled money. She turns the robbery to her own advantage and talks Laredo into posing as a Marshall, while robbing an upcoming company payroll in order to solve the problem Peter created, but the plan does not go the way she plans. In Family Traditions, Tombstone Hawkins, Laredo’s brother, is also having bad luck as a robber. He lets Pansy, a gypsy, read his fortune and the ghosts of both his dead father and Pansy’s dead father appear. They talk their children into robbing a bank, but both have ulterior motives behind this scheme.
Most westerns I read have gun slinging action and saloon brawls, but Kathleen Rice Adams took a different approach when creating Robbing Banks, Stealing Hearts. A very entertaining novella that kept me amused with delightful stories about Laredo and Tombstone Hawkins, brothers who both wanted to restore dishonour to their family’s name by successfully committing crimes to follow their relatives’ examples. The stories are very well developed and original, considering their lengths. Most characters were fun to be around, and I particularly liked the ghosts’ lively attitudes. The content throughout the book was witty. Although they are different themes, the author made the stories connect to each other nicely with references about some characters and mild romance.