Retribution Rails

(Vengeance Road #2)

by Erin Bowman

I gave 5 stars to the first in this wild west revenge companion book duology: Vengeance Road.

The protagonist of the first book, 18 year old Kate, won me over with her voice of no-nonsense, western slang, and cross-dressing. I liked the romance with the cowboy brother as well.

That voice that I liked in the first book didn’t work as well for the main protagonist in this follow up book, a young woman reporter. The alternating POV of Reece, the outlaw “Rose Kid” reminded me quite a lot of Kate and worked better.

The reporter, Charlotte, gets kidnapped by the Rose Kid and then sticks around for a story. The Rose Kid is trying to escape his outlaw gang. Both of them get a leg up when they encounter Kate from the prior book.

There’s quite a lot of repetitive conversations going over their options as they hole up to fight the Rose gang. That’s balanced by fun with Kate’s situation and Reece’s fun voice, but the Charlotte parts seemed to lack believable motivation (she and Reece just aren’t thrown together long enough in non lethal situations for her to overcome social barriers that way) and I confessed I skimmed some of her parts. Her mother’s dire situation seemed contrived and then she easily overcomes it.

Still, it was fun to catch up with Jesse and Kate, and Reece’s voice still won me over. I wouldn’t necessarily call this YA, actually, they’re young adults making decisions, not kids.