First Lines: There’s a nice stretch of rail between Painted Rock and Gila Bend, and that’s where we’ll take the train.
A while back, I got hold of the first book in this semi-related duology (more on that in a bit). I liked the history in it and the danger, enough that I wanted to check out this one.
Reece Murphy doesn’t want to be an outlaw. Forced to join the infamous Rose Riders because of a strange coin he has in his possession, Reece vows that he’ll find the man who gave it to him and get his revenge. What Reece never expects is that he’ll get his best shot at that thanks to an aspiring female journalist. Reece met Charlotte Vaughn on a botched train robbery, but his interest in her is piqued when she mentions rumors about a gunslinger in Prescott. She could be his ticket to freedom–or the noose. Because Charlotte has a mission of her own, and if she needs to manipulate Reece to get it…so be it. But Charlotte and Reece may not be the only ones out for revenge…
I like this semi-series (the two books take place ten years apart and follow different characters), particularly its depiction of the West. It’s brutal and beautiful. It’s lawless and hopeful in equal measures. People truly are making their own futures, good or bad. It’s a uniquely American story in so many ways.
I liked Charlotte and Reece in this book. I thought they were really different from Kate and Jesse, which was a cool way to put their own twist on the story. Charlotte is an aspiring journalist, even though everyone tells her women can’t be journalists. Reece is known as the Rose Kid, a young man who was forced to join the Rose Riders gang of outlaws. He’s just biding his time until he can get out, but it’s not that easy. Reece is definitely more “street smart” than Charlotte is, but Charlotte had her own skills too. She’s tenacious, for one thing. She doesn’t let anything go.
I love the setting, I love the characters. The plot was mostly good (definitely nothing egregiously wrong with it), it was just that sometimes I felt it was slow or too simple in how it solved problems. Still, it was a good read. I really enjoyed this.