3 out of 4 stars
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Home to Kentucky by Thomas A. McCoy is the second book in The McCoys: Before The Feud series. Four of the McCoys traverse back home to Kentucky, carrying with them all the gold coins they got from raiding a Northern general’s caches. Along the way, the men face many perils. Outlaws who are attacking wagons crossing the prairie leave the McCoys no choice but to be on guard at all times. Their most dangerous adversaries, though, come from Missouri. Pinkerton agents start tracking the gold coin trail, looking to hang the ones who took them. Can the McCoys dodge the detectives and make it home safe?
After reading the first book in the series, I wasn’t sure if I would like the next installment. I found the first book repetitive and lacking in-depth characters. This time around, however, the author produces a great action-filled western. There were very few dull moments. Like any good western, there were plenty of shootouts with the bad guys, and all were suspenseful. Each character was more defined. They used their ingenuity and distinct skills to conquer the obstacles ahead of them. Wiley was a sharpshooter and a natural-born leader. James and Lawrence were great at setting traps and being stealth, and Ben was good with horses. Although, out of the four, Ben was the most underutilized in the story.
The humor that the author infuses into his novel made it more entertaining. One of the funniest parts was when some of the McCoys’ wagons broke down. Two of the men remain behind with them while the others went into town for parts. To make sure no one messed with the items in the broken wagons, James uses his second-grade education to write a note for passersby. Love was also in the air for two of the McCoys. Wiley’s and Lawrence’s relationships were slowly built throughout the story. The pairings were obvious, though, and I wished the author would have kept me guessing more. But romance enthusiasts will nevertheless be happy with the tender moments that the couples share.
There were problems within the work. Unfortunately, the dialogue still felt awkward and unnatural to me at some points. A few of the characters had loved ones they lost, but they never give them a name. For example, throughout the story, Wiley ruminates over the loss of his wife and discusses it with a few people. But he never mentions her personally, and it made him appeared detached. At first, the author mentions James having only parents and a brother. Then, later on, he is bringing his mother, brother, and a sister to town. There were also over ten grammatical errors throughout the book.
I give Home To Kentucky 3 out 4 stars. I found this book to be a quick, enjoyable read. McCoy is cooking up one last installment, and I am looking forward to seeing how he will finish the series. Though it is in a series, this story can be read alone as well. Anyone who likes westerns with a light romance would like to read this book. There is a smattering of profanities throughout it.
Home To Kentucky
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