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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Devastation Came To Paducah, Kentucky is another excellent western penned by prolific author Raymond Cook, this time in the western romance sub-genre. Set in 1880, this particular story of the tough times gone by takes us to meet Michael and Catherine Woods. When the devastation occurs and the Ohio River floods, this unlucky couple is swept away and badly injured. When the couple is offered compensation, they decide to join a wagon train of families moving to Colorado for a fresh start. So begins an epic journey facing nature’s worst foes, as well as an internal conflict between the families and races who are trying to travel together in relative peace.
One thing I adore about reading the works of Raymond Cook is the way that history comes alive among the pages and is really educational, but the story never feels like a lecture or a textbook. There’s much to learn here about the diseases, wild weather and wild people whom ordinary folks had to face off against when traveling in 1880, so the plot twists and turns with fantastic amounts of drama, sorrow, and triumph. Yet amid these hard-bitten realities of that time gone by, this is a romantic story about human fortitude and the determination to survive and thrive together. Cook brings realistic characters into his world whom you’d always root for and grow to love like your own family. Overall, Devastation Came to Paducah, Kentucky is a superb work for western readers and newcomers alike, packed with drama and an excellent atmosphere.