Great freebie read! I love it when a novella reads more like a full size story, and the writing is so good you can't help but get sucked in. This was NOT a fluffy cowboy romance. It was an emotionally charged, gritty American-historical romance that painted a vivid landscape of the hard-times faced during the deep winter months of late 1800's America.
Did I mention that the writing was seriously GOOD?! Ms Marks is an author-to-watch. I'll need to check her out. Written in first-person POV (point of view) by a 15 y/o girl named Rose, we see how life unfolds for her mother, older sister and herself after her drunkard father abandons them to their own survival just as winter sets in. There is a realistic tone to the story, and I don't doubt that this scenario could and did happen. Beware that the author doesn't sugarcoat the time period, but she doesn't get overly graphic either (which I appreciated!)
This is not a paranormal read, but I liked how the sisters got a reputation among the local mining men for being ice witches, and some even claimed to have seen their ghosts at night walking the mines and causing havoc. It made for some great thought provoking moments in the story.
The romance is slow coming and quite tender when it does evolve, which make sense in such hard times. Don't expect a bunch of horny sex-minded characters, the romance was much more of a love story with an happy-ever-after ending.
I highly recommend it to fans of American historicals that don't mind the steam level turned down to low. It's only 80-100 pages, and the heat is only kisses, but it does read like a full size story. I got this for free in December, so if you didn't get it back then I am sure many (including me) would be happy to Kindle lend it to you.