This romance, set in the Rocky Mountains shortly before the Civil War, has a feisty heroine by the name of Fox, her companion/father figure, seventy-year-old Peaches, and their tall, handsome employer, Matthew Tanner. Tanner hires Fox and Peaches to guide him from Carson City, Nevada, to Denver, Colorado, through the mountains, in the middle of winter, in order to pay kidnappers a cash ransom for his father. He is somewhat taken aback by Fox, not expecting a young woman barely out of her teens to be capable of such an endeavor. As the story unfolds, their trust grows and an unconventional romance blossoms. But even as they grow closer, secrets from their pasts make a future together seem impossible.
The main characters in this novel are lively and likable. The pace is fast and, overall, the writing is engaging. While historical facts are incorporated, such as the looming outbreak of war between the North and South, they don’t play a major role in the plot. However, the abduction of Tanner’s father is not thoroughly explained. Motive and method are glossed over, but as the action hinges on that event, those points should have been fleshed out. Further, as a reader, I quibble with Fox’s constant use of one curse word, “fricking,” which I consider to be very 21st century and out of place in this setting. I would recommend this with reservations.