The School Marm: The Darlings of Deadwood


WESTERN: 1879. Suzanna Lindstrom dreams of a better life than her family’s struggling farm. She and her older sister, Julia, travel to the new-founded town of Deadwood, Dakota Territory where Suzanna becomes the schoolmarm. Her contract states she cannot be in the company of a man for two years; however, her long-term goal is to meet a man who struck it rich in the gold fields and can provide her with a better life. Immediately off the stagecoach, she meets the disreputable Kingston Winson. She calls him an oaf, a baboon, and worse. King is more than Suzanna can think to call him, much more. He is the proprietor of Deadwood’s hotel and restaurant, as well as owner of a sizeable ranch, he has racehorses, and supplies mounts to the army. And he just so happens to quickly fall for the attractive schoolmarm. Except she’s off-limits for two years. Can he hope to win her over by then?

Suzanna is a nineteen-year-old full of big dreams and rock-solid plans. She, and the rest of “The School Marm” characters are fully rounded and deep. The author’s time spent researching the era and location will give readers an accurate setting. The story sings with uniqueness. and dialogue. Suzanna sometimes could come across as immature. Numerous punctuation issues snared the flow of text. The story began with a climactic scene, then moved back two months in time, then reached the climactic scene and then a fairly quick wrap-up. Readers might question if this were the best choice of flow. Regardless, the subplot mystery of who is trying to ruin King intensifies and will keep readers engaged and wondering until the end!

Emerson Matthews