When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but also for the Texas ranch her father recently acquired. A marriage of convenience could ease her predicament, but is it the true desire of her heart? Wounded soldier William Barnett returns home only to find out that his family's ranch has been seized. He's surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.
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Though their first encounter is hardly auspicious, Laura Marquardt soon discovers herself drawn to the dashing Captain Brandon Reid. As an officer over the colored troops, he eagerly supports her desire to educate blacks and seek harmony in a town where the defeat of the South is a bitter reality. When Laura's sister marries her Confederate beau, Laura finds herself in a difficult situation after overhearing a discussion with frightening consequences. In her heart she feels she should confide in Brandon, but Laura fears to do so may endanger her sister's life.
Though grateful for the blessing of her daughter, Carissa Lowe has accepted that widowhood is her lot in life. Bound by fear and mistrust, she feels incapable of opening her heart again. Tyler Atherton has never forgotten Carissa. When he discovers she's living with her sister on a nearby ranch, his life becomes intertwined with the lovely widow's. And Carissa's daughter, Gloria, seems determined to wrap herself around his little finger. But while Tyler longs to provide a home and future for Carissa, he is haunted....