Driven by desperation, Grace Hawkins must forsake the affluent comfort of her upbringing to save herself from an arranged marriage. Disillusioned by her father's insistence, she forges a daring plan to escape the sinister hand of her intended. Peter Colton sees the Alaskan gold rush as an opportunity to establish his family's fledgling shipping business. An unexpected partnership enables him to pursue those dreams and opens the door to an acquaintance with Grace, who has purchased passage north.
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When heartache and loss invade Karen Pierce's carefully ordered world, she is devastated. Her plans and dreams for the future seem distant and unattainable, and she is bound by a promise to care for two young adults who are struggling with a loss of their own. Continuing their journey north to the goldfields seems their only option, and Adrik Ivanov agrees to be their guide. With the constant threat of winter hastening their pace, Adrik wonders at the wisdom of their decision.
Miranda Colton, presumed dead, finds herself under the care of a native Alaskan and a studious botanist from England, Teddy Davenport. Miranda only longs to find her friends and continue north. She fears that her chances are diminishing with each passing day. Teddy is deeply committed to his research of the unique landscape of the rugged Alaskan frontier. But despite his intentions, Miranda's presence awakens a deep tenderness in his character.