Cherish Riley is on the run; looking for her long overdue brother, Roy, and avoiding 2 men who have bought Cherish. A frontiersman named Sloan Carroll crosses her path and saves her from the 2 ruffians.
Sloan is on his way to a settlement to find a woman to care for his dead brothers child, 2 year-old Orah Delle. Sloan asks Cherish if she would like the job oh, and would she like to marry him? He reminds Cherish that this is a dangerous land and as a young woman (17 years), she needs a protector.
At this point, the reader does not know why Sloan does not want to fall in love with any woman; he insists that he doesn't want a woman to have emotional control of him. Cherish realizes that she hardly knows the man, but she trusts him. She agrees to take care of the baby but turns down his offer of marriage.
Cherish settles into Sloans home and things are going well when the babys mother arrives and wants her baby back. Ada broke her husbands (Sloans brother) heart when she left him, soon after the baby was born. He died and left the child in his brothers care.
Ada makes a major play for Sloan and says she wants him, the baby and Ada to become a family. However, she displays huge swings in temperament, threatens the other women in the house and beats her bonded woman. She threatens to take the baby away if Sloan doesn't want her.
I felt it was over-the-top that all the women wanted Sloan and all the men wanted Cherish. Of course, Cherish and Sloan were extremely beautiful and handsome. On the other hand, this story is action-packed and the pacing is wonderful. I finished the book in a day because I couldn't bear to set it aside.
Young girl, running into the Kentucky wilderness to get away from her family, who were trying to "sell" her, Cherish Riley met a tall buckskin clad man, who helped her. And eventually wins her heart.