Loreen Matland has a plan. In order to raise enough money toget them away from Miller's Passing, she and her younger siblings needhelp. So she places and ad for a husband in the Ft. Worth paper, with the terms being he helps her raise enough money to go back east, and he gets the farm. But he can't be good-looking. She'd had her fill of the distrustful schemes good-looking men employed. When Jake Winslow takes her up on her offer, she goes against her better judgement and agrees to the marriage out of desperation.
Jake Winslow had expected more of a place when he answered the woman's ad, and he darn sure never expected a built -in family. Ready to ride on, he changes his mind when confronted with the enormity of challenges facing this beautiful, determined woman who was definitely more than met the eye. Besides, he needed to disappear, and this wide spot in the road was a seemingly easy place to do so. He would fulfill his part of the bargain, and once the Matlands moved out, he'd continue his plan to live a solitary life.
Neither Loreen nor Jake counts on falling in love. But as their feelings grow, each feels trapped tighter in their respective pasts. Both wonder if second chances are possible. Would their love survive once truths are revealed?
This story is heartwarming. The characters are vivid, and their growth is seen readily throughout the novel. At first the reader is led to believe Loreen is too soft on her brother, but as the story progresses she handles him well as her confidence grows. The subtle parallel brought forth in the plot between Loreen and a creature that comes into their care that has been mistreated is handled deftly. Jake's courage is to be admired, besides, he sounds scrumptious! END