Ella is young woman who is alone in the world. Her prostitute mother is long dead and her brother has just been shot when we meet her. She is riding into a town to deliver the body of the man she shot after he killed her brother. Ella had traveled with her Bounty Hunter brother for a number of years, and this was the last man they had sought. She is disguised as a man. She has worn men's clothing and acted as a man for more than 7 years, it was a means of protection from those who though she would follow her mothers line of work. Occasionally you see glimpses of the woman she longs to be, such as the nightgown she covets. She is searching for Tigger Grady as her brother had made a deal with him for a property deed. She wants the deed to continue to fulfill her and her brother's dream of having a home.
John Snow is a lawyer who has been seeking vigilante justice for 5 years. He is also seeking Tigger Grady but to kill him. He didn't win the court case that would have convicted Grady of the murder of his fiancé and her father. He has been boxing and working as a bounty hunter while hunting Grady, who he plans to kill.
After John discovers Ella secret and then keeps her from being arrested they ride together. Much to Ella dismay she is drawn to him and finds she is not only attracted to him but enjoys his company. The two continue to search for the same man and grow closer together. Along the way they escape an avalanche, Ella is arrested for murder, they become lovers and the relationship comes to a head when they finally meet up with Grady.