In the early hours of the morning, Careen becomes Matthew Grayson’s wife…and then in a blink of an eye, his widow. How can she tell the family she’s never met that her own cousin is responsible for their son’s death? While she waits for the right moment to admit the cousin’s guilt, a budding attraction grows between Careen and her new brother-in-law, Joshua. But this will only complicate matters, especially when the truth finally comes out.
Joshua Grayson could never understand why his brother left the family ranch to wed – in secret – a woman he’d never met. And now Matthew is dead. Killed just moments after taking his wedding vows. Joshua struggles with both resentment and a growing attraction for his mysterious sister-in-law. He knows Careen is hiding something, but can he give love another chance or is he just setting up his heart for another break?
Peter Grayson is traveling the wayward path against his family's wishes, gambling to earn his living after his brother was shot and killed. Needing to experience life to the fullest now, Peter travels to Texas to reclaim his granddaddy’s sugar-cane plantation. Finally, he saves enough from his gambling winnings to buy back the family home, but he’s robbed and left for dead. He’s nursed back to health by a kind—and mysterious doctor. Seeking revenge for the injustice dealt him, Peter tracks down the young thief and his lovely sister, Cecilia Ashby. Not only is Cecilia living on Peter’s plantation, but she’s keeping secrets of her own.
Years ago, Adella Lancaster witnessed the brutal murder of her mother and brother by a gang of notorious thieves who claimed revenge on her father. Suddenly responsible for two younger sisters, she narrowly escapes danger and begins a new life in a new town, claiming new identities. Seven years later, a man rides in from the town where her family was killed, bringing back long suppressed memories and emotions. Working as a schoolteacher, Adella has worked hard to create a new life, but every time she encounters the insufferable Gage Grayson, she's haunted by the determination to discover the full truth of what happened to her family.
Gage Grayson has always tried to walk the straight and narrow, but now he is feeling punished for some unknown reason when the obstinate schoolteacher is constantly thrust in his path. He repeatedly stumbles across Adella in dangerous situations with no choice but to aid her. Despite a tendency to clash, Gage quickly realizes Adella isn't the only one in danger... for he's in danger of losing his heart... to her.
As they battle their feelings for each other, they both try to track down the gang of thieves to put an end to their reign. One way or another, someone is going to end up hurt…or dead.