1849 – California
Colleen Pringle has been falsely accused and kicked out of her wagon train. She is desperate to get to California, start her own business and be independent. And to keep her secret. Alone on the prairie except for her wee daughter, Sheela, she is rescued by Eli. She’ll accept his help on one condition: they part ways once they reach California.
Eli Oatman agrees to Colleen’s plan. After losing his home and the woman he thought loved him, he can’t risk his heart again. It can’t be that hard to keep his distance from Colleen, can it?
Over and over, Colleen finds herself depending on Eli despite her resolve to be independent. Little Sheela adores Eli and steals his heart. So much for not getting close to anyone.
When the past and the ugly accusations find her, will Colleen ever be able to live a life of freedom? Can Eli forget his reservations and take a risk on love?