It is 1923 and Montana is slipping into a state of decline and depression long before the rest of the country will follow suit. Drought and bootlegging are up and cattle and crops are down. Stowing her grief and insecurities neatly away in her luggage, with a hopeful heart, Jo Swenson boards a train on the Great Northern Railway, headed to a remote cattle ranch along the Northwestern edge of rugged Montana to seek out Leif Hawkins, the man advertising for a new ranch hand. She thinks her journey to the ranch is serendipitous, but after only one week of back-breaking labor, the boss arrives at the ranch and isn't pleased to find a woman inserted under his roof and into his solitude. Jo had traveled a thousand miles from home, and t one person, including her family, had guessed her true motivation for leaving the farm, but after two minutes in the room with her new boss, he starts digging at her vulnerable spot. Her past has left her bitter and cautious, so when she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him-a cold, solitary man who is burying secrets of his own-Jo is at a crossroads. The warning sentry of her heart and the compelling voice in her soul each fight for their path. During the long, hot summer filled with demanding work, riotous laughter, and solemn discovery, will Jo find the courage to become the woman she was always meant to be or will she discover once again that the worst pain is the pain she doesn't see coming-life stolen away without preamble, without preparation for mind or heart?