When Amelia first brings Bruce home, Jude and Alma and Allegra laugh at him. He’s a big, gangly hulk of a man, but he’s clumsy and ungainly in his movements, unlike delicate, careful Amelia. Jude especially sees Bruce as an easy target for his pointed sense of humor. The sisters can’t figure out why Bruce doesn’t stand up to his much smaller brother-in-law, when he could put Jude in his place with a flick of his wrist. No amount of encouragement from anyone can prod Bruce into asserting himself. He even seems to go out of his way to bow to Jude’s will. Even Alma finds Jude’s behavior toward Bruce disturbing.
But no one on the Goodkind ranch knows that Bruce is hiding an explosive secret, one which will transform the relationships of this family forever. The introduction of another man into the family brings fresh complications to the fragile peace established after Jude’s arrival. Competing loyalties and affections breed conflicts and misunderstandings, until everyone stands against everyone else. Only Amelia’s unwavering faith in her new husband carries them through to the ultimate climax. In his last battle, Bruce finds a strength he never knew he had in Amelia’s love.