Penelope Mathers arrives in a remote Western town, contracted to married Anders West, the son of a wealthy local cattle baron. Her prospective parents-in-law pick her up at the coach stop in their buggy and drive her directly to the church, where she meets her groom for the first time at the altar. After the wedding service, Anders drives Penelope to his home, where she quickly realizes all is not as it seems, and she finds herself torn between the increasing hostility of her husband and a growing attachment to Caleb Alexander, a young stable hand working at the West Ranch. Through shared adversity and adventure, Penelope learns more about Caleb and his enigmatic world, showing her the depth and caring of a man she longs to clutch to her heart. As her relationship with her husband deteriorates with every passing day, Penelope relies more and more on her affection for Caleb as well as on her own resources to cope with the mounting tension. Just as the situation seems most hopeless, the situation comes to a shocking climax, leaving Penelope in possession of a shocking secret that will transform all their lives and open the door to unlimited possibilities.