Orphaned at sixteen, Sara Rawlings is rescued by her father's distant cousin, Sam Cantrell, who takes her to his rancho in San Felipe.
There, Sara meets Sam's son, Yancy. The attraction is instant, but Sara is already half-in-love with the widowed Sam.
Then Sara finds Yancy's ex-fiancée with a dagger through her heart. When she returns to the scene with Sam, the dagger is missing. Sara reluctantly agrees she was mistaken and Yancy leaves to join the Union Army.
Sam prepares to join the Rebels, but first convinces Sara to marry him so she is provided for should he not return.
When Sara and Yancy meet again, the rancho in tatters from the war, the attraction between them is just as powerful, and equally unwanted. But with Sam gone and someone attempting to end their lives, Sara and Yancy must join forces before love can chase the darkness from their broken hearts.