Born dirt poor to squatters in the harsh plains of west Texas; feisty young Raeanne Cullen dreams of escaping her bleak existence. After her drunkard of a father dies at the hands of a drifter and her faithless mother runs off, she is faced with the task of raising four younger brothers and a baby sister on her own.
By chance a family member’s name is found printed in their mother’s bible, a frail hope as they reach out to the only family they have left.
The mysterious lifetime lease Elijah Cullen held with Luther Gantry is at an end. Tragedy strikes when the rancher’s heartless sons use horrific measures to evict the Cullen family, leaving Raeanne devastated, and seething for revenge.
Cole Gantry was gone for years, but few ladies hearts didn’t pick up beats knowing he would be coming home soon. Cole returns to Sweetwater after years of being away at college, determined to sell his shares in The Flying G, his family’s west Texas ranch. He plans to marry a beautiful Boston socialite and return to start a law practice with his partner.
All is in upheaval when he arrives back at the ranch. Cole first comes face to face with a shotgun in the hills. The hot-tempered daughter of Elijah Cullen catches his eye, by first eliciting his anger and then his compassion. Cole is immediately caught in the middle between his feuding father and brothers over the squatters living on their land.
Cole is forced to do the right thing when both his brother’s crimes become known, tormented by going against his family to seek justice. When his father suffers a stroke and his mother disowns him, his only friend in town is an ornery kid named Ray Cullen. Cole never sees the luminous redheaded beauty lurking underneath her boy’s clothes. Too late, he finds out Raeanne Cullen survived, fighting against time to save her.
Raeanne runs to the only family she has left, putting Sweetwater behind her as she begins to plan a new future. Tormented by the memories of her family and her hopeless love for Cole, she heads into another disaster. Cole becomes Raeanne’s unwanted champion as he seeks to save her from her mother’s past before it’s too late.