Raised by his fur trapper father and uncles, Jack Briggs makes do with little more than a knife and flask. Alone now, he searches for a place to call home. And refined and beautiful Penelope Findley may be the person who can help him find it as he leads the Findleys' wagon to Oregon.
Honor-bound by her marriage vows, Penelope snubs the handsome wagon leader whenever he shows an interest in her. When she is widowed following a river crossing accident, Jack tempts her with the means to remain independent: protection in a temporary marriage and payment in exchange for helping him obtain the free acreage allotted to married settlers in Oregon.
What Penelope doesn’t realize is that Jack wants more than the land. He wants her. But can he overlook her disreputable past? And will she be able to give up the freedom he promised?