Only the news that her father is on his deathbed could bring Los Angeles physical trainer Erica Carmichael back to the town she'd wanted to forget and the parent who'd made her childhood a nightmare with his drunken rages. Her plans for a brief trip home to bid him a wary farewell are quickly complicated, however, by her discovery she's now guardian of her teenage brother. She's well and truly stuck. It might be some consolation that the man next door is handsome and attractive, but Erica doesn't trust her growing feelings for the fellow. He's too good to be true.
Sporting goods store owner Brennan Swift is saddened by the passing of his neighbor, a mentor to him in more ways than one. Now Brennan feels responsible for the disposition of his friend's orphaned youngest son. Unfortunately, this involves dealing with the prickly Erica. Brennan is dismayed by his instant attraction to her. He can't afford an involvement. He particularly can't get involved with a woman who doesn't believe in the possibility of a man's redemption - for Brennan has his own dark history.