Cassidy Harte has been burned once and vowed never to let it happen again. When Zack Slater left Freedom with her brother's wife a week before their wedding, Cassie suffered shame and embarrassment and a soul-deep betrayal. Her brothers thought he was a no-account drifter and, at twenty-five, much too old for her, but she loved him with all the passion of her eighteen-year-old heart and thought he felt the same. For the last ten years she's wondered how she could have been so stupid -- and what she did wrong to drive him away. But she's buried the pain and concentrated on helping raise her niece. When her brother remarries and brings his new wife to the Diamond Harte, Cassie decides to pursue her own dream of opening up a cafe in Star Valley. She takes a job cooking at a dude ranch outside of town to earn enough money for a down payment. A few months after she starts, the ranch changes hands and Cassie is horrified to learn Zack Slater is the new owner.
What Cassie doesn't know is that Zack has returned to Star Valley for vengeance. He was driven out of town by the previous police chief, Carl Briggs, after Zack stumbled onto a burglary ring run by the corrupt Briggs.
Briggs gave him two choices: Go to jail for the robbery or leave town. Who was going to believe a no-account drifter's story over the police chief? He had a record and a reputation as a troublemaker and he knew he didn't have a choice. Zack didn't want to put Cassie through the ordeal of seeing him in jail so he left.
Now that he has money and power of his own, he has come back to see that justice is served. He has no idea why people said he left with Melanie Harte. He couldn't stand her. But it doesn't much matter, the important thing is proving to Cassie that he still loves her, that he has all these years.
While they work together at the dude ranch, Cassie rediscovers the Zack Slater she'd fallen in love with so many years ago but can she forgive him for leaving her? She begins to, then a skeleton discovered months earlier in the area is finally identified as Melanie, her brother's ex-wife. Zack was the last one seen with her, which puts him right at the top of the suspect list. But Cassie can't reconcile the man she realizes she's never stopped loving with someone who would be capable of murder.
Together, they must find the real killer and bury, once and for all, the ghosts of the past before they can be free to love each other again. [from author's web site]