Gabby Hayden wasn't the kind of girl who gave a hoot about boys. She had a few real loves. Water-skiing, going out on Smith Mountain Lake with her dad and her dog. Anything else ranked a distant second. Until the summer smart, caring, gorgeous Sam Tatum gave her his heart. It had been the most wonderful time of her life, lazy days hanging out at the dock, skinny-dipping at midnight, staring up at the stars from the back of Sam's truck.
They are planning their future together when Sam's father is transferred to South Africa. Devastated, Gabby and Sam promise to wait for each other during the two years before he returns for college. But lonely and angry, Sam makes a mistake that will change the course of both their lives.
Years later, an unexpected diagnosis brings Sam home to his parents' house on Smith Mountain Lake where he believes he can find peace and acceptance. What he finds, however, is the girl he once loved, now a woman unwilling to lose him again, a woman who will make him realize that both love and life are worth fighting for.