Sarah Woodward is a mother with a mission. Two years after her husband dies, she moves her kids away from their fast-paced lives in suburban Atlanta to small town Hailey, Colorado. Her young sons aren't happy to leave their friends, but Sarah feels the family needs a fresh start with fewer complications. But she doesn't know a Colorado Senator has earmarked her ranch for purchase and he'll do anything to get it. Unwilling to sell, she dismisses his continued offers as an annoyance and improves the land with help from sexy stranger, A.J. Dodge.
A.J. Dodge is a man with a past. He's returned to his hometown to begin again, ready to set down roots and make things right with his family. When his old friend Tommy Thornton asks a favor, a favor he can't refuse, Dodge gets tangled up with widow, Sarah Woodward. She's alone with her sons on a dilapidated ranch she's determined to get up and running, with or without his help. Dodge, busy working his own cattle on leased land, agrees to help her set up her ranch. The more time they spend together, the more he's drawn to her looks, her sharp mind and her unwavering support of him despite the rumors of his sordid past.
Senator Ben Burwick is desperate for the Woodward Ranch. He's in bed with a shady land developer and he's made promises he may not be able to deliver. Feeling the squeeze to produce the Woodward land, Senator Burwick arranges to have her hired man quit and, in an act of spite, forces the abrupt end to Dodge's land lease in Hailey, leaving him scrambling to find a home for his cattle.
Every door closes in Dodge's face and he turns to Sarah for help. She agrees to a long-term lease and her sons begin helping out on the ranch. When he discovers a cut fence wire on Sarah's property, Dodge is convinced his past has come back to haunt him. He feels guilty for drawing Sarah and her sons into his problems and ramps up his protectiveness of her and the ranch.
When they both sense danger in the night, they seek out the source and find themselves safe but unable to keep their desire in check. But Dodge won't destroy another woman he cares for and stays away from Sarah as long as he can. Avoidance becomes impossible and Sarah challenges Dodge to face their feelings. When Dodge becomes involved with the beautiful widow, he'll risk everything to protect Sarah and the boys, including his heart.