When Kathryn Higgins learns that her actions may be harming her father's health, she knows she needs to leave not just his house, but that she has to go far enough away that he can't persuade her to come home. Although she comes from a wealthy family, she has no money of her own and no way to support herself. Her only option is to become a mail-order bride.Pete Fallon has always been happily unmarried-until now. All his friends are married and constantly point out that one day, he's going to be old and alone. He has thought about that lately, and he wouldn't mind marrying and having a family of his own. But he won't marry because he won't allow himself to love a woman who'll use that love against him. When his friend suggests he get a mail-order bride, he realizes this might be the solution to his problems, as long as his bride understands he will never love her.Kathryn's arrival in Sapphire Springs, Texas brings problems of its own. She expects a carpenter and businessman, not a man who has no ambition, is content to spend his days fishing, in his garden or with his friends. Pete, on the other hand, had no idea he'd sent for a woman who grew up in luxury and who has never worked a day in her life.However, as they get to know each other, feelings grow and Pete starts to think that perhaps he was wrong about Kathryn, that maybe she is a woman he could love. Then tragedy strikes, forcing Pete and Kathryn to face their pasts, but the lessons they must learn could destroy the life they've built with each other forever.