When Allison refuses the advances of Jacob Yeardley, the son of an influential banker, Jacob begins bad-mouthing her in an attempt to ruin her reputation. While trying to defend her honor, Luke gets into a vicious fight with Jacob and his friends-injuring most of them and sending Jacob to the hospital. Fearful of having to serve jail time for the assault, Luke flees from the warmth and congeniality of his little hometown in West Virginia to the cold, unfriendly streets of Detroit.
Years later, an old friend mentions to Luke that Allison is the mother of a little girl named Vanessa Mayberry Chesterfield-which just happens to be Luke's mother's name. Will Luke find the strength to return to West Virginia and face his past? And what will Allison's family have to say about it if he does?