Handsome plantation owner Wesley Stanford would barely recall the poverty-stricken young girl named Leah Simmons who adored him from afar years ago. Now, in an unexpected twist of fate—a chance encounter on the Virginia riverfront—he will become Leah’s reluctant husband. Determined to forge a new life in untamed Kentucky, Wesley discovers that the bride he hopes to abandon is passionate, proud, and brave—and may be the woman he cannot live without.