Annie Turner has lived in small-town Thompkin all of her life. Her family is poor but she and her siblings have loving parents and a roof over their heads. As far as she’s concerned, she’s a lucky girl.
Travis Quincy’s ancestors founded Thompkin, deep in the Shenandoah Valley. He’s known immense wealth from birth, and for him that wealth is a part of his life that he’s never had to question.
While still in grade school, Annie and Travis meet and fall in love. Neither understands why they’re drawn to each other, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Like two halves of a whole, they’re only complete when they’re together. And nothing is more important than the vow they make to someday marry.
Growing up together, the rich, privileged boy and the girl from the wrong side of town find that when it comes to keeping their pledge, it’s easier said than done. Travis’s mother, Ruth, has plans for her son and they don’t include his marrying a Turner. Her painful and secret past gives her an unwanted connection to the Turner family and a reason to hate them all. With cold determination she sets out to destroy the bond between her son and Annie.
Love is magical at any age … and a promise is forever.
For Kendall Martin, a remote village in Southwest Alaska seems like a good, safe place to start over. On the run from a dangerously abusive relationship, she leaves everything familiar behind and begins a new life as owner of a small souvenir and sportsman trading post in picturesque Staamat. The locals are friendly, the town welcoming, and she quickly acclimates to the slower, easier pace.
When she meets Denn Nulo, Staamat’s Chief of Police, Kendall begins to believe there truly are good men in the world. Denn is everything she wants: strong, loving, dedicated to family, protective … and patient. Instant attraction blooms between them, but Kendall is leery of men, and Denn craves a serious relationship that includes marriage and children. Their courtship is a conflicting mix of hesitancy and passion.
As Kendall learns how to trust again and her romance with Denn grows more intense, a local woman who has had her eye on Denn for years releases a torrent of damaging jealousy … and the nightmare from Kendall’s past discovers where she’s hidden herself.
Tim O’Malley returns to his home town of Skitter Lake, Ohio, to clear his name and get the girl: Dorothy Whitaker, the love of his life since eighth grade. Blamed for a destructive fire he didn’t set, only Tim and Dorothy know the truth; that Jesse Prescott, Tim’s best friend and Dorothy’s boyfriend, did the deed that changed an entire town. But Jesse died in that tragedy and seven years later, Skitter Lake still honors him as a hero, rather than Tim, the boy from the seedy side of town whose father was a drunk . . . and whose quick actions saved six people from perishing in that horrendous fire.
In trying to set the record straight and finally claim Dorothy as his own, Tim—and Dorothy, too—will discover that in some small towns the legend often outweighs the truth . . . and their family and friends will forever see Dorothy as “Jesse’s girl.”