Two broken hearts collide on the path to redemption?After being given to a wealthy man in a faro game, Gillian Netty Stone flees Virginia for the safety of Independence Missouri. On the edge of civilization, the town borders a vast prairie, and the promise of freedom for so many?including Gillian. But trouble always has a way of intruding, and she is on the run again, sneaking aboard a stranger?s wagon, as he prepares to join a group of settlers heading west on the Oregon Trail.Cole Clarkson is stunned to find a young woman in his wagon, hiding amongst crates of provisions. Being with Gillian reminds him of the past and all that he?s lost?a family he will never see again. Opening his heart is far too great a risk, but the winsome brunette breaks through each of his defenses, weakening his resolve to never fall in love again.