Sensible Kevin O’Rourke does not believe in ghosts, in love at first sight, or in the happily-ever-after type of love. Instead, he is convinced only hard work, dedication to family, and self-sacrifice will bring contentment. When he meets Aileen O’Keefe on the steamboat trip from Saint Louis to Fort Benton, Montana Territory, his world is turned upside down as quickly as she nearly tumbles into the Missouri River. After spending only a few moments in her company, he knows his life will never be the same. Although warned to guard his heart, he is drawn to Aileen, enthralled by her joy and the future he envisions with her.
Sarah Marden is perfectly happy in her role as the family spinster. Almost. But things aren’t the way they should be this summer. Emma’s health is failing, snow is falling in June, and Timmy is back. Twenty years ago, Sarah ran from his kisses because he smelled like barn cats. Now she doesn’t want to refuse him, no matter how much she should.