Mallory Metcalf Reynolds was born to a life of wealth and privilege in the Old South. But the Civil War turns her life upside down—she loses both her mother and her childhood sweetheart. When her aunt tries to help by sponsoring her debutante season, Mallory makes a fateful mistake and compromises her reputation. Her father’s death is the final blow, and she decides to start over, answering an ad for a mail order bride. But when she travels to the far west corner of Texas to meet her intended husband, she finds the vast unsettled country overwhelming and filled with danger.
Colonel William Gregor has made his reputation in the U. S. Cavalry fighting hostiles and border raiders. When he’s assigned to a remote West Texas fort, his efforts to stop recurring Apache raids are thwarted by the vast and treacherous mountain terrain. To add to his responsibilities, he’s a grieving widower with a daughter to raise. And in this rough-and-tumble outpost, he has few resources to aid him.
When the colonel rescues Mallory, a tentative bond is formed. Mallory’s plan to become a mail order bride is abruptly thwarted, leaving her far from home and with few options. The colonel offers her a position as a teacher. Mallory and the colonel grow closer but when he offers Mallory a marriage of convenience, she hesitates, knowing she must reveal her secret past. Events eclipse her confession, forcing the colonel to face down the Apache while Mallory receives an unexpected threat from home.
If they survive their challenges, will the colonel forgive her? Even more important, can Mallory forgive herself for living a lie?
Note: This is a standalone story.