Widowed and alone, Linnea Powell agrees to swap places with a reluctant mail-order bride. Arriving in Lubbock, Texas, armed only with her future husband’s letters promising a prosperous life, Linnea feels hopeful—until the stagecoach leaves her standing before a handsome stranger who has more ambition than he does prospects. Still, Linnea accepts Sam Kincaid’s proposal, knowing the moment he seals their vows with a hungry kiss, she’ll never be able to keep her past a secret. For her appealing new husband is all too eager to share the marriage bed…. Sam knows there’s something mysterious about his new bride. But that only adds to Linnea’s allure. And when he learns his wife is really a vulnerable widow, he’s even more determined to give her the life and family she dreams of. Sam’s not afraid of hard work, especially when the prize is Linnea’s love. What the rugged rancher doesn’t know is that Linnea has an even bigger secret, one that could destroy his reputation—and shatter his heart….