Eleanor Miller is trapped in the backwoods of North Carolina. Her husband sold their possessions to finance his search for gold on their property. Now that he’s dead, his relatives prevent her from leaving, hoping she will marry one of them and keep the potential fortune in the family. Enter Jed Blackstone, who trespasses on Miller land and gets beaten for his error. Eleanor hides him in her cabin, with an eye to using him to help her escape once he’s healed up.
The book seems to be set in the late 19th century, as best I could guess from the context. The beginning half of the book provides plenty of sexual tension, as two strangers coexist in a tiny cabin, trying not to react to furtive glimpses of each other when in a semi-dressed state. I was a bit skeptical about the later consummation scene, however. Jed and Eleanor are extremely tired and very hungry, but after a long day of riding and a freezing dip in a pond, they still find the energy to make passionate love? But a little fantasy is allowed in romance. And the good characterizations and inventive “meet cute” plot make up for any misgivings. An enjoyable book.