For three years, Ellen O’Brien’s husband, Dan, has been missing. Not knowing whether he has left for good or is dead, she has faithfully been maintaining their farm. Her life has been lonely and difficult until a mysterious stranger arrives on her doorstep. Jess Flint is handsome, rugged, and slightly dangerous, but makes himself invaluable to Ellen when a mishap leaves her with a broken leg. Torn between her wedding vows and the rising passion she feels for Jess, Ellen’s life is turned upside down. What Ellen doesn’t know is that her husband has turned outlaw, Jess is part of his gang, and Dan has hidden stolen gold in their backyard. When Dan suddenly returns, Ellen must face reality, and make the most difficult decision of her life: Dan, or Jess.
While this is an enjoyable story, it is easily forgettable. The romance between Jess and Ellen seems somewhat contrived. A second, lesser plot muddles the narrative, as it has no real bearing on the main story. Banning also abruptly switches character viewpoints at odd places. Ellen is too good, Dan too evil, and the storyline too predictable. Overall, this was an unremarkable story, but a pleasant escape into the Old West nevertheless.