When eighteen-year-old Ashleigh Steepleton loses her parents, she has nowhere to turn but to her male cousins, whom she has always looked to as brothers. She goes along with her cousins’ plan to move to California, hoping that life will be better there as her cousins believe it will be. But breaking an axle on their wagon near Creede, Colorado, changes their plans, and they decide to stay and try to earn enough money to finish their journey.
When chef Alexander meets Ashleigh, he is immediately drawn to her, feeling deep down inside that she is the woman who is meant to be his bride. Her cousins don’t approve of the match, though, so he has to keep trying to make it work. Being thwarted at every turn, he wants to give up. Will his love survive long enough to convince her cousins they belong together? Or will she move on to California and leave him with a broken heart?