Years ago, Reese departed Briarwood with Elizabeth Clemens' promise she would marry him upon his return. Months later, she married the Earl of Aldridge, attaining wealth and status Reese couldn't match. Memories of betrayal make his homecoming bitter. Seeing Elizabeth on his doorstep dressed in widow's garb twists the knife deeper. Fear for her young son's safety has overcome her pride: she begs Reese for protection from those who want the boy dead to possess his fortune. He agrees to an uneasy alliance, sensing Elizabeth harbors secrets--and knowing he's placing himself in danger...of losing his heart again.