Beth Kincaid has created a life in the city, free from untidy emotionalism. But when she is called back to her hometown of Preston, a small town in southwestern Virginia, to settle her guardian's estate, she runs into the mess she had left behind a decade earlier: her alcoholic father, the long-ago sweetheart, Michael, and the poor opinion of almost everyone in town. As she sorts through her guardian's possessions, Beth discovers that the woman who saved her and raised her had secrets, and the truths revealed begin to chip away at her self-imposed control. Michael is warmly attentive and Stephen, her ex-fiancé, follows her to Preston to win her back. But it is the man she doesn't know who could forever end Beth's chance to build a better, truer life.