With a father known as the town drunk and a mother who fled when he was only six, Ryder learned early on that the world can be a cold, unforgiving place. Only two people in his life ever understood him Mama Stallings and sweet Ali Maclaren. But after a tragic accident, guilt chases Ryder from the town that's labeled him trouble, and from Ali. Seven years later Ryder returns after Mama Stallings's death and finds that Ali is considering marriage to a man with a mean streak he masterfully hides from all but Ryder, a man who'll do whatever's necessary to remove Ryder from Willow Lake, and Ali's life, forever. Can Ali find a way to forgive Ryder and can Ryder forgive himself before another tragedy occurs?