Sandra Hurst has left her husband. Again. After dropping out of college to marry Trent, divorcing him, then remarrying him, she's shown up on her parents' doorstep nursing her wounds. But her parents refuse to help this time - emotionally or financially. Desperate to earn money and determined to start over, she accepts an offer from her aunt to house-sit at the old family home, Cub Creek, in ruggedly beautiful rural Virginia.
On the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, in the small town of Emerald Isle... Juli Cooke, hard-working and getting nowhere fast, marries a dying man, Ben Bradshaw, for a financial settlement, not expecting he will set her on a journey of hope and love. The journey brings her to Luke Winters, a local art dealer, but Luke resents the woman who married his sick friend and warns her not to hurt Ben - and he's watching to make sure she doesn't - until Ben dies and the stakes change.