Clayton Tucker is a twenty-six year old policeman in New York City. When he is offered a position as sheriff in the small town of Red Rock, he decides to leave his parents and relocate to the western frontier. Not wanting to travel in a conventional wagon train, he sets out on his own planning on having some quiet time before he settles into his new life. His plans of a solitary journey west is put aside, when on the first day of his travels, he finds a young girl in the back of his wagon. Eight hours out of New York, Clayton has to decide if he wants to take the woman with him, or turn around and take her back.
Amelia Wright is an eighteen year old girl whose father has just promised her hand in marriage to a crippled, elderly man; who unbeknownst to Amelia, owns an under-aged brothel ring. For years, Amelia is plagued by a nightmare, in which she is constantly trying to out run an unknown evil. The only thing to give her solace in her dream are a white covered wagon and a cowboy. When she decides to run away from home, to avoid marrying the decrepit Horace Greenwick, she is shocked when the wagon from her dream appears on the side of a street. Hiding in the wagon she waits to be delivered from the evil that is Horace. When the wagon comes to a stop for the night, Amelia is stunned to discover the wagon is not the only thing to materialize in reality, when she is confronted by the cowboy from her dream.
The story follows the young couple on their journey west and to the town of Red Rock. After a tremulous journey the two fall in love and settle into life in the small town, until one day Amelia’s past threatens the life they have made together. It is left up to Clayton to save Amelia and reclaim what is his.
While this book follows the life of Clayton and Amelia, the story does not end there. It is the beginning of a series of stories. The rest of the books follow Clayton and Amelia’s children as they work to build not only a town, but families of their own.