19-year-old Sarah McCready has never felt at home in Baltimore—too stuffy, too cramped, too upper class—so when her father dies after a brief illness she decides to take a leap of faith and journeys out west to start life anew with an uncle she barely even knows (the powerful, mysterious Sheriff Tyrus McCready) in the budding town of Cosmos, Wyoming. Unwed and wrestling with recurring dreams of a lover who might not even be real, Sarah envisions a serene and humble life far away from the hustle and bustle of the East.
But when Sarah’s train gets robbed en route to Cosmos, she begins to sense that life in the West may not be as idyllic—or as safe—as she’d imagined. “No need to worry,” one passenger tells her. “It’s only The Outlaw.” What's this? A celebrity train robber? In Cosmos? Sarah has never heard of this man, but when he gallops past her window atop a sterling white stallion, even she can’t bear to look away. She knows this alleged criminal: He’s the man of her dreams.
Sarah thus finds herself in the midst of a ruthless manhunt for the mysterious outlaw, led by none other than her uncle, Sheriff Tyrus McCready. Caught between a self-righteous law and an unquenchable and brutal love, Sarah must choose for herself what is ultimately right—not just for her, but for the town of Cosmos as well. What she encounters is the stuff of Western legend: sex, money, booze, betrayal, and a succession of bloody shootouts that make the OK Corral seem like an Ohio plains meditation retreat. Along the way she’ll come into contact with an array of colorful locals—some good, others not so much—who will help her to unlock the tantalizing web of mysteries surrounding The Outlaw, Sheriff McCready and, finally, her yearning heart.