Archeologist Cecily has loved Tate Winthrop since she was 17 and he rescued her from an abusive stepfather and secretly paid for her college "scholarship." He makes it perfectly clear that there will never be a relationship between them as he is full blooded Lakota and doesn't want to dilute his bloodline. So she pines away for him for the next eight years. When his "girlfriend" Audrey spills the beans about the identity of her benefactor, Cecily goes into a rage at a political fundraiser, and pours a bowl of crab bisque on him, much to the media's glee. She drops out of graduate school and moves into a new apartment to separate herself from his influence, and develops a deeper friendship with his former colleague, Colby Lane, much to Tate's annoyance.
In her new position as the curator of a Native American museum in Washington, Cecily is asked to aid a senator in foiling an illegal gambling operation on the reservation back home. If she doesn't help, it could create a scandal with Tate at the apex. She asks Colby to join her in the investigation, which puts Tate in a rage. He shows up at his mother's house with every intention of finally "taking" her. After some afternoon delight, he wants her to drop everything and move in with him, but she tells him goodbye instead. And Tate manages to leave her with a party favor.
With Colby having retrieved the name of the guys behind the blackmail, they arrive back in Washington, where her covert efforts are for naught, as the blackmailers release the trump card to destroy Senator Matt Holden's career; a secret that could drive a permanent wedge between her and Tate forever. Sensing that there are feelings between Tate and Cecily, Audrey schemes to keep them apart. Will they manage to find their way back to each other? Will Tate's racist attitude keep him from finding real love?
This was my first Palmer novel, and I found myself in the middle of an obvious series. While the storyline was interesting, Tate was a little too "caveman" in his convictions (the whole "bloodline dilution" wore thin after the third chapter); Colby was a more intriguing partner and it would have been interesting to see Tate get his comeuppance and spend the rest of his days with shrew Audrey.