In 1863, 13 yr old Tess Montgomery, saves 2 confederate soldiers hiding in her barn unbeknownst to her domineering mother who hates "rebels". Jed, an older man, becomes like an uncle to Tess and stays in touch with during the war. Zachary McClain, the young southern charmer, not only doesn't stay in touch with her but believes she betrayed their hiding place and is responsible for the years he spent in a union prison. Years later, when Tess is about 20, Jed leaves his worldly possessions, a broken down ranch and a silver mine, jointly to Tess and Zachary. They have to come to terms with Jed's will, Jed's murder, and their love-hate relationship. Tess is such a loyal, sweet young woman that Zach finds it difficult to keep his hate for her alive but there is no other answer to his betrayal.And why was Jed killed? There are lots of bad guys, lots of angst and a very likeable hero and heroine. It very nicely makes the point that what we sometimes think is a failure can in fact be a real act of courage. A cute story. Not a keeper but a an enjoyable read.