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Sage Durrell gives a lift to a drifter who calls himself Ransom and seems content to ride with her to the frontier town of Stilicho, where folk live with one foot in the Wild West and the other in the 21st Century. Immediately taken with Sage, Ransom willingly steps into the controversy that surrounds her. Her brother Seth has disappeared, leaving the family homestead on her hands and a deepening mystery for local law enforcement. An intensely private woman with secrets of her own, Sage has walked out on the literary lion for whom she worked since she left Stilicho decades before, ducking his increasingly urgent calls while keeping house for Seth's tenant, a reclusive astronomer haunting the widow's walk for its unimpeded view of the night sky. Sage's homecoming has stirred long-dormant feelings among a number of her neighbors, including a bully whose toes she stepped on many years previously, and Sheriff Caleb Wesley, who views the easy-going Ransom as both his rival and his ally as he tries to find Seth Durrell and protect Sage from past and present enemies.