It is 1868 and the country is still reeling from the brutal effects of the Civil War. Lorie Blake, a war-orphan who escaped the miserable prison of her life as a prostitute in a Missouri whorehouse, embarks on a breathtaking overland journey northwest. With Lorie is her newfound family – brothers Boyd and Malcolm Carter, experienced horseman Sawyer Davis, and his beloved paint mare, Whistler. For the first time in years, there seems reason to hope. Thrown together by fate, and now deeply bound by love, each of them are determined to begin new lives as homesteaders in Minnesota. But, the past refuses to die. Former Confederate soldiers Sawyer and Boyd are haunted by the specters of the War, a conflict never truly put to rest. New friends emerge and old enemies arise, as ancient hatreds boil over in the hearts of the men who survived. In the face of incredible odds, Lorie must rely upon all of the strength in her soul as she battles for the life of her true love and the enduring promise of a new beginning in the north.