Penelope Brainerd left the antebellum south for a new adventure on the Oregon Trail against the advice of everyone who knew her. After her best friend—a slave—was sold to another family to keep the girls from being so close, she knew that she could never abide living with slavery. Determined to make it on her own, she is one of two unmarried women in her wagon train from Independence, Missouri to Oregon Territory.
From their first day on the trail, Herbert Jensen has his eye on the beautiful Miss Brainerd. He watches her as she manages to weather the hardships of life on the trail after being a privileged debutante from the South. Helping where he can, he hopes she'll eventually see him as more than just a fellow traveler.
When he changes her broken wagon wheel, he sees an opportunity to speak to her and get to know her. Will he be able to convince her that she is meant to be his wife? Or will they both continue their journey alone?