Nellie Wallace is a young widow with two children. In post civil-war New York, the men are scarce and none want the burden of a wife with children. Her dead husband's family is wealthy, and cruel. Desperate to escape their influence, and eager for a home, a husband, and a stable life for her children, Nellie decides to make a new life in San Francisco as a mail order bride.
Saloon owner Blake Malone is a bachelor and likes it that way. He worked hard for everything he has, but the San Francisco City Council won’t approve his plans to build a family emporium unless he is a family man himself. The solution? A mail order bride from New York who will bring him a ready-made family, stability, and the council's approval.
Are they each other salvation?
At twenty-two, Annie Markum dared to dream of a different life and risked everything to become a mail order bride. One year later, she finds herself on a friend's doorstep, penniless, pregnant, and a widow. To get back to New York will take money she doesn't have. She's got no choice but to accept work as a cook in a local saloon.
Saloon owner, Nick Cartwright, took one look at Annie Markum and fell hard for his friend's mail order bride. A year later, she's back in his life, a widow with a precious daughter to protect. Nick will do anything to convince Annie to give him a chance, except the one thing she demands...sell his saloon.
And Annie realizes that sometimes, in life and in love, you have to fight dirty to win.