Shiloh Pennington is the pampered daughter of the richest man in Sweetwater, Mississippi; she's a good girl, always trying to please her father and living up to his expectations, including getting engaged to Judge Sewell's son.
Billy Bob Walker is known for getting into fights and in general being the town's favorite subject for gossip. He's also Judge Sewell's unacknowledged illigitimate, son.
Four years ago, Shiloh and Billy Bob had a secret and very sweet romance, until her father found out and broke them up. They went their separate ways--she to college and he back to his farm. Both were heartbroken, but too proud to try to make it up.
Now, Billy is in jail for getting into a brawl and being unable to pay the fine. Shiloh meets him there after getting caught for speeding (trying to escape her father and her fiance.) They make a deal--she pays his fine in exchange for his agreeing to a marriage of convenience to her, so that she won't have to marry her hateful fiance.
So begins their path to happiness, but it's very rocky--he's got his pride and anger at the people who think he's worthless trash, and his struggles to make something of himself. She's trying to find herself and move away from the shadow of her father's influence (he's disowned her completely after her marriage), and dealing with her insecurities. There are outside factors working against them as well, such as the Sewells and Shiloh's father.
The small town southern setting is very well done and gives a unique atmosphere and feel to the book.
This is a very compelling love story; it's about unconditional love that can overcome the biggest obstacles, it's about being true to yourself. It's about how love can help make people stronger. The ending is very well-done and the conflicts are realistically and satisfyingly resolved.
This report prepared by Casey