Dominique Brandon is working hard to make a success of her fledgling executive image consulting firm. She must succeed, not only to help support her widowed mother and unruly siblings, but also as a way to prove herself worthy of the Brandon name. Her adopted father provided her with love and security, despite the disapproval of his dynastic clan. The Brandons are one of America's Black success stories: wealthy, hard-working, conformist, and pillars of their communities. The merest whiff of scandal sends them into a panic. When Dominique becomes the target of a murderous, mysterious stalker, they are aghast. But they don't think much of the irreverent and daunting bodyguard she hires,
Harris Knight, owner of Knight Protection Services, is used to being an outsider. He doesn't bother to hide his disdain for the Brandons and all they represent despite his attraction to his new client. People like the Brandons always turn to people like him when they need something. He will make sure they pay well for what he can provide. Harris is in need of all the money he can get right now. Although he'd like to put his past behind him, he's unable to ignore the needs of the tiny rural town where he was raised, or Dr. Versaint, the man he once looked up to as a mentor and benefactor. Nearing retirement, the "Doc" wants to leave a clinic to provide for his patient's medical needs. The whole town looks to Harris for help in getting the needed funds.
Although Harris is nothing like the worldly, social climbing men she usually goes out with, Dominique finds herself drawn to his quiet strength. She feels safe enough with him to reveal her vulnerability and desire for love. Harris brings out her inner passion, but she's puzzled by his determination to keep a barrier between them. She refuses to see class as an obstacle. Even if they have no future together, she's infatuated enough to indulge in an affair despite her family's disapproval.
Harris first figures Dominique for a snob, but gradually realizes that her air of sophistication comes from real inner strength and the confidence of knowing that she can take care of herself. He's impressed by her loyalty to her family but cynically notes that, despite their money, the Brandons are no Brady bunch. In fact, one of them may be the stalker! But he still figures that there's no way he's in Dominique's league. After all, if Doctor Versaint didn't consider Harris good enough to acknowledge as a son, how can a woman like Dominique care about him?
In addition to her physical danger, Dominique's business is on the verge of collapse because all her clients have been scared off. Reluctantly, she goes to her family for financial assistance to tide her over. She is shocked and hurt when they refuse. It's clear that not only is she not considered a "real" Brandon, but some of her relatives are out to acquire her business. They'd like nothing better than to see her humbled. But she still can't believe that one of them could actually be trying to hurt her physically.
After an elevator accident that could have killed her, Dominique retreats to the small town where she and Harris have to face their deepest inner fears. Harris has learned that the Doc is dying and only Dominique's social connections can bring in the money needed for the clinic. And Dominique decides that being a Brandon isn't enough to make her who she wants to be or to fill her heart.
Dominique and Harris are almost killed when their car is forced off the road and they are chased through the woods. Harris realizes that his professional pride is mixed up with a very personal protective instinct.
A dramatic chase ends with a shocking revelation of the stalker's identity and Dominique and Harris ready to weave their pasts into a future--with one another.
This report prepared by Andrea Jackson