Childhood friends Swift (Antelope) Lopez and Amy Masters reunite fanning the flames of their candle-like love into a bonfire. Swift Lopez is no longer the Comanche boy Swift Antelope that the then twelve-year-old Amy Masters promised to marry. He is now a grown man, a gunslinger, reminiscent of those who kidnapped and raped her when she was a child. Amy has found a new, safe, life as a schoolteacher in the Oregon town where her sister, Loretta and her sister's husband, Hunter founded to be a haven for castaways.
Swift and Amy are both battling the scars of their separation. Amy doesn't know that the reason he didn't come for her is that Swift was told by Amy's stepfather that she had died of cholera. Swift doesn't know that Amy's stepfather consistantly abused and raped Amy after her mother's death. Amy escaped and never told her sister why she came. At first Amy cannot come to terms with the man she sees now. She doesn't see that he is still in love with her. She can't seem to trust him. Under Hunter's urging, Swift courts Amy through bouts of forced togetherness. Hunter believes that if you shield your heart from pain, you can't get any pleasure either. Amy is conned into teaching Swift to read and to spend time with him on long walks after the lessons.
Matters come to a head at an dinner box dance. Swift bids $100 for Amy's dinner box—far out shining the usual high of $10. They dance and have a wonderful time until when, back at Amy's cottage, she can't take the next step and make love to Swift. She can't trust him. He leaves but watches as she undresses for her bath and bed—and he notices the scars that Amy's stepfather left her. Realizing she has good reason not to trust men, Swift says goodbye to Hunter and his family and explains to Amy that it is all right. He'll let her be safe and alone. Amy can't bear the thought of Swift leaving and she runs after him. Swift tells her that she needs to walk the three steps to him and be his wife. She does.
The couple is well on their way to their happily ever after when Swift's past catches up to them. Bandits kidnap Amy, knowing that Swift will have to come after them to rescue her. In the past, Swift might have done the rescuing alone, but he's learned to try to ask others for help. Enlisting the help of Hunter and the local Marshall—not to mention Amy's help at an opportune moment. Swift and Amy are reunited and look together to a promising tomorrow.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked this story because of the amazing characters. They both have faults and good parts.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when Swift was going to leave, and Amy begged him to stay. He said he would stay if she would trust him enough to take three steps towards him--and she does.
Opinion about the main character:
I like Swift's patience. He doesn't say that Amy's past doesn't matter--he finds his way to deal with it.